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Save 20% off your Wildscreen Festival Pass!
Early Bird Tickets Still on Sale!
Early Bird Tickets are still on sale for Wildscreen Festival 2022! Save up to 20% off your festival pass, and be a part of the biggest global gathering of natural world story tellers.
Early Bird Tickets are first come first serve, so book now before they’re gone!
Wildscreen Festival runs between 10th-14th October 2022.
Jackson Wild Announces Partnership with American Society of Cinematographers and RED Digital Cinema
Jackson Wild has announced a new partnership with the American Society of Cinematographers and RED Digital Cinema to celebrate excellence in cinematography and to support emerging cinematographers in wildlife filmmaking.
Wildlife filmmaking continues to attract growing interest from streaming services, as the need to highlight threats to wildlife all around our planet from climate change and environmental degradation grows increasingly urgent.
“The ASC is excited to partner with Jackson Wild and RED to help wildlife cinematographers develop their technical and story-telling skills in this increasingly important area of filmmaking,” said Stephen Lighthill, President of the ASC.
The aim of the partnership is to provide ASC members with mentorship opportunities through Jackson Wild and RED, supporting emerging filmmakers from historically excluded groups around the world. Additionally, ASC will oversee the award for best cinematography at the annual Jackson Wild Media Awards, nature film’s equivalent to the Oscars®.
"It is a privilege for us to work with the cinematographers and filmmakers telling these incredibly important, compelling stories.” said Brian Henderson of RED, who also serves on the Board of the Wildlife Society of Filmmakers. “We are delighted to collaborate with Jackson Wild and ASC to support them. It’s an honor to work with these organizations and brilliant filmmakers.”
“There has never been a more urgent time for us to use the power of beautiful, well-told stories to inspire decisive action as our planet confronts biodiversity collapse and the climate change crisis,” added Lisa Samford, Executive Director of Jackson Wild who also serves on the Board of the Wildlife Society of Filmmakers.. “We are fully committed to elevating historically excluded storytellers and delighted that the ASC and RED share these goals. We’re thrilled at the new opportunities that will result.”
The finalists for the Jackson Wild Media Awards cinematography category will be announced in August, and the winner will be recognized at the annual Jackson Wild Summit, taking place September 26 - 30, 2022 in Neusiedler See - Seewinkel National Park, Burgenland, Austria.
BBC Studios Natural History Unit announced as Headline Sponsor of Wildscreen Festival 2022
Head of BBC Studios Natural History Unit Jonny Keeling joins Wildscreen Charity Board, as festival marks its 40th birthday with hybrid edition taking place live in Bristol, UK, and broadcast around the world via live-stream.
"Wildscreen is critical to the wildlife filmmaking industry and to the natural world which is why the NHU is supporting as Headline Sponsor this year. Never has it been more important to tell impactful stories that inspire a global audience to love the natural world."
— Jonny Keeling, Head of BBC Studios Natural History Unit
Wildscreen, the not-for-profit behind the biggest festival of natural world storytelling globally, today unveils BBC Studios Natural History Unit as Headline Sponsor for the event, slated for 10-14 October 2022.
This milestone year for the Wildscreen Festival marks its 40th birthday and its first ever hybrid edition, with a packed in-person schedule taking place live in Bristol, UK, home to the biggest global hub of wildlife film production, and broadcast around the world via live-stream with bespoke content for its online audience.
The Festival’s focus for 2022 is “the future of natural world storytelling for a better planet” with four key elements underpinning the content - craft, industry, global voices, planetary crisis.
The support of the NHU as Headline Sponsors marks its commitment to supporting the future of the international wildlife film and TV industry, with a focus on driving an inclusive and sustainable global talent pipeline. The NHU will host the first ever Wildscreen Festival African hub, which will bring together the wildlife production community in Africa, broadcast live into the Bristol-hosted event, and offer bespoke in-person and hybrid networking events to support and showcase in-country talent. In Bristol, the NHU will open the doors to its new headquarters at Bridgewater House, to host a series of outreach events focussed on reaching out to local young people, highlighting the range of career paths into the wildlife film and TV production ecosystem.
Jonny Keeling, Head of BBC Studios Natural History Unit, said: “Wildscreen is critical to the wildlife filmmaking industry and to the natural world which is why the NHU is supporting as Headline Sponsor this year. Never has it been more important to tell impactful stories that inspire a global audience to love the natural world. To do that we need to build a more sustainable and inclusive industry - Wildscreen Festival is an incredibly powerful platform to drive that change.”
Also announced today, Jonny Keeling, Head of BBC Studios NHU joins the Wildscreen charity board as trustee. The board, chaired by Laura Marshall, CEO of Icon Films, oversees the organisation's year-round charitable initiatives, as well as the biennial Wildscreen Festival.
Maria Norman, Head of Production, Steve Cole, Series Producer and Caroline Cox, Production Executive are also announced as members of the Wildscreen Festival Advisory Board 2022. The Board drives the creative vision and programming for the 2022 Festival and is this year chaired by Jeff Wilson, Director at Silverback Films. For a full list of the 2022 Festival Advisory Board see here.
Wildscreen Festival early bird passes are on sale now, with a variety of hybrid and virtual passes available allowing delegates to choose how and when they experience the festival. Tickets can be purchased here.
For the first time in the organization’s thirty-year history, Jackson Wild will host its annual Summit outside of the United States this fall. The 2022 Jackson Wild Summit will take place September 26-30, 2022, in Neusiedler See - Seewinkel National Park, Burgenland, Austria.
The Jackson Wild Summit is an extraordinary gathering where collaboration and innovation thrive, ideas are launched, and strategic partnerships are forged. Cross-discipline conversations on the critical issues facing our planet pave the way for strategic partnerships that happen nowhere else, as participants work together to address critical conservation and environmental challenges. The Summit culminates in the announcement of the Jackson Wild Media Awards, nature film’s equivalent to the Oscars®, as well as Special Jury Recognitions, a peer-driven celebration of filmmakers, storytellers, and content creators.
“In collaboration with a growing consortium of regional international partners, Jackson Wild has created a global community to accelerate change and amplify the reach and impact of our industry, from the types of content we’re collectively presenting to who is doing the storytelling,” noted Bill Gardner, VP of Multiplatform Programming and Head of Development for PBS, and Chairperson of Jackson Wild’s International Board of Directors. “Through the engagement and commitment of our many partners, we’re already seeing a real measurable change in how we tell stories about and help conserve the wild spaces of our planet.”
Just southeast of Austria’s capital city Vienna, Neusiedler See-Seewinkel National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts exceptional natural beauty. Burgenland’s unique landscape and extraordinary biodiversity make it the ideal setting for this year’s Summit as a place to inspire and strengthen our commitment to nature. The location also reflects Jackson Wild’s status as an international organization and a commitment to reaching a broader global audience. It is anticipated that the Summit will move to different international locations in alternating years.
“I am extremely pleased that the 2022 Jackson Wild Summit will be hosted by us in Seewinkel National Park. With its unique flora and fauna, our national park offers the perfect backdrop to put the spotlight on these important key issues of the future: the environment, species conservation, and sustainability. Burgenland is also setting many political goals in these areas - protecting the region as a unique natural area is just as much a part of our concerns as organic farming, climate neutrality, and the expansion of renewable energies. I hope that the region inspires, excites, and moves the participants of the Jackson Wild Summit to generate new ideas and I am convinced that here, in the heart of Europe, we can catalyze an impulse towards new, innovative concepts in environmental awareness,” said Hans-Peter Doskozil, Governor of Burgenland, Austria.
