The Spectacle Blog

All is Not What It Appears to Be

By on 9.23.10 | 10:55AM

Hey! Did you know that what is depicted in those nature documentaries is not always genuinely "in the wild?" It's often set up in controlled circumstances, according to Chris Palmer, author of a new book that uncovers the tricks used by wildlife videographers. From the Washington Post:

...At 63, he has written a confessional for an entire industry. "Shooting in the Wild," published this year by Sierra Club Books, 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.

Nature documentaries "carry the promise of authenticity," Palmer said, speaking on a morning stroll through the manufactured wilderness of the National Zoo. Nature filmmakers profess to present animal life as it is lived, untouched by mankind. Yet human fingerprints are everywhere.

Palmer's book underscores the fundamental challenge of wildlife filmmaking: Nature is frequently boring. Wild animals prefer not to be seen....

Palmer asserts that manipulation pervades his field. Game farms, he writes, have built a cottage industry around supplying nature programs with exotic animals. Much of the sound in wildlife films is manufactured in the studio. Interactions between predator and prey are routinely staged.

What a surprise, that environmentalism devotees would distort reality to paint the picture they want in the minds of their viewing public. Even more so for those lying to push their agenda, like those who produced the anti-oil propaganda pic "Crude." Or "Gasland."

Or like this guy:

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