Life on the edge: The survival of wildlife cinematography as a craft
|dc.contributor.advisor||Johnston, Andrew Ross|
|dc.contributor.author||Chen, Samuel Alexander|
|dc.identifier.citation||Chen, S. A. (2016). Life on the edge: The survival of wildlife cinematography as a craft (Thesis, Master of Science Communication). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/6973||en|
|dc.description.abstract||Our natural world is under serious threat. Maintaining a connection between our ever-urbanising global population and our natural world is getting more and more difficult. Sometimes the only link between these two worlds is the mass media and, as a result, wildlife filmmaking has an important role to play. The very core of wildlife filmmaking is wildlife cinematography, yet the ‘craft of wildlife cinematography’ is under serious threat. Since the turn of the century, wildlife filmmakers report that they have found it difficult to survive in a very competitive film and television market. Filming wildlife in its natural environment takes time and has traditionally required a lot of specialist equipment. The high costs involved can make broadcasters less disposed to commissioning or buying such productions. According to industry insiders, this has resulted in less high quality behavioural wildlife footage being filmed. Does this mean that behavioural wildlife filmmaking needs to become more cost-effective if it is to survive? This thesis explores one possible answer to this problem by posing another question: Can the core cinematic approaches and techniques that define ‘quality’ wildlife cinematography be achieved by novice wildlife camera operators using limited equipment? Through an Industry Online Questionnaire, correspondence with world-leading wildlife cinematographers, and the identification of wildlife films judged to be of the highest quality, this thesis establishes criteria that can be used to establish what constitutes ‘quality’ wildlife cinematography. The creative component of the thesis, the film Kangaroo Island: Life on the Edge, challenged a novice wildlife cinematographer, the author, to achieve a cinematically ‘quality’ wildlife film shot using limited gear. That film was then evaluated by two experienced wildlife cinematographers to ascertain whether cinematic ‘quality’ had been met. The findings of the study reveal that it is possible to produce cinematically ‘quality’ behavioural wildlife films using limited gear – but with caveats – as limited gear can certainly impair cinematic ‘quality.’ The thesis then discusses the ramifications of this finding in a context where the technical requirements of the industry are constantly changing. There was one other important supplementary finding. Whatever the equipment used the cinematographer needs to understand the likely behaviour of the animals involved, in advance of the shoot, if he or she is to successfully record the desired animal behaviour.|
|dc.publisher||University of Otago|
|dc.rights||All items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.|
|dc.title||Life on the edge: The survival of wildlife cinematography as a craft|
|thesis.degree.discipline||Department of Science Communication|
|thesis.degree.name||Master of Science Communication|
|thesis.degree.grantor||University of Otago|
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