The Summit also sets the stage for the Jackson Wild Media Lab, a week-long immersive, cross-disciplinary science filmmaking workshop that brings scientists and media creators together to learn from leaders in the profession and work together to develop effective tools to communicate about science, nature, and conservation. This year, the Media Lab will take place the week before the Summit from September 20-30, 2022 in Austria.
Registration opens for the 2022 Summit in late May and discounted lodging can be booked until June 15, 2022.
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The 2022 International Wildlife Film Festival returned to its usual format this year which began with an unforgettable morning where thousands marched down Higgins Avenue in costume for the 30th WildWalk.
Festivities continued with multiple sold-out shows of the festival's opening film, Fire of Love. 3000+ students took part in the free youth matinee shows led by Roxy staff and Animal Wonders as hosts. Stand-out moments were when local film, Tracking Notes:The Secret Life of Mountain Lions snagged the 2022 audience award, the jury's choice to honor two scientists; Dr. Paula Kahumbu and Dr. J. Drew Lanham for their contribution to their respective short films, and brewing our official IWFF IPA with ImagineNation Brewing!
Thank you so much to every single person who was part of IWFF including the judges, filmmakers, sponsors, and volunteers who each made this year's festival so successful!
2023 NFTS MA in Directing & Producing Science & Natural History ... Application Deadline Extended!
Applications are open for the next intake for the NFTS Directing & Producing Science and Natural History MA in January 2023.
First established in 1971, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) has evolved to become a leading global institution, developing some of Britain and the world’s top creative talent. It is widely acknowledged to be the top school of its kind in the UK and one of the best internationally.
Directing and Producing Science and Natural History MA
The NFTS runs the only MA course of its kind in the UK, designed to fast track you into the industry. Run in partnership with BBC Studios, the course aims to give students the skills and expertise needed to direct science and wildlife productions, the know-how to produce and direct entire shows and the ability, confidence and knowledge to generate and pitch ideas and formats to commissioning editors.
The course includes masterclasses from industry experts, including the world-renowned BBC Natural History Unit, and work experience is available at major wildlife production companies. Our graduates have the opportunity to build a brilliant list of industry contacts and relevant skills for a career as a Producer/Director. More here ...
A look into the wider world:
Innsbruck Nature Film Festival 15-18 October 2022
The Innsbruck Nature Film Festival (INFF) will take place for the 21st time from 15-18.10.2022.
Around 50 nature films, environmental documentaries and short films will be screened at the internationally renowned film competition. Hot hits as well as works of cooler tones await. The venue is the Metropol Kino – characteristic of Alpine-urban Innsbruck and nestled in a row of historic houses directly beside the river Inn, with the Nordkette mountain range rising majestically behind it.
The INFF 2022 will be royally rounded off with a rollicking nature and environmental programme for both young and old. Locals and guests can experience and explore nature on walks, in exhibitions, workshops, lectures and guest gardens, or on hikes in and around Tyrol's capital. Learn how valuable and beautiful it is to appreciate and protect it, we only live once!
The Innsbruck Nature Film Festival 2022 – stands for encounter, exchange and vitality. This will be celebrated sustainably over four days and the team is already in the middle of preparations. The 18-strong selection panel jury has screened more than 250 films submitted from all over the world. Film curator Katja Trippel, who is responsible for the programme, is excited about the diversity.
The Trees & Seas Festival is organized by Plastic Oceans International and Presented By Montes Wines. This annual event celebrates and unites ocean and forest conservation worldwide, September 16-25. We'll be planting over 150,000 trees, educating over 100,000 kids, cleaning over 5,000,000 square meters of land and sea; while offering dozens of film screening, live music, panel discussions and more. There will be hundreds of events around the globe, so come join the movement!
Meet this year's recipients of world-leading prizes for grassroots wildlife conservation...
The 2022 Whitley Awards, on Wednesday 27 April at the Royal Geographical Society in London, celebrated six grassroots conservationists identified after a worldwide search for locally-led solutions to the global biodiversity and climate crises.
An uplifting event and WFN’s first in-person ceremony in three years, the evening was hosted by WFN Ambassadors Tom Heap and Kate Humble and the Whitley Awards were presented by WFN Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, in front of nearly 500 guests. The event was also live-streamed to over 1,000 people and counting around the world, which you can watch on catch-up here.
The charity’s flagship prizes, Whitley Awards are won competitively following a worldwide search. Applications are assessed by an expert Judging Panel, and winners receive £40,000 in project funding over one year.
In addition, the Awards provide elevated profile, new connections and training – all tools that winners can use to better protect the natural world.
Winners also join our 200-strong community of Whitley Award alumni – a global network of peers with whom they can share expertise, resources and encouragement.
The Earth can't wait any longer ... demand change now – International Animal Rescue
Biodiversity is crucial to the survival of our planet. It's the variety of life on Earth, in all its forms and interactions. It is the most complex feature of our planet and everything we see around us depends on biodiversity - but it also is fragile and in great danger.
May 22nd was International Day for Biological Diversity, and we're asking you to play your part! We want to bring the world together to send a powerful message to the leaders who are attending COP15 later this year, the UN conference focusing solely on biodiversity.
We can only do this with your help - submit a video to us today on what nature means to you and together, we can call for immediate action to save the biodiversity of Earth.
We Need Your Help Urgently – Represent your country!
2021 was one of the hottest years on record, with severe heatwaves and extreme temperatures in much of the world. Fuelled by the heat, catastrophic wildfires engulfed everything in their path. Human lives were lost and homes destroyed, while millions of wild animals and their habitats were wiped out.
Every day, all across the world, animals, plants and ecosystems are losing out to the disastrous impacts of human activity. We're constantly warned that the clock is ticking and time is running out to reverse the effects of climate change and biodiversity decline - and yet these issues seem repeatedly to drop down the list of global priorities.
We are urging immediate action now to save our planet's biodiversity; without it, there will be no water to drink, no food to eat. The world we know and love today simply won't exist.
Submit a video today on what nature means to you and help us send a powerful message to those attending COP15. We want to send a united message from every country in the world and to do that, we need your help.
Meet the Climate Commissioners: Putting the Climate Content Pledge Into Action – ALBERT
Recording of the event which took place on the 27th April 2022
We were thrilled to be joined by commissioners from some of the signatories of the Climate Content Pledge who are now tasked with turning the pledge into action at their channels, and can help us understand what commissioning with the climate in mind means to them.
Nature and wildlife sounds - Dusk in the African bush – from George Vlad
As night falls in the African savanna, the sounds change dramatically. From the lush ambience of the afternoon and dusk chorus, the soundscape becomes eerie and mysterious. The constant insect chorus is ever present, with very few other elements.
In the stunted mopane woodland, a single African scops owl calls. It repeats the warbly whistle for 10, even 20 minutes at a time. The resonance of the wooded valley creates beautiful acoustics that provide a sense of space. Soon enough the first owl is joined by others in the distance, creating a weird polyrhythm that adds structure to the cricket song. They only stop when soft rain falls in the woodland, and then resume later in different places.
For nearly 30 years the Festival International Nature Namur has been promoting amateur filmmakers and their films dedicated to nature. A contest restricted to non-professionals allows all filmmakers passionate by wildlife and flora to share their realizations with the still growing audience of the Festival.
The 28th edition of the Festival will be held from Friday 14, 2022 to Sunday 23, 2022 in the heart of Namur city. Its rich programming of animal documentary will offer a selection of amateur films highlighted at every show and during the gala evening devoted to this competition. The selected filmmakers will then enjoy their realizations in optimal conditions: comfortable movie theatres, large screens, the latest audio-visual technologies.
What are the requirements to take part?
This contest is restricted to amateur filmmakers. The submitted films may not last more than five minutes and must be dedicated to nature. You find all the requirements in our regulation.
