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SCOTLAND: The Big Picture is a charity that supports and enables the transformational recovery of nature across Scotland. Our vision is of a vast network of rewilded land and water, where wildlife flourishes and people thrive. We are a small but agile andprogressive team that works in a spirit of collaboration with many different interest groups to increase the area of land and water committed to rewilding, to return lost or threatened species and to promote rewilding and its benefits for nature, climate and people. Learn more: www.scotlandbigpicture.com
DESCRIPTION OF ROLE
We believe passionately in the power of storytelling to help turn the tide for
nature recovery in Scotland. We create impactful communications that we share
across multiple platforms with a large and diverse audience. Our goal is to
inform perspectives, inspire action and influence change.
We are looking for a dynamic and creative photographer and videographer to
join our team and to expand our influence in the rapidly evolving arena of
Scottish rewilding, or ecological restoration.
You will have at least a basic knowledge of, and experience in, visual storytelling
using both stills and video cameras, although the position will offer extensive
training and introduce you to a wide range of in-the-field experiences. You will
be expected to work remotely and often unsupervised and deliver high-quality
content with creative flair in a wide range of situations.
You’ll be a natural, self-motivated and organised communicator, able to build
strong relationships both internally and across a wide sector of interest groups.
You’ll also be an effective forward planner, able to manage a range of outputs
simultaneously while maintaining a critical eye for detail and design.
You are also likely to be motivated by the opportunity to work as part of a small
team to shape our growth and influence.
The role is on a full-time basis for a 12-month period and would ideally suit
someone based in the Scottish Highlands, although consideration will be given
to applicants based elsewhere.
Photography and videography: Carry out varied photographic and filming
commissions, including the use of UAVs (drones), ranging from wildlife to
landscapes to people. This is a position suited to someone with skills and
ambitions in the photographic journalism sector, as storytelling is at the heart of
our advocacy objectives.
Image/footage cataloguing: You will be required to carry out a certain amount
of office-based work to organise and catalogue your material and that of other
Video editing: Working alongside other team members, you will be involved in
developing and outputting a range of video material from short trailers to
longer, documentary-style films.
• Attend regular team meetings both digitally and in person
• Attend evening and occasional weekend events, as required within the nature
of the post. * Our administrative base is near Kingussie, Inverness-shire..
Winners of the RTS Student Television Awards 2021 announced
The winners of the national RTS Student Television Awards 2021, sponsored by Kinetic Content, have been announced.
The winners were crowned during a virtual ceremony held this afternoon on the RTS website, which was hosted by broadcast presenter and award-winning radio host, Vick Hope.
For 2021, the National Film and Television School received the highest number of wins across the 17 UK institutions nominated, taking home seven awards, followed by the Universities of Gloucestershire and Salford with three apeice. The inaugural Young Filmmaker Award was presented to Max Tobin, Ed Whyte, Joe Luk, Oli Thomas and Almir Datoo for their film I Will Despise You. The jury described the film as impressively made and ambitious, with the script being a triumph.
The awards celebrate the best audiovisual work created by students across the UK at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. This year students submitted an original film of their creation of up to 30 minutes in duration, for categories including Animation, Scripted, Non-Scripted for undergraduate entries, and Animation, Scripted, Non-Scripted, News, Entertainment and Natural History for postgraduates. Awards were also presented today for craft skills for both the undergraduate and postgraduate entries, including Camerawork, Editing, Production Design, Sound and Writing.
Siobhan Greene, Managing Director, 110% Content and Chair of the RTS Student Television Awards, said: “This year the juries had difficult decisions to make, narrowing down an extensive line-up of entries from all over the UK; even more impressive as many were produced under restricted conditions due to Covid. It's with a real sense of pride we recognise and celebrate the talent coming into the industry this afternoon. Our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners.”.
Postgraduate Natural History
WINNER – Secrets of the Salamanders
"The jury were impressed by the story, the strong visuals, a great use of archive footage with a great voice and tone. A strong opening captured your attention and the great photography throughout kept it."
Prince William announces details of the first-ever Earthshot Prize Awards in London
On the 25th of June, we are excited to announce that our first-ever awards ceremony will be taking place on Sunday 17 October, hosted at the iconic Alexandra Palace in London, with other famous landmarks across the UK’s capital city also part of the historic event.
Over the past six months, The Earthshot Prize, in collaboration with its Global Alliance network of over 200 Nominators, has been searching the world – from businesses to governments, grassroots initiatives and more – for solutions to our Earthshot challenges and identifying a final set of astounding innovations from every corner of the globe.
During The Earthshot Prize: London 2021 on 17 October, viewers around the world will have the chance to meet the individuals and teams behind these ground-breaking solutions, and see the first five winners of The Earthshot Prize receive their awards. These winning solutions will have the power to help repair our planet and improve life for people everywhere and each awardee will receive £1 million to scale their solutions.
The historic event will be broadcast in the UK on BBC One and to a global audience with a major broadcast partner, featuring show-stopping performances and never-before-seen musical collaborations.
“The Earthshot Prize: London 2021 is an unprecedented opportunity to inspire all Londoners and people around the world to be part of this global effort to repair our planet.”
- Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan
The next 10 years will be critical for the future of our planet. Across the decade-long lifespan of the Prize, nine more international cities will be transformed into Earthshot venues, showcasing the worldwide impact of the Prize and profiling the incredible people working to repair our planet. By the end of the decade, 10 global ceremonies will award fifty incredible winners with The Earthshot Prize.
This announcement comes just ahead of London Climate Action Week, taking place between the 26 June – 4 July, where London will host the largest independent climate festival in Europe, bringing together world-leading climate thinkers, professionals and communities to harness the power of London for global climate action.
“The awards ceremony will be a truly global event, connecting people from all over the world to celebrate these inspiring leaders and their innovations to solve the world’s greatest environmental challenges.”
- Prince William.
After the success of Borneo Jungle Diaries 2, Scubazoo are thrilled to announce the release of our latest new series: ‘Borneo Ocean Diaries’.
Our series will be hosted by Sabahan actress and presenter Alexandra Alexander. Join Alex as she steps out of the Jungles of Borneo and dives into the surrounding Oceans to explore this equally biodiverse and breath taking marine environment.
The series begins with Alex literally ‘taking the plunge’ as she immerses herself into her PADI Open Water dive course, before her pan Borneo marine exploration can truly begin. PADI certified Alex is then guided by KK’s very own Marine Research Foundation Team, headed by Dr. Nicolas Pilcher. Alex’s underwater adventures take her around Sabah discovering its marine wonders, learning about the creatures, people and scientists that are all connected by the ocean and how we can all help to protect it for the future.
Borneo Ocean Diaries (BOD) kicked off with the launch of the series trailer premiering 23rd May 2021 in conjunction with World Turtle Day - proceeded by 8 action-packed weekly online episodes.
Sharks! South Africa has one of the most fascinating marine systems, yet it is little discussed as all those lions and elephants get the attention. Clova from Save Our Seas seeks to change that, and we will discuss whether sharks are smart, what happens when orcas and great whites meet, and much more.
During lockdown, Morten has been busy composing and recording tracks and albums. They are a great fit for documentaries about science, nature and traveling ...
He has been writing library music for APL Publishing since 2011/12 when he graduated from Bristol University and so far has 258 tracks in his portfolio there, with more to come!
Conversations on conservation you don’t want to miss...
What have the world’s best-known environmentalists learned over the past 60 years? What are their biggest regrets? And what is the next generation of activists doing to tackle the threats facing our planet?
As WWF turns 60, the world’s largest conservation organisation is hosting a series of candid conversations between some of the biggest names in the environmental movement.
Through these conservation conversations, we’ll hear how action to save our planet has changed over six decades, what the next generation can learn from legendary trailblazers, and vice versa; and whether together, we can achieve more in the next ten years than we have in the last 60.
Make sure you subscribe so that you never miss an episode and join the conversation on social media using #ForcesofNature.
Together, we can all be forces of nature.
