Archive for the 'Wild Videos' Category
Do you want to help the future of lions in Africa – well, all you have to do is simply watch this video and National Geographic has pledged .10C for every time it’s viewed – Watch and Share!
Six years in the making, Beverly and Dereck Joubert’s moving film tells the story of an ostracized lioness who will stop at nothing to save her cubs. Not to be missed!
From the lush wetlands of Botswana’s Okavango Delta comes the suspense-filled tale of a determined lioness ready to try anything—and willing to risk everything—to keep her family alive. In the new wildlife adventure, The Last Lions, filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert follow the epic journey of a lioness named Ma di Tau (“Mother of Lions”) as she battles to protect her cubs against a daunting onslaught of enemies in order to ensure their survival.
About the Filmmakers:
Dereck and Beverly Joubert are award-winning filmmakers from Botswana who have been National Geographic explorers-in-residence for over four years. Their mission is the conservation and understanding of the large predators and key African wildlife species that determine the course of all conservation in Africa.
They have been filming, researching, and exploring in Africa for over 28 years. Their coverage of unique predator behavior has resulted in 22 films, 10 books, 6 scientific papers, and many articles for National Geographic magazine. This body of work has resulted in five Emmys, a Peabody, the World Ecology Award, and a recent induction into the American Academy of Achievement. They recently have been awarded the Presidential Order of Merit by the government of Botswana for their life’s work.
But it is the plight of big cats that attracts their major effort today. Dereck and Beverly established the Big Cats Initiative, a program with National Geographic designed as an emergency action fund to drive the world’s attention to big cats and to develop real solutions to stop the decline that has seen lion numbers drop from 450,000 to 20,000 in 50 years.
“We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats,” says Dereck. “They are in such a downward spiral that if we hesitate now, we will be responsible for extinctions across the globe. If there was ever a time to take action, it is now.”
If you are in the USofA, you can even watch the epic movie on the Big Screen here!No comments
A few months back I posted a short video clip with the introduction to North-eastern Diaries. I’m pleased and excited to announce that the first chapter titled: Kaziranga – Land of the Rhino and the Tiger has been nominated for a Green Oscar Panda Award at the Wildscreen Film Festival which happens once every two years in Bristol, UK.
The Wildscreen Festival is internationally acknowledged as the most influential and prestigious event of its kind in the world. Its aim is to celebrate, applaud and encourage excellence, and responsibility, in wildlife and environmental filmmaking – films which increase the global viewing public’s understanding of the natural world, and the need to conserve it.
The short documentary is about 20 minutes in duration and captures unique aspects of tiger behaviour. At the same time that this documentary was completed, it was announced that Kaziranga supports the highest density of tigers in the world – nearly 32 tigers for every 100 sq. kms. But this doesn’t mean that seeing a tiger here is easy! The dense grassland combined with the secretive habits so inherent of tigers, makes them nearly invisible. With the use of camera-trap technology and patient waiting in the hide I was able to document first-hand not one, but several different tigers coming to feed on a rhino carcass. Here’s a short video compilation of my days sitting in a hide and being a spy in the jungle…
The Team: Working on documentaries usually involves a small crew of people in the field and another group of people sitting and working in the studio, editing the rushes. In this case, we had what’s called a micro-crew, which involved mostly Chinmay Rane, Lahaan the forest gaurd and I working in the field to get the shots during the day, and spending the night editing the footage. It was no doubt a difficult process, but the rewards have been more than satisfactory.
The Equipment: Another unique aspect of this particular documentary is that it was all shot on the new breed of HD-DSLR Cameras. The cameras I used on this project include the: Canon 5DMarkII, the Canon 1DMarkIV, Canon T2i, Canon 450D and the tiny but excellent, GoProHD Cam. More information and reviews about these cameras can be found in their respective linked pages on Amazon. We did use a Sony Z1 camera for one of the sequences that was shot late last year, but that only comprises a flashback sequence about 2mins in duration.