How to enter these amateur films competition?
You can submit your films until July 31, 2022 and fill in the registration form on our website.
DISCOVER OUR FOUR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS AND APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2022 FESTIVAL
The competitions and the applications for the 28th edition are open on our website.
The International Nature Namur Festival organizes four major international competitions, films and photos, dedicated to nature and the wonder it arouses. The film competitions are divided into three categories: professional films, amateur films and ultra-short films (max. 1 minute). The Namur International Photo Nature Competition invites amateur and professional photographers to provoke emotions with their most beautiful images.
The Festival is also launching applications to photographers to exhibit at the Village Nature, including a Young Photographers Grant for young under the age of 21. Two other applications offer the opportunity for associations to occupy a stand at the Village Nature and for students to be a member of the 2022 youth jury.
Ellen Windemuth is the CEO of WaterBear Network, overseeing the strategy and direction of the new free streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Ellen has produced 500+ hours of programs including 2021’s Oscar winner MY OCTOPUS TEACHER. We explore her mission to link convenient, app-based documentary viewing to conservation action. I ask if The Ukraine War, re-militarization, and other world tensions are overwhelming progress towards a sustainable planet. We discuss Waterbear's operation, scale of its program offer, acquisitions strategy, key contacts, and much more. Subscribe at Waterbear.com.
Manchester Collective prepares to unveil radical new performance exploring climate change – featuring recordings by Chris Watson
The immersive, multimedia concert promises to be a spectacular start to the ground-breaking ensemble’s 2022-23 season.
One of Manchester’s most innovative classical music ensembles has unveiled a spectacular multimedia concert exploring the issue of global climate change to kick off its 2022-23 season.
Manchester Collective will put on WEATHER, an evening bringing together sound recordings, the visual arts and live music, in its home city and in London this September.
It will be a world premiere and the boundary-shattering group is promising audiences an immersive experience looking at how places around the world are being shaped by extreme weather events.
The production is a co-collaboration with the Southbank Centre.
WEATHER combines real-world sound, live music, and film to depict a series of natural environments around the world that have been affected and changed by extreme weather events.
The centrepiece of the concert is American composer Michael Gordon’s visceral minimalist 1997 piece Weather, which is performed by the Manchester Collective’s amplified string orchestra.
This is accompanied by an audio installation from BAFTA-winning sound artist Chris Watson, who has worked on David Attenborough’s series Frozen Planet and The Life of Birds.
Meanwhile, a two-screen film installation from Watson’s long-time collaboration and award-winning artist Carlos Casas surrounds the players as it moves slowly through four wild and desolate environments: the Amber Mountain, a rainforest in Madagascar; the Namib Desert across Angola, Namibia, and South Africa; the North Sea off the east coast of the UK above the sunken city of Dunwich; and Vatnajökull Glacier in Iceland..
Why all eyes are on SVOD’s embrace of wildlife TV
By Stephen Dunleavy
Natural history has been evolving at pace over recent years, driven by surging demand from streamers. Stephen Dunleavy, CEO of Humble Bee Films – the producer behind Netflix’s latest entrant in the genre, Wild Babies – tells TBI what’s changed and predicts what the future holds.
Traditionally, natural history programming has been closely associated with public broadcasters like the BBC, NHK and ZDF and thematic channels such as Discovery and National Geographic. But in the last two to three years, it has become clear that this remarkably durable genre also has a pivotal role to play in the rapidly-evolving SVOD landscape.
At a corporate level, this is evident in the merger of Warner Bros and Discovery, a recognition that the HBO Max streaming platform is a far more formidable and engaging proposition when it has Discovery’s brand of factual content in the mix.
But it’s also apparent at a commissioning level, where the wildlife genre is experiencing nothing short of a content boom. Disney+, for example, has just greenlit a high end series called Home from the BBC Natural History Unit. And Apple TV+ has also just unveiled another BBC NHU project, Prehistoric Planet, which boasts a musical score by renowned composer Hans Zimmer.
Netflix has also recognised the power of natural history in acquiring and retaining family audiences. At Humble Bee Pictures, we first worked with the global streamer in 2019, on Attenborough’s Life In Colour – a co-production with the BBC.
And right now, Netflix is in the midst of rolling out another of our series Wild Babies. An 8 x 30-minute series, this ambitious production filmed across 16 countries and has Helena Bonham-Carter narrating.
As an independent production company based in Bristol, UK, the fact that we now have a set of well-resourced global customers for our blue-chip shows is commercially exciting. But it has also pushed us in new directions in terms of creativity and innovation.
Who is Iolo Williams? Everything you need to know about the Springwatch presenter
Discover Wildlife speaks to the Springwatch host about the future of British wildlife and the challenges of presenting live.
A familiar face to fans of The Watches, Iolo Williams spent 14 years working for the RSPB in Wales before becoming a natural history presenter for the BBC and S4C. He presents in both Welsh, his first language, and English.
Alongside presenting, he has written seven books, including Wild Places: Wales' Top 40 Nature Sites and Wild Places UK; UK's Top 40 Nature Sites.
He leads wildlife tours to the Isle of Mull for Nature Scotland and to countries abroad, including Brazil, Botswana and Costa Rica, for Natura Voyage.
Who is Iolo Williams?
Iolo Williams is a Welsh wildlife presenter, ornithologist and conservationist. He is well-known as one of the main presenters of BBC Two's Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch (collectively known as The Watches), having first joined the programme as a field reporter. He presents alongside Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Megan McCubbin.
In 2021, Iolo presented from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales for Winterwatch, and from Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Scotland for Springwatch. Due to the rescheduling of Autumnwatch in 2021 (to accommodate the FA Cup broadcasts), Iolo was unavailable to present as he was already scheduled to do other work. For Springwatch in 2022, he will be presenting from the Isle of Mull.
Iolo was also presented for the Welsh language channel S4C, and a number of Welsh natural-history programmes for the BBC, including Iolo's Pembrokeshire, Iolo: The Last Wilderness of Wales, and the upcoming Iolo's Anglesey.
In honor of World Fish Migration Day, Ivan Mikolji hosted an exclusive screening of his Atures Rapids documentary.
“The Atures Rapids is one of the most fascinating places I have ever explored. It is hard for me to find the correct words to describe the magnificence the landscape irradiates to all your senses. I guess the best description would be a powerful sense of prehistory, of traveling back in time, to the place where everything was created, where life started, you feel in the cosmogony.” Ivan Mikolji
If you like Mikolji's work and want him to create more videos please support him on Patreon. patreon.com/mikolji
Father's Day Special! Save 10% on your purchase at mikolji.com/shop using the code JUSTFORDAD at checkout.
New Behind The Scenes Series Filming Wildlife in Africa - from Alan Lacy
See the latest news from Alan on what it's like behind the scenes of wildlife filmmaking!
He says: "I have been busy putting together a new behind the scenes series from my recent trip filming wildlife in Africa. I wanted to share these films with you, as they are a lot of fun, plus they give you a look into what it's like making a wildlife documentary. There's so much that goes into producing a film, so I thought this would be a great way to showcase what it's like to do so."
"I have committed 2022 to launch full time into wildlife filmmaking, and so far it's been such an emotional relief to be doing what I love, even if it's scary and uncertain. I've been deep inside the edit for my burrowing owl documentary which is coming along incredibly. It is looking amazing. If you are interested in being part of a "Review Panel" so to speak, I would love to have your input on this project. Once we have a fine cut of the film, I'll set up a date and time, and I'll need a panel of people to watch and review the film and provide notes and feedback. If you're interested, please let me know, and I'll put your name on the list!"