Find out more at panda.org/forcesofnature
Episode 1 | Prince Philip + Religion, with Malaika Vaz and Martin Palmer
What do a 24 year-old filmmaker from India and a 67 year-old British theologian who worked closely with Prince Philip think is the best way to save the planet?
In this episode of Forces of Nature. Martin Palmer and Malaika Vaz sit down for a debate about HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s approach to conservation, hunting and the role of religion in protecting the environment.
“What was it like working with Prince Philip on environmental issues? Because from what I know - and this is a bit controversial - he had some very apparent contradictions in his love for conservation. For example, the year that he became the president of WWF was the same year that he was hunting an eight foot tiger with local Rajasthani maharajas. How did those things balance out?”
We would like to invite you to the 15th GREEN SCREEN Wildlife Filmfestival in Eckernförde!
More than 100 film screenings as well as lectures, seminars and other networking events like the festival gala and the award ceremony, offer many opportunities to meet with the audience as well as with colleagues from all over the world. Due to the expected distance- and hygiene rules, only the larger venues will be in use, therefore the festival time extended and screenings start already on September 4th 2021.
The supporting progam for the industry is happening between September 8th - 12th, in that time also all nominated films will be screened. From September 12th - 19th the surrounding cinemas will show some more selected films.
For those who can not be with us in person, we are providing an online platform for accredited attendees to digitally network and participate in or stream the seminars and watch the nominated films. The live stream of the award ceremony can also be watched online.
We are very happy to announce that in this special year accreditation is FREE!
However, it is important to register for the seminars via the accreditation form and reserve your free tickets for the screenings via the included link, as seats are limited.
As part of Peter Brownlee's "Chew Valley People" series, Chew Magna's Richard Brock gets interviewed at home.
"Richard worked for the BBC Natural History Unit for 35 years producing among other things David Attenborough's Living Planet and Trials of Life. But he became increasingly concerned that wildlife shows were not telling the whole story. When he left the BBC he set up the Brock Initiative and began making his own films about the growing crisis he saw in the natural world. He has now published a book called Planet Crunchwhich brings together his views and ideas about where we are now. Filmed in April 2021."
Screening films from all over the world, the American Conservation Film Festival (ACFF) is an annual event held in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, a vibrant, arts-focused community 70 miles west of the nation’s capital.
ACFF considers submitted non-fiction and fiction films, provided the theme is driven by environmental or cultural conservation. Of special interest are the myriad ways humans interact with wildlife and wild places, issues driven by natural resource conservation, humans as part of the environment, living in a continuum of cultural tradition, lifestyles in conjunction with changes in the natural world and how young people encounter and understand the natural world. The motivating force behind ACFF is the power of film to engage, inform and inspire.
The 2022 Festival plans to utilize live venues providing screenings for a broad range of conservation films, some of which rarely receive a wide showing. Pending filmmaker permissions, films will also be included in our online streaming offerings with closed captions available for each film. Our first online festival in 2021 more than doubled our audience and reached viewers in 30 countries.
Filmmaker Vikramaditya Singh talks about BAFTA Breakthrough win
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts expanded its reach to India for the first time with BAFTA Breakthrough, selecting a total of 10 upcoming talents from the world of film, games and television. Delhi-based independent filmmaker Vikramaditya Singh is one of the 10 talents to win for his 2020 documentary Elephants in My Backyard, which captures the man-animal conflict in South India. Singh believes that this recognition will give his vision more power.
How does this recognition by BAFTA Breakthrough add to your cause?
The principal reason I applied for BAFTA Breakthrough was to expand my craft, make some good connections and more than anything else, get mentored by filmmakers and other professionals in the television and film world who are a part of the BAFTA network.
What got you interested in the subject of man-animal conflict related to elephants?
My father is a veterinary doctor and hence since a young age, I developed a passion for animals and was drawn to stories that have a strong environmental and wildlife angle. These have important human stories in them too. In India there is a unique co-existence of humans and animals that got the filmmaker in me curious. There are challenges and conflicts but we have not wiped out the big animals like in Europe and the US and other parts of the world. I was drawn to that idea.
Is protecting 30% of the world's oceans enough to save them? – Greenpeace
From industrial fishing to the climate crisis – multiple threats are pushing our oceans to breaking point. Scientists say we need to protect at least 30% of the oceans by 2030. But is 30% really enough to save our oceans and allow them to recover?
Nature-focused channel WildEarth will launch in Brazil via Samsung TV Plus, Samsung’s ad-supported free streaming service.
WildEarth creates immersive, live POV experiences from dozens of game reserves and parks and gives viewers the opportunity to interact and ask questions with naturalists in real time. The live and interactive nature channel will premiere in South America on Samsung TV Plus and will be available on all Samsung Smart TVs made from 2017 to 2021.
“Being in nature, even virtually, is scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels. These daily live broadcasts from wilderness areas on Samsung Plus may be some people’s only true connection with nature and in turn help them through difficult times in their lives,” said WildEarth CEO Graham Wallington in a release.
Non-fiction streamer Discovery+ has acquired Eli Roth’s documentary Fin, from executive producers Leonardo DiCaprio and Nina Dobrev.
The film (pictured), premiering July 13 as part of Discovery’s Shark Week programming, is produced by Lionsgate and its Pilgrim Media Group company in association with DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions.
In Fin, director Roth and a group of scientists, researchers and activists sail around the globe to investigate the truth behind the death of millions of sharks, shining a light on the criminal enterprise impacting the animals.
The documentary features work from photographer Michael Muller and the support of organizations such as Oceana, Sea Shepherd, and Wild Aid.
“Fin is the scariest film I’ve ever made, and certainly the most dangerous, but I wanted to send a message of hope to end this needless massacre of sharks,” Roth said in a statement. “They keep our oceans clean to produce half our oxygen, and they deserve our respect and deserve to be saved, especially now when the shark fin sales ban is going before the House. I wanted to show the crisis from all sides and paired with an action campaign we can make the change necessary to protect them. Fifty years ago the world came together to save the whales, then we did it for dolphins, and recently for Orcas. It’s time to do the same for sharks, and time is running out.”
In addition to DiCaprio and Dobrev, Roth also serves as executive producer alongside president of Lionsgate non-fiction television and Pilgrim CEO and chair Craig Piligian. Fin is produced by Piligian, Gretchen Stockdale and Nicholas Caprio as well as Mohamed El Manasterly.
Mike Nichols, Eddie Rohwedder, Michael Muller, Jennifer Davisson and Phillip Watson also serve as executive producers.
250kW generator avoided emissions of seven tonnes of CO2 over show’s three week run.
BBC Studios Natural History Unit has used green hydrogen to power all 12 episodes of Springwatch’s live broadcasts this year.
The clean gas was produced by a 250kW hydrogen power unit over the course of the show’s three week run from 25 May to 11 June.
After making broadcasting history earlier this year using the generator for critical back up and additional power augmentation for Winterwatch for the first time, BBC Studios Natural History Unit doubled down on its commitment to using the generator for Springwatch 2021, as part of efforts to achieve the BBC’s goal to be net zero in terms of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Based on the premises of BBC Bristol, the hydrogen generator powered the Springwatch OB hub from which the show is broadcast live.
Acting as the show’s control room, the OB hub oversees and directs the whole production with numerous live locations across the UK.
Springwatch has demonstrated the potential for all large-scale television productions to switch to reliable, clean and off-grid energy and transition away from diesel generators in the industry.
Presenter Chris Packham said: ‘Change is the only way we will begin to tackle the climate crisis. And that means taking action.
“I am very pleased that Springwatch has been leading the way in the drive to reduce the carbon footprint of its production.
It’s incredibly important that we can pioneer the use of new technologies and methods then others will follow and then we have meaningful progress. So personally I would like to extend a massive vote of thanks and admiration to the team that has made this work. Top work!’
Off the Fence ups Allison Bean to chief creative officer, unveils strategic overhaul
Amsterdam-headquartered producer and distributor Off the Fence (OTF) has upped longtime production executive Allison Bean to chief creative officer, in tandem with a strategic overhaul.
