It's a chilly, early morning at the Woodland Park Zoo in the heart of Seattle, where the sunshine and visible breath-fog are not mutually exclusive. Take a look for yourselves! Even the gray wolves on exhibit are in on it.
We have been very fortunate here at VIA to share such an amazing relationship with the WPZ. Late in 2011, we started working with them to produce video content for two of their fundraiser events, a benefit breakfast in March known as "Thrive," and "Jungle Party" which is a summer auction and dinner event in July. Now on our third round of Thrive shooting for year's upcoming Thrive event, we find ourselves filming the animals on a brisk and refreshing morning, a nice departure from the usual northwest wintery weather that we're accustomed to.
Our shoot days are often split into two main components (three if you include lunch... hey, it's a very important part of anyone's work day!) The first part of the day consisted of conducting interviews with members or associates of the zoo as well as filming them interacting with people or visiting exhibits on site. The second part of our day focused mainly on capturing shots (often referred to as "b-roll") of the animals before they take their afternoon naps.
One challenge that we always encounter when shooting outdoors is noise. While often unavoidable, we do our best to optimize the atmosphere we interview in, for example, having to move last minute to a new location when we found a bulldozer and site construction crew right next to our original interview spot. It pays to have a few back up choices and we were rewarded with a lovely open field of dew and sunshine! Though a fair share of airplanes did fly overhead, we think most of them were justified by this one flying a 12th man flag (Go Hawks!).
At the end of the day, we always have a great time shooting with such amazing people and beautiful animals. Lauren, our main point of contact at WPZ and our wonderful interviewer, did a great job leading the interviewees into meaningful discussions about conservation and the impact that zoos have in educating the public and "making good science happen" as one of our interviewees said.
If you have a free day and would love to see some amazing animals in action, we'd definitely recommend hitting up the Northern Trail at the Woodland Park Zoo! Who knows, you might catch us shooting there, we have grown quite fond of our gray wolf friends over there : )
Until next time!
Matt + Team VIA