The advantage of using this equipment, apart from the fact that they’re smaller, more versatile, and higher quality than my High-Definition Panasonic AJ-HDX900 camcorder is that they allow me to film late into the evening, when even with my naked eyes, I can’t see what’s going on. The Canon 1DMarkIV allows you to film with reasonably little noise even up to 12000 ISO. I mean the camera does allow you to go upto a 100,000 ISO, but in the tests I made, the results were best when kept within the limits. Okay, before I digress and go on about equipment, I best stop and save that for a different post.
Other Panda Award Nominations from India:
In the same catogegory as mine, which is Wildscreen’s Award to promote filmmakers from developing countries is The Wild Meat Trail by Dusty Foot Productions (India) Filmmakers – Rita Banerji & Shilpi Sharma
In the Animal Behaviour category is Krupakar & Senani’s Wild Dog series titled – The Pack, produced for Animal Planet International (USA). I just had the opportunity to watch the five-part series last night and it’s simply brilliant!! Some amazingly rare moments captured on camera, a testament to the two years of patience and dedication it took to produce the series.7 comments
A few months back I made a mention that as part of the documentation project I am working on I’d be presenting a series of short films that covers different topics primarily intended to be in the book. So we’ve (Chinmay and I) been thinking of different ways to develop the story-line that doesn’t stray too far from the coffee-table book, but at the same time encompasses all (well, almost all) of what we intend to cover for the book. So we broke the video stories into story-book chapters and we’ve now completed the first of the series -
Chapter 1 – Kaziranga: The land of the rhino and the tiger.
Initially it was only – Kaziranga: Land of the Rhino, but after spending nearly a month here and capturing not just the rhino but an amazing amount of Tiger behaviour in a habitat that’s not really conducive to proper tiger observation, I decided we had to change the title! Not only that, Kaziranga now has the uniquely distinct position of having the highest density of tigers in the World! Previous studies had put the density at about 17 tigers per 100 Sq. kms., but recent studies suggest that the tiger density is at a whopping 32 tigers per 100sq. Kms. Sighting one, of course, is a totally different story. Kaziranga’s tall grass and thick woodland, makes it one of the most difficult places to see a tiger, although signs of their presence – scats, scrapes and claw marks on trees, makes their presence very evident.
Another unique aspect of these short films, is that they were shot entirely, well almost entirely, on the new breed of HD-DSLR cameras that allow us not only to take a high-resolution 16+ mega-pixel image, but also allows the user to record HD video in full 1920x1080P resolution the quality of which is outstanding! Not only that, the high-ISO capabilities of cameras like the Canon 1Dmark4, allows for filming late into the evening, when previously sequenced would have to be canned before they were put in the can. So armed with these new tools in my toolkit I went out with a small team of people consisting mostly of my field assistant, Chinmay and Lahaan the forest gaurd, to shoot the first chapter in the series.
For now I’m just posting a short intro, as I’m still in the field with painfully slow internet connections and frequent power cuts. We are now getting ready to head out to Arunachal Pradesh to shoot some of the little creatures that make a living in the foothill forests of the Himalaya.
Please keep an eye on FelisTV on Youtube for more videos and shortly – the full version of what you see in the Intro piece.
I was all set to write a blog report of just how awesome this last month of travel across the Eastern Himalaya had been… How amazing the wildlife of Kaziranga had been and how we’ve managed to finish editing a short wildlife film shot entirely with HD DSLR Cameras… But all that will have to wait until next time I’m in Internet zone.
For now – quick news update -
Mountains of the Monsoon is all set to release on Mutual of Omaha’s – Wild Kingdom shown on Animal Planet US – Sunday 18th April 7PM. Do spread the word…
Here’s a link to the trailer:
If you’d like to learn/read more about the Western Ghats – the region where this documentary was filmed and also the inspiration behind getting this film commissioned check out – Sahyadris – India’s Western Ghats – A Vanishing Heritage.
Now I’m off to look for a species of macaque that was very recently described as a new species. It’s called Macaca munzala – Monkey of the deep forest.
More about that when I’m back…
- Sandesh4 comments
One of my favourite forms of photography using DSLR’s is to produce timelapses of everyday scenes. What’s timelapse?
