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Old September 25th, 2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Wait, nature docs aren't always "real?"

washingtonpost.com

Not that it wasn't fairly obvious from time to time...
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Old October 26th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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Yup. I mean, much of it is certainly hard and patient work, requiring long hikes and many hours out in the cold not knowing what, if anything, you will capture on film. But some shots jump out as likely being staged to anyone who has gone out looking for such footage. I received a shot list for several animals at a location an hour from my house. I have lived in this area for 40 years and am an avid hiker/outdoors type person. Out of the 20 or so requested creatures on the list, I have actually seen maybe 1/4 of them in the wild, and that only a fleeting glance.

I remember watching a "you wanted to see it" type show where someone wrote in saying that they wanted to see a piranha attack. Lo and behold, the film crew just happened to be there when a 25 pound or so mammal happened to find himself swimming through a school of piranha down in South America. I noticed they never showed the animal crawling into the water and couldn't help but think that the poor creature had a little help getting wet.......

I love shooting nature footage, but I look at it like fishing. I go there for the scenery and the relaxation. If I happen to get some good footage, wonderful. Unfortunately, people who make their living getting nature footage can't always do that.

Interesting article.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #3
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Reminds me of our UWOL Challenges in this forum. We get challenged to make a nature film about a theme, and have to come up with it in 25 days or so... A three minute film. It is tought to get that stunning footage that the nature professional seems always to come up with. ..
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Old November 18th, 2010, 10:14 AM   #4
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Interesting read. I always wondered how they were always able to capture some of the spectacular footage that I've seen in nature docs.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 11:15 PM   #5
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A zillion years ago there was a Disney nature/documentary film showing how lemmings stampeded off a cliff into the ocean (or onto the rocks) below.

Looked like thousands of the poor creatures following the commands of mother nature.

A few years later it came out that the photographers had paid Eskimo kids a dime or so a piece for lemmings and had bought a few hundred of them and taken them to the top of the cliffs and had someone off camera chase the poor animals off the cliff. And the word "lemming" entered everyone's vocabulary.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 03:50 PM   #6
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This is a recent shot of us 'prepping' an ant hill and a big slug...
http://studiomusic.free.fr/prep
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Old January 29th, 2011, 05:21 AM   #7
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Wow, this is the same thing that happens in "reality" TV. Not surprised.
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Old January 29th, 2011, 10:22 AM   #8
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At least (most?) reality shows don't chase people off a cliff into the ocean. At least not yet. Maybe if it would goose the ratings they might think of trying it:<)
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Old January 29th, 2011, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
At least (most?) reality shows don't chase people off a cliff into the ocean. At least not yet. Maybe if it would goose the ratings they might think of trying it:<)
Now there's a show I would watch ;)
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Old January 29th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #10
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In my opinion whatever is shot with a camera is never in one-to-one corresponce with reality. But, it is up to the people producing wildlife documents to decide where they set the line and to which extent they want to give a false impression. Some people are more liberal, some more conservative. Quite often find myself to belong to the latter group.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 10:40 AM   #11
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Even the most conservative filmmakers have to select the most beautiful, moving or action scenes to avoid a boring documentary, sometimes exaggerating some behaviours or showing a personal view of reality. But i think this could be good, letting space for artistic interpretations of nature, provided that two rules are respected: 1) not damaging any animal, habitat or ecosystem directly during the shoting or indirectly with the message of the film, and 2) not deceiving the viewers of the film.
There are some interesting "Ethic Codes" in photographs and filmmakers associations.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #12
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i was speaking with an actor once who was kind of complaining about how much better animals are at acting than humans.


...but anyway, i will maintain that all documentaries are 'fake' by their very own nature....
...oh...and the way outfits like discovery and national geographic television seem to feel they have to dramatize *everything* is both amusing and depressing.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 02:13 PM   #13
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Re: Wait, nature docs aren't always "real?"

You might enjoy this glimpse of the unbridled savagery of nature, red in tooth and claw, and the extraordinary feats of bravery and hardship some photogs endure to capture the wonders of our world

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Old May 21st, 2011, 08:21 AM   #14
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Re: Wait, nature docs aren't always "real?"

Well, just so long as they're not pretending animals jump off cliffs as part of their natural behaviour, a certain amount of setting up is acceptable to illustrate a natural behaviour if it can't be achieved by other means.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 10:25 AM   #15
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Re: Wait, nature docs aren't always "real?"

And sometimes you just get lucky.

While practicing my "film look" camera technique with the 60D, a young red fox kit casually walked into frame... getting a little startled when it finally looked up and saw me.

YouTube - &#x202a;Kit Steals The Show (sometimes you just get lucky)&#x202c;&rlm;
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