In this episode of Filming The Wild, I go behind the scenes filming wildlife in Africa. This is Part IV of a short series I'm doing on my experience filming wildlife in Africa. We transition from camp Meno A Kwena to Camp Kalahari in Botswana, and experience a little of the Kalahari Rain during the beginning of the rainy season. But probably my ultimate memory from this part of the trip, was definitely having a meerkat on my head, and seeing cheetah in the wild for the first time!
Jacques Perrin, busy French actor and acclaimed wildlife documentary maker – obituary
He starred with Catherine Deneuve and Claudia Cardinale and his documentaries about insects and migrating birds redefined the genre.
Jacques Perrin, who has died aged 80 was a French actor who played the beautiful blond naval conscript, artist and love interest for Catherine Deneuve and her sister Françoise Dorléac in Jacques Demy’s jaunty 1967 musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, a follow up to his Les Parapluies de Cherbourg which had made Deneuve one of France’s hottest young stars.
He was also known to international audiences for his role in the Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso (1988) as Salvatore, a jaded film director looking back on his youthful self as Toto, a wide-eyed Sicilian street urchin, and his friendship with Alfredo (Philippe Noiret), a village projectionist.
Perrin went on to become an acclaimed producer and director, associated with the political thrillers of Costa-Gavras and known for art-house wildlife documentaries which helped to redefine the genre. More ...
Perrin appeared to change direction completely in the mid-1990s when he decided that the natural world could tell stories as fascinating as anything dreamt up by a scriptwriter.
There followed a series of features that transformed the scope of wildlife movies. Himalaya (1996), an austere travelogue which he co-produced with Christophe Barratier, won an Oscar nomination; Microcosmos (1996) was a captivating portrait of the insect world.
The making of Winged Migration (2002), which Perrin both produced and directed, involved film crews of more than 450 people following bird migrations through all seven continents to get close footage of birds in flight from planes, gliders, helicopters and balloons.
Much of the closest footage was of birds hatched from more than 1,000 eggs, representing 25 species, by ornithologists and students at a base in Normandy where Perrin also rented an airfield, and raised and “imprinted” to get used to aircraft.
The result, wrote a Telegraph reviewer, was “stupendous”.
Jacques Perrin, born July 13 1941 died April 21 2022
Channel 4 has issued a cross-genre ‘climate emergency’ brief to suppliers, inspired by the pledge it made at Cop26.
The broadcaster is seeking a small number of ‘high impact’ shows which will inspire viewers to engage with the debate and empower them to help make change. Joe Lycett vs The Oil Giant and Celebrity Trash Monsters have been referenced as the kinds of ‘provocatively funny’ shows of interest, while there is also room for more ‘thoughtful’ pieces.
At heart, all ideas must be of scale and demonstrate imagination, distinction and drive.
They should also:
help audiences feel empowered and energised about living sustainably.
bring big talent to the agenda.
hold power to account with bold ideas that entertain and sustain.
prioritise impact over quantity when it comes to commissioning in this space.
provide an alternative to the tone and content of other broadcasters.
Small shows specifically about the climate and preaching to audiences is off the agenda.
Chief content officer Ian Katz said: ”Climate change is, quite literally, the burning issue of our age but sadly often makes for rather eat-your-peas television. We’re looking for ideas that are inventive or audacious enough to make our viewers sit up and think about what they can do to help solve the problem - and ideally empower them to actually do something about it.”
C4 was among the 12 broadcasters to sign up to the The Climate Content Pledge in November, committing to use their content to help audiences tackle climate change and inform sustainable choices.
Each department has assigned a dedicated climate lead to manage the ideas:
Inside David Attenborough’s Journey to the Center of the Climate Movement
For years, Sir David Attenborough inspired curiosity and awe for the natural world in ways that no other television presenter had done before. But recently, the tone of his films has changed, taking a more critical approach to the natural world and how it’s changing. After more than half a century in the spotlight, Attenborough has found himself at the center of the climate movement. Although, it took him a few years to get there.
Attenborough applied to work at BBC radio 70 years ago when he was 26. He was turned down. Instead, he was offered a job in television, where he made his debut as presenter of the documentary series “Zoo Quest” in 1954. Since then, Attenborough has presented almost 50 documentary series and more than 30 individual documentaries, bringing the natural wonders of animals and the environment to the screen.
Attenborough’s passion for storytelling has made him an inspiration to an entire generation of biologists, travelers, ecologists, conservationists, and other presenters like Chris Packham, Liz Bonnin, and Steve Bakshall. Even famed environmental activist Greta Thunberg has acknowledged Attenborough’s impact on her work.
But Attenborough’s early portrayals of the natural world came with their own flaws. In his first television show, “Zoo Quest,” released in 1954, he traveled around the world in search of exotic animals to capture them and bring them to the UK to be exhibited in the London Zoo.
Later, he says he began to question the show’s motive. “It was very unsatisfactory to make the animals look like freaks,” Attenborough said in an interview with Chris Packham. In “Zoo Quest” he can also be seen eating turtle eggs and jumping on animals, chasing them and pulling them by the tail to film them. But 50 years later he admitted his regret. “I am sorry about that sort of thing. But those were different days,” he said.
From naturalist to activist
Attenborough’s attitude towards animals has changed remarkably throughout his career. Towards the end of the 1970s, in one of the most famous “Life on Earth” scenes, he can be seen sharing a quiet moment with a group of mountain gorillas. By 1990, in “The Trials of Life,” the animals described by Attenborough had in many cases gone from being called “it” to “he” or “she.”
Since then, Attenborough’s documentaries have reflected the most recent research on the study of animal behavior. In his films, animals are more often than not portrayed as individuals with personalities, emotions, and complex social relationships. In fact, if it wasn’t for Attenborough’s documentaries, many viewers may have never imagined such abilities in mammals and birds, let alone fish, insects, spiders, and other invertebrates. Research from the University College Cork in Ireland shows that his films may even help connect “increasingly urbanized societies to the natural world.”
Unlike other documentaries about animals, which often focus on the violence and suffering inherent to wild populations, Attenborough’s documentaries broadcast many of the latest cognitive and ethical advancements in the study of animals for the first time. He presents animals as individuals with whom we share the world—and for whom we should worry.
His relationship with turtles is a prime example of this shift. In “Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild,” Attenborough dedicates a scene to recalling the worldwide decline of turtles, and in “Planet Earth II,” he makes a plea for people to respect baby turtles while they are crushed by cars in the city. Although, according to the BBC, “he didn’t start making programs with conservation in mind,” and has been criticized for showing theworld as untouched and pristine, despite the devastating impacts humans have on it.
But in recent years, he has taken an important turn in his career. Beginning in the 2000s, Attenborough started presenting work that could be labeled “environmental” rather than “nature” documentaries. Such is the case of “State of the Planet” (2000), “The Truth About Climate Change” (2006), “How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?” (2009) and, most recently, “Climate Change: The Facts” (2019), “Extinction: The Facts” (2020), and “Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet” (2021).
Wilderland is the UK’s first touring wildlife film festival. Sharing with audiences the very best natural history films by world class filmmakers across the globe.
Selected from over a hundred entries, Wilderland is now back for its third year touring the 2022 Official Selection showcase.
These groundbreaking independent films will offer audiences unparalleled insight into some of the world’s most incredible stories from our natural world. A must-see for lovers of wildlife, film, travel, conservation and adventure.
Hosted by wildlife television presenter, filmmaker, and field biologist Dan O’Neill
Telling African conservation stories from a local perspective
Fiona Tande, judge of the 2022 Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards, reflects on her filmmaking journey and how African storytellers can shift the conservation narrative.