As wikipedia says, “ Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby each film frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. Time-lapse photography can be considered to be the opposite of high speed photography.
Processes that would normally appear subtle to the human eye, such as the motion of the sun and stars in the sky, become very pronounced. Time-lapse is the extreme version of the cinematography technique of undercranking, and can be confused with stop motion animation.”
So here’s a compilation of timelapses produced on various models of Canon DSLR’s over the various projects and years that I’ve been working in the western ghats.
Visit FelisTV for more videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/feliscreationsindia9 comments
We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to launch Felis Creations’ own online nature and wildlife channel for a while, but there was always a good excuse to not launch it… no time, not enough content, yadayadayada… But now with 2010 having rolled in, we figured there’s no point in simply waiting. So here it is – FelisTV.
A good bit of content has been added here already – everything from educational videos produced for the Gorgas Science Foundation’s outreach program to clips of Indian wildlife and excerpts from the latest documentary programs we’ve been busy working on. Every month we are going to attempt to upload a new video related to nature – some may be a bit boring…. but educational and some fun but pointless. We appreciate your patronage, comments and feedback and look forward to actively uploading videos that will help inspire people to conserve the beautiful and wondrous natural world around us, thereby living up to the company’s motto – We Create to Conserve!
In the latest video, we’ve put together a showreel of sorts combining footage from the latest films and travel. Showreel edited by Chinmay Rane.10 comments
It’s the weekend coming up and I’m sure everyone has one thing on their mind – to Get Away… Away from the hustle and bustle of traffic and the maze of bureaucracy and hypocrisy… and go far enough away to not have to deal with any of it… well, at least for the weekend.
Enter – The All New Mahindra Scorpio Getaway, the perfect vehicle to get you out there… away from it ALL (actually it’s not really new – it was released on Indian roads about a year ago) but anyhow… I knew after having worked in the field for many years, this was the vehicle that would have to be a substitute for my dream vehicle – The Toyota Hi-Lux 4WD.
This is Mahindra’s answer to the Toyota Hi-lux. It’s got all the bells and whistles, but more importantly it’s inside engine capability and it’s outside appearance and performance fall only a tad short of the Hi-lux. In attention to small detail and user usability the Hi-lux of course maintains higher ground and I wish Mahindra would pay more attention to the little things, rather than focus on thoughtless improvements like the irritating audio system, which reminds you every time you switch off and on the vehicle, “please wear your seat belt for a safe drive” Took me forever to figure out how to shut that off, because in the field you are always starting and stopping, and it’s not the nicest thing to be hearing when you are in the midst of an otherwise quiet jungle.
All that apart, the combination of a comfortable SUV with a Pick-up bed has been a requirement in India for quite some time. To me as a wildlife Filmmaker who carries way more gear than required at most times, the Getaway is fantastic. All the important Camera Gear fits nicely in the back-seat of the Cabin, and all the rest of the equipment, tripod, luggage, etc. gets loaded into the bed at the back. I do wish I could get a roof-rack installed, then, I’d be able to lug around even more equipment, and keep the bed space free to transport people. I’ve probably fit in over 15 people in the back – and in remote places where public transport is hard to come by, giving people a lift from one place to the other, is a great way to build friendship.
Watch the video to see all the cool places the Getaway has taken me to!
Engine: SZ CRDe, 4 Stroke, Turbo-charged DI Engine
Fuel Tank: 80 Ltrs ( which is fantastic for long-haul journeys – gives about 10-11 kmpl)
Suspension: Front – Double Wish-bone with Torsion Bar Rear – Semi-elliptical Leaf Spring with double acting hydraulic shock absorber and stab bar.
Tyres: P 245 / 75 R16, RADIAL Tubeless
All said and done, the vehicle offers good power and comfort to drive on the highway, and is equally at home on mud roads along a jungle safari track. The open bed in the back is great to load tons of gear, people, or construction material and with the leaf spring suspension in the back, can actually handle a big load. The vehicle comes in 4 different colours – Mist Silver, Rocky Biege, Turf Green, and Fiery Black – for the jungles, I would most certainly go with the Rocky Beige. For more information, please do visit the Mahindra website. Couple of other reviews online that I looked at before going for it.