Most recently the Bristol-based managing director of Off the Fence’s production division, Bean has been with the My Octopus Teacher prodco since 2006. In that time, she has developed and produced more than 400 hours of factual content for the ZDF Enterprises-owned company.
Prior to OTF, she began her career at Survival Anglia TV producing natural history films. She then joined Granada TV in 2002, where she developed, produced and directed a wide range of award-winning documentaries for Discovery, TLC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Five among other broadcasters.
Announcing Bean’s promotion in a press briefing on Thursday (July 8), Off the Fence CEO Bo Stehmeier said: ‘It became clear that we needed an overarching editorial hand to guide the company into the future.”
The move comes as OTF is also unveiling a revamped corporate strategy, which sees the company focusing on three content pillars — Yesterday (history-based), Today (focusing on humanity’s relationship with ourselves and the planet through the genres of natural history, travel and adventure, lifestyle, crime, and impact programming) and Tomorrow (science and tech-based content).
Friends, we have great news! You are not alone in caring about the health of our planet! New findings reveal that millions of people around the world are concerned about nature, and that number is growing.
1. More conversations: On Twitter alone, the number of posts related to nature loss and biodiversity has increased by 65% since 2016
2. Demand for urgent action: Over 159 million signatures for biodiversity-related campaigns have been collected in the last five years
3. Businesses are changing: The number of companies committed to implementing sustainability measures is increasing
1. In June 2020, major European funds threatened to withdraw their 2 trillion US dollars-worth of investments from Brazil unless key decision makers did something to stop the surging destruction of the Amazon rainforest
2. Last September, political leaders representing 84 countries committed to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030
3. As of 2019, legislations restricting single-use plastic items have been passed in 127 countries, following sustained global protest
Thank you for being a voice of change!
What more can you do?
1. Share this email
2. Read this blog on how consumers, like you, are driving sustainability
3. Are you a business? Add your voice to those urging governments to adopt policies now to reverse nature loss in this decade.
‘You care for birds, and they heal you’: film profiles world of a Black falconer
A new documentary, The Falconer, follows Rodney Stotts, who found fulfillment in working with raptors and inner-city kids
Falconry is a profession with roots in the ancient Middle East and medieval Europe but one of its practitioners is making some history of his own.
Rodney Stotts is one of the few Black falconers in the US. He works with raptors such as red-tailed hawks and Harris hawks, as well as with an owl named Mr Hoots. He is now the subject of a new documentary directed by Annie Kaempfer, The Falconer, that screened at the Atlanta film festival ahead of the second annual Black Birders Week (an event created after a white woman called the police on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park in New York last year, prompting a national outcry).
Stotts has seen his work hit by the Covid pandemic and is relocating from his previous raptor sanctuary in Laurel, Maryland, to Charlotte Courthouse, Virginia. The new site takes its name from his late mother’s nickname – Dippy’s Dream. Stotts spoke with the Guardian about honoring his mother through his new project, the importance of exposure to falconry in inner-city DC, and mentoring the next generation of Black falconers.
Create a nature documentary while sea kayaking The Maine Island Trail.
Dates: August 14th - 27th 2021
Max Enrollment: 10 students
Film experience: Intermediate
Outdoor experience: Neophyte and up
Become the complete nature documentarian with this Classroom in the Wild collaboration
between American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. From first shot to final edit, engage in a holistic approach to
filmmaking in which you will develop your command over each phase of the filmmaking
process. After a week of capturing your story in nature, you will explore the art of editing by
crafting your field footage into a finished nature documentary for your portfolio.
A sea kayak is an excellent tool for the nature documentarian to commune with nature. It
provides the stealth necessary to film wildlife up-close, something impossible to achieve with a
motorized vessel. Our sea kayaking workshop is truly an immersive educational experience; you
are bound to get wet. But you’ll learn how to keep your camera equipment and camping gear
dry. Award-winning documentarian Tom Donohue will guide you in the skills and thought
processes necessary for capturing your story while registered Maine Sea Kayaking guide Josh
Lipkowitz will teach you the skills necessary for island exploration.
Sea kayaking the Maine Island Trail is a dream destination for many sea kayakers. There is no
better time to enjoy this unique adventure then mid-August when the waters are at their
warmest and the air cool. Our adventure begins on the Saturday night when you meet Tom and
Josh at our first campsite for dinner and orientation. We’ll start the next day in the water to
learn the basics of sea kayaking. After lunch, we’re off to our first island in search of a story.
In total you will have five days to capture your story.
Then, following a weekend to get home
and recuperate, you will start on your edit in our on-line classroom. Editing teaches you what
you need to know about your camerawork. You’ll discover both your successes and errors from
the field. Overcoming mishaps is at the heart of documentary storytelling. Tom will guide you
through the process with class lectures each morning and an individual review of your cut in the
afternoon. At the end of edit week, we will screen all our films together.
Covid-19 Safety Protocol
Our classroom in the wild was created with safety in mind. During this time of pandemic, we
believe that outdoor recreation is more important than ever and in-line with safety protocol.
Each student will be provided their own tent for sleeping. We will not require students to wear
masks while kayaking but we would encourage use when in close proximity to others. Be aware
that the state of Maine requires out-of-State visitors to either pass a Coronavirus test within 72
hours of arrival or spend 14 days in quarantine. You can check current guidelines at Maine.gov.
We are in favor of testing and vaccination as these measures will keep our small group safe.
Editing from home with Zoom is another safety measure while being an effective way to learn to
edit. You’ll share your computer screen directly with Tom. You’ll also share in your fellow
classmates learning as they develop their stories under Tom’s guidance. Even at a distance our
sense of community will continue online.
Included in the Sea Kayaking week is everything you will need from food to shelter to a tandem
sea kayak during your time on the water. You only need to bring layered clothing and your
camera gear. We recommend leaving your laptop at home. Do bring a hard drive so we can
transfer your camera footage during the expedition. For those preferring to rent cameras, Tom
will work with you to assemble a camera and audio package. It will be delivered to you at our
first campsite. We strongly recommend accidental water damage insurance for your cameras as
we cannot be responsible for them.
Tom Donohue (Film Teacher) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has been
leading Maine Media Workshops for almost 20 years both in Maine and abroad in Cuba,
Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina. His most recent National Geographic assignments ranged
from environmental pieces in the Galapagos Islands to filming polar bears up close in the Arctic.
Josh Lipkowitz (Wilderness Teacher) is the owner and Registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide for
Mountain Sea Explorations. Josh has a graduate degree in Conservation Biology. His passion is
leading people young and old into the outdoors on foot, skis, snowboards, surfboards, sailboats,
canoes, bicycles, and sea kayaks.
David Jester (Teaching Assistant) is a Paramedic and Fireman for the State of Maine as well as a
passionate Sea Kayaker. David recently pursued his dream of making documentary films by
enrolling in Maine Media’s 4-week Documentary Film School taught by Tom. David’s student
film went on to be accepted at two important film festivals last year..
Giant otter thought to be extinct in Argentina resurfaces. Literally.
Ten days ago (16th May), Sebastian di Martino was kayaking along the Bermejo River in Argentina’s Impenetrable National Park when he heard a splash. He looked around and saw a brown-furred animal swimming through the water, occasionally dipping below the surface and then reappearing. It was a giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), a species believed to be extinct in Argentina.
“I was surprised and excited,” Di Martino, director of conservation at Fundación Rewilding Argentina, told Mongabay in an interview. “At the beginning, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
Not got Richard Brock's PLANET CRUNCH book yet? What are you waiting for ... it FREE and ACE!
PLANET CRUNCH The Life (or Death?) of Planet Earth by Richard Brock is ambitious project of 3 x 25-minute films on YouTube and Vimeo, plus a book. It's another attempt to draw attention to the challenges we all face; especially involving biodiversity. Uniquely…all…together. Now.
Planet Crunch – The Life (or Death?) of Planet Earth is a unique perspective on planet Earth at crunch-time. Based on how the media have lifted the natural world to the front-page headlines, the book is richly illustrated, packed with commentary on wildlife, natural resources, impacts of global politics, population, climate change and our future.
