Wildlife Film News
1. New Head for BBC NHU
2. Wildlife Asia Film Festival
3. Footage Request
4. Raine Island
5. A Wild Idea
6. News from High Plains
7. A Natural Transformation
8. Mona Monkeys
9. New Website for Viewfinders
10. CD-ROM Giveaway
1. New Head for BBC NHU
Neil Nightingale has been appointed the new head of the BBC Natural History Unit. He has been with the unit for twenty years and is well known for producing the Natural World programmes. Keith Scholey has left to head the BBC's specialist factual department.
2. Wildlife Asia Film Festival
By Chris Dickinson
In just over a years time an exciting new event is due hit Asia! I’m talking about the Wildlife Asia Film Festival - Singapore.
“This sounds like a really great idea and I am sure it is just the thing wildlife needs! …It will give Asian filmmakers a much-needed platform… The potential is great - there is so much waiting to be tapped in this region. I think the time is ripe for a move like this.” Mike H. Pandey - Riverbanks Productions, New Delhi.
A precise time has yet to be finalised, but we are looking at the end of February 2004, and knowing how busy everyone is, I thought it wise to give you all good warning!
The festival will be dedicated to wildlife and conservation filmmaking. Wildlife Asia will give Asian filmmakers a much needed focus and platform for their films and will provide the international wildlife filmmaking community with a premier festival – attracting films and filmmakers from around the globe.
“…It is about time that Asia has a premiere festival in recognition of the significance of its rich, diverse heritage…” Christopher N. Palmer, President and CEO of National Wildlife Productions Inc. USA
The festival will have screenings, seminars, debates and workshops - many of which will have a distinct Asian perspective. And what festival would be complete without an awards ceremony? In this case the Lion Awards - recognising the very best conservation and wildlife films from Asia and beyond. So if YOU have shot a film in Asia, or have had a film aired in Asia – don’t forget to enter it!
“National Geographic Channel Asia is happy to support the objectives of Wildlife Asia.” Marcia Goh, VP Programming, National Geographic Channel Asia
With advisors such as Jane Krish from Wildscreen, and partners such as WWF, Filmmakers For Conservation and the Singapore Environment Council, the festival will be assured a first class schedule of events over 4 days, and the delegates fees will be very good value – all-in-all making the Festival an unmissable opportunity. We will also run a series of community events up-to and during the festival (and in this respect we pay tribute to the IWFF for leading the way and giving us our inspiration!)
“It is truly giving recognition to the many "environmentalists" out there who toil the days and nights to get a good documentary out that will evoke the emotion and passion from their audience.” Teoh Teik Hoong, Head of Media and Public Affairs, WWF Malaysia
We are now seeking the funding to make the event reality. I’m sure you’ll agree that this initiative represents a significant benefit to both Asian filmmaking and conservation, so we urge the international community to support Wildlife Asia.
Our website: www.wildlifeasia.org is in its early stages of evolution, but please feel free to visit it if you want more information. Alternatively you can contact me directly: email@example.com, or phone: +65 6271 7226. I’d love to hear your opinions – if you want to enter a film or come to the festival, please get in touch!
So, if you are an Asian filmmaker or have interests in film production in Asia – Wildlife Asia is THE EVENT FOR YOU! We look forward to seeing you there!
Wildlife Asia Ltd
Wildlife Asia: Promoting wildlife and conservation filmmaking throughout Asia, stimulating new film productions for the local and international markets educating the public, creating greater awareness and appreciation of the natural world and motivating active support of conservation.
3. Footage Request
If you can help out with the footage request below please contact Adam Bromley directly.
There's a good and reliable old maxim; United we stand - divided we fall. And my fear is that we are at risk of the second bit. For many years I have sold, co-produced, devised and licensed programming and projects to just about every media species in existence - and I hope I have tried to protect the security of every idea/programme despite frequent and hideous piracy and subterfuge. But jealousy and OVER-protection runs through conservation groups as well as producers, broadcasters and distributors - and this works against us. So here is a revised e-mail that I sent to Tana Herbert of the Wildlife Awareness Foundation after we met in Missoula last year. Tana has been a great help in pointing out the brakes that get applied to so many worthwhile opportunities - because of ego, jealousy and the old 'not-invented-here-so-no-thanks' syndrome.
We've all submitted proposals and suggestions very carefully to various offices, friends and colleagues. We've all experienced rip-off or ridicule, but still we go on as carefully and privately as possible because we KNOW this is right. We are SURE this will work. And then we wait to see if our submission was a lottery winner or carrion...
So to hell with it - here in public for friends, foe and bureaucrats is an idea with a programme outline included that I've been pushing since they came to me in either the bath or while walking the dogs. I won't put a copyright date on them here because my last bath was this morning but both my beloved dogs passed away some time back... If anyone wants to make/steal the programme, I must insist they come to me for footage of Tessa and Winston playing as pups in the fields and woods.... Here's a slightly modified version of my e-mail to Tana:
Let's look at enrolment and reward - using the techniques of multi-branded marketeers. To get the population of ANY community/demographic today aware and enthusiastic for conservation matters (without sounding or seeming dull) we need to get a discerned but WIDE range of figures on side - all ages, colours, backgrounds and stories.
