Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the ocean but they remain an enigma. Despite their enormous size very little is known about their life cycle and migratory habits. Unless something is done to save the Whale shark it may soon become extinct. Despite a rise in eco-tourism we ask why some cultures continue to dine on Whale shark meat.
This is a beautifully shot documentary by award winning cinematographer Richard Todd.
Awards: Rolex Grand Prize French International Maritime and Exploration Film Festival Gold Special Jury Award WorldFest Houston Texas 2000 & Special Award for Observation International Festival of Nature Films WIZNA Poland.
Credits: Writer, Director Mike Searle, Producers Mike Searle Richard Todd Linda Searle, Cinematography Richard Todd. Editor Geoff Hall, Music MDS, Research Richard Todd, Production Manager Melanie Byres, Location Managers Heromi Yano, Karena Escudero, Additional Footage George King MediaVentures, Scot Cowdrey, Curt Jenner, Dubbing Editor Daniel Searle, Production Assistant Lorrain Smith, Opening Graphics and On Line David Binks Post Production Flash Frames, Sound Post Production Hamdon Sound, Opening Voice Melanie Ambrose, Narration Mike Searle, Technical Support Rodney Jones, Accounting Linda Searle Express Bookkeeping Booragoon, Series Executive Producers Mike Searle, Bill Clough Sam Mcdonagh.
Madagascar has some of the world’s most unique animals, but over 100 species that live here are under threat of extinction. The amazing dancing Sifika, a weird looking Gremlin like creature called the Aye Aye, Chameleons, Spiders, Radiated Tortoises and the recently discovered Golden Bamboo Lemur are all battling for survival.
Madagascar‘s jungle, the home to this diverse animal population, is rapidly being destroyed by desperately poor people struggling to survive. In this documentary we meet the amazing people who are working to save their wildlife from extinction.
Credits: Writer, Director Mike Searle, Producers Mike Searle, Linda Searle, Cinematography Ross McLean. Sound Daniel Searle, Editor Geoff Hall, Music MDS, Animal Handling & Addition photography Daniel Searle, Production Manager Melanie Byres, Angel Higgins & Rachel Way, Guides Armon Marozafi, Jean Benoit Damy, Production Assistant Nicola Searle & Helen Duncan, Dubbing Con Biancuzzo, Daniel Searle, Ryan Fraser, Opening Graphics and On Line David Binks Post Production Flash Frames, Sound Post Production Hamdon Sound, Opening Voice Melanie Ambrose, Narration Mike Searle, Accounting Linda Searle Express Bookkeeping Booragoon, Series Executive Producers Mike Searle, Bill Clough Sam Mcdonagh
The vast majority of Brazil’s dense rain forest has been destroyed by humanity’s greed for timber, leaving the wonderful animals of this region fighting for survival. Golden Lion Tamarins, Woolly Spider Monkeys and tiny Marmosets are all on the brink of extinction.
Brazil’s natural habitat is so unique that new creatures are still being discovered. Meet the people who have the plan and vision to save the beautifully unique mini-monkeys of Brazil from extinction.
A wonderful documentary shot by Cinematographer Ian Pugsley ACS
Credits: Writer, Director Mike Searle, Producers Mike Searle, Linda Searle, Cinematography Ian Pugsley. Sound Laurie Chlander, Editor Ingo Helbig, Music MDS, Camera Assistant Daniel Searle, Production Manager Melanie Byres, Researchers Mike Searle & Tony White, Production Assistant Nicola Searle & Rachel Way, Manaus Location Manager Cesar Madelhaves, Opening Graphics and On Line David Binks Post Production Flash Frames, Sound Post Production Hamdon Sound, Opening Voice Melanie Ambrose, Narration Mike Searle, Accounting Linda Searle Express Bookkeeping Booragoon, Series Executive Producers Mike Searle, Bill Clough Sam Mcdonagh.
Australia’s is not a land full of cute goals and boxing kangaroos. Australia’s wildlife is far more diverse than most people realise. For example there’s an array of mini-marsupials with strange names like the Chuditch, Bettong and Woylie live quietly in the Australian bush.