Between organizing the first-ever wildlife conservation film festival in sub-Saharan Africa and running her production agency Pridelands Films, Fiona Tande is deciding the finalists of this year’s video submissions for the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards. Keen on elevating homegrown filmmakers and presenting authentic and nuanced stories, she brings 10 years of wildlife conservation and natural history filmmaking to the judging panel of the Africa in Motion category. Tande shares the impact of mentorship opportunities that transformed her career and how the photography competition, now in its second year, celebrates the continent’s people, wildlife, and natural spaces.
As a former Jackson Wild Fellow and organizer of the Virtual Summit in Kenya in 2020 and African Conservation Voices last year, I have benefited from having a space for natural history filmmakers to convene. We must be able to exchange ideas, explore how we can collaborate, and share opportunities — but it does not happen on the continent, so I took on the challenge of launching a first-of-its-kind festival for locally made wildlife and conservation-themed films. It has been very rewarding because I am now in spaces that I would ordinarily not find myself, such as the judging panel of the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards.
Finally, local storytellers have somewhere to showcase their work and celebrate Africa. Festivals and photography exhibitions also allow creators to interact with their audiences and talk them through the process; they could even connect with potential partners who can make a huge difference in their careers. Additionally, viewers can also exchange their experience of the film or photographs with others, making it an infused learning process for all.
How did you transition from wildlife conservation to natural history filmmaking?
I grew up watching wildlife films and series, but it never occurred to me that I could belong in that space because no one onscreen ever looked like me, even remotely. But they triggered a passion for wildlife, so I figured the next best thing — though unconventional — was community development, which I studied while volunteering in conservation projects. For the next seven years, I worked with people in Kenya’s richest biodiversity havens, including Maasai Mara, Samburu, and Watamu at the coast.
All this time, I was exposed to so many lesser-known conservation stories and knew that film would be the perfect way to capture them. The turning point was attending a month-long film course in South Africa. I have since had the chance to advance the skills learned in the course from further training programs in both terrestrial and underwater cinematography.
Marrying my passion for wildlife with the technical aspects — for instance, how the camera works and getting steady shots — was exciting and intimidating at the same time. My fondest memories are of the thrill of being in the wild with these magnificent animals and being able to capture their stories. Even though I am now a filmmaker, I feel like I am still in conservation but in a different capacity; I was never removed from it.
What is the driving force behind your work as a wildlife filmmaker?
Coming from the Maasai community, I find that while we are celebrated, we are also vilified for some practices. However, our love for wild animals is very much intact, as my cultural heritage and my work as a conservationist continue to prove. We have been conserving even before the word was invented. But this is not always represented in mainstream media; instead, the focus tends to fall on retaliatory killings or lion hunting, which we do not practice anymore.
Correcting this false narrative is at the core of my work at Pridelands Films — eliciting compassion for people that live in and around wildlife areas and presenting the whole picture rather than just one dimension. For instance, communities live in fear of elephant incursions because they can lose their livelihoods in one day after working on their farms for a whole year.
Telling this story from the local perspective is critical in shifting the narrative. Kenya is the site and subject of so many natural history films, but there is hardly ever any local involvement in these productions, and we seldom have access to watch them. This is a travesty that needs correction. When African storytellers are at the writing table and behind the camera, we are the ones who can think of the solutions. We have closer access to these stories than foreign crews, and we also tell the story differently.
Additionally, the natural history films about African wildlife focus on terrestrial landscapes to the extent that people might not realize that there is a whole different world beyond topside ecosystems. Yet the underwater nooks and crannies will equally surprise you. For instance, Kenya hosts twin wildlife migrations every year — one is the widely known wildebeest migration in the Mara but there is also the humpback whale migration in Watamu that takes place at the same time. Our tropical waters are amazing — I cannot stress enough how much there is to learn but not a lot of people have the opportunity to work in Watamu as I did. And so again, film is such an important tool to educate and inform people.
Cairngorms Connect is Britain’s biggest habitat restoration initiative, delivering benefits for nature and people over 600 sq km. SBP say that they are delighted to have supported Cairngorms Connect over recent years and their latest film demonstrates how a wilder, healthier, more resilient landscape can play a significant role in addressing climate breakdown.
It was David Attenboroughs 96th birthday on May the 8th...
Beloved by millions around the world, Sir David Attenborough is an inspirational broadcaster, presenter and conservationist. He first worked as a producer in the early 1950s and began to present in 1954 on Zoo Quest. Even though he is in his 90s, he continues to present and narrate natural history documentaries, such as The Green Planet and Dynasties II for the BBC and Prehistoric Planet for Apple TV.
The longevity of Attenborough’s career is remarkable. He has often said during his life that work was what made him get up in the mornings, and that as long as people wanted to watch and listen to him, he would carry on.
This year the BBC celebrates a century at the forefront of British broadcasting and media. Beginning with radio and then inaugurating the “world’s first regular high-definition public TV service” in 1936, the BBC has been a pioneer from its beginnings to today.
As the original British public service broadcaster, the BBC has strived to adhere to the core principles stated by its first director general, John Reith, to “inform, educate, entertain”, while also making (and breaking) its own rules. In celebration of this, we at the BFI have been considering those televisual turning points from the BBC that have helped to shape social attitudes, remake genres and transform television itself. In short, those programmes that were truly ‘gamechanging’.
So what constitutes a gamechanger?
These are the shows that revolutionised the broadcasting landscape by defining and developing entire genres; here is the creative talent that broke ground to represent diverse communities across the UK in new and meaningful ways; these are the programmes whose impact changed social attitudes by challenging the status quo; and the technological landmarks that shaped how we watch television today.
We considered TV that had a transformative impact, like the BBC’s natural history programming, which has enhanced our understanding of our world ... Read more ...
7. Zoo Quest (1954 to 1963)
A BBC team accompany experts from London Zoo as they travel in search of live specimens for the zoo.
How it changed TV
London Zoo’s suggestion of getting a BBC crew to record their trip in search of (initially) snakes inadvertently started a whole new genre of television. Equally importantly, the series introduced David Attenborough as a wildlife reporter. Up until that time, wild animals featured on television were brought into the studio from captivity – the idea of filming exotic species on location was considered impractical by the BBC because of the bulky nature of the 35mm cameras. Attenborough and his team asked their paymasters to let them use lightweight 16mm cameras, and despite misgivings that they produced inferior pictures, they eventually agreed.
The films they brought back proved hugely popular with the audience, neatly combining fascination with education. Over the ensuing years the team travelled to relatively lesser-seen locations such as Madagascar, New Guinea, Guiana and Borneo. By 1963, attitudes towards collecting animals for zoos had changed (there was a movement to only collect creatures in danger of extinction or with threatened habitats) and the series ended. But the genre it started continued to flourish, with subsequent David Attenborough-fronted BBC ventures – such as Life on Earth and The Blue Planet – globally acknowledged as the leaders in their field. – Dick Fiddy
The channel announced this week that Cooper, a lifelong bird-watcher, will host a series called Extraordinary Birder. In the series, Cooper will take viewers into the "wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds," according to National Geographic.
"Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above," the network said in a statement.
The channel has yet to announce a premiere date for the show.
In an interview with The New York Times, Cooper said his love for bird-watching began at age 10, and he told the newspaper he "was all in" when National Geographic approached him about the possibility of a TV show nearly a year and a half ago.
THE STORY SO FAR ... Winning or Losing? Brock Initiative's Richard Brock says "For three years I collected thousands of news items from around the world."
From all that material I chose
19 chapters, everything from farming
and fishing to food, energy and money.