Richard Brock, filmmaker, author and publisher, has created a book for everyone. He describes it as political, challenging, cheeky, significant, educational and even rude! A publication that is both up-to-date and down-to-earth.
It’s for all those who are concerned about the future at this time of “Planet Crunch”.
Order a FREE copy for your bookshelf or give as a gift. And please extend the project – pass on this offer to friends and contacts and like/share on all your social media.
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.
Uniquely ... Altogether ... Now ... The Life (or death?) of Planet Earth - Planet Crunch covers Nature and Us, Population, The Media, Tourism, Money, Waster and Plastic, Climate Change, Conservation, Energy, Water, Food, Biodiversity, Shopping, Farming, Forests and Fishing.
Under the ice can seem like a completely alien world... Kathryn Jeffs (Series Producer) talks us through the difficult process of capturing 'The Brinicle' on film.
Wild Stories (2020)
– BBC Earth take a look back at some of the most iconic natural history moments from landmark series such as Planet Earth, Life, Life Story and Frozen Planet, and go behind the scenes with the producers and directors who captured them.
Welcome to BBC EARTH! The world is an amazing place full of stories, beauty and natural wonder. Here you'll find 50 years worth of entertaining and thought-provoking natural history content. Dramatic, rare, and exclusive, nature doesn't get more exciting than this.
Lot's of great content on Sandesh Kadur's Felis Creations TV YouTube Channel!
Team Felis is glad to inform you that our YouTube channel is up and running. From unseen wildlife footage, short films, documentaries, cinematic showreels, behind-the-scenes to video reviews about cinema gadgets and gizmos — you wouldn’t want to miss out on all the exciting content we have lined up for you.
Head on over to youtube.com/c/FelisCreationsTV to like, and subscribe to stay updated with our content. And after watching, don’t forget to hit that share button!
Co-founder and Director of Felis Creations, National Geographic Explorer and Filmmaker Sandesh Kadur has a passion for visual imagery and has made his mark as a wildlife photographer and documentary filmmaker.
A BAFTA award-winning filmmaker who is known most recently for his work on Netflix’s ‘Our Planet’ and National Geographic’s ‘Wild Cats of India’. Kadur creates award-winning wildlife documentary films and photography books exposing the need to conserve threatened species and habitats around the world.
His documentary films have aired worldwide on such prominent networks as National Geographic, the BBC, Netflix, Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet. Sandesh’s work has won a slew of prestigious international awards, including a 2017 EMMY nomination and the 2017 BAFTA for his work on BBC Planet Earth II.
Visit www.sandeshkadur.com to learn more about his work.
"Sahyadris: Mountains Of The Monsoon" follows the wildlife of the Western Ghats, from the peaks of the High Ranges, where the drama of the Nilgiri tahr rut—never before fully captured on camera—takes place during the height of the monsoon, to the thick shola forests, home to the highly endangered Lion-Tailed Macaque, to the dry deciduous forests at the foothills of the mountains, where elephants and other wildlife wait in expectation for the coming deluge. Also explored is the relationship between spirituality and the strong conservation ethos of India, a land of over a billion people.
British Icon of the Week: Sir David Attenborough, the Godfather of Nature Documentaries
The great Sir David Attenborough turns 95 tomorrow (May 8), so we're marking his milestone birthday by making him our British Icon of the Week. If you fancy celebrating his big day by watching some of his landmark nature documentaries such as Planet Earth and Blue Planet, BBC America is showing a whole host of them Saturday, plus a program about his life and career, Attenborough's Journey, which airs at 8pm EST. Check out the full schedule here.
And in the meantime, here's a guide to just 10 highlights from his remarkable career.
1. He served as Controller of BBC Two from 1965 to 1969, at which point he was promoted to Director of Programmes, which made him responsible for content on both BBC channels.
During this era of his career, Attenborough was mooted as a potential Director-General of the BBC, which would have given him overall editorial control of the corporation. However, he has said he had no appetite for the top job, and stepped down from his Director of Programmes role in 1973 so he could focus on making programs with the Natural History Unit.
2. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programs made in black and white, color, HD, 3K, and 4K.
He received BAFTA's top accolade, the Fellowship award, way back in 1980..
Johan Rockström: ‘We need bankers as well as activists… we have 10 years to cut emissions by half’
The eminent Earth scientist argues that we cannot just wait for the world order to change when it comes to tackling the climate crisis – we all have a duty to act now
Johan Rockström is one of the world’s most influential Earth scientists. As director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, he advises governments, corporations and activists, including his Swedish compatriot, Greta Thunberg, about the latest research on the climate and biodiversity and argues for better science communication. Last year, he co-edited Standing Up for a Sustainable World, a book that brought together essays from climatologists, economists, environmental defenders, financiers and school strike activists. In recent months, he has teamed up with David Attenborough to create a new Netflix series, Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet, participated in President Joe Biden’s climate summit and co-organised a declaration by more than 100 Nobel laureates.
The Nobel prize summitin April declared a planetary emergency. Why now? Scientists have known for at least three decades that human activity is destabilising the climate and accelerating the collapse of ecosystems. This statement, signed by 126 Nobel laureates, is a world record. Never before have we seen such a global uprising of Nobel prize winners. They issued an emergency call from science to humanity, calling for reason, truth and humanism in the transformation towards an equitable and prosperous future in a safe operating space.
Breaking Boundaries tells the story of the most important scientific discovery of our time - that humanity has pushed Earth beyond the boundaries that have kept Earth stable for 10,000 years, since the dawn of civilization. The 75-minute film takes the audience on a journey of discovery of planetary thresholds we must not exceed, not just for the stability of our planet, but for the future of humanity. It offers up the solutions we can and must put in place now if we are to protect Earth’s life support systems.
ZDF Enterprises has begun filming on its 10-part series Africa From Above.
Produced by Off the Fence Productions, the series (pictured) looks at the continent’s people, places and wildlife. ZDF Enterprises is the lead partner and global distributor. Additional partners include ARTE, Austrian public broadcaster ORF and broadcaster UKTV.
The series will explore Africa’s history, architecture, industry, cultures and wildlife. as well as cities and towns across the continent, revealing how people survive in more extreme locations.
“This production will capture Africa in a way that has never been seen before, using the latest technology, airborne and on the ground. We are delighted to offer this beautiful series to our clients shortly – these are the kind of pictures audiences are longing to see in the current times,” said Ralf Rueckauer, vice president of ZDFE.unscripted at ZDF Enterprises.
We've already started the groundwork on Mammalz 2.0. But, as we're closing in on the 'closing-for-now' date for the current Mammalz web platform and iOS app, we wanted to be available to answer any questions you may have about what is coming, how we'll stick together as a community during construction and anything else you'd like to know about the future of live nature storytelling on Mammalz. (Or what we had for breakfast It's an AMA after all )
You’ve probably heard that Mammalz 2.0 is being built and that we’re closing the current Mammalz on May 14, 2021. Rob and Alex hosted a live AMA (Ask Me Anything!) to answer questions about what to expect in the new version and how we’ll be sticking together as a community during the construction. Here's the replay in case you missed them live.
Vegan Organic Network "Save our Wildlife" Short Video Competition – Call For Entries
1st prize: £500, 2nd prize: £300, 3rd Prize: £200 and more prizes to be announced.
Winning entries will be part of our social media campaign targeting the public and delegates attending COP26 the UN Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow this November.
Our film competition aims to spread the message that:
To Save our Wildlife we must move to a Plant Based Food System.
Of all mammals on Earth, ONLY 4% are WILDLIFE, 60% are farm animals and 36% are humans.
By adopting a plant-based food system, land used by farm animals can be converted to wildlife habitats.
80 percent of the world’s agricultural land is used for farming animals (livestock farming).
When we remove the farm animals from our food chain, corn and soya fields required for animal feed can be transformed into nature reserves.
World agriculture must move towards “people nourished per hectare”.
Veganic agriculture is green, clean and cruelty free, it uses less land, water and fossil fuel resources than farm animal (livestock) dependent systems and creates a wildlife friendly environment where nature can thrive.
