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Production Coordinator Wanted At River Road Films
River Road Films is a natural history documentary production company based in Vancouver, BC Canada. We are currently hiring a new production coordinator.
If you have natural history documentary experience and are interested in working for us, read on.
Production Coordinator Role & Responsibilities:
Assist the Production Manager and creative team in the logistical planning of film shoots in diverse locations around the world, including remote and challenging locations.
Plan and book accommodations and transportation for crew and equipment.
Participate in research such as identifying and securing filming locations.
Draft filming and drone permit applications.
Office tasks including answering the phone, door, and ordering supplies.
Organise and track administrative responsibilities, such as crew covid testing - with an emphasis on deadlines.
Assist with other administrative documentation such as carbon footprint impact assessments and risk assessments.
Exceptionally organised and detail-oriented.
Have superb written and verbal communication skills.
Comfortable and confident speaking to people on the phone.
Calm under pressure and enjoys problem-solving.
3+ years experience in documentary film production, travel or adventure tourism industry.
Basic computer fluency required.
Beneficial: Background in biology or ecology
Beneficial: Driver’s Licence, additional language skills
Contract details: 12 months+ starting January 2023
Rate: $225-300/day - negotiable depending on experience
River Road Films is looking to recruit talent from diverse backgrounds. Those who self-identify as Indigenous, Black and/or People of Colour or persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Applicants must be Canadian. Preference will be given to those who are B.C. residents as of December, 2022.
New Film ‘The Oil Machine’ Reveals The True Price of our Dependence on Oil and Whether Activists and Investors Can Spark its End By Jason Peters
1 November 2022
Cosmic Catand Sonja Henrici Creates are thrilled to announce that new documentary THE OIL MACHINE, directed by Emma Davie(Becoming Animal, I Am Breathing) and produced by Sonja Henrici(Merkel, Time Trial) will be released in UK cinemas from 4th November 2022, just ahead of this year’s COP 27 commencing on 6th November, in addition to an impact campaign which promotes urgent and critical discussion.
THE OIL MACHINE explores our economic, historical and emotional entanglement with oil by looking at the conflicting imperatives around North Sea oil. This invisible machine at the core of our economy and society is now up for question as activists and investors demand change. Is this the end of oil?
IPCC Climate Report signalled "Code Red" for humanity & urged no more drilling for fossil fuels: New Powerful Film ‘The Oil Machine’ Reveals The True Price Of Our Dependence On Oil - Released 4 Nov Days before COP27.
Director, Emma Davie said: “Over the next few months, the UK Govt aims to put out 100 new licenses for oil companies to bid for exploration rights in the North Sea. These companies are likely to be from all over the world. This is at a time when the IPCC Climate Report has signalled "Code Red" for humanity and urged no more drilling for fossil fuels. How does our democracy deal with this largely unknown world of oil at our doorstep at a time when climate change is causing fires, floods and huge devastation to people all over the world? Now more than ever it is vital we understand what is happening in the North Sea. We need to be informed about processes such as the licensing rounds which hitherto have been invisible to most of the public and to understand the link between finance and oil.
This film is made to stimulate debate across the country at such a significant time. Screenings and public debates will be hosted by different sectors of the community ranging from MP's to activists, scientists to lawyers, teachers to investment bankers. Every sector of our country is affected by this and we aim to mobilise a huge public discourse in all areas of society.”
THE OIL MACHINE reveals the hidden infrastructure of oil from the offshore rigs and the buried pipelines to its flow through the stock markets of London. As the North Sea industry struggles to meet the need to cut carbon emissions, oil workers see their livelihoods under threat, and investors seek to protect their assets. Meanwhile a younger generation of climate activists are catalysed by the signs of impending chaos, and the very real threat of global sea level rises. THE OIL MACHINE explores the complexities of transitioning away from oil and gas as a society – are we getting ever more embedded in it?
We have five to ten years to control our oil addiction, and yet the licensing of new oil fields continues in direct contradiction with the Paris Climate Agreement. This documentary looks at how the drama of global climate action is playing out in the fight over North Sea oil.
By highlighting the complexities of how oil runs through every aspect of our society - from high finance to cheap consumer goods – THE OIL MACHINE brings together a wide range of voices from oil company executives, economists, young activists, pension fund managers and considers how this machine can be tamed, dismantled, or repurposed.
The film features a fascinating array of voices, including:Holly Gillibrand (dubbed “Scotland’s Greta”), Kevin Anderson (Professor of Energy & Climate Change, Manchester University), Emeka Emembolu (Senior VP of BP North Sea), Jake Molloy (Regional Organiser, RMT Union), James Marriott (co-author of Crude Britannia), Mikaela Loach (Edinburgh medical student), Sir David King (former UK Govt. Chief Scientific Advisor), Deirdre Michie (CEO of Oil & Gas UK), Steve Waygood (Chief Responsible Investor at Aviva Investors), Tessa Khan(climate lawyer from Uplift), Ann Pettifor (economist & author), and others.
“I believe that what we do over the next five years will determine the future of humanity for the next millennium.” Sir David King, UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor 2000–2007, in THE OIL MACHINE
Tessa Khan (climate lawyer from Uplift) said: “The Oil Machine is an incredibly timely look at the role that the oil and gas industry has played in shaping the UK. When we are in the midst of a historic energy affordability crisis and climate crisis, it’s vital that we examine the ways that the industry has become entangled with our politics. The UK Government’s recent announcement of a new oil and gas licencing round—despite the fact that it will do nothing to bring down the cost of energy and will only further fuel the climate crisis—is just the latest example of the power that the industry wields. There has never been a more urgent need to shift away from oil, and yet we are witnessing an industry in resurgence. The next few years will be a vital test of whether or not we can stand up to the oil machine.”
CALL TO ACTION – WHAT HAPPENS AFTER ‘THE OIL MACHINE’?
The film is launching an impact campaign to engage discussion and create a call to action, starting with its signup page here:theoilmachine.org/after
We live in an oil machine and we are running out of time. The film shows how much we depend on oil and gas, and why that needs to change.
Through THE OIL MACHINE, the film plans to engage different facets of society in the discussion about how we transition away from an oil-based economy:
Sparking discussions after watching the film
Every screening of THE OIL MACHINE can kick off a discussion in your community on how the North Sea plays a role in determining our future.
No matter if you're an oil worker or a climate activist, an investor or an educator, a scientist or a politician – we’d love to hear from you if you can be part of the discussion at one of our screenings.
We also make it very easy for you to host your own event.
What’s been happening since filming?
THE OIL MACHINE
The issues raised in the film have become even more urgent with recent upheavals in energy security, the cost of living, and our climate. One year on from the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, we’re now going back to the film’s contributors to ask them how recent global events have shaped the ongoing debate about oil.
What needs to come after The Oil Machine?
We have to act now and make sweeping changes that move our societies away from dependence on fossil fuels. What will you do to help? What are your demands from those in power? We're asking the film’s contributors to share their ideas to get you started.
So you have your favourite camera and your go-to lenses and accessories but when do you ever consider using newly arrived kit?
To answer this question, VMI have constructed a website module allowing visitors to enter an initial set of parameters and build a totally customised camera kit, choosing from every available combination of cameras, primes, zooms, grip and accessories.
The VMI Create Your Kit Wizard will take you on a tour of all of the different equipment groups and help you to build a comprehensive Shooting Kit.
You can select appropriate camera and lens combinations and then add all peripherals such as wireless lens control & video links, matte box & filters, monitors, head & legs, grip and everything that you are likely to need in order to build a shooting kit.
Introducing the Finalists of The Earthshot Prize 2022. Over the coming weeks, this five-part series will tell the inspiring stories of fifteen incredible solutions to some of the greatest environmental challenges we face on Earth today.
The Finalists announced by The Earthshot Prize today are:
Protect and Restore Nature - Desert Agricultural Transformation | Hutan | Kheyti Greenhouse-in-a-box
Clean Our Air - The Ampd Enertainer | Mukuru Clean Stoves | ROAM
Revive Our Oceans – The Great Bubble Barrier | Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef | SeaForester
Build a Waste-Free World – The City of Amsterdam Circular Economy | Fleather | Notpla
The Earthshot Prize profiles their 2022 Finalists, whose innovative solutions to fight the climate crisis aim to repair our planet in this decade. Learn more about what inspires them and their work in this five-part series.
Tom Hanner on Filming Darwin's Beetle Specimens – Wildscreen Director Q&As
National Film and Television School Graduate Tom Hanner delves into his sources of inspiration, his passion for the hidden world of beetles and what it was like handling antique specimens in the Natural History Museum.
"A journey into the weird, wonderful and truly astonishing lives of the small yet mighty creatures who keep the world turning – beetles. They have been successful for millions of years, yet today they’re in serious trouble; what does the future hold for these incredibly important animals, and for us if they disappear?" - The Caretakers
WWF's 2022 Living Planet Report: How much wildlife have we lost?
The Living Planet Report 2022 is a comprehensive study of trends in global biodiversity and the health of the planet. This flagship WWF publication reveals an average decline of 69% in species populations since 1970. While conservation efforts are helping, urgent action is required if we are to reverse nature loss.
