The making of birding TV
I’m very humbled to be invited to blog on 10,000 Birds, especially to be included amongst such distinguished birding company! This blog will feature posts from the Nikon’s Birding Adventures TV trips around the globe and some behind the scenes glimpses into our world of bird filming.
For this introductory post, I thought some of you might be interested to know how this all started. As you can probably tell from my colourful (sp?) spelling, I’m not from the United States – even though I live here now, courtesy of a sudden (but happy) shotgun marriage to an American girl. I’m from South Africa and it was there that the dream of starting a birding TV show was born. A daunting task I can promise you and not without some pretty sizable bumps in the road. As a famous birder once asked me, “What makes you think BATV can succeed where others haven’t?” Its a very good question. And one that I cannot answer because we are still on the journey to success. But what I can say is…I’m loving it! Our recipe is a simple one: take our audience on adventures; make birding exciting, informative and fun; highlight the importance of preserving the world’s birds and their habitat; and give our sponsors the recognition and exposure that they deserve. Because they really are the success behind our show.
To truly understand what lies behind our 26 full BATV shows thus far, its only fitting that I introduce you to my trusty travel companion and No. 1 videographer, Jeff Aderman. A man of dubious credentials and a dodgy past, Jeff has an uncanny knack for videography and editing. At close to 7 ft tall and weighing as much as 2 male ostriches and a cassowary, this is not your average cameraman. And excessive birding makes him nuts! But we get along just fine. For the most part.
In each destination we try to feature local experts and highlight local birding talent. There are so many talented birders out there, waiting to impart their knowledge and Nikon’s BATV provides a vehicle for this. And besides, I’m not a worldwide authority on birds and need all the help I can get! I’m not sure if anyone else struggles with this but I get so caught up in the moment and excitement of seeing a new bird that I will blurt out something like, “Freaking Magnificent Woodpecker!” when what I mean to say is “Magellanic Woodpecker!” So local talent is a vital part of keeping the on-screen talent honest.
Magellanic Woodpecker by David Shackelford
And then there are the real stars – the birds themselves. And we’ll be sure to introduce you to some of them in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned. Let’s go birding!
Disclaimer: if our video clips give you a virtual dose of warbler neck we will not be liable for any damages.