Make a short film and help spread this urgent message to your friends, family, community and to politicians around the world.
National Geographic Unveils Incredible American Landscapes and Wildlife in New Documentary Series NATIONAL PARKS
Garth Brooks to Narrate and Executive Produce
From Wildstar Films, the 10-part Series Captures Stunning Landscapes and Intimate Glimpses Into the Lives of the Charismatic and Intriguing Animals That Inhabit These Parks
NATIONAL PARKS Premieres in 2022 on National Geographic
Nowhere in the world is there a national park system like America’s. Each park is a jewel and, collectively, they are a national treasure. America’s national parks are famous the world over. Places like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon are not just names but touchstones that evoke clear images and treasured memories. For Americans, these iconic places are part of the cultural DNA. They are so important to who and what America is that the country would not be the same without them. In 2022, join narrator and executive producer Garth Brooks (No. 1-selling solo artist in U.S. History) and National Geographic on an extraordinary venture across world-famous and lesser-known NATIONAL PARKS, each of which is an American jewel.
America has more diverse landscapes than any country in the world. From the deeply cut canyons of the Rio Grande to Hawaii’s constantly erupting volcanoes, National Geographic reveals to the world the diversity and wonder of this beautiful country. Each episode showcases the breathtaking landscape and extraordinary wildlife in parks full of rich surprises and wonder, brought to life with Brooks’ narration.
The award-winning creative team behind iconic natural history films and series like Disneynature’s “Earth” and “Elephant Eden” as well as BBC’s “Planet Earth” and “Frozen Planet” brings you NATIONAL PARKS, shot using cutting-edge technology including long lens cinematography, remote camera traps and the latest high-resolution drone technology. The series will capture not only stunning landscapes and “frozen moments in time” but intimate glimpses into the lives of the charismatic and intriguing animals that inhabit these parks.
“NATIONAL PARKS is a celebration of the natural wonder and power of nature in our backyard. From iconic places to secret gems, this series will open the gateways for all to explore the breadth of the beauty and tranquility,” explains Janet Han Vissering, senior vice president of production and development for National Geographic. “We are proud to partner with Wildstar and their incredible breadth of talent to open a window into the very best wildlife and natural history programming, and to be narrated by none other than Garth Brooks.”
Leading us on this journey is narrator Garth Brooks. Few people embody America, its mesmerizing stories and infinite potential more than he does. As a singer and songwriter that many consider “the voice of America,” Garth brings authenticity and a heartfelt understanding of these natural open spaces that will resonate not only across America but around the world.
“Our National Parks are truly an amazing gift. The land is what defines us. The land is what tells the American story,” says Garth Brooks. “It is such an honor and I’m so excited to be a part of this series – a series that celebrates all our heritage.”
Watching Netflix’s My Octopus Teacher, I wonder why we like to imagine animals are our friends - By Pippa Bailey
Must we see something of ourselves in animals – read our emotions into their behaviour, attribute to them a level of human-like intelligence – to value them?
The boundaries between her and I seem to dissolve, just the pure magnificence of her” – so says a man of the octopus sitting on his chest. “All I could do at the time was just think of her.” Many men could do worse than appropriate these words for their human partners.
Craig Foster, the film-maker who plays the part of the student in the beautifully made My Octopus Teacher, which this year won the Oscar for best documentary feature, is searching for a cure for burnout in the cold waters of False Bay, South Africa. In a kelp forest there he finds a young octopus, and decides to free-dive every day of her short life to visit her. “I remember that day when it all started…” Foster intones, as though it’s the start of a romcom; the music swells when she reaches for his hand.
There is no doubt that the octopus is an incredible creature. It is a delight to watch it hide itself in a sheet of algae, or approach the camera holding up a shell as a shield, or escape a shark in the safest place it can find – the shark’s back. But Foster’s assertion that humans and octopuses are “very similar in a lot of ways” is absurd: octopuses are believed to have been the first intelligent life on the planet, evolving some 230 million years before mammals, and three-fifths of their neurons reside in their arms.
Foster imagines the octopus as being like “a human friend”, waving to say, “Hi, I’m excited to see you”; he can feel her trust for him, he says, her invitation into her world. He wonders what she’s thinking, what she dreams about. In places, their “relationship” feels fetishised, held up as spiritual and sacred. When the octopus loses an arm to a pyjama shark, Foster feels “vulnerable, as if somehow what happened to her had happened to me”, as if he is psychologically “going through a type of dismembering”. As her limb grows back he feels himself healing, too, their “lives mirroring each other”.
There are, to my mind, two extremes in documentaries about animals: those that present the animal kingdom as separate from people, their only human presence David Attenborough’s narration (other presenters are available); and those, such as Tiger King or the masterful Blackfish, that document an overly close relationship between humans and animals: obsessive, intrusive. My Octopus Teacher doesn’t go that far, but still I found the lack of distance uncomfortable.
PBS, NatGeo, Smithsonian execs offer pitching pointers at Sunny Side
Factual commissioning executives for several networks participated in hour-long online panels at the virtual edition of the Sunny Side of the Doc film festival last week. The talks offered insight into what their networks are looking for right now for new programming, as well as some advice on how pitches to their networks can be presented.
Below, Realscreen details the key takeaways from sessions with National Geographic, the Smithsonian Channel and PBS. Sunny Side of the Doc ran virtually from June 21 to June 24. Realscreen covered a similar panel discussion from the festival last week with Netflix executives from the UK and France, which you can read here.
Also see: 2021 Sunny Side of the Doc Award Winners Announced.
Best Wildlife & Conservation Pitch:
The Tiger Spirit - The Race to Save Malaysia’s Last Tigers
Produced by: Clearwing Foundation For Biodiversity (Poland)
Directed by: Paolo Volponi
An award co-sponsored by Love Nature & The Redford Center
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash
"The jury chose this project for several reasons. First of all, the urgency of the conservation issue at hand and the engagement of the film making team with the issue. We felt that this was an important story to highlight and present to a wide audience. Then, we particularly appreciated the personality and approach of Marta, the Polish biologist. We felt that the project could benefit greatly from the award."
Discovery’s EMMY NOMINATED Series SERENGETI Returns this Summer by Discovery
13 May 2021
ORIGINAL CREATIVE TEAM IS BACK INCLUDING EMMY-WINNERS SIMON FULLER AND JOHN DOWNER AND ACADEMY AWARD WINNER AND EMMY NOMINATED STORYTELLER LUPITA NYONG’O
This summer, Discovery journeys back to the vast, nearly untouched plains of Tanzania revisiting some of our favorite faces and meeting new ones along the way in SERENGETI II. The ground-breaking series highlights the majestic animals who call the Serengeti their home and their day-to-day lives living together. Created and produced by Emmy®-winner Simon Fuller (“American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance”) and directed and produced by Emmy®-winning wildlife filmmaker John Downer (“Penguin: Spy in The Huddle”), the continuation of the six-part series gives unrivaled access to one of the most pristine and unspoiled corners of Africa. Featuring a lush original score and narrated by Academy Award®-winning and Emmy® nominated actress Lupita Nyong’o, the revolutionary series follows the heartwarming stories of a cast of African wildlife including lions, zebras, baboons and cheetahs over the course of a year, showcasing the dramatic moments that make each day of survival on the Serengeti a feat. The upcoming season will air across Discovery platforms later this summer.
When it launched in 2019, the premiere episode of SERENGETI debuted as the highest-rated nature documentary on all of television since Discovery’s North America in May 2013 among P25-54, earning a 1.20 L+3 rating on Discovery. In addition, the premiere episode of the series reached 6.3 million total viewers across all airings on all Discovery networks including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel and Discovery en Español. The series earned two Emmy nominations including one for Nyong’o for Best Narrator.
“We are thrilled to be traveling back to one of the most magical places on Earth. It is an honor to be part of these animals’ lives, following them a year later and to be introduced to new friends along the way,” says Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Factual and Discovery. “Simon and John are renowned storytellers and they have once again delivered the next level of this one-of-a-kind series.”