Biodiversity loss is not only an environmental issue, but economic, development, security, social, moral and ethical issue too. Industrialised countries are responsible for most environmental degradation but it is developing nations that are disproportionately impacted by biodiversity loss. We all have a role to play in building a nature-positive society that safeguards the planet for the good health of everyone.
The Trials of Life:
A Natural History of Animal Behaviour by David Attenborough
The third and final updated edition of David Attenborough’s classic Life trilogy. Life on Earth covered evolution, Living Planet, ecology, and now The Trials of Life tackles ethology, the study of how animals behave.
‘This is, quite simply, the best thing I’ve ever done.’
Sir David Attenborough on the TV series, The Trials of Life, upon which this book is based.
This is the third and last of Sir David’s great natural history books based on his TV series and competes his survey of the animal world that began with Life on Earth and continues with Living Planet.
In Life on Earth, Sir David showed how each group of animals evolved. In Living Planet he looked at the way they have adapted to the whole range of habitats in which they live. Now, in Trials of Life, he completes the story by revealing how animals behave – and why.
Praise for the New Edition of Life on Earth:
‘It does not disappoint. The new Life on Earth is as
glorious as the first’ – Guardian
‘A beautiful and wide-ranging work. The breadth of natural history covered is extraordinary and mesmerising’ – New Scientist
Listen to the Land Speak: A Journey into the wisdom of what lies beneath us by Manchán Magan
Our ancestors developed a uniquely nature-focused society, centred on esteemed poets, seers, monks, healers and wise women who were deeply connected to the land. They used this connection to the cycles of the natural world – from which we are increasingly dissociated – as an animating force in their lives.
In this illuminating new book, Manchán Magan sets out on a journey, through bogs, across rivers and over mountains, to trace these ancestor’s footsteps. He uncovers the ancient myths that have shaped our national identity and are embedded in the strata of land that have endured through millennia – from ice ages through to famines and floods.
Here, the River Shannon is a goddess, and trees and their life-sustaining root systems are hallowed. See the world in a new light in this magical exploration into the life-sustaining wisdom of what lies beneath us.
'We could do with a lot more characters like [Manchan] dotted about this world.' – Irish Independent
'Manchan creates a gorgeous tapestry that lingers in the mind's eye.' – Kerri Ni Dochartaigh
'Manchan['s] ... got some theories about the roots of the Irish language that are going to blow your head off ... an incredible storyteller.' – Blindboy Boatclub
'Manchan's passion for Ireland's ecological and poetic heritage is more urgently relevant than ever.' – Darach O Seaghdha
New, must-read book from CIWF's Philip Lymbery: Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future
Taking its title from a chilling warning made by the United Nations that the world's soils could be lost within a lifetime, Sixty Harvests Left uncovers how the food industry is threatening the planet. Put simply, without soils there will be no food: game over. And time is running out.
From the United Kingdom to Italy, from Brazil to the Gambia to the USA, Philip Lymbery, the internationally acclaimed author of Farmageddon, goes behind the scenes of industrial farming and confronts 'Big Agriculture', where mega-farms, chemicals and animal cages are sweeping the countryside and jeopardising the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the nature that we treasure.
In his investigations, however, he also finds hope in the pioneers who are battling to bring landscapes back to life, who are rethinking farming methods, rediscovering traditional techniques and developing technologies to feed an ever-expanding global population.
Impassioned, balanced and persuasive, Sixty Harvests Left not only demonstrates why future harvests matter more than ever, but reveals how we can restore our planet for a nature-friendly future.
"The warnings are coming thick and fast now and Lymbery's are clear, concise and truly frightening - we are burning and poisoning the global larder. But we have solutions that we must implement now" -- Chris Packham
"The chilling title is the red flag; the contents, however, lay out all the remedies to save the planet and its species, including ours, and make for absorbing and sometimes terrifying reading. Minutely researched, and written for laymen as well as experts, Sixty Harvests Left deserves to be read world-wide and acted upon immediately. I cannot recommend it highly enough." -- Joanna Lumley
"In this beautifully written book, Philip Lymbery describes how intensive agriculture harms the environment and inflicts suffering on sentient animals. But after visiting and talking to those on the front line - scientists, farmers and food providers - he is able to show that there are sustainable alternatives. And that they are working. There is indeed hope for the future of our planet, and each one of us can play a part. I urge you to read Sixty Harvests Left." -- Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
"We seriously can't recommend this book enough. It's a must read." JP
Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future's Celebrity Launch!
Joanna Lumley officially launched CIWF's Global CEO, Philip Lymbery’s third book, Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future, at Hatchards Bookshop in Piccadilly, London on the 17th August.
The event, attended by several of high-profile supporters and influential journalists, celebrated the powerful new book which follows the successful release ofFarmageddon and Dead Zone.
Sixty Harvests Left describes how, far from being ‘a necessary evil’, factory farming is threatening the very survival of our planet and that ending the industrialisation of the countryside is key to saving our children’s future.
CIWF Patron, Dame Joanna Lumley, who hosted the launch, said: “As long as I can remember I've seen everything linked together, that is people, and animals and places and time and how we eat and the seasons... and no part of it is more of less important than the other.
“I was overwhelmed when I read this book, because it addresses all the horrors that keep me awake at night… but in Philip’s book it shows that if we follow the simple, and sometimes complicated, and sometimes challenging rules, we can get out of this."
The book shines a light on the dark side of food production and highlights the reality of our global food system. It confronts ‘Big Ag’, whose mega-farms, chemicals and animal cages are sweeping across the countryside around the world, and jeopardising the very air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the nature we treasure.
As highlighted in The Guardian, new data collated for the book found that there are now more than 1,000 US-style mega-farms in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with some holding as many as a million animals. These large-scale intensive units prevent animals from expressing their natural behaviours.
But Sixty Harvest Left also offers solutions, detailing the pioneers who are battling to bring landscapes back to life, in a world where wildlife, hens, pigs and people thrive by protecting the very thing that our civilisation is built on: soil.
“Sixty Harvests Left is a book about urgency, but also hope,” said Philip at the launch event. “The solutions are just waiting for us to take them down and save ourselves.”
Royalties from the book will help CIWF to continue our fight against factory farming.
Netflix Plots Natural History Push: Morgan Freeman To Narrate Two Series & David Attenborough Returns With Season 2 Of ‘Our Planet’
Netflix is heading back in to the wild with a major new natural history push.
The streamer has ordered six new series including Our Universe and Life on Our Planet narrated by Morgan Freeman and renewed David Attenborough’s Our Planet for a second season. It is doubling down on the ‘Our’ brand with Our Oceans, Our Living World and Our Water World.
The push, headed by Adam Del Deo, VP Documentary Series, comes after Our Planet was watched by more than 100M households since its launch in April 2019 and President Barack Obama’s Our Great National Parks launched in April.
Our Universe blends wildlife footage with cosmic special effects and take viewers on an adventure to explore the connections that drive our natural world. From the birth of the sun to the birth of a sea turtle, Our Universe uses animation to dramatize the celestial forces that generated our solar system, while using modern camera and CGI technology to highlight the most iconic, charismatic animals on Earth.
Narrated by Freeman, the six-part series premieres on November 22. It is produced by BBC Studios and exec produced by Andrew Cohen with Mike Davis as showrunner.
Freeman also narrates Life on Our Planet, the story of life’s battle to conquer and survive on planet Earth. It will explore the 99% of earth’s inhabitants lost to the deep past. In partnership with Industrial Light & Magic, the series uses the latest technology and science to bring long extinct creatures back to life.
The eight-part series, which will launch in 2023, comes from All3Media’s Silverback Films and Amblin Television. Dan Tapster, Keith Scholey, Alastair Fothergill are series producers with Fothergill and Scholey exec producing alongside Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.
Our Planet II, narrated by Attenborough, will also launch in 2023. From the team behind Planet Earth, it will follow more animals on the move and unravel the mysteries of how and why animals migrate to reveal stories in the natural world.
Produced by Silverback Films, the four-part series is exec produced by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey with Huw Cordey as series producer.
Our Oceans will explore the tropical warm waters of the Indian Ocean, to the fiery depths of the Atlantic, from the unpredictable waters of the Pacific that are surrounded by a ring of fire, to the freezing isolation of the Southern and Arctic Oceans.
Produced by Freeborne Media and Wild Space Productions, the five-part series will launch in 2024 ...
National Geographic Dominates Documentary Emmy Awards Wins, Led By ‘The Rescue’ and ‘The First Wave’
National Geographic dominated the documentary categories of the 43rd annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards, winning eight total during the Thursday night (29th September) ceremony. The event, announced by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and hosted by Vice News’ Alzo Slade, were presented at the Palladium Times Square in New York City..
As previously announced, Sir David Attenborough was presented with a lifetime achievement award, introduced by cinematographer, time lapse photographer and documentarian Louie Schwartzberg. Dame Judy Dench also appeared via pre-recorded video to celebrate Attenborough.
“Tonight’s Emmy winners exemplify the role of the documentarian at its best; filmmaking that champions the advance of truth in the interest of the communities we all serve,” said Terry O’Reilly, Chairman, NATAS. “We congratulate tonight’s honorees and thank them for the indispensable service they provide to our nation and the world.”
