Wildlife and nature films are a hugely popular entertainment genre: networks such as Animal Planet and Discovery are stars in the cable television universe, viewers flock to IMAX theaters to see jaw-dropping footage from the wild, and the venerable BBC still scores triumphs with series such as Planet Earth. As cinematic technology brings ever-more-breathtaking images to the screen, and as our direct contact with nature diminishes, an ever-expanding audience craves the indirect experience of wild nature that these films provide. But this success has a dark side, as veteran producer and film educator Chris Palmer reveals in the documentary Shooting in the Wild. Based on his authoritative and engrossing book of the same name, Shooting in the Wild presents an insider's look at the business of wildlife filmmaking, uncovering a more pervasive and troubling trend toward sensationalism, extreme risk-taking, and even abuse in wildlife films. Illustrated with film clips from the early days of the genre to the present, this program also profiles a new breed of skilled, ethical filmmakers whose work enlightens as well as entertains, and who represent the future that Palmer envisions for the industry he loves. The host of the program is Alexandra Cousteau, who is herself a filmmaker and National Geographic "Emerging Explorer, " and the granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, the underwater film pioneer.
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