But these tiny marsupials are now under threat of extinction. Threats from feral cats, foxes and the loss of habitat. See what is being done to save these creatures and curb the mass destruction of their habitat. This is a thought provoking documentary.
Awards: Earth Vision Award 10th Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival
Crew: Writers Mike Searle & Daniel Searle, Director Mike Searle, Field Directors Melanie Byres, Daniel Searle, Cinematographers, Alex McPhee, Ian Pugsley, Daniel Searle, Nigel Thompkinson, editor Geoff Hall Music MDS, research and sound recording Daniel Searle, Production Assistants Helen Duncan, Sarah Neylon, Nicola Searle, Opening Graphics and On Line David Binks Post Production Flash Frames, Sound Post Production Hamdon Sound, Opening Voice Melanie Ambrose, Narration Mike Searle, Accounting Linda Searle Express Bookkeeping Booragoon, Series Executive Producers Mike Searle, Bill Clough Sam Mcdonagh
In Denmark, a strange partnership has been forged between the country’s military and those fighting to save what remains of the Danish wildlife heritage. Huge tracts of land, previously reserved for military training, have acquired a new purpose. This purpose is the protection of life – animal life.
Denmark, a country proud of its military forces, is now tackling a problem that is affecting much of the world – how to protect endangered wildlife species and encourage them to breed. The Danes believe they have the answer.
Awards: Finalist – Best Documentary Planet in Focus UK, Finalist – Shanghai TV Festival showcase & Honourable Mention International Wildlife Film FestivalUSA
Crew: Director, Writer Daniel Searle, Producers Mike Searle Ingo Helbig, Cinematographers Nigel Tomkinson, Daniel Searle, Leif Bjorn Petersen, Sound Damiain Brown, Script Editor Ingo Helbig, Production Managers Jane Farrow & Tony White, Production Assistants Sarah Neylon & Helen Duncan Music MDS, Post Production Flash Frames, Dubbing Damiain Brown, Series Title Design David Binks, Sound Post Production Doug Hampton, Accounting Linda Searle, The Producers wish to thank: DEFENCE COMMAND, DENMARK, THE DANISH REACTION BRIGADE, THE ROYAL HORSE GUARD, THE PRINCE’S LIFE REGIMENT, THE ROYAL DANISH ARMY AIR CORPS, ANTI-TANK HELICOPTER COMPANY, AIRBASE SKRYDSTRUP, CAMP OKSBOL, CAMP BORRIS, Special thanks to: ERLING KRABBE, JAN TROJBORG, MINISTER FOR DEFENCE, COLONEL IB J. BAGER, MAJOR JENS A. BOIEHOJ, LIEUTENANT COLONEL NIELS KRARUP, LIEUTENANT COLONEL STEEN VON HEDEMANN, KAARE FOG
Africa is home to the superstars of the animal kingdom, but its rich menagerie is under threat.
Gripped by savage drought – the game reserves, which are now the only refuge for these magnificent creatures, are fighting an uphill battle to maintain a dwindling gene pool and provide an effective deterrent to the poachers seeking big rewards from the illegal animal trade.
The loss of each Rhinoceros, Cheetah and Painted Hunting Dog is a dramatic blow to the future of these species.
Awards: Finalist – Best Documentary Festival International du Film Ornithologique France
Crew: Directors Jody Robb & Mike Searle, Cinematographer Ross McLean, Editor Geoff Hall, Producer Mike Searle & Linda Searle, Writers Jody Robb & Mike Searle, Sound Damiain Brown, Music MDS, Production Managers Melissa Kelly & Suzy Hounslow, Sound Post Production Hamdon Sound, Business Affairs Nicola Petit, Head of Production Ingo Helbig, Production Assistant Ben Przywolnik, Librarian Nick Pasquale, Research Yasmin Grey, Post Production Flash Frames, Series Title Design David Binks, Accounting Linda Searle, Opening Voice Melenie Ambrose, Narrator Mike Searle, Executive Producers Mike Searle & Mark Reynolds.
Humanity is on the brink of a revolution in pharmaceuticals that has the potential to free us from the scourge of hitherto incurable diseases. But the source of much of this potential medicine, the humble frog is under threat.