Added NATAS president/CEO Adam Sharp: “What a journey we have all travelled to get us here tonight. As indicated by our record-breaking number of documentaries this year, the breadth and scope of the work nominated tonight has revealed that in spite of the difficult circumstances of the last few years, the talent, innovation and sheer passion exhibited by the professionals we honor this evening has never been higher.”
“The First Wave” (National Geographic)
OUTSTANDING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DOCUMENTARY
“CNN Films: The Hunt for Planet B” (CNN)
OUTSTANDING NATURE DOCUMENTARY
“Puff: Wonders of the Reef” (Netflix)
OUTSTANDING WRITING: DOCUMENTARY
“Nature: The Elephant and the Termite” (PBS)
Writer: Mark Deeble
So you have your favourite camera and your go-to lenses and accessories but when do you ever consider using newly arrived kit?
To answer this question, VMI have constructed a website module allowing visitors to enter an initial set of parameters and build a totally customised camera kit, choosing from every available combination of cameras, primes, zooms, grip and accessories.
The VMI Create Your Kit Wizard will take you on a tour of all of the different equipment groups and help you to build a comprehensive Shooting Kit.
You can select appropriate camera and lens combinations and then add all peripherals such as wireless lens control & video links, matte box & filters, monitors, head & legs, grip and everything that you are likely to need in order to build a shooting kit.
Hundreds of historical wildlife films dating back to the 19th Century have been preserved in archive
Recordings of a boxing kangaroo, decoy gull heads and an experiment in high definition video are among nearly 300 natural history films digitised as part of the ‘Making Wildfilm History Archive Project’.
A grant from the Wellcome Trust to the University of Bristol’s Special Collections has enabled the comprehensive cataloguing of this remarkable archive, containing some the world's most pioneering wildlife films gathered together in this unique collection. Eric Ashby playing with fox Eric Ashby
The earliest example of animal behaviour on film is from 1895, ‘Das Boxende Kanguruh’ by Max Skladanowsky. The captive marsupial is recorded boxing against a human, capturing animal movement and behaviour in a way audiences had never seen before.
The archive charts the progress of wildlife filmmaking for over a hundred years, including the ‘golden era’ period between 1960-1985, which paved the way for today’s big budget, technologically advanced blue-chip productions. It contains unique records from the BBC Natural History Unit’s ground-breaking ‘Life on Earth’ series, broadcast in 1979 – ranging from production stills, scripts and travel itineraries, to oral history interviews with writer/presenter Sir David Attenborough, composer Edward Williams, and cameraman Martin Saunders, who recounts filming Attenborough’s famously close encounter with a mountain gorilla, and how they nearly lost this iconic footage to the Rwandan Army.
Source material from the WildFilmHistory project led by Bristol based organisation Wildscreen, which ran from 2008-2012, sits alongside production papers and stills collected by Jeffery Boswall (1931-2012), a Producer for the BBC Natural History Unit. Recordings from industry symposiums and festivals capture debates on issues of conservation and climate change, and the moral responsibilities of wildlife film-makers.
Other unique highlights include a 1965 film of an expedition by John Hurrell Crook to the High Simien in Ethiopia to observe Gelada Baboons, produced by the University of Bristol’s Psychology Department, in collaboration with the BBC’s Natural History Unit. An intriguing experiment with decoy gull heads is among a collection of films from renowned ethologist Niko Tinbergen (1907-1988). There’s also footage of an early experiment in High Definition filming made in 1987 at Morecambe Bay.
In addition, oral history interviews with 60 industry pioneers have been digitised from their video master tapes to the latest digital preservation standards.
Filmmaking and Technology: A Powerful Storytelling Duo – Roxy Furman
Filmmaking is much more than simply creating something that is visually beautiful, it is about telling stories. These stories have the power to create change. I am not just talking about activist films that follow a strict agenda to ignite action towards a specific cause. A simple film allowing someone insight into an animal’s life, falling in love with its beauty, could ignite long-lasting change in a person’s behavior. This is why wildlife filmmaking can be so incredibly powerful as a tool for conservation.
One of the first films I made was with a couple of friends who did the same Wildlife Filmmaking Masters as me. We headed to Devon for a few days to film the first beavers present in England in over 100 years – this was the first-ever legally sanctioned reintroduction of an extinct native mammal to England. This legal status was given to the iconic beaver, which is now permanently residing on the River Otter in Devon. This was extremely exciting news for many animal lovers, and the perfect opportunity to get out and do some filming, to share this rewilding success with others.
Beavers used to be present throughout England, Scotland, and Wales, but were driven to extinction in the 16th century, predominantly due to hunting for their fur, meat, and castoreum (a secretion used in perfumes, food, and medicine). During the time of their reintroduction to Devon in 2008, there was a lot of controversy about their presence, and people’s concerns about the impact they would have on the infrastructure on neighboring land. As such, Devon Wildlife Trust’s River Otter Beaver Trial was established in 2015 to measure the impact of their presence. This 5-year study was a huge success and revealed that their presence actually enhanced the ecology of the river catchment in East Devon, increased fish biomass, improved water quality, and their dams worked as natural flood defenses. As such, in 2020 it was ruled that they were here to stay.
Stories like this are incredibly important to share because across the world, humans have reduced, or completely eliminated, wildlife from their native land. Sometimes this occurred so many years ago, that people in those areas now have an untrue perception, or even fear of that species, and feel opposed to their return. Seeing the success of the beaver gives hope for the possible reintroduction of other species.
The next big film I made was called I Am Capable, and it was the final piece for my Masters degree. My original plan for this film was to travel to Sumatra and tell a story about human-wildlife conflict. However, the pandemic hit, and plans changed. The Masters was pushed back and I began working for Silverback Films.
The Conservation Game: New Documentary Exposes Big Cats Exploited on TV
A new documentary exposes ‘ambassador animals’ on TV and uncovers the secret of what happens to big cats after their TV fame days.
The Conservation Game is a new documentary presented by The Passionate Eye and tells the story of Tim Harrison, a retired cop and now director of the non-profit Outreach for Animals. Harrison makes a ‘bombshell discovery while undercover at an exotic animal auction. Harrison unveils where these animals come from and what happens to them “when the cameras turn off.”
The documentary follows Harrison as he suspects that America’s top television celebrity conservationists may be secretly connected to the exploitative exotic pet trade.
According to the documentary, there are now more tigers living in captivity in the United States than there are wild tigers in their native ranges. The exotic animal market is a multimillion-dollar business that runs thanks to fake sanctuaries, roadside zoos, and private menageries that have little to no federal oversight.
In the documentary, Harrison investigates into the secret world of the big cat trade. He and his team take their fight to the U.S. Congress and urge lawmakers to pass federal legislation that would end the private breeding and exploitation of these animals.
During the documentary, Harrison, as well as animal welfare advocate and researcher Jeff Kremer tracks down ambassador cats that were once used in television shows but are now nowhere to be found.
Off the Fence premieres “The Letter” at the Vatican, on YouTube
BAFTA- and Oscar-winning prodco Off the Fence (My Octopus Teacher) is premiering its newest doc, The Letter: A Message for Our Earth, via a showing at the Vatican and on YouTube on Tuesday (October 4).
The doc is inspired by Pope Francis’ letter which calls for the people of the world to take “swift and unified global action” against global warming. It boasts access to the Pope, and also tells the stories of people around the world whose lives have been profoundly affected by climate change.
The doc premieres on YouTube on Tuesday, with a premiere event and screening occurring at the Vatican on the same day. Attendees at the screening include leading figures in the climate debate from around the world, ambassadors, and contributors to the film, including Arouna Kande, a climate refugee from Senegal; Chief Dada, an Indigenous leader from Brazil; U.S. conservationists Greg Asner and Robin Martin; and 13-year-old climate activist Ridhima Pandey.
Thousands of private screenings have also been planned to occur around the world in the coming months
The doc was produced in full collaboration with the Laudato Si’ Movement and the Vatican, and was written and directed by Nicolas Brown (H20: The Molecule That Made Us; Human Planet), produced by Ellen Windemuth, and executive produced by Off the Fence CEO Bo Stehmeier
“Putting today’s greatest challenges at the center of the story is at the core of what we as an organization try to do — to continuously inform, explain and evaluate — and in order to do this, we like to collaborate with as many voices as possible,” said Stehmeier in a news release
"The Letter is a powerful reminder of our responsibility as human beings, regardless of race, creed or color, to come together in solidarity for the greater good of one another and the preservation of our planet.”
The Letter tells the story about the Pope’s call to care for our planet. For info on translated versions and how to take action, visit TheLetterFilm.org
In 2015, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’ (The Letter); an encyclical letter about the environmental crisis to every single person in the world. A few years later, four voices that have gone unheard in global conversations have been invited to an unprecedented dialogue with the Pope. Hailing from Senegal, the Amazon, India, and Hawai’i, they bring perspective and solutions from the poor, the indigenous, the youth, and wildlife into a conversation with Pope Francis himself. This documentary follows their journey to Rome and the extraordinary experiences that took place there, and is packed with powerfully moving personal stories alongside the latest information about the planetary crisis and the toll it’s taking on nature and people.
