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Old October 21st, 2002, 03:10 PM   #1
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Books on Wildlife Documentaries?

Could anyone please suggest any reading on wildlife documentary filming with DV?

It would be greatly appreciated!

Jean K
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Old October 21st, 2002, 03:32 PM   #2
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I don't know of a book specifically devoted to this subject. But there are, of course, truckloads of books on wildlife photography. As I noted in a separate post to you, I'm not a wildlife videographer. But I did used to pursue a hobby of shooting wildlife with 35mm still cameras. Everything I've read and learned on that subject indicated that the most fundamental elements for success are (a) know your subjects' behaviour and habits, (b) be ready for the unexpected, and (c) have the patience of a rock. By merging this skill set with that of constructing -any- type of documentary storytelling you're bound to have some success.

You might also get some ideas from places like National Geographic's site (nationalgeographic.com).
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Old October 21st, 2002, 03:42 PM   #3
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Thanx for the advice Ken!
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Old October 23rd, 2002, 12:00 AM   #4
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Jean,
I just came across a book that might particularly interest you (and many others, as well).

"Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning, Filming, and Editing Documentaries of Real Events"

I have not yet looked at this book (I have ordered it and will offfer a review here asap) but it's preview and review remarks on Amazon look very interesting. You'll find it at:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805044515
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Old November 28th, 2006, 06:22 PM   #5
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"Go Wild With Your Camcorder," by Piers Warren is an okay book specifically devoted to shooting wildlife with DV. It's especially good if you're a beginner because it describes several basic technical aspects and some documentary techniques and ideas. But it is a relatively small paperback and costs a lot considering that.
http://www.amazon.com/Go-Wild-Your-C.../dp/0954189965

Warren has also written another book "Careers in Wildlife Film-Making," which looks useful. But, I haven't this book.
http://www.amazon.com/Careers-Wildli...641253-0019349

Somewhat un-related is "Marty Stouffer's Wild America." It's an interesting autobiographical case of how a wildlife cinematographer started out and eventually achieved success.
http://www.amazon.com/Marty-Stouffer...e=UTF8&s=books
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Old December 1st, 2006, 09:37 AM   #6
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One of the most basic principle is to just to go out an shoot something, Nothing about filming is rocket science. It's a matter of just doing it, and not stopping.

For the past two years I have been making a series for Animal Planet based on this premise. I shot a pilot with 2k and plane ticket, and managed to sell it, 3 months later I was shooting more episodes, this time on AP's money. The series just had it premiere.

Anyone who is interested in Adventure or wildlife filmmaking, this is what I suggest: plan a hike or a trip, the harder the better, and film it start to finish. Make sure you have a character who can tell the story to make it more interesting, and make sure you focus the story. If you are shooting a friend or person, cover everything from putting socks on in the morning to going to bed.

Wildlife is tricky, if you don't have a human character you have to be a pretty good story teller, and spend a lot of time focusing on behaviour to make it interesting.

For me, my best source of learning is by watching TV, look at your favorite shows, look at how they peice things together, and what angles are covered. You can learn a lot. Also watch other things like MTV to push the boundaries a little.

If you have question, you can always email me.

Michael Dalton
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