It is the following year, and many of our loveable familiar faces are back – Kali, Sefu, Nalla, Tembo, Bakari and Shani – are living their lives in their beautiful world. And as the world turns, so does the circle of life as we are introduced to Aiysha, daughter of season 1’s KiKay and her cubs along with Shani’s stallion Punda, the leader and protector of the family and father to all of the babies.
Fuller and Downer continue their collaboration on the second season of SERENGETI and have welcomed the entire team back including composer Will Gregory and serene storyteller Lupita Nyong’o. Their work captures the experience of Africa’s unimaginable beauty with its equally unforgiving brutality, highlighting daily challenges of life on the Serengeti.
“Making season one with our partners at Discovery was a dream come true and now with season two, the dream shines brighter than ever. John Downer’s extraordinary filmmaking has captured even more incredible footage and with the inspirational voice of Lupita Nyong’o the storytelling touches your soul like never before. I can’t wait to share the stunning beauty of the Serengeti once again with the world,” says Simon Fuller.
Director John Downer adds, “It is a thrill to share with the world the lives of these incredible creatures and even more rewarding to present them to audiences around the globe. Many of us have been unable to travel for quite some time but we kept filming. We can’t wait to bring the majestic scenery and the daily dramas of these beautiful animals to people’s homes.”
In SERENGETI II, the world’s most captivating animals try to survive in the beautiful, demanding lands of Eastern Africa, stopping at nothing to protect their offspring and prove their worthiness to their families.
SERENGETI is made by XIX Entertainment and John Downer Productions. It was commissioned for the BBC by Jack Bootle, Lead Commissioning Editor. BBC Studios is distributed globally.
Sir David Attenborough explains what he thinks needs to happen to save the planet
The legendary wildlife filmmaker tells Anderson Cooper why urgent action on climate change is crucial and why we need to save nature in order to save ourselves.
For nearly 70 years Sir David Attenboroughhas been exploring the planet, taking hundreds of millions of television viewers on eye-opening journeys through the natural world. Jungles and island archipelagos, deserts and deep under the sea, no place has been too remote.. no animal too elusive, for Sir David, and his talented team of filmmakers, to document. The man known as a national treasure in his native Britain is 95 years old now, but age and the pandemic haven't slowed him down, when we sat down with him last fall he was about to come out with a new book and a stunning new Netflix film, "A Life On Our Planet." They are, what he calls, a witness statement, a first-hand account of what he has seen happen to the planet and a dire warning of what he believes awaits us if we don't act quickly to save it.
The ‘green influencers’ targeting the TikTok generation
Activists are increasingly harnessing the power of social media to organise and educate people about the climate crisis.
Social media platforms are no longer just for selfies and blogs but a place “to organise and educate” people about the climate crisis, according to YouTube star turned activist filmmaker Jack Harries.
One of a growing band of “green influencers” who are harnessing the power of social media to tell stories about the climate to create change, Harries has made a series called The Breakdown for the free environmental streaming service WaterBear, which was founded last year by the creator of Netflix documentary My Octopus Teacher Ellen Windemuth, and is backed by Prince Harry, Lily Cole and Maisie Williams.
Aimed at the TikTok generation who feel overwhelmed by environmental issues, The Breakdown has short snappy episodes and enables viewers to click through via WaterBear’s interactive hub to sign petitions and engage with climate organisations.
Ninth SharkFest to run for six weeks this summer, feature Chris Hemsworth doc
The ninth annual SharkFest will run this July for six weeks and boast 21 hours of original programming across four networks.
SharkFest programming will air on National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo and Disney XD, with more content being made available through Disney+.
New SharkFest content will be available on Disney+ beginning July 9. The streaming service will also air the premiere of its original documentary Playing With Sharks, a feature from National Geographic Documentary Films. The film will include interviews with experts like shark conservationist Valerie Taylor, along with underwater archival footage. Sally Aitken directed the film, which will be available on Disney+ July 23.
The six-week event kicks off July 5 with Shark Beach With Chris Hemsworth, a documentary special from Nutopia where Taylor takes the star actor for a shark dive.
MWF 32: Miraca Walker - BBC Researcher for Planet Earth 3
Miraca describes her career journey and delves into her process to find and develop story ideas for the BBC's landmark series Planet Earth 3.
In 2013 Miraca Walker joined the BBC’s Natural History Unit as an apprentice and has since worked on many series including the BAFTA and Emmy award-winning series Planet Earth II. Her background is in natural history filmmaking, including production management and development, where she has been in the field working in a variety of environments from hot humid climates and swamps to temperate forests and filmed species such as Macaques, moose, beavers, chipmunks, and red crabs. She is now the researcher for ‘Open Plains’ and ‘Human’ episodes of the global landmark series Planet Earth III.
Nature documentaries including David Attenborough's Dynasties come under fire for presenting animals' lives as 'soap operas' and not reality
The Jouberts, from South Africa, are both National Geographic explorers-in-residence
The pair, now in their 60s, have specialised in African photography and filmmaking for around 35 years
They say: '[We have seen] very disturbing and massive declines in wildlife in our lifetimes'
'When we were both born there were 450,000 lions and today, we may have 20,000,' they say
'Death is generally delivered in low-tech mechanics, and sadly that is brutal. Bullets, saws, machetes. Your imagination can fill in the horrors.'
Legendary wildlife filmmakers and photographers Beverly and Dereck Joubert, both National Geographic explorers-in-residence who have specialised in African photography and filmmaking for around 35 years, are telling MailOnline Travel about the chilling reality of the poaching industry.
They continue: 'The addition of some helicopters into South African rhino poaching ventures into the higher-tech but generally poaching is like a steady march of army ants - deadly and never-ending, with techniques that don't evolve much. Cell phones have changed their ability to communicate, so that is another "advancement" of tech for poaching.'
Poaching has been part of humankind's assault on the animal kingdom and the pair reveal that in the 35 or so years they've been filming and photographing it, they've seen a huge decline in numbers.
They say: '[We have seen] very disturbing and massive declines in wildlife in our lifetimes. When we were both born there were 450,000 lions and today, we may have 20,000. Leopards from 700,000 to 50,000 and cheetahs are now below 7,000 from 45,000. Elephants have dipped from three million to 400,000 and in general, we only have five per cent of everything that we had when I was born, [including] forest, pelagic fish, sharks, polar bears…'
Despite the devastating trend, the couple says there is hope thanks to society becoming more environmentally conscious.
'There has been a massive awareness change, increasing the chances of finding, naming and shaming criminals as well,' they add.
VMI is the proud recipient of a Better Futures+ Green Innovation Voucher, awarded by West London Business, to help VMI to become a net zero, fully sustainable business by 2030.
VMI was chosen as just one of twelve companies in West London for this process, which involves being coached by Imperial College’s Leonardo Centre, as well as receiving individual coaching/consultancy.
The Better Futures+ Green Innovation Vouchers will support 12 businesses across London to develop a plan to reach net zero within 10 years. The vouchers enable green business transformation through helping the businesses measure their carbon footprint, bespoke environmental consultancy and by taking part in the Leonardo Centre’s Executive Learning Journey.
“Building a sustainable business has always been really important to me”, said VMI’s Managing Director, Barry Bassett and this process, by working with 11 other companies, will be a really exciting journey to both achieve this and to spread best-practice.
Nat Geo Sets High Bar for Diversity and Inclusion. Releases Detailed Production Standards and Benchmarks
Courteney Munro, National Geographic President Content released Nat Geo’s Content Inclusion Standards on June 8th.
The standards apply to feature docs, specials, series and scripted programs.
The Nature category is broken out for detailed coverage.
Our mission is to inspire, support, and elevate diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our daily work, storytelling, and content and product offerings, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Collectively, these Inclusion Standards provide benchmarks upon which our inclusion efforts and progress can be measured, and they serve as a vital expression of the value we place on inclusion as an organization.
Cover letter sent to producers:
I hope this note finds you doing well and staying safe and healthy. I am writing to share with you our newly established Inclusion Standards.
As you know, National Geographic has an over 133-year-old legacy of using the power of storytelling to change the world. But our story is only complete when everyone’s voice is included.