Because, in the words of the Laudato Si’ Movement chair Lorna Gold, “once you know, you CANNOT look away.”
Hans Zimmer: I found my calling with Sir David Attenborough documentaries - BBC Newsnight
The Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe, and Bafta winning film composer Hans Zimmer is releasing a double album of reimagined versions of some of his most famous film themes, and this month the BBC is showing a documentary looking back on his four-decade career.
Zimmer, who created the scores for films including Top Gun: Maverick, The Lion King, No Time to Die and The Dark Knight, spoke to BBC Newsnight about this work and his latest project, composing for Frozen Planet II, and his environmental work with Sir David Attenborough.
Island of the Sea Wolves: behind the scenes of the Netflix hit series
Documentary director Chelsea Turner on the making of the three-part series, which stars the incredible sea wolf.
A sea otter, bobbing in the waves, cries out to his mother. An aerie of bald eagles swoops toward an ocean swirling with herring. A lone sea wolf patrols a glassy shoreline as mist rises from a forest-carpeted mountainscape.
Island of the Sea Wolves, which premiered last month on Netflix, offers a glimpse into the ecosystem inhabitants of Vancouver Island. At the juncture of land and sea, the father-daughter duo Chelsea and Jeff Turner at Vancouver-based River Road Films follow the journeys through the seasons of Vancouver Island’s amazing animals, including sea wolves, Vancouver Island marmots, sea otters, orcas, bears and eagles. Narrated by actor and comedian Will Arnett and accompanied by a score (by Laurentia Editha and Denise Santos) that feels like nature-doc-meets-Pirates-of-the-Caribbean, the series blends incredible cinematography (by Maxwel Hohn) with detailed research and engaging storytelling.
Co-director Chelsea Turner spoke with Canadian Geographic about what went into the making of this fascinating series — and what it meant to film the documentary in her own backyard.
On the sea wolves as a leading character
Each of our five main animal characters are special and charismatic in their own ways. But I think the sea wolf is just such an iconic animal for Vancouver Island — and the way it makes its living and uses the sea for food is just so unique among canines. A lot of the stories [in the series] were about that relationship between the ocean and the land and what it means to have that island habitat. We felt like the sea wolves really embodied that relationship, because they’re obviously land animals, but they’re also very much using the sea — and bridge those two worlds right on the edge between the land and the sea. And they’re so charismatic, too. We really knew we could effectively follow a whole family through all three seasons and see what kind of surprises life had in store for them, and follow their journey. So, for all those reasons, we felt like they would be a great leading character to ground the series.
The Future of Wildlife Content in a Climate Change Era
What is the future for wildlife filmmakers in an age of disinformation, climate change denial and widespread disinterest?
‘If we had communicated the facts well enough,’ asserts presenter and paleoanthropologist, Ella Al-Shamahi, ‘COP27 wouldn’t be happening next month.’
As it stands, COP27 is happening and the machine of global discussion, rather than action, lumbers on. This is the predicament facing the world’s natural history creatives, and the dilemma posited before a group of 5 award-winning, world-renowned members of the wildlife film industry at this year’s Wildscreen Festival.
‘We are communicating to the converted very well,’ continues Ella, ‘And we are not communicating to the unconverted well at all.’
Several nods murmur through the audience.
‘What are we doing wrong?’
In an age blighted by disinformation, viral antagonism and entrenching internet enclaves, the digital sphere presents a hostile landscape to explore. Yet this is the frontline for natural history filmmakers across the world in their battle to amplify nature’s voice.
Previously, natural history filming served research, documentary, educational and entertainment purposes. However, with climate change poisoning every natural habitat on earth, the future of the planet’s ecosystems is at stake. The job of communicating this crisis lies in the hands of a small and highly specialised industry struggling to find its voice, and even its place, in the new digital hierarchy.
We need a subtler, more varied portrayal of climate change in film than just climate disaster blockbusters, says Becca Warner
In a fictional hospital in Seattle, surgeons are sweating through their scrub caps as a heatwave descends on the city. With a sudden whoosh and a clank, the building's overworked air conditioning system comes to a halt. Within minutes, the stifling temperature makes it unsafe to operate, and surgeons are forced to rush to finish their procedures.
The Grey's Anatomy doctors are navigating the same relationships and patients that have kept them on our screens for some 400 episodes of the show. But in this episode, for the first time, the backdrop to the drama is the very real issue of climate change. The air conditioning system, Dr Richard Webber says, "wasn't designed to be pushed that hard". Dr Addison Montgomery replies: "the Earth wasn't designed to push this hard".
It's a relatively rare example of the many kinds of climate-related storylines that are typically missing from fictional TV and film worlds. Social scientists and non-profits argue that climate is a topic that belongs in many kinds of on-screen stories, not just the occasional climate-disaster thriller. But can seeing the realities of climate change affecting characters on the big and small screen really help us to relate differently to the unfolding climate crisis – to cope better, or even change our behaviour?
This story is about the long and beautiful River Wye between Wales and England, from source to mouth, through one year, about one of the most changing parts of Britain.
A crime has been committed with a wildlife and human view, we look at the River Wye as it is, has been, and could be!...in other words, how the river could be winning or losing, and that’s due, as usual, to us. Let’s explore the potential, and see if there’s time to repair damage done, and how the future might look if wildlife and people who care are given a chance, to help this river corridor into the future. The two characters we’ll follow all the way downstream, the heron and the mallard duck are well-adapted to land, water and the air and we’ll be with them all the way down to the sea in 2022. And that brings us to another crucial world...
Right around Britain in one year with a seabird's eye view... revealing the most beautiful, wildest beaches with the most exciting wildlife to be found there. Meet puffins, sharks, red squirrels, masses of shore birds, ducks and geese, ospreys, reptiles, rare butterflies, otters, salmon, pine martins, little egrets, seals, and orchids in beautiful sand dunes.
Solo Camping Adventure Into Big Cypress Backcountry – Florida Outdoors Series with Ewan Wilson
Big Cypress is a massive natural preserve that both steals the heart and brings dread to any adventurer who plans to go deep into this swampy territory. It's full of alligators, black bears, venomous snakes, and god knows what else.
Knowing all of this it was only natural for me to plan a trip to Big Cypress when I discovered a trail that will take me through the preserve. This challenge is something I have always wanted to do, it's a full-on trip through a wild ecosystem. All of my food, water, and camera gear will be on my back as I attempt to cross the 33mils trail that will take me through the heart of Wild Florida and out the other end, hopefully.
I hope you enjoyed this adventure into the primeval wilderness of backcountry Florida.
I hope you enjoyed the video and stick around for more. Till next time friends!
I am an adventure filmmaker who is passionate about all things nature, history, and travel! My personal mission is to try and understand the world through the medium of filmmaking, whether that be fascinating history, an animal that just captures my imagination or a location that just needs to be filmed. In short, I just love this crazy place we call planet earth, and I want to share my adventures with whoever wants to watch! So I hope you enjoy my work and stick around to see more.
The students of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking’s COMM 568 - Environment & Wildlife Production for Public Broadcast produced an outstanding program “Troubled Tributary” that aired on Maryland Public Television at the end of April as part of their Chesapeake Bay Week series.
“Troubled Tributary” explores the beauty and ongoing challenges of Maryland’s longest watershed, from pollution run-off that affects the most vulnerable communities, in particular historical Black communities, to rising water levels and other climate-crisis issues.
It features Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman, the only African-American Riverkeeper in the United States, whose ancestors date back to Maryland’s first freed slaves. Congratulations to grad students Jess Wiegandt, Lia Nydes, Nicole Wackerly, Alyssa Michener, Becky Lake and the rest of the class!
Path of the Panther Shows How Impact Campaigns Instigate Change Through Film
For the team behind the conservation documentary Path of the Panther, making the film was just the beginning.
The film, which just won an audience award at the Naples International Film Festival, is part of an increasingly popular focus on “impact producing,” which emphasizes using films to instigate positive change. As Path of the Panther director Eric Bendick puts it, impact producing is “the outreach effort that goes beyond the film into the world.”
“Ultimately, every doc has a perspective and a politics. Whether you are forward with that political statement, or whether it’s subtle and underneath, every documentary is political,” he explained at Naples. “Impact producing is an extension of the perspective of the film, in that it wants to mobilize an outcome or a goal for the world.”
Path of the Panther tracks wildlife photographer Carlton Ward Jr.’s mission to photograph the elusive Florida panther in the Everglades. The film’s impact campaign has included pushing for the passage of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act, which was passed unanimously last year by Florida lawmakers and signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. It protects key regions of the Everglades from a series of toll roads being built straight through them. Since the bill’s passage, the state has acquired even more land for conservation.
Path of the Panther impact producer Tori Linder, who is a native Floridian, describes conservation as “Florida’s hallmark bipartisan issue.”
“Floridians care about their environment, and we see broad public support when this issue goes to the polls … And yet, we continue to see this conflict between the economic development of the state and the protection of our hidden wild in our own backyard,” she says. “So, we must provide Floridians the tools to advocate for these places and take action at all levels.”
“The state has a tremendous conservation legacy that is unlike most others in the country, and much of that was led with bipartisan support,” Linder continues. “You have the work of both Republicans and Democrats to thank for what still exists here, what has allowed the Panther to recover and what still allows its future. Today, the Florida wildlife corridor is intact. We have work to do to ensure that it is permanently stays free. But I’m very grateful.”
