Éamon de Buitléar

Éamon de Buitléar

Biography:

ÉAMON de BUITLÉAR is Irelands best known independent wildlife filmmaker. He has dedicated his life to influencing public opinion and government policy on environmental issues, through his films books and engagement with the public.

Éamon de Buitléar has been making independent wildlife films since the early nineteen sixties. He began by writing and presenting radio programmes on traditional Irish music prior to the arrival of television in Ireland. His Amuigh Faoin Spéir series (Out Under the Sky) which he co-produced and originated with Dutch artist Gerrit Van Gelderen, was Irelands very first wildlife series. It was the very first time that Irish wildlife was beamed into Irish households and the effect was quite dramatic The programmes had a major influence on the Irish publics attitude to the environment. Later programmes included; The Natural World and The Living Isles ( BBC) and TV series such as Exploring the Landscape, Irelands Wild Countryside, A Life in the Wild ( RTE). Wild Islands) RTE, STV and S4C) Nature Watch (ITV), Éiníní and Ainimhithe na hÉireann (TG4).

He is the author of several books, including schoolbooks on Ireland’s natural history both in English and in Irish. A recent memoir Irelands Wild Countryside published by Gill & McMillan, coincided with the TV series of the same title.

In 1991 Éamon de Buitléar was awarded an Honorary Degree in Science (DSc.) by the National University of Ireland and in 1992 he was granted the UCD (University College Dublin) Lifetime Environmental Achievement Award – ?In recognition of a lifetime devoted to the achievement of the conservation and wise use of Irelands environmental endowment’.

His current projects include: ?Lost at Sea’ A documentary feature film on the Atlantic Salmon (www.atlanticsalmonlostatsea.net). He is also involved in a Government supported initiative replicating and reinstating Irelands natural wetland ecosystems that had largely been lost through land drainage.

These wetland systems are vitally important towards improving overall water management and associated biodiversity in Ireland. There is little doubt that Éamon’s de Buitléar’s success in influencing the Irish Government to adopt a conservation policy in respect of wetlands, is the result of his being so prominent in natural history filmmaking.

Contact/Links:

Website: http://www.eamondebuitlear.com

By Jason Peters

Richard Brock

Biography:

Richard Brock studied zoology and botany at Cambridge University and upon graduation Richard Brockjoined the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol. He worked in the BBC NHU for 35 years producing, among others, the highly successful Life on Earth and Living Planet series, collaborating with David Attenborough and gaining international recognition as an accomplished producer. Concerned by the Corporation’s lack of willingness to address the real current state of the environment however, he left the BBC and started his own independent production company, Living Planet Productions.

“These days it’s simply not good enough to use the old response, ‘If people know about it they’ll care for it and do something.’ Wrong. They’ll just go on being conned that it’s all perfect out there, with endless jungles, immaculate Masai Mara’s, and untouched oceans. What planet are they on about?”

Living Planet Productions has made over 100 films on a wide range of environmental topics, shown all over the world. As his archive of films and footage mounted up, Richard felt that there was something more, better, that could be done with this resource.

“When you consider the miles of footage and thousands of programs sitting in vaults out there unused, it seems tragic that the very wonders they celebrate are dwindling, often because no one tells the locals and tries to help. That is why I believe its Payback Time for the wildlife television.”

Determined to make a difference, he decided to set up the Brock Initiative, to use his archive of footage, and to ask others to do the same, to create new programs, not made for a general TV audience, but made for those who are really connected to the situation in hand: local communities, decision makers, even that one fisherman who uses dynamite fishing over that one coral reef. Its about reaching those who have a direct impact; reaching those who can make the difference.

“Showing the truth on some minority channel is not the answer. Showing it where it counts, is. It does not have to be expensive either. In fact it can be very cheap. These are not programs for broadcast to western audiences demanding BIG productions – you are often showing films to people who have never even seen TV. The effort comes in showing the right thing, to the right people, in the right way, and not about expensive effects, top quality cameras or cutting edge effects. Using donated archive footage cuts costs dramatically. New footage, important for putting a film in a local context, can be taken on small miniDV cameras and editing can be done on any home computer. In this way, it becomes feasible to put together a film even for a very small, but crucial audience.”

The Brock Initiative has successfully completed numerous projects in different countries. Aside from making a real difference in these areas the Brock Initiative hopes to encourage and assist others, both film-makers and those who can use film in their work, to do the same. It invites others to follow suit, to learn from our mistakes and success, to donate footage to us, to ask for footage from us; getting it to those who will really benefit from it. Using footage for a production for one village in Tanzania is not going to affect the commercial use of that footage, and can only improve people’s image, in a world increasingly aware about global responsibility.

“The very business that made such a success of the subject, surely, should now put something (I suggest a lot) back. It can’t afford not to, and they can afford to do it. And it would improve certain people’s image.”

