Films make people associate emotionally with wildlife, says British TV producer

New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Films enable people feel closer to wildlife, associating them emotionally with the lives of animals, says a top British TV producer.

“I think (wildlife films) enable them to be, what makes them closer to the wildlife. You can’t make that happen through a mediator” British television producer Mike Gunton told IANS in an email interview.

“All you can do is try and indulge people to associate them emotionally in a programme and that will generally make them think about the world in a different way,” the producer told IANS in an email interview.

Gunton has directed several films around wildlife, and backed projects like “Yellowstone”, “Life”, “Madagascar”, “Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur”, “Nature”, “Big Cats” and “Africa” — which is aired in India on Sony BBC Earth.

Gunton, who also directed “Planet Earth II”, said that awareness about animals comes out of the reality that they try to project in the show. “I think if you get that right, and people get to connect to the animals, that is one way we try make such big shows like “Planet” and “Africa”, he said.

“Actually, to be in the animal’s world and to sense their lives, either consciously or subconsciously, raises awareness of the challenges that the animals are facing in their lives. It is all connected in a way,” Gunton said.

But he said that it was very hard to actually measure the effect. “It’s tricky to measure the effect of a wildlife film on awareness among the general public,” Gunton said.

“If you are in China, it doesn’t have to be only about Chinese animals or if you are in India, it doesn’t have to be about Indian animals; the whole point is that it (lends) a global perspective,” he added.

At present, he is making a series on Pink Cats — the big cats of the world.

“Each episode will show one family. It will be about a lion family, a tiger family shot in Sunderbans in India, a chimpanzee family, a wild dog family in Africa or a penguin family in Alaska.

“It’s quite a drama, more like a Shakespearean drama. I think it’s like the Bollywood drama in India,” he said.

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