November 2010 is premier time for wildlife short documentary series 'Mind Your Species'. Commissioned by Central Europe's doc channel Spektrum Television, the 20 x 5' mini-series is about people who devote their lives to research and/or conservation. Here comes an exclusive interview with the key members of the team.
FILMJUNGLE: Marianna Vincze, Channel Manager of Spektrum Television kept a close eye on the production of the series Mind Your Species. Film production is nothing new to Spektrum, which debuted with On The Spot, a successful documentary series about the hot spots of the developing world more than a year ago. For some reason, Spektrum’s management now ventured into nature/wildlife circles. Why was that?
MARIANNA: Our audience likes natural history documentaries and wildlife films a lot. I do think that this is the genre which will always raise a strong interest in the viewer. Getting involved in film production has certainly been a milestone in the 15 year-history of Spektrum Television, and we do not want to stop. The Filmjungle.eu team has been a reliable and professional partner for years now, and after so many years of acquisition, it’s just great that finally we can commission their ideas. It’s been quite an experience to see how ideas are developed into programmes, due to the excellent teamwork. Regarding the subject, I think that the message of Mind Your Species is more important than ever. I am absolutely sure that our viewers will appreciate not only the content but the artistic approach and professionalism this brand.new mini series of our’s represents.
FILMJUNGLE: Zsolt Marcell Toth, coproducer, director, editor of 'Mind Your Species'. How does it feel to see the series complete?
ZSOLT: It's always great to see how many ways there are to use a footage. Nearly all clips had been presented in one film or another before - but the new approach, the new context gave them absolutely new meanings.
FILMJUNGLE: David Attila Molnar worked as a coproducer, director in the series. Can you say goodbye for the series?
ATTILA: I still struggle, because I was so fond of the idea and style of Ants Know it All, that I wanted to carry on with that series for ages. Instead, we had to change style and tried to fit in a new slot: that of 5 min. fillers, which is hard and satisfying at the same time. For me the main message of this series that there is no way for people to separate their life from nature anymore. And this programme is showing examples. Positive examples, we can all follow in our private or professional life.
FILMJUNGLE: Kriszta Mwajas, graphic designer, director. The main titles being her brainchild, we asked what was her goal when working for the series?
KRISZTA: I enjoyed the making of Ants Know it All as well. I was a great game. Creating main titles was a fantastic challenge, with Zsolt we worked on it for weeks. In the case of this series we decided to use a template, so the job was quicker and easier. Still, we kept on working for days, till we got what we wanted. For me the cartoon template however, wasn't enough. I wanted something more so we all packed things and went for our colleague's studio for a 1-day shoot. Here we recorded shadows, and these siluettes were then edited into the template. For me it was very important to symbolize the people who consider nature and science as the most important things in life. And I think with these figures we achieved our goal.
FILMJUNGLE: Cintia Garai, zoologist, wildlife filmmaker. She hardly arrived back from Congo when the crew was already putting final touches for the episodes. How could you catch the rythm?
CINTIA: When I left for Congo my main concern was that they will skip me, and the team will complete the films without me. Luckily that wasn't the case, I could edit very hard and so for a while forget Congo. I left my heart there and working on this series helped a lot to get over this harsh period. For me this series is about enthusiasm and passion towards nature.
FILMJUNGLE: Agnes Kiss, photographer, wildlife enthusiast. She debuted as a filmmaker in Filmjungle.eu's previous series, Ants Know it All. In Mind Your Species, you got 3 parts. Was it difficult?
AGNES: The Ants series was an important period for me, I learnt basic skills to make a film on my own. I appreciated the freedom I got, I mean the series of course had a strict structure and style but totally free hands I had. For me the biggest challenge was how to get through the main character of the given episode on the screen. I tried to articulate emotions and enthusiasm visually and verbally alike. Since I feel like a greenhorn in the industry, I really appreciated the opportunity to prove my skills, and I really hope that this is just the beginning of a great career in filmmaking.
FILMJUNGLE: János Lerner is a world traveller: he's around the world continuously so not surprisingly all his episodes were filmed on the most exotic locations. Can you tell us something about the countries and the species you've chosen to make a film about?
JANOS: To tell the truth, not all episodes of mine are taking place in remote countries. Assam, the asian elephant for example, came to Budapest Zoo from Belgium. Altogether I made 5 parts from the series one of which was filmed in Europe, three in Africa and one in South Africa. For me the hook in each episode is to show diverse relations among man and animal. My zoo story is giving insight into a brand new non-invasive method in elephant coordination, in Pantanal I show a scientist who desperately tries to save the remnant of jaguar populations. When deciding which countries to choose from Africa, I wanted to show diverse, colorful, interesting habitats, different from one another. So we get a big picture - streching from the rainforests of Uganda through the savannah of Serengeti till the Namibian desert.
FILMJUNGLE: Gábor Stodulka was the scientific editor of the series. Word by word, he crawled through each textbook, made corrections, suggestions here and there. Was it difficult to work with so many directors?
STODI: Luckily every director has a distinct style and I didn't want to melt all of them in the pot of the series. I think a series is a chain of independent films, not the repetition of the same topic. My role was to point out mistakes that the given filmmaker did not see, probably because they were involved in their films too much. My suggestions improved the overall level of the series, although I have to say that directing my episodes were harder than I thought. The most surprising was when a mistake was found by the Voice Over artist during dubbing, which means even I missed some bits. Sorry for that, guys.
For further info, visit the website of Spektrum Television:
Filmjungle.eu's viewer figures are increasing at an unprecedented rate on Hungarian websites. "By choosing the name Filmjungle.eu we always wanted to communicate that we look at the Internet as a true alternative of television broadcasting. But the rate of increase is rather unexpected"
This section presents travellers whose hand luggage is heavy with lenses, accumulators, cassettes, tripods and other filming accessories. If you also travel to exciting locations and you want to let the world know about your adventures, start your own blog and upload your images here at Filmjungle.
A félénk, rejtőzködő életet élő apró ragadozót, a menyétfélék névadóját és egyben legkisebb tagját nem könnyű lencsevégre kapni. Természetes körülmények között szinte lehetetlen. A Filmdzsungel videótárában található néhány felvétel egy kis menyétről, Csirikről.
Az állatkertek lakói sokszor cserélnek otthont, ami többek között a nemzetközileg koordinált tenyészprogramoknak köszönhető. A kisnövésűek körében különösebb gondot nem okoz a művelet, ám egészen más a helyzet, amikor egy több mint 2 és fél tonnás állatról, tegyük fel egy ázsiai elefántról van szó.
The Hungarian Motion Picture Foundation decided to support the production of a new television series on the natural history of the Carpathian Basin.The script of this spectacular series - naturally filmed in HD - is written by János Lerner.
Oláh György ezúttal búcsút int TRC-nek és maga mögött hagyja Délkelet-Peru esőerdeit, hogy egy rövid időre az inkák nyomába szegődjön az Andokban, Cuscon és Machu Picchun keresztül a Titikaka-tóig követve nyomaikat, eredetüket.