I guessed at the future (2022), produced
a newsletter to try and keep up with change,
which affects, and will affect our species,
and many others, on that unique so-called
“our” planet e.g. “Our Changing
Planet” (BBC-1, April 2022 - to be followed through for
seven years by a team of well-known presenters).
what they’ll inherit on Earth remains to be seen and
my book, “Planet Crunch”, was/is an attempt to put a
perspective on winning or losing. Personally, I don’t feel
optimistic because our species is too greedy, aggressive,
stupid and short-sighted to be able to find answers for
a peaceful, healthy, biodiverse planet. But there is some good
news, some winning rather than losing and the
media can be helpful. Certainly Sir David
Attenborough can, and has been. But
he’s a rare species and can’t live
forever. I worked with him, most
enjoyably, in the past, on “Life on
Earth” and “The Living Planet”. Now
my book “Planet Crunch”, and some
one hundred films, on YouTube and
Vimeo, was/is an attempt to put my
point-of-view in those 19 chapters. Thanks
to the generosity of my family I have been
able to give copies of the book away, and provide access to the
films for free. Many people donated to charity and I am pleased
to say, school education benefited and the whole project of
“Planet Crunch”, the films, and the book, was widely (3,000+)
circulated. So this is an update, deliberately controversial,
but hopefully, useful in its own personal way – in the style
of the book.
“PENT-UP DEMAND”... sounds like a fertile politician from the past, or, my MP (middle class?) Jacob Rees-Mogg, with six children. In both cases, too many, people for a limited planet”.
No, it’s what the tourism business has been saying since the beginning of 2022. Not a happy Christmas because millions of potential customers had been stuck at home in Covid lockdown, missing sunny seaside, ski-ing, in fact anywhere for a getaway holiday. The airlines, hotels, car hire companies, and cruise ships were desperate to get up, up and away again after two years of stagnation. Four months later, by the spring of 2022, several problems arose, one after another, which were to affect people, wildlife, the planet and those frustrated travel companies suffering from “pent-up demand”...
Donations to charity will be welcomed. If you would like to contribute – say £10 – to Richard’s preferred charity local charity, the Avon Wildlife Trust, based close to where he lives, near Bristol, or to a charity of your choice, please do so. These days many charities need income to help continue projects around the world.
After taking home top honors in the Cleveland International Film Festival’s Global Health Competition, it was announced on Saturday, May 14, that the film has won the Shine A Light Award at the Freep Film Festival in Detroit. This juried award honors the documentary that best uses journalistic techniques to bring unknown information to light or that celebrates journalistic excellence.
“It goes without saying that our entire team is extremely pleased with the response the film has received thus far,” said David J. Ruck, director and producer of The Erie Situation. “It validates years of hard work and the painstaking efforts made to tell a story that resonates with viewers, easily allowing them to understand the root causes and effects of a very complex issue.”
The film uses its 72-minute running time to adeptly show how a local community along Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline is dealing with the personal and economic impact of toxic algal blooms, while offering balanced interviews with a variety of experts and stakeholders, including scientists, legal scholars, farmers, interest groups and politicians.
Kathy Kieliszewski, Creative Director for the Freep Film Festival, offered this observation about The Erie Situation in the pages of the Detroit Free Press: “This is the essence of watchdog journalism, and the sort of storytelling that is critical to a healthy Great Lakes region.”
Wildlife filmmakers became British spies holed up in Falklands hut as Argentina invaded
Two women became accidental spies when Argentinian forces landed on South Georgia island. Weeks of sending coded messages to British naval ships led to their rescue.
They had journeyed to the furthest reaches of the South Atlantic to make a film about wildlife.
But when Argentinian forces landed on South Georgia island in April 1982, as part of the Falklands invasion, Annie Price and Cindy Buxton became accidental spies.
Holed up in a hut the size of a garden shed, the women spent four weeks sending coded messages to the British naval ship which would eventually come to their rescue.
As the Falklands War raged, HMS Endurance was hiding its position from enemy troops, so Annie and Cindy sent secret messages via radio.
In a show of incredible bravery, the pair refused to stop shooting their documentary after the invasion. It was later shown in ITV ’s long-running series Survival.
They often paused filming to alert Endurance when they spotted an Argentinian Hercules plane overhead – even though they knew the Navy ice patrol vessel could not respond.
Annie, now 73, said: “We played spies. If there was a big Hercules flying over, we used to say, ‘An enormous great albatross has just flown over’.
“When we needed to speak to Endurance we’d say, ‘Just eaten an enormous red plum’. That was our nickname for Endurance because she was red.
“We were keeping watch all the time while still filming. It’s proof that women are stronger than people think we are. We thought, ‘What do we do? We have to carry on.’”
The pair, then in their early 30s, were told they could be captured by Argentinians at any moment. They were also advised not to fly the Union Jack – a warning they “took no notice of”.
Annie, from Port Isaac, Cornwall, said: “It was frightening because we never knew when we’d be collected by the Argentinians in the middle of the night. Every time we heard an animal or British scientists working nearby, we thought the worst.
“We had our basic rucksack ready to go if they were going to get us, but we really had to be so careful because they were monitoring our every move.”
The pair had arrived on South Georgia in October 1981 against the backdrop of increasing tension between Britain and Argentina over the Falklands.
The territory is known in Spanish as Las Islas Malvinas and many Argentinians believe it is rightfully theirs.
In December 1981, military dictator General Leopoldo Galtieri came to power, desperate to mobilise patriotic feeling around the territory to distract from the country’s economic woes.
Just months earlier, the British government had announced plans to decommission Endurance – which some believe persuaded Argentina that an invasion would succeed.
Brits stationed in the remote territory were always delighted to see the ship delivering supplies.
Annie said: “Endurance was bright red and whenever we saw her, we’d scream our heads off with excitement. Sometimes she’d bring us mail, sometimes the governor of the Falklands and his wife were on board. Cindy’s parents came to visit us in our tiny hut.
“The hut was eight feet by 12 feet, the same size as someone’s garden shed.
“The loo was outside and on a frequent basis we would have blizzards, and the loo paper would fly down the beach.
“There was no running water to start with until it started to melt a bit.
“All the water had to be boiled and we had to do it outside because there was no room in the hut. It was small but tidy and organised.”
Annie, who was stationed in a remote settlement called Grytviken, says she and Cindy, now 71, were told in late March that war was edging closer.
She said: “Endurance arrived and dropped a note with a Mars bar each saying, ‘Problem occurring with Argentinians at Grytviken’.
“One ship was noted to be very near South Georgia.
“Cindy had brought a radio and transmitter with her, and we were told to keep it on channel 13.
“This was a channel that transmitted from the base camp to all the British bases and huts around the island. We were in constant contact with everyone else. Argentinian troops had been found saying they had come to dismantle the whaling station.
“They put up the Argentinian flag and were all in uniform.
“Everyone was nervous and things got worse after that.”
Argentinian troops landed in the Falklands on April 2, 1982, and arrived in South Georgia the following day.
It heralded the start of a bloody 10-week conflict which would claim almost 1,000 lives, including 255 British service personnel.
Endurance had dropped Royal Marines on South Georgia and, together with civilians, they tried to fight the Argentinian forces.
But, outnumbered 300 to one, they had no choice but to surrender. Meanwhile, plans to rescue Annie and Cindy were thwarted when the Ministry of Defence ruled them too dangerous. Annie said: “We were left stranded. But on April 21, Cindy and I were keeping a lookout.
Composer whose work ranged from pop, jazz and classical to the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire soundtrack ... And wildlife film.
The Greek composer Vangelis, who has died aged 79, always avoided becoming a trained, academic musician, and had an almost superstitious fear of analysing the nature of his gifts. “I don’t know how it happens,” he said. “I don’t try to know. It’s like riding a bicycle. If you think, ‘How am I going to do it?’ you fall down.”
