Idea for two country comparative documentary project at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 29th, 2011, 04:18 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roslin, Scotland
Posts: 65
Idea for two country comparative documentary project

I previously posted a couple of times about my film, Oasis : The Birds of the Esk Valleys, and received some useful advice and critique as the project developed and completed. I filming footage for the sequel documentary which I hope to finish early next year. I have a new idea for a project in 2012, where I hope to take advantage of a work conference trip to Boston, MA, and extend my stay by a few days. (In 2009 I attended and had some excellent birding afterwards - Boston MA / Mt Auburn Cemetery - BirdForum ). I thought I would outline my project and ideas here and see what you think, and canvass suggestions for how to develop the project. So here it is:

My proposal is to produce a 25 minute documentary which examines complimentary species in equivalent habitats in Scotland and New England. The similarities have struck me just as much as the differences during my trips. The documentary would open by showing both urban and rural habitats in the two countries, and will include a few short sound bites from local birders on either side of the Atlantic. The main body of the movie will be 1-2 minute comparative sequences. My aim would be, during a week vacation additional to the conference trip, to obtain excellent quality footage of a ten target species (from a longer list, as one never knows which birds are going to co-operate). Examples of comparative pairs would be:

white breasted nuthatch Eurasian nuthatch
downy woodpecker great spotted woodpecker
great crested flycatcher spotted flycatcher
blue jay Eurasian jay
white throated sparrow tree sparrow
black capped chickadee coal tit
American goldfinch European goldfinch
house finch chaffinch
wood thrush song thrush
wood warblers (e.g. magnolia, yellow) European warblers (e.g. chiffchaff, blackcap)
indigo bunting yellowhammer
pine siskin Eurasian siskin
cedar waxwing Bohemian waxwing
American kestrel kestrel
red-tailed hawk sparrowhawk

I am aware that many of these pairings are not from the same taxonomic families but it is the niches / habitats which the movie will focus on. I have purposely not selected species which are rare because of limitations of time and because rarities are not the focus of the project. I would include detail of the habitats (e.g. differences in common woodland trees and plants, river courses, terrain, climate). It may be possible to include a small section on threats to habitats in both countries.

Some creativity could be used by simple link devices, such as having the UK birder 'pass' their binoculars off the frame, and cutting to the US birder receiving them to view the equivalent species on their soil.

The target audience would be the same as my previous movies, being birders and also any members of the public interested in nature and the environment. These have been well received and are still in demand by local and national wildlife and environmental clubs and society meetings. I plan to enlist the help of local Boston birders for information about good places to find and film each of the species. As I am looking for top quality footage, I would target 3-4 species each day at maximum and would be prepared to make multiple visits for good footage of key species such as wood thrush.

I would welcome any comments and suggestions; does this sound like a workable project ? Does it sound appealing ? Would those of you in the US be interested in this concept of comparing species in equivalent niches ? Any suggestions for a name for the movie ?

I look forward to comments.

Neil
Neil Grubb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2011, 09:22 PM   #2
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hawley PA
Posts: 23
Re: Idea for two country comparative documentary project

I'd watch it. Difficulties would be birds adapted to similar environments really can't be contrasted easily. They will both appear to be doing the same thing. Unless there are differences the project will be dull. Also one has to shoot a lot of footage, as I'm certain you know, so it's going to be difficult to shoot enough material on a vacation schedule. If you are going to focus on birds solving the same problems using different strategies, that's a great idea but a really ambitious one. Best opportunities will be to shoot during breeding and nesting seasons since there you see the most behavior. But getting good material....that is tough.
Marc M. Myers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Southport, England
Posts: 621
Re: Idea for two country comparative documentary project

I agree with Marc, difficult to film that lot in a week in any meaningful way. Not a bad idea though. You could try on two or three similar/contrasting species. Maybe a comparison between local reserves, where easier to get footage in a short period of time. An Audubon reserve near Boston versus say an RSPB or Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve near you.

Ron

Last edited by Ronald Jackson; June 29th, 2011 at 11:48 PM. Reason: Trust
Ronald Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2011, 12:59 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roslin, Scotland
Posts: 65
Re: Idea for two country comparative documentary project

Thank you both for your comments. I agree the project is ambitious. Fortunately May is good as song, courtship and nesting behaviour will be evident; my hope is that with local knowledge, and common species, I will be able to shoot good footage of a fair number of species. In all I am looking for ten minutes of footage of N American birds, shot over up to a week of dedicated time; I will have much more time to acquire the footage of the Scottish equivalents. However I would rather make the documentary shorter if footage is scarce.

Neil
Neil Grubb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2011, 05:00 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 157
Re: Idea for two country comparative documentary project

Redtailed hawk - sparrowhawk: in my opinion too different in most aspects. Redtailed hawk vs common buzzard is better
Sverker Hahn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2011, 06:37 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roslin, Scotland
Posts: 65
Re: Idea for two country comparative documentary project

Indeed, RTH being a Buteo species I agree buzzard would be a better pairing.
Neil Grubb is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:35 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network