by Elizah Leigh
Categories: Animals, Film/TV, Print
Tags: , .

Pssst. Wanna hear a secret? You know all those wildlife documentaries that you gobble up just like movie theater candy? Think Grizzly Man, Winged Migration, Arctic Tale and yes, even The Cove. Well, there’s a pretty good chance that they’re not as ‘authentic’ as they might seem, at least according to seasoned environmental filmmaker Chris Palmer.

The 64 year old, who acknowledges that nature is in fact rather boring (particularly if you’re waiting for extended periods of time for something film-worthy to happen), has just released a textbook confessional of sorts that spills the beans on the manufactured techniques that he and his industry cohorts have employed throughout the years to create their final, awe-inspiring movies.

Entitled Shooting in the Wild, Palmer shares quite a laundry list of doozies that might make at least some of the die-hard documentary fans out there feel, well, betrayed. Among his surprising revelations, would you have guessed that:

Does this time-honored strategy of pulling the wool over documentary fans’ eyes make you feel the slightest bit hoodwinked, or are you just there for the overall entertainment factor?

Via Washington Post

  • David

    If the documentary is for entertainment, then these ‘tricks’ to get the shot and tell the story is fine.

    But if it is a documentary like “The Cove” (and I don’t believe any of these tricks were used in the majority of the movie) that is trying to make a point and/or push an agenda, then I do have a problem with the ‘tricks’.


      I agree. These things are fine in an Attenborough special, they certainly don’t detract from their educational value.

  • Sonia

    I’m sorry but pushing Lemmings or any other kind of animal off a cliff is so NOT fine!

  • Michael Raymer

    This really isn’t news to anyone with common sense or education. The lemmings thing is disturbing on it’s own, let alone that it was Disney people doing it. And I’m sure there have been inaccurate depictions in the past. But if there were steps taken to show the story without trying to deceive, then I’m OK with it.

    Whatever inaccuracies have been shown in the past, we are getting past it. The audience is getting much more knowledgable now because more knowledge is available.

  • imforthewhales

    Some journalist had nothing to write that day after his morning coffee.

  • WolfGrace

    we can’t go to the zoo. We can’t watch documentaries anymore. Soon, it’ll probably be politically incorrect to view animals in their natural habitat even following the strictest of guidelines, because it would still be invading on animal’s “rights to privacy”
    When my kid points to a picture of a moose and says, “Cow”, I won’t be surprised.
    For the record, White Wilderness was made in the same time period when people smoked during pregnancy, excluded black people from many public locations, and tattled on their neighbors to McCarthy. Obviously, they had no consideration for the welfare of animals.
    Documenatries have improved substantially. Honestly, if Sarah Palin had watched just a single special on the wonders of her home state’s wildlife, she would not support the holocaust of wolves and other amazing creatures.

  • UNF

    Lemmings should be thrown off cliffs, not pushed.