A natural history film or wildlife film is a documentary film about animals, plants, or other non-human living creatures, usually concentrating on film taken in their natural habitat. Such programs are most frequently made for television, particularly for public broadcasting channels, but some are also made for the cinema
Television documentaries started on BBC television, with the long-running series
During the late 1970s and early 1980s several other television companies round the world set up their own specialised natural history departments,
Wildlife and natural history films have boomed in popularity and have become one of modern society's most important sources of information about the natural world. Yet they have been largely ignored by film and television critics and scholars.
In recent years most programming has become prohibitively expensive and are funded by a set of co- producers, usually a broadcaster (such as Animal Planet, National Geographic or NHK, Japan) from one or several countries, a production company and sometimes a distributor which then has the rights to sell the show into more territories than the original broadcaster.
Two recent examples of co-productions that were filmed by the BBC are The Blue Planet and Planet Earth, the latter being the first series of its kind to be made entirely in high-definition format.
Production companies are increasingly exploiting the filmed material, by making DVDs for home viewing or educational purposes, or selling library footage to advertisers, museum exhibitors and other documentary producers.
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