Wildlife-film.com - the international news and information resource for wildlife film makers worldwide with news and directories of producers, festivals, location managers, stock footage, training and freelance personnel.
homenewsCompaniesfreelancersfilmsshopcontact
         
 

Features / Case Studies (Stories from around the wildlife film-making world!) Page 2
Go back to Features home
or check out Pages 1 3 4 5

Filmmakers For Conservation

Newly Launched - DSLR and GoPro Safari Workshop
By Rebecca Hart
26 July 2012



This is an incredible opportunity to join Mark Gillett and Rebecca Hart on their quest to explore new and innovative ways of filming and photographing African wildlife using the latest in DSLR and HD GoPro technology, whilst they work to create a number of short films with varying themes!

Mark and Rebecca have teamed up under Suitcase Media & Productions to deliver a truly unique film and photography workshop of a lifetime! With Rebecca's wildlife experience and Mark's adventure work from around the world, the workshop will be an intensive, fun and action packed week of learning, filming, photographing and exploring Africa’s most iconic wildlife.

THE FACTS

Workshop 1: 4th – 10th November 2012 (6 nights)
Workshop 2: 11th – 17th November 2012 (6 nights)
Location: Thornybush Game Reserve, South Africa
Limited: Max 8 people per workshop
Cost: £2950
Contact: (e) info@suitcasemedia.net | Mark (m) +44 (0)7973 690 087 | Rebecca (m) +44 (0)7824 702 327

WORKSHOP LEADERS

Mark Gillett is a highly knowledgeable and extremely well travelled filmmaker, photographer, explorer and adventurer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has vast experience leading film and photography expeditions to some of the most extreme and challenging environments in the world - from the Middle East where he built a reputation for expeditions in the desert, to Asia, the Himalayas, Amazonia, Sierra Leone and Alaska … the list goes on! Mark’s primary love is for the diverse cultures around the world and he takes a highly creative and philosophical approach to film and photography. With his extensive knowledge Mark will lead the workshop sessions and will also be focused on creating short music videos and a documentary throughout the duration of the Safari Workshop.
Website: www.junglemoon.co.uk

Rebecca Hart is a wildlife filmmaker and photographer with a passion to use visual media to inspire and inform on environmental and conservation issues. Rebecca holds a BSc in Environmental Sciences and an MSc in Climate Change at the University of East Anglia and has travelled widely in South Africa over two years developing her filmmaking skills. Most recently spending six months living at The River Lodge in Thornybush Game Reserve and working for WildEarth Safari TV in the Sabi Sands were she gained an extensive number of hours filming and photographing African wildlife! For the duration of the Safari Workshops Rebecca will be working on gathering footage to be used in a number of conservation films, which will include the highly topical rhino poaching issue in Africa.
Website: www.rebeccahartmedia.photodeck.com

With Mark and Rebecca’s combined experience you can rest assure in the knowledge that
you’re in safe hands allowing you to get the most out of this unique learning experience!

WHY THE DSLR SAFARI WORKSHOP?

Traditionally photographic safaris have been highly popular internationally for both professional and amateur photographers alike. However, times have changed and an exciting gap in the market has been revealed primarily as a result of advances in digital photographic camera technology with the inclusion of a video function on many new DSLRs. Greatly enhanced quality of consumer video technology in smaller handheld camcorders and the improved accessibility of High Definition along with the explosion in popularity of film in the online social media market including YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and Twitter.

The Suitcase Media Safari Workshop aims to utilise this gap in the market by providing a more inclusive ‘media’ safari workshop as opposed to the more traditional photographic safari. Some of the DSLR and GoPro Safari Workshop’s highlights are outlined below.