Film is a powerful medium. In the right place and in the right way, film can be positive and effective conservation tool, instigating real change. This is something anyone can do, and many people should be doing. It doesn’t cost the world, but will go a long way to saving it.

“Not only must wildlife TV catch up, be realistic, it must also put a lot back with the very skills and footage that earned its success in the first place.”

Richard is a tireless conservation film maker who is making a real and tangible difference to the many causes he cares about whilst encouraging others to do the same. His passion for taking media where it will have the most impact is exemplary.

Other Achievements:

FFC Filmmaker of the Year – 2006

Contact/Links:

Richard Brock
Executive Producer
Living Planet Productions
Dumpers Cottage, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8SS, UK
Telephone: +44(0)1275 333187
Email: livingplanetproductions@googlemail.com
http://www.brockinitiative.org
http://www.wildfilmhistory.org/person/27/Richard+Brock.html
http://www.filmmakersforconservation.org/about-us/ffc-award/2006-ffc-award.html

By Jason Peters

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David AttenboroughBiography:

David Attenborough is Britain’s best-known natural history film-maker. His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited.

Sir David joined the BBC in 1952, as a trainee producer, and it was while working on the Zoo Quest series (1954-64) that he had his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat.

He was Controller of BBC2 (1965-68), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, then Director of Programmes for the BBC (1969-1972). However in 1973 he abandoned administration altogether to return to documentary-making and writing.

He has established himself as the world’s leading natural history programme maker with several landmark BBC series, including Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), Life in the Freezer (1993), The Private Life of Plants (1995), The Life of Birds (1998), The Life of Mammals (2002), Life in the Undergrowth (2005) and Life in Cold Blood (2008).

Alongside the “Life” series, David narrated every episode of Wildlife on One, a BBC One wildlife series which ran for nearly more than 250 episodes between 1977 and 2005. At its peak, it drew a weekly audience of eight to ten million, and the 1987 episode “Meerkats United” was voted the best wildlife documentary of all time by BBC viewers. He has also narrated over 50 episodes of Natural World, BBC Two’s flagship wildlife series. (Its forerunner, The World About Us, was created by Attenborough in 1969, as a vehicle for colour television.) In 1997, he narrated the BBC Wildlife Specials, each focussing on a charismatic species, and screened to mark the Natural History Unit’s 40th anniversary.

As a writer and narrator, he has continued to collaborate with the BBC Natural History Unit into the new millennium. He narrated The Blue Planet (2001), the Unit’s first comprehensive series on marine life. The same team reunited for Planet Earth (2006), the biggest nature documentary ever made for television, and the first BBC wildlife series to be shot in high definition. In 2009, Attenborough wrote and narrated Life, a ten-part series focussing on extraordinary animal behaviour, and narrated Nature’s Great Events, which showed how seasonal changes trigger major natural spectacles.

By the turn of the millennium, Attenborough’s authored documentaries were adopting a more overtly environmentalist stance. In State of the Planet (2000), he used the latest scientific evidence and interviews with leading scientists and conservationists to assess the impact of man’s activities on the natural world. He later turned to the issues of global warming (The Truth about Climate Change, 2006) and human population growth (How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?, 2009). He also contributed a programme which highlighted the plight of endangered species to the BBC’s Saving Planet Earth project in 2007, the 50th anniversary of the Natural History Unit.

Attenborough continues to work into his ninth decade, and is currently involved in a number of projects: He wrote and presented Frozen Planet, a major series for BBC One which examines the impact of a warming climate on the people and wildlife of the polar regions. He has also recently completed two projects for BBC Two. Madagascar (which first aired weekly between the 9th to 23rd February 2011) a three-part series giving an overview of Madagascar’s unique wildlife. The accompanying documentary Attenborough and the Giant Egg (which aired on the 2nd of March 2011) features the elephant bird egg which Attenborough discovered on his first filming expedition to the island in the 1960s.

The importance of Sir David Attenborough’s contribution to wildlife film making is beyond doubt as his huge catalogue of programmes have been seen by millions of people worldwide and stirred up massive interest in the natural world. His contribution to conservation film is widely regarded as one of the best due to his authoritative presence and well-respected command of the issues pertaining to important environmental concerns… His long-time commitment to wildlife film and commentary on environmental issues have proven him to be a filmmaker that truly has made a very significant difference!

Other Achievements:

From 1983, Attenborough worked on two environmentally themed musicals with the WWF and writers Peter Rose and Anne Conlon. Yanomamo was the first, about the Amazon rainforest, and the second, Ocean World, premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in 1991.

They were both narrated by Attenborough on their national tour, and recorded on to audio cassette. Ocean World was also filmed for Channel 4 and later released.
In 1982, he received the Panda Award for Outstanding Achievement at Wildscreen.

