Award-winning wildlife filmmaker, college professor, conservationist and author Chris Palmer
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Matthew Ferraro, Ocean Futures Society’s director of photography, films the details of an iceberg off Baffin Island, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic during the expedition to film Sea Ghosts. Photo © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED.
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Doug Allan films a humpback whale mother and calf in the Vava’u Islands, Tonga, during the making of Planet Earth. Photo © Sue Flood.
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Marty Stouffer with his Arriflex HSR camera and a remarkably tame mountain goat near Mount Evans, Colorado, not far from Idaho Springs. Photo by John King
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Adam Ravetch uses a crane-cam to shoot Pacific walrus in Russia. Photo by Anatoly Kochnev.
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Chris Palmer Forces Filmmakers To Look Selves In Mirror

Palmer's Book 'Shooting In The Wild' Most Important Examination Yet of Animal Movies

Written By Todd Wilkinson (Author's Bio)

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Chris Palmer's new book, Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom, is the most important ever written about nature documentaries.

From the generation raised on Marlin Perkins and Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom to the star of The Discover Channel's Man vs. Wild "reality TV" series Bear Grylls, Palmer pulls back the veil on an industry that long has profited from conveying illusion.

If the noble objective is to educate, inspire and entertain the masses about the natural history of wildlife and its struggle to survive in the modern world, then, as Palmer points out, truth should not be a casualty;  nor, for that matter, should ethics and morals.



Citing one example after another, case after case, this veteran, award-winning producer of some of the best-known wildlife films of the last quarter century, says the public has been duped and misled, its innocent trust in the authenticity of storytelling violated by people who cut corners.  Worst of all, he says in his page-turner book, often times the animal subjects themselves have been mere models, raised in captivity under less than ideal living conditions.

Several years ago, Palmer came to the realization that it is one thing to exercise creative license and employ staged sequences to illustrate animal behavior that cannot easily be captured, but he became aghast at phony predator-prey scenes that were far fetched and resulted in animals getting injured or perishing on set. ...

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· Article is 1,859 words long (250 are displayed in this preview).

Author: Todd Wilkinson

Editor's Comments:

'Chris Palmer's new book, Shooting In the Wild:  An Insider's Account Of Making Movies In The Animal Kingdom, is the most important ever written about nature documentaries.  Wildlife Art Journal interviews the man who is changing the way people think about animal cinematography. '

Research tags: chris palmer, shooting in the wild, tbs, discovery channel, animal planet, ted turner, wildlife art journal, man vs. wild, bear grylls, thomas mangelsen, wildlife art journal, wildlifeartjournal.com

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