This week a hot topic for discussion within my wildlife filmmaking group has been filming captive wildlife in big nature documentary series. So much of what we see on television is in fact filmed within a studio environment, or with captive zoo animals... But without this a lot of behaviour would never be captured for the television. So what's the big ho ha? Is it wrong to film "wildlife" away from the wild?
We've had an extremely busy time during the fourth week of Wildlife Filmmaking: working on our commissioned project for Brilliant Britain, coming up with ideas for short UK wildlife stories, workshops on editing, talks from Mark Wild - BBC NHU's Development lead, Mark Steer - a UWE biology lecturer and Dave Bird - camera trap expert. Alongside this myself and three other students arranged a visit to Slimbridge Wetlands and Wildfowl centre to practice our camera and sound techniques! Pheewww, no wonder I'm exhausted!
Once there was a Stone Age, a Bronze Age and now we are in the middle of the Plastic Age
This is a quote from 18 year old Boyan Slat talking on Ted Talks last year. He has a major concern - something that I wasn't even aware of until this week (thanks to a talk from UWE's biology lecturer Mark Steer) but should be shouted out far and wide: Plastics are getting into our rivers, waterways and eventually making it out into our oceans. In fact our oceans are so overloaded with plastics that a clean-up has been deemed virtually impossible... It's not just the big pieces, but over time these plastics are broken down into what is called "microplastic" - microscopic pieces that are causing irreversible damage to the environment.
I've sat with lions, elephants, leopards, cheetahs - some of the biggest and most well known mammals you can imagine, but having spent my entire 22 years of life living in the UK I am ashamed to say I have never seen a badger, a truly British mammal, in real life. That is, I hadn't, until last night!
So week three on my MA and we've been given what I see as an enormous task - we have been asked in groups of four to create five minute films for a program which will be airing on The Community Channel in January! Three weeks experience... do we really has what it takes to make a film for real tv?