Whoever named the Getaway must’ve been a Lenny Kravitz fan and probably drew some inspiration from the song – Fly away
I wish that I could fly,
into the sky, so very high.
Just like a drangonfly.
I’d fly above the trees,
over the seas, in all degrees.
To anywhere I please.
I want to get away.
I wanna fly away. (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I want to get away.
I would work up a full report, on the vehicle, but for now, this will have to suffice… More about it later.
The video was edited by Chinmay Rane, who is the newest member on board the Felis team. Well done Chinmay!14 comments
For those of you in the United States, check out NG channel this Saturday at 7PM and watch King Cobras from the comfort and safety of your television screens! We spent nearly a year documenting the natural history and behavior of King Cobras in the wild at Agumbe. Our base camp – Agumbe Rainforest Research Station. Here, Romulus Whitaker and Gowrishankar along with Matt Goode and a team of volunteers are at the forefront of King Cobra research in an effort to help conserve this incredible species. Watch this documentary to find out more about the on-going research work and learn about King Cobras in the wild!
Brief Synopsis: He is the king of serpents: Unblinking, hypnotic, deadly, and hungry for his own kind. The king cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world, is powerful enough to kill a full-grown elephant… and yet we know almost nothing about it. Fortunately, that’s about to change.
Watch the trailer:
The SECRET LIFE of the KING is an unprecedented journey into the natural history of the wild King Cobra following them into their world revealing what they do, where they go, and who they interact with, when we are not around. And surprisingly, the people of India are very much a part of the story. Early evidence suggests that kings might be more intertwined with humans than previously thought, making this project more important than ever. Its a close and personal look into the secret life of the King and the best chance we have of ensuring the survival of this legendary snake.4 comments
Here’s a quick video compressing six weeks and six thousand kilometers of mountainous terrain into two minutes!
If you have a fast internet connection watch it on HD!
Here’s a quickly edited piece of both stills and video produced with the 5Dmark2 on a recent trip to North-eastern India. I was mainly there to do still photography, but every now and then I was tempted to use the HD 1080P video feature on the camera, and slowly I’m being absorbed by it! here’s a link to the video on YouTube
Be sure to download the HD version of this, so you can see it at much better resolution than the normal one…
It’s a super feature to have on the camera – the ability to shoot at 1080P. The picture quality is awesome, but the inability to control exposure and shutterspeed and shoot the way you want to shoot IS a problem and probably the biggest reason why people won’t immediately switch to shooting footage with this camera. Also, it only shoots at 30fps, which is fine for NTSC but not a very friendly format for PAL countries. I suppose if you are just shooting for the internet, then it’s fantastic – you have a range of creative lens options and you can use them in ways you could only dream of with a conventional camcorder…
I like the way the Image Stabilizer on the lens works even in video mode. I was using not so sturdy legs and inspite of that and the 500MM IS, the video results were amazingly still, and it’s only because of the IS feature – otherwise most of the video would have been shaky cam.
The Mic – Not bad at all!! surprisingly the quality of the Mic and the sound recording straight from the camera is pretty impressive! I can’t wait to rig the camera up with a real microphone and see how it performs. Need to order this quick. The sound of the Swamp partridge at the end of the video is sound recorded straight off the camera – no modifications.
Well, for one, the camera was supposed to be more weather-proof and all that, but there’s dust all over the inside of the LCD display panel on the top right of the camera. I first thought that it was only a bad camera, but i’ve noticed that both my cameras have a layer of dust all through the display. It’s irritating because none of my previous cameras have ever shown dust in the display! and they weren’t even weather-proof!!
It may be coming in from the ‘holes’ made to accommodate the mic and the speaker – I can’t think of anything else… any other canon 5Dmark2 users with the same problems?
DO NOT BUY second party batteries. I bought a second party LPE6 battery for this camera, and although the battery seems to work on the camera, it will not charge on the Charger! I can’t remember the name of the company, but i recommend simply using the canon battery pack for now.
That’s all folks!
Have to head off to the island now, but thought i’d post this video before heading out!