SAFARI WORKSHOP | HIGHLIGHTS

• Unique opportunity to join and work alongside film and photography professionals
• Advice on a range of professional film and photographic equipment, including a number of different DSLRs and HD GoPro cameras
• Explore camera functions in a creative learning environment
• Learn new and improve existing camera techniques
• Big 5 game viewing (lion, leopard, buffalo, white & black rhino, elephant) plus cheetah, hyena, hippo, crocodile, zebra, giraffe, various antelope species and masses of bird life
• 2 private - open roofed - game viewing vehicles with knowledgeable safari guides
• Maximum of 4 participants plus one leader per vehicle to allow for equipment space
• Chance of getting up close and personal on safari with a bush walk led by expert guides
• Luxury accommodation along the river bank in a stunningly wild African bush location
• Chance to follow highly topical real life stories and local issues

PERFECT FOR

• Film and photography enthusiasts looking for experience and a chance to build a portfolio
• Photographers wanting to explore the video function of their DSLRs
• Filmmakers looking for an opportunity to join a production team
• Anyone wanting to make a short documentary based on wildlife, environment, conservation and the local African community
• Wildlife enthusiasts and adventurists
• Anyone looking to explore ways of creative film making and photography
• Camera enthusiasts of all levels welcomed as we tailor workshops for individual needs

WORKSHOP DETAILS

This photographic and film workshop will give you a unique experience in one of the worlds most beautiful wildlife arenas. You will follow the recently formed team of Mark Gillett and Rebecca Hart as they document and film in one of Africa’s wildest locations but also with the comfort of luxury lodgings to make the workshop a fun, exciting and beautiful adventure. They will be using a collection of equipment from small HD GoPro units to DSLR’s filming and photographing to produce a body of work for the lodge, and for public online viewing.

You will have the opportunity to work alongside them whilst creating your own body of work with their advice along the way. Workshops will be held each day of the 5 days you are on location to further your knowledge, answer questions and develop new skills.

The workshop style is unique. You will not be told how to do it but you will discover how to be more creative in your approach, which in turn will lead to a better understanding and willingness to develop your skills. This will be an adventure where you will discover “stuff” about yourself, produce a portfolio of images and one or two short films (If you choose to do so). You will learn how important the basics are, much about your camera and how to get the best from it. Essentially you will learn about the creative photographer inside you and how to get it out...

Typical day itinerary

05:30 Meet for tea and rusks
06:00 Game Drive (approx 3 hrs)
09:30 Breakfast
10:30 Workshop (approx 1.5hrs)
12:30 Light Lunch
13:30 Workshop (approx 2hrs)
16:00 Game Drive (approx 3hrs)
20:30 Dinner and Day Review

WORKSHOP CONTENT

The initial session on arrival at the lodge will be a familiarisation workshop where we find out what you know, what you want to know, what you have already done, (portfolios etc) and an overview of the week ahead. The speed and content of the workshop will then depend much on our findings after this first session together. Our aim is to allow individuals to work at their own pace and expand on and work towards individual goals set in this session.

General topics discussed will be:

Equipment and basic functions | Using your DSLR for photography and for video | Photographic assignments and achieving your goals | Selection and editing your images | Light | Composition and rules... When and how to break them.

ONE MONTH LATER

Mark and Rebecca will offer advice and support in the subsequent month following the Safari Workshop in order to allow participants to process images and footage, and create a photo portfolio and short film if desired. A review session of material produced on the Safari Workshop will be organised at a convenient date a month after the workshop where participants will be given the opportunity to share and showcase their work. Further details outlined in workshop content.

OVERRIDING THEME

Our approach to photography (which includes film making) is the key to how we develop as photographers. Not your equipment. We will spend time looking at this using Mark’s approach to assignments he has gained around the world.

For more information visit rebeccahartmedia.photodeck.com/safari-workshops

For a downloadable version of the workshop details click here!

To sample some of Suitcase Media’s latest work - check out the video below!

 

Journey to Tambakha, Sierra Leone from Suitcase Media & Productions on Vimeo.

SUITCASE MEDIA & PRODUCTIONS

Launched in 2012, Suitcase Media & Productions is a group of freelance creatives who love adventure, photography and filmmaking. They work with events, corporates or individuals to supply beautiful video shorts for web use or social media presence. Suitcase Media & Productions specialise in great imagery and edits on location, their work includes; short films, music videos, YouTube, DailyMotion and Vimeo productions, social media amplifications, advertising and branding production. They have some of the best creatives in the online world and are driven by adventure and living life to the full. Ultimately Suitcase Media & Production’s mission is to provide the best edits online in short films and video productions.

