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Baby, it’s a wild world

'Everyone's trying to reinvent the genre because of the fickleness of audiences that seems to have arisen with reality television and the growth of factual programming. It's a form that's worked since the beginning of TV, so it's an interesting challenge that now we have to reinvent it to keep it alive.'
September 1, 2005

‘Everyone’s trying to reinvent the genre because of the fickleness of audiences that seems to have arisen with reality television and the growth of factual programming. It’s a form that’s worked since the beginning of TV, so it’s an interesting challenge that now we have to reinvent it to keep it alive.’
Stephen Ellis, president, Ellis Entertainment

‘[For natural history trailers] we think, ‘How do we get the balance between the stories of the animals or the place and drama?’… With someone like David Attenborough, you just have to put him next to an animal because everybody loves him.’
Andrea Daniels, research manager, BBC

‘To go into primetime, the first thing you have to do is get the right type of programming – stuff that has a more 21st century approach and doesn’t just focus simply on natural history, but also science and other things. You’re going for a broader audience.’
Mark Gray, VP of coproduction and acquisitions,
Fremantle International Distribution

‘I’m interested to see how successful March of the Penguins will be on television, because the media experience is quite overwhelming when you’ve seen it on a theater screen. It’s the same with Winged Migration. That’s the challenge with a lot of innovative natural history – the format of its release, and whether or not it can be enjoyed as intimately on TV as it can be in a darkened theater.’
Linda Ekizian, VP of worldwide sales and marketing, Devillier Donegan Enterprises

‘If you try to shoot any type of wildlife, you realize how difficult it is. Lions sleep for 23 hours a day, so to make a 90-minute special on them you have to be on location for 18 months, because the one hour they’re awake may be in the middle of the night. That’s why wildlife is the ultimate niche market.’
Carl Hall, managing director, Parthenon Entertainment

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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