Just as science is uncovering this bonanza, frogs are suffering the biggest mass extinction since the demise of the dinosaur. The devastating cause of their ongoing extinction has now been uncovered, and it has astounded scientists the world over.
An informative and interesting documentary beautifully shot by cinematographer Daniel Searle.
Awards: Environmental Grand Prize 19th Festival International du film et nature Grenobles France & Finalist Festival International du Film d’Environnement France.
Crew: Director Daniel Searle, Post Production Directors Robert McGlynn & Geoff Hall, Editor Geoff Hall, Cinematographer Daniel Searle, Additional cinematography Ingo Helbig, Sound Leo Kooistra, Music MDS, Research Daniel Searle & Rogina Kooistra, Sound Leo Kooistra, Production Manager Melissa Kelly, Sound Post Production Hamdon Sound, Field Producer Rogina Kooistra, Business Affairs Nicola Petit, Head of Production Ingo Helbig, Production Assistant Ben Przywolnik, Dylan Landre-Jackson, Nick Pasquale, Suzie Houndslow, Transcribers Reece Ferris, Chris Wood Jason Marsh, Will Story, Natra Kamarudin, Art Work Martin Manalac, Actors Suzie Houndslow, Nicola Petit, Shannon Helbig, Madeline Hull, Harry Basson, Jessica, Besson, Post Production Flash Frames, Series Title Design David Binks, Accounting Linda Searle, Opening Voice Melenie Ambrose, Narrator Mike Searle, Executive Producers Mike Searle & Mark Reynolds.
Hawaii, the island playground to the rich and famous, is paying a high price for its popularity. Many of Hawaii’s unique plants and animals are under threat from habitat destruction, development, pollution and perhaps worst of all, alien pests.
Today, with so many native species struggling for survival, Hawaii has become known as the endangered species capital of the world.
We investigate a gruesome disease killing the region’s ancient green sea turtles, and in a magical moment witness the birth of a Hawaiian monk seal pup. From below the waterline, to one of the tallest mountains in the world, viewers will see the struggle many Hawaiian species face and meet the determined human helpers who are acting to save them.
Awards: Minister of the Environment’s Prize 29th International Thematic Film Competition Poland & Earth Vision Award 13th Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival & Finalist – Best Documentary Maritime and Exploration and Environmental Film Festival France & Finalist – Best Documentary Festival International du Film Ornithologique France & Best Documentary Earth Vision Award 13th Japan Global Environmental Film Festival US.
Crew: Writer & Director Carolyn Bertram, Producer Mike Searle, Editor Geoff Hall Cinematographer Leighton de Barros, Music MDS, Sound Damiain Brown, Production Manager – Melissa Kelly, Sound Post Production – Hamdon Sound, Additional Cameramen – Damiain Brown, Ingo Helbig, Financial Controller Linda Searle, Head of Production Ingo Helbig, Business Affairs Nicola Petit, Production Assistants Ben Przywolnik, Nick Pasquale, Regan Humphrys, Transcribers: Reece Farris, Chris Wood, Will Storey, Madeleine Hull. Nature Kamarudin, Lee Petit, Laura Innes, Opening Graphic David Binks, Narrator Mike Searle, Opening Voice Melanie Ambrose, Executive Producers, Mark Reynolds, Mike Searle
Cambodia is home to the enigmatic and playful Sun Bear, its cousin the Asiatic Black Bear and also the powerful and impressive Asiatic Tiger. But the survival of these species is under enormous threat; they are on the brink of extinction.
Victims of exotic medicine and horrific culinary delights such as ‘bear paw soup’, these creatures are hunted relentlessly by desperately poor poachers.
We witness the pitiful condition of a recently rescued Sunbear, and share the joy of knowing that a small number of creatures are now safe in sanctuaries designed to educate future generations.
A great documentary written and directed by award winning journalist, broadcaster and writer Stuart Scowcroft.
