Tuesday, December 7, 2010



Animals have often been part of filming, ever since Hollywood or Bollywood or Animal-Wood or any other 'Wood' began in any part of the world.
As viewers of such animal movies, it has always been natural to admire them for their 'oh-so-cute' acts, expressions and dialogues (dubbed by humans, of course) delivered by them. However, no matter how adorable we might find them on screen. the picture may not be as rosy as it seems to be, in reality. That's what I found out when I came across a blog by Chris Palmer, titled "Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom"
That's because to make animals look and perform their cutest best on screen, may not exactly be an easy jobs for the creatures. Chris, an insider of this industry came up with the following claims:
"There have been accounts of a cameraman put stinging Bengay on a beaver so it would be active for his camera. In the old days, if a filmmaker wanted to capture a hunting scene of a bobcat chasing a rabbit it was standard practice to get the shot by the use of invisible filament around the rabbit’s neck or leg to artificially slow it down."
But physical abuse of animals while shooting is only one form of negligence. There have been several movies where certain animals have been shown in a negative, villainous and terribly man-eating type. The movie 'Sharks' is a prime example here (apart from a host of others like 'Anaconda', 'Jaws', 'Spiders'). 
Animals are not only physically hurt to make them appear like something, but in their portrayal as beasts, the sensitivities of the audience watching them are also adversely affected. It tends to cultivate a sort of a fear and disgust among the people. That definitely wouldn't promote the cause of such species' conservation, particularly if it is endangered. Chris said (OnEarth magazine):
"Sharks  face dire threats from the pollution of their habitat and the disgusting practice of shark finning for shark fin soup. If viewers think of sharks only as killers, they are much less likely to act to protect and conserve them."
 The audio-visual medium (films and TV) are strong means to reach out to the masses.Advantage of such a medium should be taken by sending out a positive message to the people about conserving and protecting Nature rather than create evil images of it to garner viewership. Hence, the content of such productions should be revised in a way, more sensitive to the Nature and wildlife. 
Also, to make animals perform for the camera, it's not necessary to harm them. Of what use is computer graphics then? Technology can be used to make animals perform 'stunts'. If the long extinct dinosaurs could be re- created and made alive for screen using this technology (Jurassic Park), then the former task would be much easier, wouldn't it?

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