Contact details: (e) info@suitcasemedia.net (w) www.facebook.com/SuitcaseMedia
Mark Gillett: (m) +44 (0)7973 690 087 (e) mark@junglemoon.co.uk
Rebecca Hart: (m) +44 (0)7824 702 327 (e) rebeccahartmedia@gmail.com

 

Wildlife Film-making: Looking to the Future

The Monsoon
By Sandesh Kadur
18 June 2012


It’s mid-June. I’m back home in Bangalore. I’m wishing I could transport myself to the Malabar Coast to see the onset of the monsoon. But I’m already late and all I can do is await the rains here, while getting caught up with work.

Around mid-night the curtains along the window start lashing out. A cool wind begins to stream through the house. I turn the fan off for the first time this season. I step out on the porch and see a stream of clouds floating in on a cool breeze steadily blowing from the west. I can’t wait for the rains to begin…

Over the years I’ve spent many days & nights soaked in monsoonal downpours while working in the Western Ghats and northeastern India. Here are a selection of images from times spent traveling with the monsoon.

Exactly this time last year, I was in Kaziranga National Park in Assam. I was there to document some heavy rain and see how the animals cope in the rainy season. But when I got there, all I saw were blue skies and puffy clouds. There had been heavy rains all through May, but in June the rains had stopped. The first bout of monsoon rain had come and gone. I took this image with my iphone camera. It shows the transformation of the landscape from a seemingly lifeless, parched brown of summer to a transformed green vista of the monsoon.

What is the monsoon??

The word monsoon actually means season, after the Arabic word mausem – and what better symbol of transformation from one season to the next than the onset of monsoon rains over the lands scorched by the unrelenting heat of summer.

Monsoons are caused by the difference in temperature between landmasses and the surrounding oceans. The Indian monsoons are initiated when the Asian landmass heats up during the summer. As the warm air rises, it creates a low-pressure system that causes air from the oceans to stream overland. These moisture-laden southwest winds from the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal release monsoon showers from June to September. Mountain ranges like the Western Ghats and the Himalaya intercept these moisture-laden winds and receive significantly more rainfall than other parts of India. During winter, northern winds from the cold Asian landmass start pushing back the southwest winds, causing the retreating or the northeast monsoon from September to November.

Everyday I check Google Earth to see what the monsoon is doing. In this image from a few hours ago you can see a huge swathe of clouds covering up most of coastal and peninsular India. The other arm is flowing up the Bay of Bengal soon to make landfall in Meghalaya and North-eastern India.

If not the Malabar Coast the next best place I’d want to be at to see the onset of the monsoon is in Meghalaya. Here the Khasi hills give way to the plains of Bangladesh and when the southwest monsoon gathers momentum over the Bay of Bengal, the first place to get soaked is Cherrapunji and Mawsynram – two of the wettest places on earth, receiving nearly 500 inches of rainfall – that’s nearly 40 feet of rainfall each year!!

Nohkalikai Falls - plunging to over 1000 feet, this is one of India’s tallest waterfalls. I photographed the falls in the dry season, I can’t wait to get back there to photograph it in August.

Monsoon fishing seems to be a popular past time in many parts of Meghalaya. Fish are stocked in these large ponds and during the monsoon I saw posters for fishing tournaments on nearly every weekend. Even during the heaviest rains men and women sit under umbrellas for hours to catch a prized fish and win the grand prize cash award for the biggest fish.

In 2009 I was stationed at Agumbe -one of my favourite places to watch the advancing monsoon clouds. From the viewpoint along a hairpin bend you get a nice view of the coastline and the Arabian Sea. When the monsoon clouds advance, the Western Ghats form a blockade, an obstacle. Here we positioned ourselves and created a time-lapse of the advancing monsoon. A half hour later the rains arrived, battering our equipment and us before we could retreat into the vehicle.

 

Western Ghats Through Timelapse from Sandesh Kadur on Vimeo.

A Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger typically found swimming on water bodies takes a break from fishing and rests high on a tree in heavy rainfall somewhere in the Western Ghats.

Perhaps the most bizarre of all frogs – the purple frog –Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis. Very little is known about the frog apart from the fact that they surface during the heavy monsoon rains only to feed and mate before returning back underground. Their hard nose and stout limbs are ideal adaptations that allow this creature to burrow into moist soil. The pig-nosed frog, derives its scientific name from the word nasika, Sanskrit for nose, referring to the pointed snout, batrachus, Greek for frog and sahyadri, as the local name of the mountain range where it was found. We were fortunate to find and film this frog a few years ago while filming for the BBC Natural World – Mountains of the Monsoon.

A pair of critically endangered frogs in amplexus the Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus. The smaller male on top holds on to the female while fertilizing the eggs, which are laid while creating a large foam nest usually over a permanent water body. Once the eggs are fertilized and the tiny tadpoles start wriggling in the foam nest, they drop down into the water and undergo the rest of their lifecycle as tadpoles underwater.

Frogs constitute a major portion of a large-scaled green pit viper’s (Trimeresurus macrolepis) menu. Tiny droplets of water on all forms of life encapsulate the spirit of the monsoon.

At Jog Falls, the Sharavathy River plummets a spectacular 253 metres, forming one of the highest waterfalls on the Indian subcontinent. During the monsoon, the sheer force of water plummeting down is an incredible sight to behold and is one of the top monsoon tourist destinations in the state of Karnataka. I only wish the Tourism Department would better manage the flow of people and stop the menace of tourist litter in this otherwise incredible spot.

The State bird of Karnataka the Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis) soaks in a bit of the monsoon.

A mother rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) and young along the periphery of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand.

While documenting the Eastern Himalaya I was photographing near a village when the rains came. My assistant and I ran and took shelter in a small house in a Bodo village near the Indo-Bhutan border. As we sat and waited for the rain to subside, (which wasn’t happening) a lady opened up an umbrella and started on a long walk to the next village. For most people the monsoon is cause only for a momentary pause, otherwise life goes on as normal.

As we were driving along the Eastern periphery of Kaziranga National Park, the rains paused momentarily and the sun came out creating a rainbow. I was lucky to find this villager walking along the same road to tend his field. The warm evening light, and if you look closely, the double rainbow makes this one of my favourite monsoon shots.

A man rides a bicycle while fending off rain holding an umbrella in one hand…

As you can tell, I love photographing umbrellas.

I photographed this young Bodo boy, his family and his psychedelic umbrella in Assam on my way back from Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

Tips for shooting in the Monsoon:

  1. Get a good raincover, or even a plastic bag with a hole for the lens will do. For years I used a hand towel around the main body and lens while duct-taping a plastic cover to the hood of the lens. This works incredibly well.
  2. Always keep a good raincoat – rather a poncho. These are much better, as they can also cover your backpack during heavy bouts of rain.
  3. Shoot out of your car. While doing this always try to angle yourself opposite the direction of the rain. Not always possible, but helps get the images more comfortably if you can get the angle right.
  4. Fill your camera bags with Silica gel, or better yet, keep a drying container, where you can quickly dry up a camera and keep in a silica-gel container for use the next day.
  5. Do NOT pack your cameras and lens caps on the lens while still wet. This is what can later lead to the development of fungus inside the lens – an expensive clean-up job.
  6. Do NOT keep your equipment in & out of air-conditioning. This can lead to condensation due to the high levels of moisture in the air and temperature differential.
  7. Find interesting mini-topics within the broad theme of the monsoon. Umbrellas is taken – anything else is fine…
  8. Don’t worry too much about shooting in high ISO. Most of the time you’ll need to shoot in a high ISO. Content is what matters.
  9. Prepare to face wet weather. Keep the right kind of clothing gear. Being wet means being cold, and being cold means being uncomfortable. So get comfortable, stay dry.
  10. Most importantly if you plan to shoot during the monsoon don’t forget a good umbrella and a clean handkerchief!

