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Author Topic: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'  (Read 10550 times)

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« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 04:02:21 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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Rienzphotoz

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2013, 04:01:45 AM »
Personally, I do not consider it as "fake" ... to recreate a natural environment takes a lot of talent, skill and above all dedication. At the end of the day I'd rather see an interestingly filmed/recorded footage of wildlife, which I'd otherwise never get a chance to see in my life. I consider those who call such footage "fake" as just a bunch of cribbing whiners who cannot produce any worthwhile footage on their own. What Doug Allan (the cameraman) and Sir David Attenborough have done is incredible and I respect their skill and dedication to their craft.
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GMCPhotographics

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 04:12:40 AM »
Personally, I do not consider it as "fake" ... to recreate a natural environment takes a lot of talent, skill and above all dedication. At the end of the day I'd rather see an interestingly filmed/recorded footage of wildlife, which I'd otherwise never get a chance to see in my life. I consider those who call such footage "fake" as just a bunch of cribbing whiners who cannot produce any worthwhile footage on their own. What Doug Allan (the cameraman) and Sir David Attenborough have done is incredible and I respect their skill and dedication to their craft.

Yes I agree, I sometimes think that when people see behind the "magic of TV" they are often dissolusioned or dissapointed...afterall... these wildlife guys just rock up to a killer whale with a camera and a boat and they just love to do a dance for them...then they pop into a plane and pop over to africa and point their cameras at a lion and elephant or two and the they do a little act and the awards just roll in by themselves ;-D

How many great pieces of top wildlife film footage or stills have occured from walkabouts? Not much compared to the footage which a huge amount of persoanl sacrifice, ambition, field craft and dedication took place. 

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2013, 04:37:23 AM »
Rienzphotoz  and GMCPhotographics +1 to both

Fake would be in a studio or a zoo and trying to pass it off as if it were in the wild.  Fake is not setting up shots through painstaking planning. 

Someone my wife went to school directed and filmed some of Attenborough's Frozen Planet and it took a lot of effort, preparation and luck to get some of the killer whale shots that they got. Not fake, just prepared and planned for.
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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2013, 05:09:56 AM »
Fake would be in a studio or a zoo and trying to pass it off as if it were in the wild.  Fake is not setting up shots through painstaking planning.

Interesting thread & point - we had a similar recent thread about what's allowed editing and what's not.

My option: No, it's not "fake", but it is still misleading to deceiving as it's well known a good part of the viewers don't know about the methods that are applied and is lead to believe you've just gotta go out and this is what you'll see. If they were straight, they'd include a quick "behind the scenes" or "how we got the animals into this synthetic setting".

My problem with this: It creates a surrogate reality about man & nature, and this is diametrical to what I think a "real" nature film about *wild*life should be. I see the result in the local zoo - people expect the animals to look into the camera when they want to, they've paid good money after all and they know what's to be expected from tv.

My favorite wildlife show were back in the good ol' times without equipment overkill. If it was about polar bears, the film just showed a wandering bear from miles away - but with a proper scientific explanation & backgrund about their behavior and you probably shouldn't get near them. Or if it was about shy small animals, you didn't get to see much of them, they *are* shy after all. Back then I felt much better educated and entertained than with perfect closeups.

dr croubie

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2013, 05:28:49 AM »
Fake would be in a studio or a zoo and trying to pass it off as if it were in the wild.  Fake is not setting up shots through painstaking planning. 

Interesting you say that, for I've had that exact experience. In the Adelaide Zoo about 10-15 years ago, walking around with a bunch of kids as part of some school-holiday daycamp thingy (something my then-gf roped me in to help with).
We get to the Siamang section, and there's a camera crew there, looking rather bored. Being the nut I am, I start talking to the camera crew. They say they're working for a new David Attenborough series (which turned out to be 'Planet Earth'). They'd just spent weeks in the wild trying to find these monkeys to film, and given up, filming in the wild is damned expensive. On a hunch they thought they'd try the Adelaide Zoo, there's a really good habitat for them there.
So there they were, and the damned monkeys were silent, and the film crew were rather annoyed. But then the kids started yelling at the monkeys, and we being the 'responsible adults' were ridiculously embarrassed, trying to shut the kids up. But then the monkeys started yelling back. So as it turned out, we turned it into a game with the kids. Got them to yell for a bit, enough to get the monkeys started, then get the kids to shut up for a few minutes (the hardest part) while the film crew could get their shots, and repeat.
I always like it when that series comes on, because I can still pick the bits that were shot in the Zoo (you can kind of tell, the sky is really blue and it's shot from almost directly underneath and the monkeys are looking straight at the camera). Nowhere does it say in that scene that it's in a zoo, but nowhere does it also say it's in the wild. It mentions the Adelaide Zoo in the credits (either in the 'filmed on location' bit or the 'thanks to' bit), along with a whole lot of other zoos and wildlife parks.