I believe it is important to use the influence we have as leaders in the entertainment industry to not only utter words, but also to make a commitment to act on them. To that end, we have established a new set of Inclusion Standards that we’re implementing across all of our Nat Geo owned and produced programming content to ensure multidimensional representation across the entire creative and production process.
These new guidelines are intended to make our content and productions as inclusive as possible, serving as a catalyst for real and sustained change. They also aim to increase the provision of training and development opportunities for underrepresented group members, and our engagement with under-served audiences. Our mission is to inspire, support, and elevate diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our daily work, storytelling, and content and product offerings, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Collectively, these Inclusion Standards provide benchmarks upon which our inclusion efforts and progress can be measured, and they serve as a vital expression of the value we place on inclusion as an organization.
While the Nat Geo Inclusion Standards apply to content owned and produced by Nat Geo, we strive to partner with external content creators whose own efforts similarly promote inclusivity for underrepresented groups in the industry. These Standards will be used as one reference point for whether those partners’ values are aligned with ours. To that end, we invite you to learn more about the Standards (attached), our commitment to inclusion, and ways that you can share your own inclusion efforts and progress with us. Should you choose to engage in efforts similar to these Standards, we would be happy to share resources and learnings from our journey with you.
We are committed to working with you to ensure our yellow border is a symbol of inclusion and truly represents diverse voices – behind the camera and in front – and is reflective of the audience that we aim to serve.
Our team of National Geographic creative executives is available to help you with any questions you may have.
Courteney Monroe President, Content National Geographic.
Cinematographer Gavin Thurston (‘David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet’): ‘Most important film I’ve worked on in my career’
“I seriously think this is the most important film I’ve worked on in my career,” acclaimed cinematographer Gavin Thurston admits about shooting Netflix’s “David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet.” After having collaborated with revered documentarian David Attenborough for over 30 years, it is Thurston who is probably better placed than almost anyone else to declare this film the most personal and essential work that Attenborough has ever produced. Watch Gold Derby's exclusive video interview with Thurston below.
Steven Price ('David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet' composer): 'Make people cry with this film'
“Let’s make this as concise as possible hang on his every word,” Oscar-winning composer Steven Price (“Gravity”) reveals what he set out to achieve with his haunting and emotional score Netflix’s “David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet,” the most personal project that revered documentarian David Attenborough has ever produced. “Let’s support everything he has to say and hopefully make the music reflect the man and his life,” he says. Watch GoldDerby's exclusive video interview with Price below.
Composer Benji Merrison on Influences Old and New, and His Work on BBC's Dynasties – The journey from Rachmaninov to meerkats
Melding talent, flair and enthusiasm for audio and digital arts with influences from classical to club scenes, British composer Benji Merrison is a highly regarded award-winning modern composer.
Based in London, Benji works on globally renowned projects across film, television and live events. Selected credits including BBC's Dynasties (including the new Meerkat special), General Magic, Britannia, Victoria, Class, plus the 2021 action-movie SAS: Red Notice and feature documentary The Beatles and India. Events and exhibition credits include the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Top Gear, Tate Modern, MTV EMAs and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.
We caught up with Benji for our Liner Notes series to learn more about his musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work he's proud of and admired.
Benji, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now. My claim to fame is that I'm the most famous Benji to have ever come from Melton Mowbray in the East Midlands, U.K. I now live in London, where there are three more famous Benjis than me. I'm trying to beat them.
A recent project you're proud of. The work on the Dynasties films and Green Planet with co-composer Will Slater. We're discovering new sounds, structures and approaches all the time, which feels very liberating.
ITV Studios adds to natural history slate as it takes Great Barrier Reef worldwide
ITV Studios has added to its fast-growing slate of blue-chip natural history programming by acquiring the international distribution rights to the breath-taking Great Barrier Reef: The Next Generation, which follows a cast of young marine explorers on an immersive journey into the frenzy of life on the reef, showcasing one of the most incredible wonders of our natural world and how human intervention can aid its regeneration.
This new documentary from Northern Pictures has been developed following Reef Live, a television event broadcast last year on ABC in Australia over the course of the weekend of the coral spawn – the largest mass breeding event on the planet. It enabled viewers to experience the coral spawn live in their own living room and now audiences across the world will be able to immerse themselves in the highlights of this celebration of life, as well as the wider ‘summer of love’ on the reef, through this one-hour special.
Featuring stunning footage of coral spawning, fish breeding, birds and turtles returning to islands to nest, Great Barrier Reef: The Next Generation celebrates the reef at a time of regeneration and renewal, and looks at how ground-breaking research is helping to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the reef for the future.
As the leading producers of natural history film-making in Australia, Northern Pictures is also behind another of the hit shows on ITV Studios’ slate, the multi award-winning blue-chip series Magical Land of Oz, co-produced with Oxford Scientific Films, part of ITV Studios. The series, which takes viewers on a journey from the country’s highest snowy peaks to the depths of its wild southern seas, has aired in 125 territories worldwide.
Cecilie Olsen, SVP, Global Content, Non-Scripted at ITV Studios said: “This is a truly wonderful documentary which will bring the Great Barrier Reef to life for viewers across the globe. The reef faces a difficult future so it’s fitting that we are able to introduce this show to the market on World Oceans Day and reveal the remarkable scientific research which has led to mankind giving it a helping hand with its regeneration.
“The show offers our buyers a unique story about this amazing natural structure, equally attractive as a standalone acquisition or as a logical fourth episode of Magical Land of Oz, which also explored Australia’s incredible coasts. It’s another stellar addition to our diverse and spectacular natural history offering.”
Great Barrier Reef: The Next Generation is produced and directed by Karina Holden, Head of Factual at Northern Pictures, and narrated by actress and co-host of Reef Live Brooke Satchwell (Seachange; Mr Inbetween).
Great Barrier Reef: The Next Generation joins ITV Studios’ ever-growing collection of spectacular natural history programming in its catalogue, which includes the forthcoming, highly-anticipated A Year on Planet Earth, Magical Land of Oz, India’s Wild Karnataka, Wild Tokyo, Attenborough’s Journey and Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo.
Obituary: scientist Derek Bromhall hired a helicopter to film nesting swifts in Oxford
Derek Bromhall will be forever associated with the colony of swifts in the tower of the Oxford Museum of Natural History.
He has died peacefully at home in Oxford at the age of 92.
Mr Bromhall brought his talents as a pioneering scientist and inspirational film maker together to create a work of enduring enchantment, the film Devil Birds.
His film portrayed for the first time the detailed behaviour of nesting swifts using the colony in the Oxford tower which had already been made famous through the pioneering work of the natural scientist, David Lack.
The film was made with very basic equipment during 1976, the hottest UK summer since records began.
Mr Bromhall worked in his swimming trunks in sweltering temperatures in the narrow confines of the tower.
Much ingenuity was needed to film the lightning-fast swifts and certain shots proved hazardous.
To get footage of the birds entering the tower’s ventilation flutes he took to the air, hoping to film from a helicopter.
A catastrophe was narrowly averted when his heavy camera, suspended on a cable below the helicopter, was swept up by the draught from the blades to within inches of the tail rotor.
The film starts with the swifts’ joyous calls as they soar, twist, flicker and glide through the sky, showing Oxford from the Swifts’ viewpoint, memorably described as ‘a petrified forest inhabited by strange creatures’, and going on to reveal, with extraordinary intimacy, the life of the swift in its cramped, dark hole.
Deservedly, the film won an award at the World Wildlife Film Festival and remains the most engaging portrayal ever made of these most aerial of birds.
A wonderful mix of science and romance, it captured the drama and spirit of the birds’ lives and inspired many who first saw it broadcast on Anglia TV in 1980.
He chose another difficult subject for his next film, Kitum – the Elephant Cave (1984).
Finding fangs: new film exposes illicit trade killing off Bolivia’s iconic jaguar
Undercover documentary investigates the trafficking of Latin America’s big cat to meet demand in China.
