Monday, October 18, 2010

Wildlife Documentaries Exposed?

Are wildlife documentaries as staged as pro wrestling? You’ll get that impression from a Washington Post article on the subject.

It’s about filmmaker Chris Palmer, whose book Shooting in the Wild “exposes the unpleasant secrets of environmental filmmaking: manufactured sounds, staged fights, wild animals that aren’t quite wild filmed in nature that isn’t entirely natural.” Even Marlin Perkins is on the wrong side of the name-dropping.

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised, but I was still struck by this: “[I]f you see a bear feeding on a deer carcass in a film, it is almost certainly a tame bear searching for hidden jellybeans in the entrails of the deer’s stomach.”

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