Thread: who else in this forum is doing nature & natural history docs?

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  1. #1 who else in this forum is doing nature & natural history docs? 
    General question: who else of you is doing natur & natural history docs?

    Thanks for your replies!

    Friedrich Moser
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  2. #2  
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    i've got one in the works for an environmental organization. sort of nature/science combined. we're hoping that the pre-planning comes together around the time of our RED's release. that would be ideal.

    and you? what are you working on?
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  3. #3  
    Hi planet e,

    I'm working on a 50min prime-time tv-doc, basicly for Austria/Germany, but also an english version for the international market on the region I'm living in (www.suedtirol.info). I made my RED-reservation some days ago, it should ship in early 2008, so I hope I can shoot most of the project already Redcode 4k.

    For me personally, quite a few novelties come together: First, I'm upgrading from Beta SP. Second, it's the first time I'm filming alpine wildlife (chamois, ibex, golden eagle, bearded vulture, snow grouse, marmot ...) - up to now most of my work was about man&nature. So, the places where I'll be shooting are the same, but the approach is pretty different. Third, for me it's a major leap from the quality-POV, concerning both storytelling and shooting, because I'm moving from the regional scale to the international one (but with an experienced partner who in fact runs the production and does the post. My part is screenwriting/directing/camera-work).

    Luckily, the commissioning editor behind the project warned me already in november not to buy equipment at that time for there were great changes to expect in the camera market... When I first checked out the RED-site, I thought it was a joke: a ridiculously cheap cam double as good as Arri's D20 (that I had seen at IBC 2004 and perceived as from another sphere), and also, just watching those renderings all the time with very little test-footage from a sensor called "mysterium"... until this NAB I considered it the fancy of a mad millionaire, although a dream I'd have liked to share.

    Well, since NAB I consider it something pretty serious and it will be a bomb, especially in our field of work: the ability to use an imense range of lenses at the tenth of the cost (or less) it would have been with HDCam (+CineStyle lenses...). The ability out in the field to do a rough-cut in order to check if the scenes visually worked (within a one-step-only workflow !). And: its 4k, so it fits well for cinema or the projection in info-points of national parks or so, too.

    I started this thread to get together expertise & expectations of those REDusers who will be working in the outbacks. Which lens options did/do you choose? What power supply? Temperature/humidity issues? Third party accessories? And, last but not least, making 4k stock footage available (just to put an example: for a doc I made last year about the geological history of a canyon in the Italian Dolomites I needed footage from the Bahamas to show how a certain geological strata looked like 200 million years ago). Stock footage that's not touristic or commercial-like can be very precious, as is the possibility to engage someone living next-door to a certain motive.

    So, it would be great to create a plattform within this plattform that is not so much dedicated to the feature-film/indie-film issue, but that could be a nice place to drop by just to pick up some usefull information for all those interested in nature / natural history / scientific filming.

    Regards,
    Friedrich Moser
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    fascinating stuff, very aligned with my own interests.

    RED could possibly be the greatest wildlife film camera ever. imagine the detail you will get with that 300 mm bomb on the end. and the new zoom with the macro feature. i can't wait. having both the macro and telephoto ends of the shooting spectrum covered out of the gate will make this camera a fantastic nature/outdoors/natural history/science tool.

    although i'm sure that i will be putting RED to other uses in the course of running my production studio, the documentary project that i have in the works has a broad theme - "water" - and we are in the early development stages. we're shooting a short fund-raising demo using a pair of Canon XH A1s, but we hope to put the RED to use soon on behalf of the planet's water supply. we are working with a well-known enviro water lawyer who will be our primary fund-raiser.

    i'm glad you started this thread. i hope others chime in.
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  5. #5  
    sounds great! some years ago I did something on the disappearing glaciers in our region, in my current doc there will be sthg on traditional irrigation techniques that have been first mentioned around 1200 A.D. but are definitely older. By the way, South Tyrol is Europe's largest apple growing area, but this only works by using the waters that come down from our glaciers... if interested: f.moser(at)blueandgreen.info
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  6. #6  
    Hi,

    I have been shooting nat hist exclusively for about 20 years. I will be using my camera for this. Most of my work is with the BBC Natural History unit. They are very interested to see how the camera works out. I have worked on the last two Attenborough series and PLANET EARTH. I am very excited to be able to use most of my existing lenses, especially my custom probe lenses. I can't wait.

    Keith
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    PLANET EARTH rocks! totally genre re-defining! fantastic footage! riveting material!

    pardon a little bit of fandom, keith. i hope i didn't gush too much, but i've been really enjoying the series. and feeling a little jealous, at times!

    friedrich, i may pick your brain a little (that's kind of a chilling idiom, isn't it??) when the time is right about the relationship between the glaciers and the farming. we're still very preliminary in our planning. but it's great to have the contact. thank you.
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  8. #8  
    [QUOTE=Keith Brust;52418]Hi,

    "Most of my work is with the BBC Natural History unit."

    Guess they know my commissioning editor from ORF ;-)

    "They are very interested to see how the camera works out."

    Got to tell this my producer tomorrow!

    "I have worked on the last two Attenborough series and PLANET EARTH."

    I'm on my knees! Which parts of Planet Earth? I am watching it over and over again. They're of a tremendous beauty! Congratulations!

    Friedrich
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  9. #9  
    I'm currently, among other things, a grad student on a Science & Natural History Filmmaking MFA program ( http://naturefilm.montana.edu ).

    I'm just about to start production on a 1 hr adaptation of the book "Into The Cool" by Eric Schnieder and Dorion Sagan (Carl Sagan's son). It's about thermodynamics and life. Should be allot of fun.

    I'm incredibly jealous of you Keith. I'd give my arm, leg and probably RED to work for the BBC.
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  10. #10  
    to Keith: of what RED-setup do you think that would be useful? Which lens ranges? Would you rather go with the announced Birger mount for Canon or just manually?

    to planet e: don't hesitate to contact me!

    Regards, Friedrich
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