|Easily about Wildlife Filmmaking|
"RECIPE" FOR MAKING NATURE DOCUMENTARIES
Welcome among those who have decided to cook up a nature documentary. Natural ingredients only For your own pleasure and to please those who will consume the resulting dish - that is, your film. We must warn you that this kind of hobby involves great many difficulties. First of all, for a dish like this, the ingredients are incredibly hard to come by and a good nature documentary can be made only from the best ingredients. secondly, you will need an awful lot of patience, which you can't come by at all unless you have it already. Thirdly, there is no how-to-do-it recipe that you can simply follow. A nature documentary, just like a dish, is easy to spoil. So as for the correct portions and proportions all we can say is that you should rely on your taste. And if you still haven't lost your enthusiasm, let's see what all this finally amounts to.
Camcorder: One or more (preferably DV, or, even better, HDV or HDD quality, with a decent zoom and manual focus function, while a firewire input can also be useful).
Tripod: One (the more stable the better, unless it's too heavy to carry around)
Lense set: many different lenses for different shots from close-ups to distant shots)
Nice person who has got a good camera: One (needed if we don't have some or any of the items listed aboove but we are not shy to borrow them)
Topic: One at a time (one that you know well, easy to film, interesting, preferably new and it's good if it doesn't involve too much travelling)
Patience: plenty (there's no such thing as too much)
What to do
Combine the ingredients with a good location and a good season. When the ingredients are properly mixed, add some animal species, sprinkle them with some plants and put a lid on the stew. Let it ripen until the ingredients start to interact with each other. It may take days, or often weeks for the flavours to get into harmony. Take off the lid and peep in to see what kind of mixture you've ended up with. If you're lucky, it's a long, sticky paste that you can now safely call your footage. Get rid of the needless bits around the edges. You only need the best part, which you should at this point transfer from the kitchen into the computer. The paste will go sour unless you leave it untouched for too long, so you'd better cut it into strips. These are your useable sequences, which, no matter how attractive they look, are not yet edible. To serve them to the audience, you need to put them in a logical order. Before you put it into the oven, line the pan with music, sounds, voices and commentary. Put your edited footage on top, adding subtitles, if necessary. Then you switch on the oven and will spend the next minutes, or, depending on the quantity of the paste, hours or even days rendering. Best served hot, but as for the success, don't heed your family and friends' biassed compliments. Rather, make a doggy-bag-size portion for the always hungry audience here at Filmjungle, who might like even the slightly burnt, overdone or too stuffy dishes as well.