He serves on the advisory board of BBC Wildlife magazine; is Wildscreen Patron; a Trustee of the British Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge; a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 1985.

Contact/Links:

http://www.davidattenborough.co.uk/
http://www.wildfilmhistory.org/person/85/85.html?personid=85
http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2010/oct/31/david-attenborough-feature-readersquestions
By Jason Peters

Wetland Legacy

Description:

This is a short film made by Conservation Media, a green production company. It was originally made for an EPA water quality video contest. It was a lot of fun to make and we were terribly lucky to catch not one, but two acts of wetland predation to show how all the players are connected. We mostly dissected an older relatively unused 10-minute film we made a few years back for Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. The new editing and shorter length work a lot better here.

Positive results:

It has been made available online to be freely reposted across the internet in order to spread awareness about wetlands. The film recently won TWO Silver Telly Awards, for Nature/Environment and for Cinematography.

Contact/Links:

Director Producer: Jeremy Roberts
Email: jroberts@conservationmedia.com
Websites: www.conservationmedia.com
Link to film: http://conservationmedia.com/2009/12/13/epa-video-wetland-legacy/

By Jason Peters

The Truth About Tigers

Description:

India’s National Animal, the tiger, is disappearing at an alarming rate from its forests. Government estimates reveal that there may be fewer than 1500 left. Why have these big cats declined so drastically? What exactly are the problems facing their conservation? And are there any solutions to the crisis? These and many other questions are answered succinctly in ‘The Truth about Tigers’, a pro bono, ‘first-of-its-kind’ educational documentary on tiger conservation. The film also provides useful pointers on how ordinary citizens can contribute towards saving the tiger.

Two years in the making, the film combines stunning footage shot by some of the world’s leading cinematographers (and donated by various production companies and individuals) with deep insights from experts. It takes viewers through the tiger’s life – from birth to death – and illustrates how different human activities impact the survival of this great predator. Renowed English composer David Mitcham contributed music and Internationally acclaimed actor, Roshan Seth, provided the narration.

Produced first in English, the film has now been translated into 5 Indian languages. Over two hundred screenings have taken place around India during the past year and over 25,000 DVDs have been distributed free of cost through an accompanying website.

Contact/Links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoGuud-vIaU

Producer: Shekar Dattatri
Duration: 40 minutes
Format: 16mm/Various
Country: India
Production Year: 2010
www.shekardattatri.com
www.truthabouttigers.org

By Jason Peters

The Need to Move

Description:

Produced by Conservation Media for The Wolverine Foundation, this short film explores one of the most fascinating and least understood animals on the planet. This small, rare, and elusive creature may be able to kill a moose or fend a grizzly off a kill, but it faces serious threats such as climate change for which it is no match.

The Wolverine Foundation recognizes the need for a coordinated science-based effort to elevate the wolverine’s management status through support and initiation of research, and to develop an information network for professional and public education.

Positive results:

Education and awareness online. Further information unknown yet.

Contact/Links:

Director/Producer: Jeremy Roberts
Email: jroberts@conservationmedia.com
Websites: www.conservationmedia.com
http://wolverinefoundation.org/
Link to film: http://conservationmedia.com/2010/11/12/wolverine-foundation/

By Jason Peters

 

The Drill Project

Description:

The Drill Project features the first-ever broadcast images of wile Bioko Island drills; large, silver baboon-like monkeys with obsidian black faces, and dominant males with bright blue rears and red genitals. An educational film, The Drill Project illustrates the beautiful relationships formed in the biodiversity of Bioko Island’s tropical forests, and explains how the drills are an important part of their ecosystem. Viewers learn, however, that not all is well in these forests, as traditional bush-meat hunting practices have given way to commercial poaching with shotguns and snare traps. The Drill Project gives a voice to the drills and the six other species of monkeys on the island by exhibiting these lesser-known primates’ struggle with human misunderstanding and advocating the abolishment of primate hunting on the island.

The film includes interviews with local community members and biologists discussing the importance of wildlife protection to serve future generations and its economic value to the country of Equatorial Guinea. The film is in Spanish, the national language of Equatorial Guinea, and narrated by Demetrio Bocuma Meñe an Equatoguinean who studies environmental science and policy in the United States. Our message is a positive one and it is meant to give the local public of Equatorial Guinea a national pride in their wildlife.


Positive results
:

The Drill Project is currently broadcasting on the National and International television channels in Equatorial Guinea and premiered both in Equatorial Guinea (December 15, 2012) at the Guinean Cultural Center in Malabo and in the USA (April 15, 2013) at Drexel University in Philadelphia. In March of 2013 we organized film screenings in three villages near the protected areas where the last drills remain, and we left a group of biology students from the local Universidad Nacional de Guinea Equatorial in charge of continuing to organize showings of the film. The Drill Project has aired in schools, village centers, and living rooms to ignite conversation about the bushmeat trade. The head of the biology of UNGE is a friend of President Teodoro Obiang and claims that the president has seen and approves of the film.