Crew: Writer Director Stuart Scowcroft, Producer Mike Searle, Editor Matt Charles, Cinematographer Ian Pugsley, Production Managers, Suzy Hounslow, Melissa Kelly, Nicola Petit, Sound Recordist Damiain Brown, Music MDS, Sound Post Production Hamdon Sound, Financial Controller Linda Searle, Post Production Supervisor Ingo Helbig, Business Affairs Nicola Petit, Editors Assistants Ben Przywolnik, Will Storey, Production Assistants Nick Pasquale, Lee Innes, Regan Humphries, Transcribers Lee Petit, Elizabeth Przywolnik, Nora Devenish-Giacobini Benjamin Gregory, Alida Hazelgrove, Andreia Borges Rodrigues, Opening Graphic David Binks, Narrator Mike Searle, Opening Voice Melenie Ambrose, Executive Producers Mike Searle, Mark Reynolds.
Papua New Guinea is truly a land of unexpected beauty and charm; but as its primitive people struggle to survive and move into the new millennium they are placing the unique flora and fauna of their small nation under great threat.
The heart of PNG is a species-rich rainforest, while its coast is fringed with fragile coral reef. Pollution, hunting, mining and logging pose real and immediate threats to these habitats. For centuries this forgotten paradise has been hidden from the eyes of industrial opportunists. But that is no longer the case.
This documentary is a rare opportunity to see some of nature’s best-kept and most enchanting secrets, including the tree kangaroo, the long-beaked echidna and the cassowary as well as the rich coastal marine life.
Crew: Producer, Mike Searle,Writer, Geoff Hall, Mike Searle, Director Geoff Hall, Sound RecordistGlenn Martin, Editor Geoff Hall, Cinematographer Ian Pugsley, Supervising Director Mike Searle, Research Geoff Hall, Daniel Kamien, Melissa Kelley, Yasmin Grey, Camera Assistant Daniel Kamien, Production Manager LeeAnne Innes, Melissa Kelly, Field Producer, Geoff Hall, Music MDS, Sound Post Production Hamdon Sound, Additional Cameramen, Geoff Hall, Ross Sinclair Underwater Cameraman, Daniel Kamien, Colour Grading Matt Charles, Financial Controller Linda Searle, Post Production Supervisor Ingo Helbig, Business Affairs Nicola Petit, Editors Assistants Ben Pryzwolnik Will Storey, Production Assistant Natasha Burns, Opening Graphic David Binks, Library Nick Pasquale, Art Work Michael Manalac, Narrator Mike Searle, Opening Voice Melenie Ambrose, Executive Producers Mark Reynolds, Mike Searle.
This is the story of how 1000 people braved icy wasters for 3 days and 3 nights to help save 90 or so whales stranded on a remote beach in Western Australia.
This multi award winning documentary shows the joy and heart ache of the people involved in this mass rescue.
Awards: Rolex Grand Prize French International Maritime and Exploration Film Festival for & Penguin Award Australian Television Awards, & Merit Award Eart Peace Awards UK . Cable Ace Awards nomination.
Crew: Writer, Producer, Director Mike Searle, Cinematographers Ingo Helbig, Wayne Kuriata,peter Lettemiar editor Geoff Hall, Sound Post Production Julian Douglas-Smith.
Future Proofing – The Zoos (AKA Before It’s Too Late)
Thousands of species could become extinct in the near future, as human activities threaten their natural habitats. Future Proofing – The Zoos, looks at the last-ditch efforts to save many of these species from extinction and preserve global biodiversity. This beautifully shot production provides a portrait of many of the species that are being threatened – from parrots, turtles and beluga whales, to the Arabian onyx – and focuses on the efforts of scientists to breed them in captivity.
Linked by a computer network, 400 zoos and aquariums worldwide are working together on captive breeding programs. Efforts in New York, San Diego, Australia and England are among those profiled. The extent to which scientists must go to help a growing number of endangered species survive provides striking testimony to human impact on the environment. Even if many of these species are successfully bred in captivity, the video warns that a growing number may never be introduced into the wild, as their habitats have disappeared.
We follow one such re-introduction. In Australia we journey to the Great Sandy Desert to follow the release of some mini marsupials back into the wild where they have previously been extinct.