A long-shutter combined with a zoom effect adds an extra-bit of energy to convey the chaos of the monsoon.

My friends right now are at the backwaters of Kabini, Nagarhole National Park. It’s raining heavily and they’ve been lucky to spot a tiger. I ask if they’ve seen elephants yet, but they haven’t. The grand spectacle of elephants in the Kabini backwaters has ended. The monsoon has indeed arrived.

Two of my favourite images that helps depict change of season and transformation are of these tigers – one in the parched brown landscape of summer and the other in the lush green grass during the monsoon.

 

See Sandesh's blog here: www.sandeshkadur.com/2012/monsoon

 

Wild Pages: The Wildlife Film-makers' Resource Guide

30-Days on the Isle of Skye – After Course Report
By Ric Swift of UKWFS
25 June 2012



The UK Wildlife Film School
Wildlife – Real Locations – Real Skills - Real Experience

Our time on the hill was an interesting one, only 2 of the 4 students finally made it to the course, so man-handling all the camp and production equipment required proved to be an extra enjoyable experience. The weather was truly unbelievable, and Skye and Wester Ross were recorded as the hottest area in the UK for a whole 7+ days.

Matt had travelled up from the Malvern Hills and had recently gained a BA Hons in Film & Video. Leah was from Holland and having worked for a few years in Video Production was really keen to move into wildlife work.

We travelled on foot for the majority of this course, living off all the equipment carried on our backs in a self-sufficient base-camp, washing in rivers and baking potatoes on an open fire. The course was split into 4 separate modules, though not exactly a week long each, they helped to build a structure to our time on the Island.

30 days allowed us to be as adaptable with our schedule as we choose to be. Most of your personal equipment was left in base-camp (with Chris, our base camp supervisor) so out on location we simply carried the camera equipment, any camouflaged hides we needed, plus our lunch.
At the end of each day, we returned to base-camp for a main meal  (which was cooked by Chris) and a group discussion to assess the day's filming with reference to our script requirements.

During the first week we built a Base-Camp in Collie Dalavil on the shores of Loch Ghlinne. Here we undertook some of the first rudimentary tasks of Base-camp logistics, Camp orientation, Water purification, Fire Making, Sanitation etc. before taking a recce of the entire area with reference to wildlife filming.

A lot of the second week was spent doing research on the internet, and interviewing people who we found there. Unfortunately this took a little longer than all had hoped for, as Matt & Leah were learning that it is actually very difficult to build up a solid script of what you want, when you do not actually have any footage of your subject yet. They were having to construct the whole process in the opposite way in to which would be the norm, and were starting to realise, just how important their wildlife footage was actually going to be.

Week three was spent out on location filming Otters in the Wild. We filmed in various locations on Skye. Firstly at Waterloo and the Ardnish Peninsular. We found a Male Dog otter, after several hours of waiting, which they then filmed. The whoops of joy made on filming their first real live wild Otter nearly scared the poor thing away! Our second otter was filmed on the Island of Eilean Ban (made famous by Gavin Maxwell and his book/film ‘Ring of bright water’) the young male juvenile otter came within 10 feet of us whilst filming, you could actually hear his teeth crunching on the fish as he ate.
Both Matt & Leah agreed that it was a totally awesome experience, and to capture it on film was fantastic.

Week four was an intense week as it was spent editing the final film. As Lear describes it in her testimonial "at times it was exciting and fun, other times it was difficult and frustrating” but I think you will agree that their efforts paid off and they have managed to produce a very nice short film"


Read their full after course testimonials and watch the film they produced at www.wildlifefilmschool.com

Take a look at our ‘Dates Pages’ for up and coming courses, with the likes of -
‘Sea Eagles’ near the Isle of Mull.
‘The Great Stag Rutt’ on the Isle of Arran, in September.

Plus our international courses to -
Abruzzo in Italy, filming free-roaming Wolves and Marsican Brown Bears, this October.
21 day African Safari to the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango delta and Kruger in April 2013.

D:\Website\public_html\images\UKWFS Skye Report\Skye - R Web_Interview_Level Small.jpg
For more information have a look at our website
www.wildlifefilmschool.com
Leave the classroom behind you - you only gain real experience working out on the hill.