Contact/Links:

Watch the Film: http://www.thedrillproject.org/the-film/
Director, Producer, and First Camera: Justin Jay: justindavidjay@gmail.com, (843) 991-3442, thedrillproject.org
Producer: Shaya Hornavar: sh333@drexel.edu, (215) 667-4515,
Editor: Megan Pollin
Narrator: Demetrio Bocuma Meñe

By Jason Peters

SOS – Save Our Sholas

Description:

This pro bono film, put together mainly from the filmmaker’s 20 year archive and contributions from filmmaker Suresh Elamon, depicts the stunning biodiversity of the rain forests of India’s Western Ghats mountain range, and underlines their tremendous watershed value to hundreds of millions of people in South India. It also shows the devastation caused by mining, dams, plantations and resource extraction on this fragile landscape. Originally produced in English and Hindi, DVDs of the film have been distributed to 10,000 schools across India. Subsequently, the film was also translated into Tamil and is being screened extensively by several NGOs at various fora in South India, to raise public awareness about the vital lifeline provided by the ‘shola’ forests that clothe the southern Western Ghats.

Positive results:

Unknown to date.

Contact/Links:

Producer: Shekar Dattatri
Duration: 25 minutes
Format: 16mm/MINI DV
Country: India
Production Year:2008
www.shekardattatri.com
http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/sossave-our-sholas-film-conservation-western-ghatsindia

By Jason Peters

SAW: This Time, It’s for Real

Description:

“It’s the latest installment in the horrifying (but thankfully fictional) SAW movie saga…Or is it? Set against an eerie and remote African landscape, this sadistic killing spree is unlike any other and the helpless victims have nowhere left to hide. Because this time…it’s for real.”

Southern Africa’s rhino’s are disappearing at a rate of approximately 1 every 30 hours. This dire situation has truly become similar to the ruthless killing and bloodshed witnessed in commercial horror movies.

Earth Touch Productions who made this film for the benefit of the Stop Rhino Poaching online campaign, the film objectives include:
” To encourage continued public awareness and support as part of a committed and extensive media drive by StopRhinoPoaching.com.
” To rally financial backing from both corporate and private donors, the proceeds of which will be put towards implementing rhino protection projects in South Africa. All donor funding will be managed by members within the Rhino Chamber of Wildlife Ranching South Africa, a non-profit organisation that represents game ranchers as a national body in South Africa.

Positive results:

Unknown to date.

Contact/Links:

Earthtouch productions.
4 Sunbury Crescent, Sunbury Park, La Lucia Ridge, 4051, South Africa, P O Box 1437, Umhlanga, 4320.
www.earth-touch.com
www.stoprhinopoaching.com
Email: media@stoprhinopoaching.com

By Jason Peters

Solving Human-Elephant Conflicts at Thuma Forest Reserve, Malawi – Baby Elephant Killed by Poachers

Description:

Villagers along the boundaries of Thuma Forest Reserve in Malawi were increasingly facing problems with crop-raiding elephants which have led to 2 people and 1 elephant being killed in 2009. Although people are aware of the benefits coming to their communities through the “Thuma Ecosystem Rehabilitation Project”, is the permanent human-wildlife conflict affecting the local participation and support of WAG’s conservation efforts at Thuma.

There was an immediate need for action to protect both the elephants and at the same time the property and live of the local communities.

As an emergency measure, a section of the required fence has been installed and completed in November 2009 by the Wildlife Action Group International e.V. on behalf of the District Assembly of Salima.

The local farmers contributed with incredible hard workmanship to finish installing this section of the fence before the rainy season.
What has been achieved to date:
” Installation of a section of 12 km of solar powered electric fence
” Construction of an entrance gate
” Construction of 18 km access roads and tracks
” Construction of two small houses for fence attendants
” Training of fencing and maintenance personnel
” Temporary employment for local people: 3140 man-days

The now installed elephant fence-section allows the local people to reoccupy about 950 hectare of agriculture land, which they had abandoned because of the crop raiding elephants!

Positive results:

This film raises awareness and encourages donations to enable continuation of the conservation programme.

Contact/Links:

Chairman: Georg Kloeble
Wildlife Action Group International e.V.
Pfaelzer Strasse 22
D-83109 Grosskarolinenfeld
Germany
Skype: waginternational
Email: info@wildlifeactiongroup.org
Website: http://www.africanconservation.org
Link to film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNttZ6fg80o&feature=player_embedded

By Jason Peters