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Old April 4th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 493
Seeking Tiger/Elephant/Rhino Footage

Wildlife Videographers,

I am producing (and DP'ing) an action/adventure narrative short film with a conservation message about tigers. We are partnering with Save the Tigers to ensure the film directs viewers to additional information.

In the film, the protagonist views footage of indian elephants, rhinos, and bengal tigers in the wild. I am seeking existing footage that we can incorporate into our film. A minute or two of each type of animal in DV format would give us plenty to work with.

We are making the film out of our own pockets, so can not offer much in terms of monetary compensation, but will of course provide credit and copies. Please contact . Feel free to pass this message on.

Owner/Operator, 727 Records
Co-Founder, Matter of Chance Productions
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Old April 4th, 2006, 10:38 PM   #2
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Hi Joshua,

First off, good luck on your project, I'm sure it will be a worthwhile effort, and tiger conservation is something that I think everyone here can get behind.

Unfortunately I think you may have vastly underestimated the difficulties in getting footage of these animals in the wild. I live and work in Northern Thailand, where we do still have wild elephants, bengal tigers, etc. and have worked with the Thailand National Parks on occasion. Here's been my experience:

1. Wild Elephants. This is probably the easiest of the footage to get. I have shot them in the past (but for a client, so I don't have the rights). They have a fairly set range, but generally are only active during the twighlight to night time, making for really murky video. What is really eerie is just how damn quiet they are. You don't think a troop of elephants can sneak up on you like that, but suddenly they just pop out of the jungle! They are the only animals on your list that I've been able to capture.

2. Bengal Tigers. Almost impossible to capture in the wild. Huge range for a solitary animal. Our guide told us that you don't want to ever see a tiger in the wild, because if you are close enough to see it, it means it's hunting you! To get footage would require months in the field and a huge amount of luck.

3. Indian Rhinos. Unfortunately there are only less than 3000 of these left in all of asia. While the majority of them are in reserves, its not likely your going to find one at all.

Frankly getting images of all these animals in the wild would require a huge commitment of time and money, only practical for a large scale commercial shoot or government funded study, not the casual wildlife photographer.

That's probably where your best bet is, to contact the WWF, or Save the Tigers or some other NGO to see if they have any footage you can use. (And if Save the Tigers doesn't have tiger footage in the wild it should tell you something about the difficulty of getting it). You might also try the Indian National Parks Department.

Failing that, I think your only choice is the zoo and some creative rotoscoping work.

Again good luck with your project,

John Burkhart
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Old April 4th, 2006, 11:00 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Thanks for the perspective. Our last resort will be to shoot some footage ourselves at our local zoo. Definitely looking for existing footage, wouldn't want someone to invest additional time in this.

Owner/Operator, 727 Records
Co-Founder, Matter of Chance Productions
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Old April 5th, 2006, 02:55 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Tigers are difficult to locate in Thailand (most of them have been killed and sold off to the Chinese market...) but it is not too difficult to get close to tigers in some parts of India, especially if you use a vehicle or elephant back; although I suspect that you'll not be flying out there from Phoenix any time soon. I would offer, but my entire tiger stock library is of still images, not video.

I think that Hugh Miles has some great footage of tigers and even snow leopards in the wild, but I suspect that most of that is tied in with the BBC copyright deals.

That will probably be your main stumbling point, in that most of the better footage is under copyright and will need a fee before it can be used.

There are quite a lot of wildlife photographers and film makers working on tiger projects in India and eastern Russia. Maybe the best idea is to get in touch with some of them (try a search for lists of contacts).

A last resort is maybe to obtain some fill-in clips of captive tigers at some of the USA reserves.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 12:00 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2005
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hi Joshua,
i have some of the animals that you ask for.
let me know if you are still looking for material.
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