 

Wildeye

Africa's Big Five And Other Wildlife Film Makers
Introduction
by Jean Hartley
Published in 2010


Africa has been described as the most exciting continent on the planet. Elspeth Huxley, one of Kenya’s most prolific writers, wrote ‘Kenya must be the most photographed country in the world’. With a history of over a hundred years of such a variety of safari visitors arriving to experience and photograph the country’s immense variety of attractions, it would be hard to contradict her.

This book is intended to tell the story of wildlife films in East Africa through the twentieth century, Photographers with cumbersome stills cameras arrived in the country late in the nineteenth century, but it has usually been accepted that the first moving film in Kenya was made in 1909 by Cherry Kearton, a Yorkshireman, who together with his brother Richard, pioneered the filming of birds in Britain. Cherry was asked to join Theodore Roosevelt briefly on his epic safari for the Smithsonian Museum in 1909, to record part of his expedition on film. This became Roosevelt in Africa and TR in Africa and was shown in New York and London cinemas after the event. However, there were certainly other people with movie cameras in Kenya in 1909, so I am not entirely convinced that Kearton was really the first.

The definition of wildlife films is open to interpretation. The twentieth century saw an interesting series of transformations. In the early years, photographic safaris and organised mass-tourism did not exist, and most films of the time covered hunting safaris or ‘expeditions’. These commenced shortly after the railway reached Nairobi at the turn of the century. The source of the Nile had long since been found, but there were still people in search of adventure on a lesser scale, who wanted to explore for themselves the mysteries of the ‘dark continent’. Much remained unknown of Africa’s interior. There were enticing places, people, animals and plants all waiting to be ‘discovered’. To many people, ‘wildlife’ is a term that covers animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. However, ‘nature’ is but part of the entire complicated inter-connected system of life on this planet that embraces every arm of natural science – from evolution through palaeontology to climate change – so I will refer to ‘nature films’ as well as ‘wildlife films’.

The activities of the few pioneer filmmakers, such as Cherry Kearston and the unlikely American couple Marin and Osa Johnson, were interrupted by two world wars, but many hundreds of films were made nonetheless. The Johnsons spent years at a time travelling and filming in Africa, but did not complete that many films. Simba in 1928 and Congorilla in 1932 are perhaps the best known. The Johnsons’ films usually featured Osa (apparently) shooting a rhino, elephant or lion with a rifle after it had been induced to charge, while Martin rolled the camera. Their footage of people is cringingly patronising, but they were pioneers in their own way, and therefore part of this history. They were also responsible for bringing the world’s attention to one of Kenya’s most beautiful places – Mount Marsabit. The Johnsons set up camp on the shores of the lake they called ‘Lake Paradise’ and stayed there for four years.

Others have been written about before – Carl Akeley, Paul Rainey, Paul Hoefler for instance. But there were more – William Boyce and George Lawrence in their balloon, Pop Binks, and Charles Cottar all contributed in some way. As well as reading their own books, I have delved into the records of the old professional hunters and safari operators. After all, none of the early film makers would have got out of Nairobi without an ‘outfitter’. These people may not have been particularly literate, but at least they knew where they were going, and they knew more about the wildlife and the people. In this way, the ‘Kenya point of view’ is revealed.

If the human race indeed originated in east Africa, so too did a special breed of filmmaker. In my mind, five outstanding filmmakers (three of them still very much alive and living in Kenya) who all started filming more than fifty years ago, set the standard for the nature films that are being made today. The fact that they lived here permanently meant that they had more time to devote to filming –many of their films were put together over a period of several years. Not only did they have more time to film, but they also had more time to study their subjects, and it is patently obvious that the best wildlife films are made by people who understand the creatures they are filming. An extremely thorough and intimate knowledge of nature is essential. Joseph Delmont, in a book called Wild Animals on the Films published in 1925, wrote ‘A nature film must be true to nature. Let it be entertaining by all means, and further it is a great advantage if it is also instructive, which does not mean that it need be tedious’.