However he did it, he created a string of enduring and hugely varied works, ranging from pop and semi-classical compositions using a mixture of synthesisers, electronica and traditional instrumentation to some of the most memorable film scores in cinematic history. Read more ...
Vangelis struck up another fruitful partnership with the wildlife documentary maker Frédéric Rossif. The first of his soundtracks for the director was L’Apocalypse des Animaux (1973), followed by La Fête Sauvage (1976) and Opéra Sauvage (1979). The last of these was one of Vangelis’s most successful releases in the US, lodging itself on the Billboard album chart for 39 weeks.
This nature show about millions of years ago looks so good it’s like a wildlife documentary – especially as David Attenborough narrates. What a wonderful spectacle.
What is the opposite of an existential crisis? Because I think I’m having one. Watching Prehistoric Planet (Apple TV+) has induced in me an existential – joy/delight? – that I don’t quite know what to do with.
To explain. Because it is new, made of money and eager to pump its schedules full of prestigious productions to attract the kind of viewers and subscription rates that keep its coffers full and reputation buffed – thus creating a virtuous, quality-programming circle for thee, me and whichever shareholders/billionaires need to be kept in space-rocket funds – Apple TV+ has recreated dinosaurs.
I mean, not quite in the Jurassic Park sense (though I suspect it’s only a matter of time) but in a manner much safer and more accessible to a wider public. Prehistoric Planet is stuffed to bursting with CGI renderings of the reptiles that roamed the Earth 66m years ago. And not just your ordinary dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus rex is there, of course, but beyond that there is the mosasaur, pterosaur, hadrosaur, tethyshadros, edmontosaurus, dromaeosaurid, antarctopelta, pachyrhinosaurus, nanuqsaurus and so many others that you may need to beg the loan of a 10-year-old dino-fan if you want to have a hope of correctly spelling the names of all the species and genuses. I couldn’t find one and so have doubtless made a billion mistakes in the above list. The internet, plus the 47-year-old brain, is no match for the knowledge-sponge that is the pre-adolescent hobbyist, and I can only apologise.
There is no uncanny valley here. The beasts – large or small, parents or juveniles, flightless or soaring – created by Moving Picture Company, the special-effects experts behind the likes of The Lion King, Spider-Man: No Way Home and Blade Runner 2049, have made them look … real. I can say no more than that. You look at the screen and you see dinosaurs. You watch episode one and find yourself thinking: “Hang on. I’ve just seen dinosaurs. Near as dammit, they’ve just filmed a wildlife documentary in the Cretaceous period and I’ve watched it.” They walk, run and hunt (in a pack, if you’re a tenacious but tiny dromaeosaurid aiming for a massive hadrosaur instead of your customary insect intake), chirp (if you’re a baby olorotitan just out of the egg your mother laid in volcanic sand to keep you warm), and sometimes simply mooch about, heedless of any extinction events one day coming their way.
It is a heady, if slightly disorientating, experience. For British viewers, the sense of discombobulation is increased by the fact that, despite being on an aggressively new and modern channel that feels like the antithesis of the BBC, it is presented by David Attenborough. Is this allowed, you wonder? Are there not bylaws about this? Can he, too, just roam the world at will? His presence is explained by the fact that the five-part series (covering forests, sea coasts, freshwater habitats and frozen landscapes) is produced by the BBC Studios Natural History Unit, but it still takes you a moment to adjust.
Prehistoric Planet: TV show asked us to explore what weather the dinosaurs lived through
When conjuring up images of when dinosaurs ruled the planet we often think of hot and humid landscapes in a world very different from our own. However, the new TV series Prehistoric Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, shows dinosaurs living and indeed thriving in many types of environments, including colder regions where snowstorms, freezing fog and sea-ice were commonplace.
When the show’s producers first approached us to help understand the kinds of weather and environment that dinosaurs lived in before being wiped out around 66 million years ago, it prompted us to tackle a problem that has existed in palaeoclimate modelling for decades. That was, when scientists like us used computers to simulate, or “model”, the climate of prehistoric Earth, the models tended to make the poles much colder than evidence from fossils and rocks suggested they had actually been.
For the TV series, not only have we improved our models, but we have run the computer programmes for longer than anybody else has ever done to get the models as close to ancient “reality” as possible.
The producers, the BBC’s Natural History Unit, needed to know about the weather so they could film “real world” locations similar to those that existed in the past where dinosaurs lived. But most of what we know about the climate that long ago comes from indirect “proxy” evidence, such as leaf fossils and traces of certain chemicals in rocks, which can only reconstruct the average climate over decades or centuries. This is where the narrative of a much hotter and more humid Cretaceous world comes from.
This narrative isn’t exactly wrong, but it doesn’t tell the whole story since weather and climate behave differently.
Jamie is best known for epic wildlife gimbal cinematography from all types of vehicles such as helicopters, ATVs, snowmobiles, boats and his DIY cine-buggy.
"I am a wildlife documentary cameraman, DoP and producer. Over the past 22 years I have worked on many landmark series and films for Netflix, Disneynature and the BBC.
I have won multiple BAFTAs and EMMYs for cinematography. I specialise in tracking vehicle work – using gimbals mounted on vehicles to film behaviour and create sequences with style and movement.
I am currently the Series Director of Photography on a major new 8-part Netflix series being made by Silverback Films.
I recently worked on Our Planet, which is now showing on Netflix. I was one of the principle camera operators and worked on 18 sequences across the series.
Before that I was principle camera operator on The Hunt (BBC, 2015) and worked on all episodes, contributing to 20 sequences across the series.
I try to give my camerawork a distinctive style and cinematic feel, to engage the audience and give them a real sense of the animal and its environment.
For me these rigs are not about camera gimmicks, but immersing the viewer in the animal’s world… to create sequences which are engaging and cinematic.
I enjoy the challenge of filming behaviour with gyrostabilised systems. You need a great understanding, not only of the animal, but of the capabilities of the camera platform.
You have to be able to coordinate both vehicle and/or crane movement, whilst reading and predicting what the animal is about to do and operating a long lens via remote control.
I develop and adapt rigs for each sequence to meet the particular challenges of the environment and species.
I work closely with Producers to deliver on the editorial brief and try to create styles which are engaging and cinematic.
I love the challenge of pioneering new camera rigs, developing filming techniques and pushing myself to find new ways to tell engaging stories.
I have experience of filming in all environments. Sub-zero conditions in the Arctic, Antarctic, Russia, Europe, New Foundland, Northern Canada and North America. At high altitude on Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and the Andes. On the savannahs of East Africa and North America, to the forests of Europe, India, South America, West Africa, Central Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam. In the deserts of South America, Israel and Southern Africa, to the coastal waters of the Arctic, Antarctic, UK, North America, Caribbean, Central and South America and the open ocean in the Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic and Southern Ocean."
One World, Infinite Wonder: Netflix’s New Climate Change and Sustainability Collection
For Earth Month, Netflix released a new collection of nearly 200 films, specials, series, and sorts about the environment and climate change to bring attention to the state of our planet.
Don’t Look Up is the second most-watched English language film of all time. Don’t Look Up follows two astronomers trying to get humans to care about the massive comet that will destroy planet Earth, which is a metaphor for climate change.
Now, Netflix created an entire community for users to immerse themselves in topics of climate emergencies. The One World, Infinite Wonder, Netflix’s Earth Month collection, features 170 films, specials, series, and shorts that address environmental issues and climate change.
Dr. Emma Stewart, Netflix’s Chief Sustainability Office, wrote in a blog post, “This Earth Month, let us entertain you with stories about our planet and its heroes — with everything from cooking shows to dramas, stand-up comedy specials to family titles, to nature documentaries and climate fiction.”
