Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom

Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom

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by Chris Palmer
     
 

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Wildlife and nature films are a hugely popular entertainment genre: networks such as Animal Planet and Discovery are stars in the cable television universe, viewers flock to IMAX theaters to see jaw-dropping footage from the wild, and the venerable BBC still scores triumphs with series such as Planet Earth. As cinematic technology brings ever more

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Overview

Wildlife and nature films are a hugely popular entertainment genre: networks such as Animal Planet and Discovery are stars in the cable television universe, viewers flock to IMAX theaters to see jaw-dropping footage from the wild, and the venerable BBC still scores triumphs with series such as Planet Earth. As cinematic technology brings ever more breathtaking images to the screen, and as our direct contact with nature diminishes, an ever-expanding audience craves the indirect experience of wild nature that these films provide.
But this success has a dark side, as Chris Palmer reveals in his authoritative and engrossing report on the wildlife film business. A veteran producer and film educator, Palmer looks past the headlines about TV host Steve Irwin’s death by stingray and filmmaker Timothy Treadwell falling prey to his beloved grizzlies, to uncover a more pervasive and troubling trend toward sensationalism, extreme risk-taking, and even abuse in wildlife films. He tracks the roots of this trend to the early days of the genre, and he profiles a new breed of skilled, ethical filmmakers whose work enlightens as well as entertains, and who represent the future that Palmer envisions for the industry he loves.

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Editorial Reviews

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Praise for Shooting in the Wild

“A well-reasoned yet passionate argument for changing wildlife filmmaking practices and creating ethical guidelines, this is an accessible and engaging read.” —Library Journal

Library Journal
Exposure to the elements, long periods in close quarters, and danger are all involved in the making of wildlife films. Veteran filmmaker Palmer (director, Ctr. for Environmental Filmmaking, Sch. of Communication, American Univ.) takes readers behind the scenes and explores the history, processes, and current debates related to this complex field. Within the chapters covering the basics of filming animal life, Palmer intersperses stories from other producers and directors about, e.g., on-screen talent bringing questionable clothing to a remote shoot and Grizzly Man subject Timothy Treadwell's tragic death. Palmer makes clear the challenges of creating films that are entertaining enough for wide distribution yet capable of educating audiences on environmental conservation. VERDICT Less an exposé than a well-reasoned yet passionate argument for changing wildlife filmmaking practices and creating ethical guidelines, this is an accessible and engaging read. Recommended for fans of Animal Planet and conservationists.—Kimberly Bartosz, Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578051489
Publisher:
Counterpoint Press
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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