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While working as a lobbyist for environmental conservation on Capitol Hill, Chris Palmer quickly discovered that Congressional hearings were bland events, poorly attended by the majority of Representatives and Senators and with far less impact than one would expect. So he turned, instead, to wildlife filmmaking, for the National Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation, with the hope of transforming mindsets and encouraging protection of wildlife.
In the process, Palmer discovered both the magic – and the misgivings – of the industry. While Shamu looked beautiful captured on film breaching, was it right to keep killer whales captive? Was it okay to have sound engineers recording the sound of their hands splashing in water and pawning it off as the sound of bears splashing through a stream? And should reputable TV networks be accepted or called out for airing sensational shows that put wildlife in harm's way and present animal fiction like mermaids and monster sharks as fact?
In this tell-all expose of the wildlife filmmaking industry, film producer and American University professor Chris Palmer shares his own journey as a filmmaker – with its highs and lows and challenging ethical dilemmas – in order to provide filmmakers, networks, and the public with an invitation to evolve the industry to the next level. Palmer uses his life story as a conservationist and filmmaker to convey his points, with an ultimate call to stop deceiving audiences, avoid harassing animals, and promote conservation. Read Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker to find a path forward.
Chris Palmer has spearheaded the production of more than 300 hours of original programming for prime-time television and the giant screen IMAX industry, including the Disney Channel, TBS, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and PBS. The President of One World One Ocean Foundation and the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, Palmer and his colleagues have won numerous awards, including two Emmys, an Oscar nomination, and a Lifetime Achievement Award for the Media at the International Wildlife Film Festival. He founded the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University in 2005, a year after joining AU's full-time faculty as Distinguished Film Producer in Residence.
"Chris Palmer's new book is a must read for all who care about the natural world and the future of our planet."
– Ted Danson, Actor and Environmentalist
"Chris Palmer has written a very important book."
– Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
"In a world where media holds enormous influence, Chris Palmer's book makes fascinating reading."
– Jean-Michel Cousteau, President, Ocean Futures Society