The collection includes series, films, and specials like Our Planet, Animal, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, and the new five-part series Our Great National Parks narrated by President Barack Obama.
Did you know that New Zealand’s animal farming industries are so powerful that they dictate the country’s foreign policy?
Our latest Surge Media production exposes the interconnectedness between New Zealand’s animal farming and Jacinda Ardern’s reluctance to take a stand against the genocide of muslims in China..
This is the story of a country so crippled and weakened by its exploitation of animals, that even a genocide goes unchallenged because of the fear that it will disrupt the farming of animals. New Zealand is often portrayed as a picturesque and progressive country but under the green-washed narrative that New Zealand likes to present, there is a dark secret that needs to be unearthed.
VMI Awarded Ealing Business Pioneers To Promote Sustainable Lighting Training
VMI have been awarded an Ealing Business Pioneers grant to help fund running in-person courses to spread awareness of the benefits and advantages of the latest LED lighting technology. These reduce energy use and benefit sustainability goals.
With this award VMI is launching a series of three-hour in-person workshops for busy producers starting in May to be based at West London College’s Studio at the Ealing Green Campus, the home of the original BBC Ealing Studios.
How Mainstream Media Lets Animal Agriculture Off the Hook
Each day, mainstream media outlets cover topics like politics, wars, and sports, but issues facing animals are frequently overlooked.
Many people are drawn to stories about companion animals, but trillions of animals are exploited for food, entertainment, and research each year.
Approximately 23.3 million land animals are killed every single day in the U.S. alone. If you include shellfish and other sea life, this number jumps to over 150 million each day in the U.S. In addition to food, over 100 million animals are used in lab research each year in the U.S. including dogs, cats, monkeys, mice, and rats.
Many news outlets do cover environmental issues like the climate crisis, but often ignore one of its largest contributors: cattle farming.
For us to create sustainable change, consumers must be informed about their food systems and the animals within them. Reducing meat from your diet is one of the most effective ways to combat the climate crisis.
For everyone to gain access to this information, it’s imperative that media outlets report on humans’ relationship with animals.
Octopuses are very much in the spotlight at the moment as public interest in these amazing marine animals soars. The Netflix documentary, My Octopus Teacher, documents a heart-wrenching account of a year spent by filmmaker Craig Foster forging a relationship with a wild common octopus in South Africa.
The name of the film is apt, with Craig learning more than he could have ever imagined from his octopus friend. Foster describes the effect of this mentorship-like relationship the octopus provided him, teaching him a lesson on the fragility of life and humanity's connection with nature. Such was the profound impact the documentary had on its viewers; at the 93rd Academy Awards, it won the award for Best Documentary Feature.
Unfortunately, octopuses are also in the media spotlight at the moment for the worst kind of reason. The Spanish company Nueva Pescanova has invested €65 million to build the world's first commercial octopus farm in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. Shockingly, over the last few years, demand for the consumption of octopuses has been rising dramatically in several Mediterranean countries in Europe, as well as in Asia, Mexico, Japan, and the United States. As a direct consequence of this increased consumer demand, food industries are keen to farm octopuses in captivity.
As the first demand of the Plant Based Treaty states, we should not be building new slaughterhouses or animal farms, but relinquishing animal agriculture facilities and not making the problem worse. Yet this octopus farm would lead to a million octopuses being killed for food each year (3,000 tonnes according to the company–the industry crudely refers to the octopuses killed by weight). The proposal would also put more pressure on the ocean, disrupt marine ecosystems, and kill other marine life who would have to be caught to feed the octopuses. Many, many millions of fish and other marine life would be affected and killed as a result of the farm. As the film Seaspiracy showed, our oceans are in crisis. Farming octopuses is as unsustainable as it is inhumane. Octopus farming also contravenes the EU Strategic Aquaculture Guidelines (SAG) because it will further deplete populations of fish communities living in the oceans.
There are currently no laws in place in Europe, the U.S., Mexico or Japan to protect octopuses from suffering or the particularly abhorrent killing methods. Pescanova has so far refused to explain how the octopuses will be killed. What we do know is that wild-caught octopuses are killed by methods such as clubbing their heads, cutting into their brains without anaesthetic, asphyxiation in a net, and chilling in ice. Scientists have also been studying three new slaughter methods including:
Chemical methods - an overdose of magnesium chloride, ethanal and clove oil.
Mechanical methods - destruction of the brain either by cutting between the eyes, or decapitation.
Electrical methods - electrocution of octopuses by passing an electric current through their body.
Experimental trials to farm octopuses have indicated that the mortality rate in an octopus farm would be around 20%. This means that 1 in 5, or 200,000 individuals of the million Pescanova plan to kill each year, would not even survive the ‘production’ cycle of the farm. To be clear we are in no way advocating for more humane conditions or killing methods for the octopuses. There is no humane way to hold anyone captive or kill anyone against their will.
This proposed octopus farm in the Canary Islands must be stopped. Outside Europe, plans are also being considered to develop octopus farms in the United States, Mexico and Japan. If the farm in the Canary Islands goes ahead, this will set a dangerous precedent across the world and could have dire implications with more octopus farms being constructed.
Animal Save Movement and Plant Based Treaty have launched a petition calling for the proposed slaughterhouse to be banned and instead, octopuses be recognized in Europe and around the world as sentient beings, something that has already been achieved in the United Kingdom. The petition so far has garnered over 35,000 signatures. You can add yours by clicking here. Together we can stop Pescanova and send a message to any other companies considering building an octopus farm to LEAVE OCTOPUSES ALONE!
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Fiona Tande – A multi-talented Kenya-based wildlife film-maker.
Assistant camera operator, Drone pilot (FPV), Presenter/Narrator, Assistant, Runner, Researcher, Underwater assistant camera operator, wildlife conservationist, field director, production manager, stills photographer.
Pridelands Wildlife Film Fest, (PWFF), is the first of its kind film festival in East, West, North and Central Africa, dedicated to wildlife and conservation factual storytelling with African storytellers at the heart of the narrative. The annual event will be a convening of industry stakeholders from Africa and the world over, where opportunities to learn from each other, network and collaborate are fostered to produce groundbreaking series/films while promoting local engagement, inclusion and diversity in natural history filmmaking.
Pridelands Films is a Kenyan based wildlife film agent, as well as a platform to represent and champion for the inclusion and participation of local talent in natural history filmmaking. We believe the more African storytellers are engaged, the more inspired audiences at the grassroot levels will be and the more impactful wildlife and conservation films will be.
Both organisations were Founded and are run by the multi-talented Fiona Tande ... Assistant camera operator, Drone pilot (FPV), Presenter/Narrator, Assistant, Runner, Researcher, Underwater assistant camera operator, wildlife conservationist, field director, production manager, stills photographer.
Christian Heschl is a multi-award-winning film & TV composer and musician located near Vienna. His diverse repertoire ranges from live-recorded epic full orchestral scores to pure production music or small intimate ensembles.
To date, he has composed music for numerous projects featured on international networks. These include National Geographic, DiscoveryChannel, PBS, AmazonPrime, SonyUK, NBC/SyFy, SWR, ARD, WDR, ARTE, ORF, and many more.
He is best known for scoring the highly acclaimed NBC/SyFy documentary “Todd McFarlane - Like Hell I Won’t”. It tells the captivating story of comic artist legend Todd McFarlane”, the creator of ”Spider-Man”, “Venom” and “Spawn”.
He also scored the PBS/TerraMater Film-epos “The Hippo King” directed by EMMY nominated director/cinematographer Will Steenkamp (BBC Planet Earth II, Hostile Planet, Primates).
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