15-0176 I Bought a Rain Forest
Produced by KEO Films/The Open University for BBC Two
Categories as a finalist: Conservation, People & Nature
Wildlife photographer Charlie Hamilton James bought himself 100 acres of Peruvian rainforest, in order to help reserve the Manu National Park.
When KEO films met him, we realised that this was a great starting point for a documentary series about subjects that are otherwise difficult to get commissioned on primetime terrestrial channels: climate change, deforestation, and environmentalism.
As we developed the idea, it became obvious that Charlie's skills as a natural history cameraman could combine in an interesting way with traditional documentary making. The idea was that his stunning animal photography would bring the audience in, but that the documentary element of the series would help unravel the complexities of rainforest conservation.
In order to do this, we challenges him to spend time with people he was at first disdainful and scared of. When we took him to live with illegal gold-miners, cattle ranchers and cocaine farmers, we challenged his perceptions, and forced him to examine what he really thought about the envrionment. What could have been 1 dimensional worthy project suddenly came to life.