The Path of the Panther team isn’t finished, however. Next it plans to get the word out in schools.
Vice Studios Global President Kate Ward Replaces Tom McDonald At BBC Studios
Kate Ward, Vice Studios Global President and the boss of Pulse Films, has joined BBC Studios to oversee factual.
The signature hire was unveiled this afternoon and will see Ward take over from Tom McDonald, who departed to Nat Geo earlier this year.
Ward will oversee a portfolio that includes the prolific Natural History Unit, which recently opened an LA office, along with the Docs, Science and Factual Units. She will also look after the factual indies BBC Studios has stakes in, such as Louis Theroux’s Mindhouse Productions and Rogan Productions.
BBC Studios Productions CEO Ralph Lee hailed her “infectious passion for great documentary storytelling and a deep understanding of the content market.”
Have your say in saving wildlife: People’s Plan for Nature
Hear why the RSPB has teamed up with WWF and The National Trust to launch the People’s Plan for Nature. It’s your chance to shape the future of nature and it’s easy to have your say.
What is the People’s Plan for Nature?
The nature crisis affects everyone, and we believe everyone should have a say in how we solve it. The People’s Plan for Nature is the UK’s biggest ever conversation about the future of nature.
The biggest ever conversation about nature
The People’s Plan for Nature starts by seeing people from all walks of life sharing ideas for how we can make the UK’s nature something to be truly proud of.
Create a shared vision for nature in the UK
100 people from across the UK will be selected to take part in the People’s Assembly for Nature. They will develop a plan and a set of recommendations for change on behalf of the UK public.
Work together to save nature
When the People’s Plan for Nature is published, it will be too big for anyone to ignore. The plan will set out how the government, businesses, NGOs and communities can take action to protect and restore nature. Together, we can all play our part to save nature.
Why do we need the People’s Plan for Nature?
We want everyone to be involved in shaping the future of nature in the UK. The nature crisis affects everyone, so we should all have a say in how we protect and restore nature.
‘Wildcat’ Trailer Follows a Veteran, a Ph.D. Candidate, and an Ocelot Into the Amazon
Melissa Lesh and Trevor Frost direct the Prime Video documentary about trauma and animal conservation, out December 21 in theaters.
Amazon Prime Video is pushing new wildlife documentary “Wildcat” — from directors Melissa Lesh and Trevor Frost and producers Joshua Altman and Alysa Nahmias — into the busy nonfiction fall fray. This powerful documentary, made at the intersection of military PTSD and animal conservation, debuted at the Telluride Film Festival this past summer to strong notices. Prime Video will now release the film in theaters on December 21 and on the streaming platform on December 30.
Per the official synopsis, “Wildcat” follows the inspiring story of young veteran Harry Turner on his journey into the Amazon. Once there, he meets Ph.D. candidate Samantha Zwicker, who is running a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center, and his life finds new meaning as he is entrusted with the life of an orphaned baby ocelot. What was meant to be an attempt to escape from life turns out to be an unexpected journey of love, discovery, and healing.
The broadcaster’s stunning documentaries have redefined the way we see nature—but they only tell a partial story of life on Earth
David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet II, recently broadcast on BBC One, is his 139th series for the BBC as a producer, writer, presenter or narrator. And there’s more to come. Next year will see the arrival of Wild Isles, billed as “an eye-opening celebration of British and Irish wildlife” and narrated by Attenborough. Since 2005, BBC viewers have come to know British wildlife through Springwatch—a chatty, digestible, familiar programme, very much the soap opera to the prestige drama of Frozen Planet. It will be interesting to see how different our landscapes will seem once the elite corps of the BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) helicopters onto our fells and downs, toting drones, low-light cameras, macro lenses and motion-triggered time-lapse tech. Perhaps Wild Isles will feel like a sitcom on the big screen: the same characters, but better lit, in nicer locations and with the timing just that little bit off.
What Wild Isles is sure to have in common with Springwatch is a focus on individual emotive stories. Attenborough’s great early works—Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984)—were grand unfolding narratives of geological change and evolution; but later programmes make the animals the stars. “Storytelling took a huge shift in Planet Earth II [from 2016], being character-led, emotionally engaging and intimately shot,” says the conservation writer and filmmaker Mary Colwell, who has worked with the NHU for many years. “No longer was it the ‘voice of God’, but the audience immersed in the motivation and jeopardies of the characters.”
HOGWOOD: a Modern Horror Story from Viva! is NOW ON NETFLIX!!
You’re being lied to. Each day, you are bombarded with messages reassuring you that the UK has the highest welfare standards in the world. Through careful marketing and misleading labels, we are led to believe that farmed animals are well cared for and that eating meat is natural, normal and necessary. It’s time to uncover the truth. This is the film the meat industry doesn’t want you to see.
Narrated by Game of Thrones actor Jerome Flynn, HOGWOOD: a modern horror story has already sent ripples throughout the animal agriculture industry. It sparked a nationwide Day of Action where thousands of people came together to protest outside 150 Tesco stores. Over 70,000 people signed a petition urging Tesco to drop Hogwood. It became one of Viva!’s most far-reaching campaigns to date.
The film will be the culmination of months of investigative work by the Viva! team who worked tirelessly to expose the kind of unspeakable cruelty to animals many mistakenly think we have consigned to the history books.
It shows the concerted efforts to silence Viva! and exposes the negligence and inaction by government bodies and corporations alike. The film follows the Viva! Campaigns team as they enter some of Britain’s biggest factory farms for the very first time and sheds new light on the shocking things that lie beyond the public gaze. It explores why factory farming is supported and follows the brave fight to expose the truth and change the world.
Peter Egan, British Actor best known for his roles in the TV shows Ever Decreasing Circles and Downton Abbey, and the films Chariots of Fire, Bean, and Death at a Funeral.“I truly believe HOGWOOD can change the hearts and minds of all who watch it. This powerful documentary could put an end to the damaging animal industries which threaten our very existence. HOGWOOD must be shared far and wide.”
"Anyone who eats pigs (pork, jowl, shoulder, butt, belly, ribs, hock, side, loin, ham, sausages, bacon, chops, foot/trotter … all names for flesh from a cut-up dead pig) should make themselves watch this film.
In fact anyone who consumes animal products full stop should give enough of a fuck to actually see where the majority of meat/dairy comes from. Despicable places, hidden away from public view, places that torture animals with unimaginable cruelty just to produce cheap meat, eggs and dairy products. Anyone who buys these products should know that this horror story is entirely in their name. This knowledge should make you sad, angry, and sick to the stomach. The awareness should make you want to engage in helping to end such vile practices. Don’t make excuses for the perpetrators of these crimes. Don’t be complicit. Don’t look away.
I hear so often through my work that “people don’t like to be preached to”, that "people don’t want to get home from a hard days work to watch something depressing and finger-wagging”, that “vegans think that they are better than non-vegans and so this holier-than-thou approach creates a barrier to communication, putting them at odds to those they are preaching to rather than enabling the finding of common ground”.
Frankly I am sick of hearing these things. They are all excuses for not allowing the truth to be told. I truly believe that if everyone had seen all of the films, footage and real-life cruelty that I’ve seen, read the many books, scientific papers and articles that I’ve read … On the cruelty, on the vastly damaging impact of the animal agriculture industry on the planet, on the natural world, the climate emergency, including pollution (air, sea (dead zones), rivers/freshwater, eutrophication, micro-plastics, soil degradation etc), habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, extinctions and the genesis of viral pandemics, on antibiotic over-use creating resistance, and on general human health (listen to my friend Dr Josh Cullimore in the film!) … I truly believe that they would independently come to the same conclusions that I have. That they can’t be a contributing part to all of the atrocious wrongdoings born out of the animal agriculture industry. They just need to make the effort to look … then choose to accept and act.
“If we don’t act now, who will?” Jerome Flynn, who narrates the film
Please watch this film with an open mind and I would genuinely love to hear what you think. I’ll be very happy to point you towards other resources that might help you see. Just ask!" JP
ZDF Studios & Curiosity explore ‘Restless Planet’ in co-pro docuseries
ZDF Studios subsidiary ZDF Digital has partnered with Curiosity and ZDFinfo for Restless Planet (working title), a new science series exploring the history of the world.
The 5 x 50-minute Curiosity original science documentary series spans 4.5 billion years when Earth was first formed through to the modern day, exploring the dramatic history of our planet and the catastrophes that determined Earth’s fate.
Produced by ZDF Digital, a subsidiary wholly owned by ZDF Studios, in association with Curiosity and its flagship streamer Curiosity Stream, as well as ZDFinfo, the series is now filming in eight locations: Chile, Australia, Indonesia, Iceland, USA, Canada, Switzerland and Germany. The title will be delivered in June 2023 and ZDF Studios will handle all international sales outside of the co-production partner’s rights.
Ralf Rueckauer, VP of unscripted, ZDF Studios, commented: “Restless Planet is an extraordinary series based on all the latest research with the involvement of some of the world’s top experts in the fields of planetology, science, geology, physics and biology.