Crew: Writer and Narrater Mike Searle, Director, Peter Du Cane, Producer Mike Searle, Director of Photography Ian Pugsley, Additional Photography Alex McPhee, Michael Goodall, Mathew Kelley, Ross McLean, Sound Mathew Kelley, Associate Producer Linda Searle, Production Manager Samantha Kelley, Editors David Fosdick & Geoff Hall, Online Editors Charlie Collin Adrian Faure, Post Production Sound Tim Thunder, Vic Jones, Music Chris Norman, Special thanks to: Linda Byart, Catherine Beldon, Linda Corcoran, Gena Dobson, Georgeanne Irvine, Gerald Kuching, Paul Loiselle, John Nightingale, Executive Producer Mike Searle.
From the Brink of Eternity
FROM THE BRINK OF ETERNITY looks at what indigenous people of Kenya, the Seychelles and Mauritius are doing to save their endangered species.
In Kenya the film looks at how the growing elephant population is threatening the future of the Amboseli National Park. Once hunted to near extinction the elephants are now so numerous they have almost destroyed the park, by uprooting thousands of acacia trees, thus endangering every animal in the park. We speak with the Kenyan Wildlife Service about a plan to plant one million trees.
In the Seychelles we see the world’s most erotic plant the Coco De Mar. During the last three hundred years it’s erotic and mysterious nuts were washed up on shores around the world. When explorers found their source the nuts were harvested, and thousands of the trees where destroyed to keep the nut’s value. We also see one of the word’s rarest birds the Magpie Robin (just 30 birds left) as well as other endangered birds and animals. We speak with the Seychellous about their efforts to turn the tide of extinction.
In Mauritius we see the world’s rarest bird, the Echo Parakeet (just 17 birds left), as well as the world’s rarest tree, there is only one left. We have all heard the expression “ as dead as a Dodo”. The Dodo comes from Mauritius and is the symbol of extinction. We see what the Mauritius people are doing to save their very special species. In particular we hear of one amazing success story. The Mauritius Kestrel was down to just 4 individual birds. Even the WWF had given up on it. But the Mauritius people saved this species. Today there are more than 250 in the wild.
Awards: Winner of the Bronze UNESCO Prize at the New York Film Festival, Silver Prize at WorldFest Charleston. Nominated for the Best Environmental Documentary at the New York Film Festival, Certificate of Merit Chicago Film Festival.
Crew: Director Peter Du Cane, Producer Mike Searle, Written by Mike Searle and Peter Du Cane, Director of Photography Geoff Mckell, Sound Robert Lawson, Editor David Fosdick, Original Music Hank Marvin and Martin Jenner, Wildlife Research Peter Du Cane, Additional Cinematography Ian Pugsley A.C.S and Alex McPhee A.C.S, Additional Sound Mathew Kelley; Production Managers Eric Regnard and Leonie Bawden, Amboseli Wildlife Guide Daniel Karumba, Production Secretary Linda Searle Production Assistants Liz Rowlings, Tania Lawrence, Nicola Searle
Sound Transfers ABC – Kim Lord, Sound Post Production, Sh-Boom and Ric Curtin, On Line Editing Alan Duplex, ACE 25 Operator Phil Holder, Graphics Teresa Loh, Laboratory Movielab Neg Matching Chris Rowell Productions, Screen West Attachment, Melissa Hasluck, Executive Producer Mike Searle.
Orang-utan, Just Hanging On.
For many of the world’s endangered species it is too late. Either the gene pool is too small, or their habitat is so far gone that those bred in captivity can never be released back into the wild.
There is one species of animal, which confronts both of these predicaments: the Orang-utan. Its habitat has been devastated by humanity. So much so that only two small viable pockets remain in the wild.
In JUST HANGING ON, we travel to the island of Kalimantan in Indonesia, joining the world’s largest Orang-utan rehabilitation project to see first hand the battle they face trying to stop the extinction of this species. We also travel to what is left of the island’s pristine rain forest and see stunning pictures of totally wild Orang-utans in their natural habitat.
The documentary contains the first ever film of an orang-utan giving birth.
Awards: Best Wildlife/Environmental Documentary 22nd International Film Festival de Touristico Milan Italy.