I know it's nothing like when Attenborough was the first white guy to set foot in some remote forest to collect specimens for the London Zoo (which is how he started), but finding something classed as 'wild' is getting harder and harder these days. So I don't mind if stuff is filmed in Zoos or whatever. The only time I'd mind is if it was a faked one of those 'look at how these monkeys have started using tools in the wild', which it wasn't. In the end, there's only about 5-10s of stuff filmed there, spliced in with 'real' jungle footage, so who cares?



edit: I should call them Siamangs and not Howler Monkey, before some nerd picks me up on it
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 05:33:29 AM by dr croubie »
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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2013, 05:36:57 AM »
Five hour video of Kerkrand station in the Little Karoo, South Africa. If you want "action" then you'd better stage it!
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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2013, 05:36:57 AM »

caruser

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2013, 06:40:49 AM »
Fake would be in a studio or a zoo and trying to pass it off as if it were in the wild.  Fake is not setting up shots through painstaking planning. 
Interesting you say that, for I've had that exact experience. In the Adelaide Zoo about 10-15 years ago, walking around with a bunch of kids as part of some school-holiday daycamp thingy (something my then-gf roped me in to help with).
(...)
At least it sounds like they gave it an honest try before reverting to the zoo...

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2013, 07:36:42 AM »
"Man makes shocking claim in Daily Fail to sell books..."

There you go, that's a better thread title??

Don Haines

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2013, 08:30:20 AM »
Most wildlife filming is fake.... if you want real, be prepared to stare at the screen for 5 days to get that 30 seconds of interesting footage...

It's like my moose pictures.... go on a canoe trip and see no moose... another trip and no moose, another trip, no moose...(repeat a few dozen times).... go on a canoe trip, see a moose, take lots of pictures.... and then a few dozen trips with no moose... someone looks at my pictures, sees moose, and assumes that I see them all the time.
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GMCPhotographics

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2013, 08:50:42 AM »
Most wildlife filming is fake.... if you want real, be prepared to stare at the screen for 5 days to get that 30 seconds of interesting footage...

It's like my moose pictures.... go on a canoe trip and see no moose... another trip and no moose, another trip, no moose...(repeat a few dozen times).... go on a canoe trip, see a moose, take lots of pictures.... and then a few dozen trips with no moose... someone looks at my pictures, sees moose, and assumes that I see them all the time.

I can easily imagine that the filmographers have to balance the need to get great and impressive or credible footage against very real deadlines...no footage, no programme = no wages. I can imagine a phone call from the producer which goes something like this "...Bob...I don't care how....just GET THE SHOT!!!"

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2013, 08:53:39 AM »
Most wildlife filming is fake.... if you want real, be prepared to stare at the screen for 5 days to get that 30 seconds of interesting footage...

It's like my moose pictures.... go on a canoe trip and see no moose... another trip and no moose, another trip, no moose...(repeat a few dozen times).... go on a canoe trip, see a moose, take lots of pictures.... and then a few dozen trips with no moose... someone looks at my pictures, sees moose, and assumes that I see them all the time.
Good one!
For me fake is only when someone does a CG to recreate the whole scene ... but when someone has gone through countless hours of preparation and hardship to recreate a scene which we could otherwise not see on our own, that is not fake ... that is skill ... it is not necessary for the maker to tell everyone that he has done it in the zoo, because the important thing is the story, not how he got that story ... calling it fake takes away the person's skill and dedication to his/her craft.
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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2013, 09:16:13 AM »
Most wildlife filming is fake.... if you want real, be prepared to stare at the screen for 5 days to get that 30 seconds of interesting footage...

It's like my moose pictures.... go on a canoe trip and see no moose... another trip and no moose, another trip, no moose...(repeat a few dozen times).... go on a canoe trip, see a moose, take lots of pictures.... and then a few dozen trips with no moose... someone looks at my pictures, sees moose, and assumes that I see them all the time.
Good one!
For me fake is only when someone does a CG to recreate the whole scene ... but when someone has gone through countless hours of preparation and hardship to recreate a scene which we could otherwise not see on our own, that is not fake ... that is skill ... it is not necessary for the maker to tell everyone that he has done it in the zoo, because the important thing is the story, not how he got that story ... calling it fake takes away the person's skill and dedication to his/her craft.

And also: How would you e.g. ever get shots of a newborn polar bear (like in the article)? Better build a artificial den/nest with cameras in place then intrude an exicting one with te possibility of scaring the mother away (and let the new born die ...).

I think you can better make a 'set' and invite nature in, then intrude their own habitat. Animals only come in when they want to, if not ... bad luck for the film maker but nature stays undisturbed.

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2013, 09:16:13 AM »

Jackson_Bill

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2013, 09:16:44 AM »
Most wildlife filming is fake.... if you want real, be prepared to stare at the screen for 5 days to get that 30 seconds of interesting footage...

It's like my moose pictures.... go on a canoe trip and see no moose... another trip and no moose, another trip, no moose...(repeat a few dozen times).... go on a canoe trip, see a moose, take lots of pictures.... and then a few dozen trips with no moose... someone looks at my pictures, sees moose, and assumes that I see them all the time.

LOL - How true!

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2013, 12:53:14 PM »
Not commenting directly on this article, but it's a sad fact that as long as money is involved, people will fake wildlife photos.  Whether it's shooting in zoos, using animal models, roadkills, reeling in a dead mouse to attract owls, etc. it will be done.  If your livelihood depends on it, you really can't blame people for doing it.  I just wish people would label it as such, as the North America Nature Photography Association (NANPA) advocates: http://nanpa.org/positions_overview.php.

For me, wildlife photography is all about the challenge of finding wild animals, which is often about luck, and the skill of getting the shot when the opportunity presents itself.  If it were easy, I don't think I would enjoy it.  Then again, my income doesn't depend on getting these shots.

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Re: Veteran cameraman claims: BBC 'fakes wildlife shots all the time'
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2013, 12:53:14 PM »