Elizabeth Unger was a 25-year-old biology graduate working as a PhD research assistant for big cat and climate projects in Latin America when she heard about the Bolivian authorities intercepting dozens of packages containing jaguar fangs sent by Chinese citizens to addresses in China.
“I was really blown away as [the story] was completely under the radar,” she says. Six years later, she is making her directorial debut with a film about the trade, which is contributing to a decline in the population of Latin America’s iconic big cat.
There are between 64,000 and 170,000 jaguars left in the world, a fraction of their previous population number, earning them a place on the IUCN’s red list as near threatened. Habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and local pet and skin markets, as well as trafficking, have all contributed to the drop in numbers.
Tigre Gente, which premieres at the Tribeca film festival this month, follows a Bolivian park ranger and a young Hong Kong journalist who goes undercover to investigate the trade in jaguar fangs.
The film moves from mist-shrouded jungle ravines in Bolivia’s mega-biodiverse Madidi national park to the skyscrapers and bustling commerce of Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
Unger, 31, told the Guardian that as well as telling the story of the jaguar trade, “I really wanted to make people feel they could relate to this animal. Its mysticism; the mystery, the poetry of the apex predator of the Americas and the symbol for so many cultures.”
Breaking Boundaries review: Attenborough on climate change facts
For most of David Attenborough’s 70-odd years on television, the question of life and death has been framed in terms of predator versus prey. It is only relatively recently that his documentaries have started to address the danger of the climate crisis confronting us all.
In last year’s David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, the veteran broadcaster presented his “witness statement” on the environmental decline documented over his lifetime, pulling on political and personal levers to compel audiences to act. Now, in his latest film for Netflix, Attenborough focuses solely on the facts.
Breaking Boundaries is unusual among his considerable output for featuring little of Attenborough, and even of animals. Instead, its focus is squarely on the science of our planetary decline, setting out in unflinching detail the extent of Earth’s degradation – and the catastrophic consequences of anything but drastic action.
Today (21/5/21) is Endangered Species Day and we want to shine a light on the passionate people dedicating their lives to saving them. One person truly can make a difference to the fate of the world's wildlife. One person who has proven this is Carl Jones.
Meet the maverick
Carl is Durrell's Chief Scientist. He has been working to save endangered wildlife on the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues for over 40 years, and is responsible for bringing at least nine species back from the brink of extinction. Not only has he saved five bird species, but he is also responsible for 19% of all avoided bird extinctions globally. Watch this inspirational short film about Carl – The Birdman. Watch now
Carl has directly saved more endangered species from extinction than anyone else. In addition to the birds he has saved, he has also rescued three reptile species, helped to restore nine degraded offshore islands, and led the recovery of the Rodrigues fruit bat from just six to over 10,000. In 2016, Carl was deservedly awarded the Indianapolis Prize – the Nobel Prize of conservation. Hear Carl's story in his own words. Watch now
Education has the power to improve the health of our planet and drive widespread change for nature. The Carl Jones Scholarship enables the brightest conservationists to achieve their full potential and make a difference to the fate of the world's rarest wildlife. We need more Carls in the world. Together, we can empower the next generation of conservation leaders. Support now.
New book Hidden shows why animal photojournalism really matters right now
This emerging genre focuses on humankind’s relationship with nature – and these images are not for the faint-hearted
“Animal Photojournalism is extremely urgent and relevant to the issues of today,” says Jo-Anne McArthur, an award-winning Canadian photographer, journalist and campaigner.
She has coined the term Animal Photojournalism (APJ) for an emerging genre of photography that focuses on people’s relationship with nature and highlights the suffering of billions of animals on the planet from human activities, including factory farms, breeding facilities and animal experimentation.
The abuse of nature isn’t just bad for animals; it’s impacting all of our lives, from climate change to the global pandemic (said to have come from bats or pangolins in China’s wildlife markets). McArthur is also the author of Hidden: Animals In The Anthropocene and the founder of We Animals Media.
We sat down with her to discuss animal photojournalism, and why it is so important.
How do you define Animal Photojournalism?
I call it an emerging genre, coming out of a number of different kinds of photography. Wildlife photography became a lot more about conservation photography, but conservation photography still excludes a number of animals, namely domestic animal and the billions of animals in labs and factory farms.
Because these animals are sentient and relevant, Animal Photojournalism likes to include all of them. That’s why we call them the ‘hidden’ animals, - they’re hidden from the public conscience, hidden from the media. We’re trying to bring those animals and stories forward.
It's also a mix of a bit of conflict photography and street photography.
"When I travel I love exploring galleries and exhibits. For obvious reasons I haven’t done that these last 14 months, and was so pleasantly surprised with our recent collaboration with f³ - freiraum für fotografie, who created a 360° virtual photography tour for HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene. Taking the tour felt like I was immersed in a trendy exhibition in Berlin."
For the project HIDDEN– Animals in the Anthropocene, 40 photographers have joined forces, including some of the world’s best-known wildlife photographers, such as Daniel Beltrá, Aaron Gekoski and Britta Jaschinski. 5€ (free on Mondays) and about 15 minutes. Go on Tour >>
In 2006, the United Nations stated: “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.”
And then four years later, they warned that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change.
So why exactly is animal farming bad for the environment?
‘They killed my best friend for supper!’ Gunda, the farmyard film that could put you off eating meat for ever
A sow, two cows and a one-legged chicken are the stars of Victor Kossakovsky’s unique documentary, which Hollywood’s most famous vegan, Joaquin Phoenix, has helped to get the audience it deserves
When Victor Kossakovsky was four, his parents sent him from St Petersburg to stay with his uncle’s family in the countryside. “It was a cold winter,” he says, brrr-ing over Zoom. “Minus 30 degrees.”
Warmth came from the boy’s friendship with a one-month-old piglet named Vasya. They were inseparable – until she became cutlets for New Year’s Eve supper.
“When they ate her, for me, it was a total disaster,” says Kossakovsky. “You killed my best friend!” he screamed at his relatives. And so, he jokes, he became the Soviet Union’s first vegetarian.
Half a century later, Kossakovsky went vegan, as he began production on Gunda, a documentary shot in Norway, Wales and England starring a sow, who gives her name to the title, a couple of ageing cows, and a one-legged chicken.
Gunda is no ordinary wildlife documentary. There is no narration or soundtrack. Instead, in glorious monochrome, we watch the animals simply exist: they feed, snuffle, snuggle, care for their young, and scamper in fields. It turns out that no digital trickery or anthropomorphic narrative is needed for us to fall in love with them.
Cinema in its purest form, GUNDA chronicles the lives of a mother pig, a flock of chickens, and a herd of cows with masterful intimacy. Using beautiful black and white cinematography and the farm's ambient soundtrack, master director Victor Kossakowsky invites the audience to slow down and experience life as his subjects do. In doing so GUNDA takes us into the mystery of animal consciousness, and the role humanity plays in it.
OPINION: Why The Impact of Animal Agriculture Shouldn’t Have Been Overlooked in Netflix’s Breaking Boundaries – by Nicholas Carter
Overall, the David Attenborough-narrated Netflix film does well in delving into the nine boundaries pushing the planet to breaking point at the hands of humanity. But it minimizes the impact animal agriculture has on climate change...
Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet was released on Netflix this month.
Media and political attention to environmental issues have largely focused on fossil fuels and, more specifically, carbon dioxide. That is of course one of the world’s greatest issues and continues to deserve attention.
But the recent release, Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet, narrated by David Attenborough, makes the case for a system of environmental analysis that factors all key biophysical boundaries on our planet.
The lead scientist featured is Professor Johan Rockström. His research on planetary boundaries is both clear and meaningful.
Gijs van Amelsvoort – a film & TV composer based in The Netherlands, with a BIG love for nature, Wildlife & Natural History films, interesting stories, traveling, hiking, and good vegan food.
His music has been a score & underscore for numerous TV programmes, varying from BBC docu-series such as Gordon Buchanan's Cheetah Family & Me, Grizzly Bear Cubs & Me, to Earth's Great Rivers and Planet Earth UK, all the way to short films and popular TV shows.
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