“This is also a timely and thought-provoking documentary as we face the ever-growing threat of climate change.”
In related news, ZDF Studios has secured global distribution rights to Smart Swarms, a new 2 x 52-minute documentary that studies the behaviour of wildlife operating within swarms. Produced by Spiegel TV for ZDF’s Terra X slot, the two-parter is expected to have completed production by mid 2023.
“The scientists involved in making this production, their experiments and findings add another layer to this fascinating subject. Combined with beautifully filmed scenes of nature’s swarms, this is a documentary that will captivate audiences everywhere,” said Rueckauer.
We still have time to change the world. From Greta Thunberg, the world's leading climate activist, comes the essential handbook for making it happen.
You might think it's an impossible task: secure a safe future for life on Earth, at a scale and speed never seen, against all the odds. There is hope - but only if we listen to the science before it's too late.
In The Climate Book, Greta Thunberg has gathered the wisdom of over one hundred experts - geophysicists, oceanographers and meteorologists; engineers, economists and mathematicians; historians, philosophers and indigenous leaders - to equip us all with the knowledge we need to combat climate disaster. Alongside them, she shares her own stories of demonstrating and uncovering greenwashing around the world, revealing how much we have been kept in the dark. This is one of our biggest challenges, she shows, but also our greatest source of hope. Once we are given the full picture, how can we not act? And if a schoolchild's strike could ignite a global protest, what could we do collectively if we tried?
We are alive at the most decisive time in the history of humanity. Together, we can do the seemingly impossible. But it has to be us, and it has to be now.
"With The Climate Book, a stunning and essential new work, Greta Thunberg takes her mission to the next level ... [It is] an incredible and moving resource. There are chapters on almost everything you might need to know about ... the book is a curated, portable library of knowledge, full of classics. Everyone will get something different from reading this book ... Itis an extraordinary body of work and I can't recommend it highly enough. You feel the passion as well as the intellectual heft of the authors, and that is what is so moving about it. It is time for all of us to rise up" -- Rowan Hooper — New Scientist
"This book is superb at explaining the urgency and importance of preventing climate change... its writers weave messages with skill and beauty... this is a campaigning book of course, but much more than that" -- Gaia Vince — Guardian
Tina in the wild is a series Tina Hansen (and her cameraman) made last year in September when they worked with a capture team in South Africa.
It was a 3 week course full of laughs, challanges, friendship and adrenaline filled moments!
The aim of the series is to shed a light on how conservation efforts in Africa actually looks like. It is to educate about conservation, wildlife and vet med; but in an interesting and fun format - suitable for the whole family to watch!
Tina says "I’m being fully authentic in this series - leaving bloopers, poor translations and spelling mistakes all in there! (Haha, as you know this is also my first time in front of a proper camera!)"
The series can now be found on a streaming platform (like Netflix) called ONESTNETWORK!
The first and the second episode are already on there, and the other five are coming out next month!
When you sign up you have 2 weeks for free (and can cancel at any time), and then the price is at $1,99 per month! (Fairly cheap compared to the other platforms out there!)
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
It all started with a comment … VMI's entire environmental strategy and successes were all triggered by a chance comment made by a client
It all started with a comment back in 2018: Like many companies, VMI regularly engaged in customer questionnaires seeking feedback on product and service and like any company there will be the occasional negative comment mixed into the positives.
The directors then have a choice: either act on it or, if it’s too hard/inconvenient, ignore it.
Here’s the comment, reprinted with permission of its author Brodie Lea, a self-employed video producer.
"Be great if VMI stopped wrapping cables, batteries etc in plastic. It’s a nice idea, but not sure there’s any need, especially given current climate surrounding plastic…” Lightweight Media
Brodie Lea’s comment back in 2018 catalysed VMI’s entire sustainability strategy
What would you do? More importantly, what did we do?
On this occasion Brodie’s criticism struck a chord. Like all rental companies at the time, VMI had always wrapped inventory for hire in plastic to protect it on delivery and to show that filters and cables had been checked. Could we do this differently?
We went back to our plastics supplier and asked for an alternative. They had plastic tubing which incorporated an EPI additive which made it biodegradable and the images on their site looked fabulous – result!
Hear the sounds of animals thought to be silent ... until now!
Many animals create sounds through structures in their throats as they push air up through the lungs. However, some vertebrates such as turtles have generally been considered non-vocal.
A new study has discovered that 53 of these overlooked creatures do in fact engage in vocal communication. Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen and his colleagues recorded a range of acoustic capabilities from chirps and clicks to more advanced sounds of different tones.
The team then combined their findings with data on 1800 species of choanates vertebrates - lung possessing vertebrates. The researchers concluded that acoustic communication began in nose-breathing vertebrates about 407 million years ago. This means vocal communication is at least as old as the lungfish Eoactinistia foreyi, which may be the last common ancestor of all choanate vertebrates.
Animal Aid’s latest investigation: Pheasants and Partridges in Wales
Caged, wounded and distressed: latest game bird farm investigation
Animal Aid has been investigating the game bird breeding industry in Wales and England since 2004, and in November that year our undercover footage was shown on BBC’s Countryfile programme. Our first major report, the following year, revealed in detail the horrors of the use of battery cages for breeding birds.
The birds are so stressed by being confined, that they repeatedly fly upwards in an effort to escape, and they attack one another out of frustration and lack of space. Often, the gamekeeper’s solution is to put clips on the birds’ beaks to restrict movement and dressings on the birds’ backs to prevent mating injuries. But of course, this does nothing to alleviate the birds’ anxiety and may even serve to increase it.
Since 2004, Animal Aid has made numerous visits to game farms in Wales and England, cataloguing the miserable confinement of the breeding birds, their physical injuries and their anxiety. We have reported our findings to the relevant authorities, and repeatedly called for a ban on the use of the cages.
Our latest investigation has revealed that, almost 20 years later, nothing has changed. An inspection of two game bird breeding operations in Wales in May this year, found countless pheasants and partridges confined in dreadful battery cages on these vast, soulless industrial farms. See timeline, here, for details.: animalaid.org.uk/pheasants-and-partridges-in-wales
Sir David Attenborough Behind BBC Landmark ‘Wild Isles’ On British Wildlife From Silverback Films
Sir David Attenborough’s latest BBC natural history landmark is Wild Isles (working title), aiming to “do for the wildlife of Britain what the Planet Earth series has done for the wildlife of the world.”
The five-part landmark, which has been in the making for three years, will show a “wild side to the British Isles,” said the BBC, starting with an episode on why the region is so globally important for nature before profiling one key habitat per ep: woodlands, grasslands, freshwater and marine. The like of killer whales, sea eagles and butterflies will all be on show.
Netflix’s David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet producer Silverback Films, which was recently acquired by All3Media, is producing and The Open University, the RSPB and WWF are all co-producers.
Attenborough said British wildlife “matches anything I have seen on my global travels,” describing “astonishing scenery, extraordinary animal dramas and wildlife spectacles.”
Jack Bootle, BBC Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History, said viewers will exit the show “thinking a meadow in Somerset is as beautiful as the Serengeti, and the North Atlantic as wild and dramatic as the Antarctic Ocean.”
On Thursday the 8th of September, the Queen died "peacefully" at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace confirmed.
Sir David recalled the monarch's sense of humour on Friday, as he reflected on a friendship, and working relationship, that spanned many decades.
He recalled working on documentaries with the sovereign throughout their long careers - telling ITV News she was “incomparably professional” every time.
While it was easy enough for anyone to make a polite laugh “if there was something funny she laughed in a genuine way”, he recalled.
And when the Queen truly laughed “she wasn’t putting it on and that made it very easy,” Sir David added.
“She was an expert at getting people to relax.
“When you met her you were well-aware that you were in the presence of someone who was extremely important to our society and yet she made it seem that you were meeting another human being with exactly the same conditions that all human beings have.”
Together, the pair filmed The Queen’s Green Planet - a 2018 ITV film about the Queen’s dream of creating a lasting legacy of a network of national forest parks from each of the 53 Commonwealth nations, called the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy.
IFLScience Meets: Director Pamela Gordon On "Lion: The Rise And Fall Of The Marsh Pride"
"This film not only documents the history of these incredible wild creatures but also the increasing and urgent issue of human animal conflict."
As one of Britain’s foremost documentary filmmakers, director Pamela Gordon has been working in factual broadcasting for over 30 years. From history to human conflict and even taking TV chef Gordon Ramsey behind bars, her portfolio is rich and varied and most recently includes a feature-length film about lions.
Lion: The Rise and Fall of the Marsh Pride, created in collaboration with the BBC Science and Natural History Unit, tells the story of the most-filmed pride of lions on Earth living in the Maasai Mara. Exploring the plight of these animals whose future isn’t guaranteed, the film also looks at the human conflicts that have threatened them and the conservation advocates fighting to keep them alive.
We spoke to Gordon to find out more about the very serious issues that underlie the documentary, but also to learn more about what makes this kind of filmmaking so fulfilling for those involved.
How did you come to work on Lion: The Rise And Fall Of The Marsh Pride?
