What was your role in this project?
There were two of us who were cameramen for Laura Boyd, who was the producer sent by National Geographic to oversee the shoot. So, basically my job was to film wildlife, landscapes, details of fences, oil and gas extraction, the highway, barbed wire fences, and new housing developments that were infringing on the migration routes. I also filmed aerial shots from a helicopter, which provided a great birds-eye view of the migration pathway which winds through steep mountains, along creeks, and over grasslands.
What stands out from that experience?
Laura, the producer, had arranged it so we would arrive in time to film the end of a trek along the antelope migration route by Joe Riis (wildlife biologist and photographer, and a National Geographic young explorer) and Rick Ridgeway (Freedom to Roam campaign, with Patagonia). They were just finishing a multiday trek, and I was amazed that Ridgeway had only a small backpack holding all his gear. Laura interviewed them both, as well as Hal Sawyer, a biologist who studies pronghorns, and I was operating the camera and monitoring audio. All three spoke passionately about the imperative to safeguard the migration routes of these animals, and real progress is being made, which is exciting.
Have you worked with National Geographic much?
I have had the privilege of working on several projects with National Geographic. As a biologist, I was a field guide and species profile writer for photographers David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton on their National Geographic project, Archipelago. Susan and I almost got eaten by a 15 foot tiger shark, but that’s a story for another time. I filmed for David on his Cubic Foot project, during the Moorea, French Polynesia expedition, which was a collaboration between National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institute. And I’ve also provided footage for National Geographic Television shows such as Hidden Hawaii.