Crew: Writer, Producer Director Mike Searle, Additional Directing Peter du Cane, Director of Photography Ian Pugsley, Sound Glen Martin, Editor Geoff Hall, Music Hank Marvin, Martin Jenner, Tim Count, Keith Van Geyzel, Script Editor Mike Hamilton, Birth sequence Co-directors Peter Du Cane & Ian Pugsley, Associate Producer Linda Searle, Additional Cameramen Jeff Freeman, Production Supervisor Maria Priddy, Production Assistant Liz Rawlings, Construction Manager Louis Duval, Locations Manager Fakri Amrullah, Publicity Simon Elliot, Advisor Leif Cocks, Negative Matcher Chris Rowell, Sound Post Production Paul Hexham, On Line Chris Hetherington, Adrian Faure, Graphics, Dennis Skipworth, Accountant Stephen Down,
Off the Western most coast of Australia is a secret location known to only a very few people, and around 5000 humpback whales.
It’s a special place.
It’s a magic place.
It’s a place where humpbacks come to mate, to give birth and to teach their young how to survive.
This nursery has only just been discovered by humanity, though the whales have known about it for millennium.
The people who discovered this place are Curt and Mich Jenner a husband a wife scientific team who run the Australian Centre for Whale Research. They live on the research vessel WhaleSong with their 3 year old daughter Micah.
In WhaleSong the Jenners take us to this, the humpback bedroom, as they and Earthwatch volunteers study pregnant and nursing humpbacks, with the hope of seeing something which has never been seen before, the birth of a humpback whale.
WhaleSong is a celebration of the humpback whale. In this programme we see unique behavioural footage never before filmed.
We see two huge 50 feet humpbacks gently playing in seaweed, or rather making love in the seaweed. Finding the weed somewhat sensual the pair roll around in it for hours.
The Jenners have been studying humpbacks for 10 years and say they have never seen anything like this before.
We also followed a mother and two-week-old calf. Amazing scenes as we witness her teaching her calf how to fluke slap, how to slap its pectoral fin and the most breathtaking of all, how to breach (to jump out of the water).
Other unique footage includes a pregnant cow in labour. The incredible thing about this is she was hanging upside down, almost as if she was hanging by her tail; she was with an escort. At first it was thought this escort was a midwife, but then the boat started to vibrate as the huge whale below began to sing. Accepted wisdom has it that only males sing. Accepted wisdom has it that only females act as midwives. So was this escort a singing female or a male helping out? This potentially will re-write the textbooks.
Another amazing and very rare sight – a mega-pod of eight whales, seven of whom were males. Humpbacks are solitary animals and are rarely seen in-groups larger than two or three. As already stated this area is a nursery. These seven males however cared not for the pregnant females or the newborn learning how to survive. Like a gang of bikies they tore through the area churning up the sea and “singing up a storm” with their competing whale songs trying to attract a mate.
Rambunctious males aren’t the main threat to baby humpbacks, we see a 5.5 metre white pointer shark attacking and eating a one tonne sea lion. But the main threat to these whales is humanity and in WhaleSong the scientists call for this pristine area to be declared a sanctuary for future generations of humpbacks.
Awards: Cinematography & Commendation Awards International Ocean Film Festival Setonaikai Japanese, 2 x Merit Award International Wildlife Film Festival Missoula, Finalist New York Film Festival. Selected by the Australian Embassy Washington and Earth Watch Inst. to the US Secretary of State’s Environmental Film Festival at the White House.
Crew: Written, Director, Mike Searle. Producers Mike Searle & Linda Searle, Cinematography, Ingo Helbig and Wayde Fairly, Sound Daniel Searle, Editor Geoff Hall, Music Robin Lumbly, Underwater pictures Curt Jenner, Mike Searle, Production Manager Melanie Byers, Grip, Louis Duval, Dubbing David Brady, Shane (Flash frames), Technical Advisor Ian Pugsley, Paul Cutter, Locations Manager Curt Jenner, Post Production Supervisor Ivon Green Flash Frames, Sound Supervisor Doug Hampton, Scientific Advisors Curt & Michellene Jenner.