On Sale: May 1, 2010
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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 Chris Palmer
reveals in his authoritative and engrossing report on the
wildlife film business. A veteran producer and film
educator, Palmer looks past the headlines about TV host
Steve Irwin’s death by stingray and filmmaker Timothy
Treadwell falling prey to his beloved grizzlies, to uncover
a more pervasive and troubling trend toward sensationalism,
extreme risk-taking, and even abuse in wildlife films. He
tracks the roots of this trend to the early days of the
genre, and he 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.
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