This film takes a natural history subject, told through the amazing archive that the BBC has of the Marsh Pride, but uses a documentary approach. I have worked as a documentary director for 25 years and have made many films about people’s life stories and situations, but I am passionate about conservation. When the opportunity came up to direct this film, I jumped at it. I have experience of working with archive in history films, like the Thatcher and Blair series for the BBC which I made recently, but finding the lions’ stories in hundreds of hours of footage was a new challenge. Traveling to Kenya for the interviews and present-day filming, I was able to use my documentary-making experience to capture the current situation regarding human-animal conflict as well as the relationship between people and the lions both past and present.
Master Wildlife Filmmaking Podcast episode 48: Ben Masters - Writer, Director and Founder of Fin & Fur Films
Ben and the team at Fin & Fur Films blends strong messages with beautiful filmmaking in all their films and Deep in the Heart is no exception.
Ben Masters is a filmmaker and writer specializing in wildlife and adventure stories. He is most known for directing the feature length documentary The River and The Wall (SXSW 2019 Award Winner) and for producing Unbranded (Mountainfilm 2015 Audience Award Winner). Masters studied wildlife biology at Texas A&M University and founded Fin and Fur Films in 2015.
He is the author of two books published by Texas A&M University Press and has written for National Geographic and Western Horseman. A proud Texan, Masters loves riding a good horse through new country, filming wildlife stories that haven’t been documented before, and using movies to help conserve wildlife and wild places.
BBC Studios Natural History Unit launches an all-new, must-listen BBC Earth Podcast
Producers of the world’s most iconic natural history programmes such as Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II are bringing their world-class storytelling to audiences’ ears with an awe-inspiring new podcast. Whether you are a nature lover, nature curious or haven’t yet realised nature is for you, the BBC Earth Podcast is accessible for all, sprinkling entertainment and humour into fascinating stories from around the natural world told by global speakers, experts, and campaigners.
"This podcast is meant to encourage everyone to gain a deeper love for the natural world, because when you love something, you’ll fight hard to protect and preserve it!”— Rutendo Shackleton, BBC Earth Podcast.
Commissioned by BBC Studios Digital Engagement, the BBC Earth Podcast will be available in weekly instalments from 27th September on YouTube and all other major podcast platforms.
Each episode is themed around a core topic – from real life superpowers to the importance of death and decay – which our nature-loving zoologist hosts Rutendo Shackleton and Sebastian Echeverri explore alongside special guests including nature Instagrammers, stars of film and television, and the world’s most respected scientists and naturalists.
Colombian born Sebastian and Zimbabwean born Rutendo are true world citizens, and their incredible chemistry enables them to break down complex and technical subjects into relatable, conversational, and sometimes humorous stories.
Eric Stonestreet, best known from his role in Modern Family features in Episode 1 exploring his inspiration and insight for animal voice acting roles and wildlife, and TikToker Mamadou Ndiaye, the ‘internet zoologist’ entertains in Episode 3 with his comic approach to the natural world.
Rutendo and Sebastian are here to make the natural world available to everyone. Sebastian said “Growing up, I did not see myself reflected in any of the people I saw in natural history media, and that made it really hard to envision myself working with nature as a career. But science and the natural world is for everyone, and that is a core message of the podcast” and Rutendo said “My hope is that this podcast encourages every listener to go out and appreciate the nature around them - wherever they are! And to feel included in the conservation conversation in whatever capacity they are able to do so. This podcast is meant to encourage everyone to gain a deeper love for the natural world, because when you love something, you’ll fight hard to protect and preserve it!”.
Lee Bacon, Head of NHU Digital said “Here at the BBC Natural History Unit, we knew that there were an abundance of amazing animal stories, passionate expert contributors and unbelievable unheard sounds that were just waiting be shared with the world in a new type of nature podcast, and we’re incredibly excited to be working with BBC Studios Digital Engagement to bring together a fantastically talented team and two brilliant new talents in Sebastian and Rutendo to launch The BBC Earth Podcast. It’s been a highlight of my job to get to listen to what they have been capturing and I can’t wait for everyone to hear what we have been making.”
Athena Witter, Vice President of Programming, BBC Studios Digital Engagement said “We're proud to launch a brand-new podcast featuring new talent in the natural history space, with our resident experts Rutendo Shackleton and Sebastian Echeverri taking the helm for this series. Each episode brings in leading voices across a range of topics tied to the natural world and the universe – from superpowers, to death, to activism and beyond – and presents an exciting new digital proposition for BBC Earth's audience.”
BBC Earth Podcast trailer (episode 0) launches 27th September. Episode 1 is available from 4th October with episodes dropping weekly until 27th December on YouTube, Spotify and other platforms where listeners get their podcasts. Find out more and subscribe at bbcearth.com/podcast to get the weekly episode.
The BBC Earth Podcast was commissioned by Chris Allen and Matt Butler for BBC Studios. It is a BBC Studios Natural History Unit production. The executive producer was Deborah Dudgeon.
New film exposes the brutality and waste of the shooting industry
Animal Aid has made a brand-new short film that exposes the horrors of the shooting industry.
Its release comes just ahead of the pheasant killing season, on 1 October, when wealthy shooters will use live pheasants for target practice.
Many people think that pheasants and partridges are wild, and that a few are shot for food. The reality is very different.
Around 60 million pheasants and partridges are purpose-bred every year – many of whom will have come from vast, industrial farms in the UK and Europe. It is on these very farms that we also find the use of battery cages for the ‘breeding stock’ – the birds who are used for egg-laying. Their eggs are taken away and hatched, and the chicks are boxed up and sent to shoot operators.
Eggs and even live chicks, considered sub-standard will be tossed into a huge grinding machine, known as a macerator.
Those who are ‘fortunate’ enough to escape the macerator will be reared, until the start of the shooting season, when they will face a barrage of gun fire. Many are not shot outright and face a slow and agonising death.
Most people don’t go shooting. Most people are against shooting. Please help us bring an end to this brutality and waste of innocent lives.
Kate Winslet-narrated climate doc Eating Our Way to Extinction debuts on YouTube for free
The pro-plant-based film, narrated by acclaimed actor Kate Winslet, sheds light on how animal agriculture is the most destructive industry in the world.
Award-winning climate change documentary Eating Our Way to Extinction is now available to watch for free on YouTube.
Narrated by acclaimed actor Kate Winslet, the film sheds light on how animal agriculture is the most destructive industry in the world, making audiences “question their everyday choices”.
“Eating our Way to Extinction is a documentary which takes audiences on a cinematic journey around the world,” the film’s description reads.
“From the depths of the Amazon rainforest to the Taiwanese Mountains, the Mongolian desert, the US Dust Bowl, the Norwegian Fjords and the Scottish coastlines; telling the story of our planet through testimonials from indigenous people most affected by our ever-changing planet and globally renowned figures”.
World-renowned experts such as Dr Sylvia Earle (Former Chief Scientist of NOAA and explorer) and Prof. Olivier de Schutter (Former United Nations Special Rapporteur) also feature in the doc.
Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, a former Principal Scientist who appears in the film, said: “Scientists have predicted that in just over two decades, species loss will be so great that we won’t recover, the Earth will suffer ecological collapse and the most impactful thing you and I can do to stop this, is to change our diets.”
Is leather just a byproduct of the meat industry? The answer may surprise you.
Learn more about leather than you ever thought to ask, like: where leather comes from, what leather is made of (spoiler alert: there's a chance it's a cat or dog!), whether leather supports animal cruelty, and the environmental devastation and public health threat of leather production.
Paul McCartney has urged his legion of followers to be ‘careful about what we eat’ in order to solve the current climate crisis.
The Beatles star, whose family spearheaded the Meatless Monday initiative, plugged the award-winning documentary Eating Our Way to Extinction on Twitter.
Narrated by Kate Winslet, the film sheds light on how animal agriculture and factory farming is the most destructive industry in the world, making audiences ‘question their everyday choices’.
“Hi there, this is Paul McCartney, I’ve recently seen a film called Eating Our Way to Extinction… Anyway listen, give it a look because it explains that what we eat is so important…” the star wrote.
“If we are careful about what we eat, it’s probably the best thing for solving the ecological crisis that we’re now in.”
“If we are careful about what we eat, it’s probably the best thing for solving the ecological crisis that we’re now in.” – Paul
New documentary ‘I Could Never Go Vegan’ which explores the barriers to going plant-based will launch next month
'I Could Never Go Vegan' features a number of prolific plant-based dieters, including George Monbiot and Olympic silver medallist Dotsie Bausch among others.
A new vegan documentary which addresses the barriers to going plant-based will debut next month.
I Could Never Go Vegan explores the various common arguments against veganism, why they exist, and whether they are justified.
It boasts interviews with a range of prolific plant-based proponents, including George Monbiot, Dr Melanie Joy, Olympic silver medallist Dotsie Bausch and powerlifting champion Sophia Ellis, and pig vet and animal rights activist Dr Alice Brough among others.
Also featured are plant-based health experts including Dr Shireen Kassam, Dr Alan Desmond, and Dr Gemma Newman, and foodies The Happy Pear.
Additionally, slaughterhouse workers, farmers, and food professionals are interviewed as the filmmakers grapple with the reasons people refuse to stop eating animals.
To mark World Vegan Day, co-producers, brothers Thomas and James Pickering have released the film‘s trailer.
