National Geographic US EVP of content, Steve Burns, and associate director of development and acquisitions, Michael Mavretic, share their thoughts on their working relationship with prodco NHNZ.
Adapting to broadcasters’ individual needs for nets like Discovery, Nat Geo and PBS is a sign of their hard work and talent, says Burns, who has worked with the prodco for 15 years. Burns admires the prodco’s innovation. ‘If you look to one of my favorite films of all time, Animal Cannibals, it was full of great science but it was also full of natural history behavior,’ he says. ‘It’s a fun shop that can do that and the next week they do the most blue-chip of blue-chip films.’
Burns recalls a trip to NHNZ headquarters in Dunedin, during which he realized where the passion for natural history and science comes from. ‘One day they took me way out to this peninsula that jutted out to the ocean and I could see penguins and arctic birds and it was no surprise to me that they’re all so strongly rooted in natural history,’ he says.
Mavretic’s dealings with NHNZ distinguish the prodco as a leading organization. ‘I think more so than most other production companies they, in their research and proposal writing and their production, get a level of depth and detail that you don’t often see,’ he says. ‘They’re always bringing us new and surprising information.’
Clearly after all of the praise, both Burns and Mavretic hope to continue working with NHNZ in the years to come. ‘They’ve showed us so many different places, people and animals over the past 30 years that the world has never really seen before. I just hope in the next 30 years they can keep bringing more of those things to us,’ says Mavretic.