I intend to cover all the major films that have been made in Kenya, and to include many of the thousands of filmmakers who have worked here. In order to trace the way in which these films have grown and developed, it is necessary to understand the various stages the genre has been through to reach where we are today. In the process, we shall see what makes a great film.

Africa’s animals appeared in all the early silent ‘expedition’ films, and were shown in (mostly American) movie theatres, being introduced by the filmmakers who recounted their experiences in much the same way as lecturers make PowerPoint presentations today. When sound came in the late 1920s, the films changed and became ‘adventure’ feature films. The animals were still there, but there were actors and a story, however dubious – for instance in Trader Horn in 1931. This film was credited as being the most influential film to date in bringing the ‘real’ Africa to the screens. This trend continued after the Second World War. Into the early 1950s there was a sudden burst of Hollywood films featuring animals, professional hunters, and beautiful women – Such as Mongambo, King Solomon’s Mines, Where No Vultures Fly and Hatari. All the big stars of the time came to Kenya – Ava Gardner, Elsa Martinelli, Clark Gable, Stewart Grainger, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra and many others.

The 1950s was a major turning point. Television had come into being, and such programmes as Filming Wild Animals followed by On Safari with Armand and Michaela Denis offered a totally new way of watching wildlife. The couple set the bar at a new level. Their programme was very soon followed by David Attenborough’s Zoo Quest. Now we were seeing wildlife for what it was, with no intrepid adventurers or romantic heroes in sight. Since then the wildlife film has grown and matured, camera design has changed beyond recognition, and people with passion have continued to amaze us with images that truly show nature at its best. It may have been a long time coming, but it was an interesting journey.

It will soon become clear that I am passionate about nature films. Having worked in this field for more than twenty years, I have also amassed a huge archive. My collection consists of approximately 14,000 hours of nature films, and I have watched all of them. There are some truly great films, wonderful films, good films, mediocre films and, sadly, some films that should never have been made at all. It seems to me that there is a problem here, and that the blame lies with two groups of people, one being led by the other. Whether it is possible to turn things around remains to be seen.

Interspersed in the narrative is what I hope will be read as no more than a delicate thread of my own life, principally relating to this broad spectrum of nature, people, films and Kenya, the country where I was born and raised, and in which I have lived forty years of my adult life, the last twenty-two of which spent looking after filmmakers. I hope this will not appear intrusive.

Purchase this fascinating book here: www.wildeye.co.uk/africasbigfive

Jean Hartley, born in Kenya, is acknowledged as being the first to legitimise "fixing" for wildlife film crews. Over the last 25 years, she has worked on over a thousand films, the vast majority being about wildlife and nature. In this insightful book she features five of the great film makers who all started their careers in Kenya in the 1950s, legends whom she is proud to call personal friends. Watching all their films, and many more, she became fascinated by the history of film making in Kenya and determined to find out when it all started. She traces the roots of wildlife film back a hundred years, drawing on accounts of the original film makers and the professional hunters who guided those early safaris. She tracks the changes from those grainy, speeded up, silent films through to the technologically perfect High Definition and 3D films that are being made today.

 
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Environmental Investigation Agency

About Wildlife-film.com

Since the late 1990s Wildlife-film.com has been the leading source of information for the wildlife filmmaking industry worldwide. For over twelve years the site has been Google's number one ranking site for 'wildlife film' and related searches. Our site is viewed in over 175 countries. Our newsletter, Wildlife Film News, is read every month by thousands of people involved in wildlife filmmaking - from broadcasters and producers, to cameramen - we encourage readers to submit their news. We also serve as an online resource for industry professionals and services. Find producers, editors, presenters and more in our Freelancer section, and find out about festivals, training and conservation in Organisations. We encourage amateur and professional freelancers to join our network and welcome all wildlife-film related organisations to join our team.

UDENA

 


Wildlife Film News is available every month straight to your Inbox!  Subscribe here:


site search by freefind



Like our Facebook Page Follow us on Twitter Google+
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Subscribe to our Vimeo Channel Pinterest

Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5