I could never go vegan. Five words spoken around the world by so many non-vegans, but why? On a quest for the truth, a filmmaker sets out on a journey to find out the leading arguments facing the vegan movement, and if they're justified.
Blood is thicker than milk. A film for the forgotten, by Ed Winters.
"We made Milk so that we could show the reality of the dairy industry from the perspective of those trapped within it. We never stop to think about what these animals are being forced to endure, so by highlighting the story of an individual mother, we hope that people will recognise that there is always a victim when we buy dairy products.
What happens to the mother cow is what happens to all female dairy cows. We specifically chose to show the standard legal practices to illustrate how ingrained and normalised the suffering of dairy cows is within the dairy industry. The location of the farm and slaughterhouse are based on real locations that are considered high welfare and humane.
What we show in Milk is literally the best of the best when it comes to dairy farming, yet, as soon we view what happens from the perspective of the mother cow, it becomes clear that this is an industry that runs on the exploitation and suffering of animals. By using animation, we are able to show a unique perspective and tell the story of the mother cow in a way that cannot be done from investigative footage alone. Milk centres the cow as the protagonist of her own story and allows us to view what is happening to her from an up close and personal perspective.
Organic, free-range, high-welfare, humanely raised. It doesn’t matter what label we put on dairy products, all dairy cows are victims of an industry that forcibly impregnates them, takes their babies from them, exploits their bodies and then sends them to a slaughterhouse to cut their throats. It's time to end the dairy industry."
Living Planet Report 2022, Billions of snow crabs have disappeared & more – Month in a Minute
Got a minute? Watch our super-fast recap of October’s biggest stories in animals, our global food system and the environment.
It’s time for the October edition of Sentient Media’s "The month in a Minute", narrated by Jasmine C. Leyva.
October brought a sobering report from the WWF showing an average decline of 69 percent across wildlife populations since 1970, primarily driven by habitat destruction for agriculture. Meanwhile, in New Zealand farmers may have to pay for greenhouse gas emissions in a world-first – and this month also saw activists acquitted in a trial for rescuing piglets from Smithfield Foods in 2017.
Catch these stories and more in our October media roundup:
Lilou Lemaire – a French Film Director/Camera Operator/Cinematographer living in Paris.
Lilou began her career as a fashion and portrait photographer in the 2000s, collaborating with communication agencies for advertising campaigns as well as French and international magazines. Capturing the gaze of many personalities from culture, ecology, fashion, and luxury, she has developed personal work which she exhibits. From her experience as a photographer, Lilou has retained a taste for natural light, the art of framing, and a permanent quest for aesthetics.
As a director/camera operator she likes to spotlight complex, never-before-filmed subjects, men and women of the shadows, in unrecognised or difficult to access places. Alone or in a team, she always takes the time to approach her subjects with strong ethics and respect. Her thoroughness and seriousness have allowed her to gain confidence in France with the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of the Interior, where security and confidentiality constraints are imposed. With the ability to work successfully in all terrains, often in extreme conditions, naturally, you can imagine that Lilou is at ease working/filming in the forest as she is in complex military environments.
Working in these sensitive environments has also made her become not only aware of questions of ecology but also of diversity and the fight against discrimination.
Lilou has recently directed a documentary on the cooks of the French army "Cuisiniers sous les Drapeaux: Mission Covid”, a film on the Covid crisis in the heart of a hospital; and a film on the women soldiers of Operation Barkhane at the end of 2020.
During the height of the Covid pandemic of 2021 and 2022, Lilou worked as a director with the DOP Gavin Thurston and an international team, filming in 4K Dolby Cinema (Dolby Vision HDR & Dolby Atmos) producing the first wildlife documentary series about Saudi Arabia. The objective of which was to highlight the areas biodiversity and the efforts being made to protect it. See: liloulemaire.com/wildlife-saudi-arabia
Raphael Fimm – a German film composer, orchestrator and arranger based in Vienna, Austria.
His dozens of film credits include over 10 feature-length films, such as 2021’s “The Fire Cats”, the 2019 South African romantic comedy “Zulu Wedding”, and 2017’s “The Sunrise Storyteller”.
Raphael is recognized for innovative and highly sophisticated orchestral writing and arranging, memorable, singable themes and motivic long-form writing for cinema, and for his extensive experience working with live ensembles, including full-sized orchestras. Combining a thoroughly modern ear with a deep knowledge of classical orchestral music, Raphael has won numerous film scoring awards, including Best Score at the Hollywood Art and Movie Awards in 2021, for the German cycling documentary “Tour du Togo”.
Starting with classical piano training in early childhood, Raphael’s musical education experience includes an internship with well-known German film composer Gert Wilden, Jr., and an assistantship with Golden-Globe-nominated composer Alex Heffes (Mandela) at the Synchron Recording Stage in Vienna during the recording of Heffes’s score for “The Arctic”.
Raphael also holds a degree in media composition from Triagon Academy in Cologne, and a professional certificate in composing and orchestrating for film and television from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Native to Earth Limited – Wildlife Conservation Documentaries and Media: Connecting audiences to the true guardians of the Earth.
Native to Earth is a collection of creatives passionate about conserving the natural world. We exist to unite audiences’ understanding of the Earth’s offerings, the truth about their misuse and vulnerability, and to empower everyone to make positive change. We aim to document the natural world whilst carrying a responsibility to communicate the truth about both the challenges and how to overcome them.
Our vision is for people across the globe to reconnect with nature and unite as Natives of the Earth through exposure to alternative perspectives of what it means to live sustainably, cherish nature’s offerings, and value the work it takes to protect and live in harmony with the natural world, enriching their lives in the process.
Our mission is:
To produce documentaries and interactive media that engage audiences with the challenges of the Biodiversity Crisis, from ecological breakdown to socioeconomic struggle.
To inform audiences of how and by whom the challenges of the Biodiversity Crisis are being addressed.
To empower audiences to contribute to solutions that make real change.
Short or long, documentary or story, thought-provoking, factual, shocking, fascinating, or just simply beautiful: films that will be shown to the public at Innsbruck’s Metropol cinema this autumn at INFF!
The established international Nature Film Competition on the subject of nature, environment and sustainability features high quality projects from throughout the world and celebrates its 21st edition in 2022.
As an environmental film festival in the middle of the Alps, INFF pays special attention to networking and values in the sense of the European Green Deal. INFF is a European platform for the exchange of filmmakers, production companies and broadcasters from all over the world.
Feel free to join INFF personally 15-18 October 2022
From Pre to Post production we can cover the whole production line, with a wide range of in-house equipment, knowledge and skills.
Working in live TV broadcast for over 10 years, I followed my dream and started up my own production company 2 years ago. To turn my Natural history filmmaking and photography passion into a job that I love. Now working with a range of clients creating wildlife content.
Some of our regular clients include Nature parks & Eco wildlife tourism companies which we create documentaries and promotional content for. As well as creating and hosting live awards shows for the international Nature Photographer of the year (NPOTY) contest and editor and filmmaker for online virtual Nature Photography festivals.
Certificate in Wildlife-film Natural history course and a university degree in film & TV production. With work experience working on shows like the BBC natural history unit's "Natural World" series.
Working with a whole range of in-house kits from large format 4K cameras (and higher 8k). With specialist grip and kits, associated with natural history filmmaking. Including high-speed cameras for slow-motion, sliders, motion control time-lapses, cranes, aerial drones, gimbal stabilised rigs, camera traps & macro scopes to name a few. (Please see website for the whole in-house kit list)
We can provide services for all of the production, for example, audio, broadcast engineering & repairs, data management, pre-production & planning, post-production, presenting, writing, narrating, lighting and still photography among others.
With BSP (Benjamin Smail Productions) you are in safe & trusted hands for all aspects of production, to create beautiful natural history documentaries. We don't just offer a wildlife camera operator and video, we offer a solution in creative Natural history storytelling. Of course completely bespoke to the client.
Please contact me for more information I love to hear about new exciting projects!
Newyonder – A global streaming service, film studios and certified B Corp dedicated to leaving our planet wilder through storytelling optimism and change.
Go beyond the story and subscribe for change®.
Watch Newyonder Originals in 4K UHD on compatible devices, at any time, and help drive real tangible change from your own sofa – with a % of the revenue going towards regenerative and sustainable impact projects.
As a full member of the site, you get a listing in all appropriate sections, a profile page and priority on your news across the site, this newsletter and our social media accounts.
Membership fees help to keep the site going too ... Your support is much-needed! Hoping to relaunch the site this year ... Updated for the new decade ... Will be looking for help from all over the world!!
Since the late 1990s Wildlife-film.com has been the leading source of information for the wildlife filmmaking industry worldwide. For over twenty years the site has been Google's number one ranking site for 'wildlife film' and related searches. Our site is viewed in over 195 countries. Our newsletter, Wildlife Film News, is read every month by thousands of people involved in wildlife filmmaking - from broadcasters and producers, to cameramen - we encourage readers to submit their news. We also serve as an online resource for industry professionals and services. Find producers, editors, presenters and more in our Freelancer section, and find out about festivals, training and conservation in Organisations. We encourage amateur and professional freelancers to join our network and welcome all wildlife-film related organisations to join our team.
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