I suggest we set up an umbrella organisation, a bit like an airline alliance. We would invite people to join a NETWORK of bodies connected to environment protection via their connection to one or other first choice (i.e. a member of NWF gets a special deal to become affiliated to WWF, WAF, WDCS, RSPB, IFAW etc ) - and thereby invite participation in membership levels and merchandise programmes to work similarly to air miles or bundled channels on cable....
The membership would be invited to "adopt" schemes and programmes to be taken to communities without TV (or affordable mass media) as you do with the WAF. In return, adopters will get coveted certificates, badges, regalia and recognition depending on their level of commitment (A bit like the IWFF and its "animal groups" to reflect the level of Festival sponsor. See www.wildlifefilms.org).
Members would get a combined newsletter or periodical magazine, plus special membership and passes to appropriate venues such as museums, parks, zoos, events etc. (When originally made a Fellow of the Zoological Society I was awarded a membership card that gets me in to London Zoo and Whipsnade foc with friends and family any time. The first year was gratis, now I subscribe and get a tax break for doing so.).
Members/participants would also get the chance to enter the 'MOCs'; Members Only Competitions. Prizes could include photographic safaris to Africa, Alaska, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia etc - surely a sponsor like Kodak would LOVE this? (Not, I would suggest, a Japanese manufacturer - their corporations still pay taxes to contribute to the maintenance of a whaling fleet...) Good TV possibilities anyway, if we tie it up carefully.
I would also seek out and enrol corporate sponsors to get behind a TV programme that I have been TRYING to get made for years. So simple - so cheap. Essentially a talk show, the guests can be from anywhere - entertainment, sport, politics, business, other talk show hosts - anywhere. THIS host is not so much interested in talking to them about their latest movie/album/campaign/game/divorce/deal - but in their favourite aspects of Nature's goings-on. The conversation is interspersed with clips from the best of... This deals with low attention span, makes the celeb look like a caring human being- AND, we have key players from the making of great shows as guests too: - After the "wow" effect of that shot - let's meet the cameraman/woman;- following the hair-tingling music that accompanied that sequence, here is the composer; - Hugh Miles, do you endure conditions beyond SAS training on EVERY shoot??... The show will make unknown heroes recognisable - and many are hugely attractive personalities in themselves anyway. (Have you ever met Doug Allan, Kate Davis, Ruth Berry, Mark and Vicky, Howard and Michelle, Alan Root, Haraldo Castro, Trisha Wilson, Will Taylor, Chris Palmer, Caroline Underwood or Mike DeGruy..?!!!?). Lots of humour, tons of sparkle, enrolling and stimulating without the banal or dumbed down too far...
I'd use this as a vehicle to promote the "alliance" of organisations, and we'd provide the special guest with some cool and coveted regalia/clothing or whatever to pin their first badge on. The idea is to collect the entire range of associated i.d. that says you are an active and cool protector. (Am I trying to establish a new c –word instead of conservation I wonder? Coolservation? Coolserver? Probably not...) We make this show available in all languages possible (subtitling is cheaper and easier for the talking head sections) and seek corporate sponsors to put their names to the show AND the campaigns and promote the sales of videos and DVDs through the membership. For example, if you join at a level of $100 per year, you get 2 free DVDs and a discount card for all the other books and videos/DVDs associated with the organisation. The higher the membership level, the more you get from ALL affiliated organisations. I would just about kill to run this. Preferably from the newly established IWMC in Montana (no sales tax and all that delightful energy and enthusiasm) and would be on the phone/web/face-to-face with the BBC NHU, Nat Geo, Discovery, NHNZ, the German Marco Polo Films and more to join in and make their libraries accessible. Vitally, we’d also need to include journalists and media owners who are prepared to make a difference and be recognised as aware and TRUTHFUL reporters and not be sidetracked by the morays of undiscerning, bored and uninformed audiences. Even worse than them are the equally unhelpful advertisers who promote excess-consumption in their markets over a sense of sustainability.
Sorry this is running longer than most e-mails, Tana - but you might guess that I have an incurable enthusiasm for getting Nature elevated and PROPERLY respected in people's awareness. I often get to speak at meetings over here and use the line "It doesn't matter if you're Bill Gates, Bill Cosby, Bill Who or bill me next quarter - without safe natural environments, we're all equally on a road to extinction".
All very best
You can order BOTH
CD-ROMs together with just a £2.95 (UK) charge for post and packing (£3.95
overseas - approx US$5.95) - that's for BOTH CD-ROMs!
To order with a credit card (worldwide) go to www.wildeye.co.uk/cdorder.htm - to order by cheque (UK only) see details at www.wildeye.co.uk/volcanic/f_order.html
That's it! Send me YOUR news for the next issue and for the site.
This newsletter goes out to thousands of people in the wildlife film-making industry world-wide.