|Wednesday, 27 July 2011 12:34|
What is your name: Herbert Brauer
Where are you based? Johannesburg, South Africa
What kind of films do you make? How would you describe what you do?
Until recently I was a wildlife cameraman with Aquavision TV Productions. I worked mostly on 2D wildlife docudramas with a blue chip angle, and lately some wildlife 3D. I've started freelancing this month and want to be more involved in shaping some of the projects I hope doing.
Who or what inspired you to work with film and why cover nature and conservation issues?
I used to be inspired by external factors.Certain events and some fantastic people also helped to shape my life.I'd never forget Des and Jen Bartlett who came to our school in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, and showed us one of their movies.I visited them six years ago the first time I've brought a digi beta along to film desert elephants. I'm realizing now that these events and people haven't influenced me butreally reminded me who I am and that there is a way to align my doing. I'm grateful for that.
What is the favourite film you've worked on?
The Last Lioness
What has been your biggest challenge filming in the field?
Being confronted to accept my own humanness. Many of us who are finding ways to live and work in nature, in remote wilderness areas, are not only drawn there, that'd be quite natural. Instead, we're running away from humanity. But I've learned. I won't give up on humanity.
How has technology changed your job? Has it hindered or enhanced telling the conservation story?
It really is a question of time and money. Filming is based and relies on technology. So it enables us getting footage that might not be possible to see with the naked eye or even to imagine what could be there, or how something looks filmed, not as in reality. It really is a question of budgets, equipment selection and deadlines. I absolutely admire footage taken with high tech equipment in challenging environments like the deep oceans, but prefer to keep it simple in my own work. I have experienced the most gripping storytelling, by the way, around small fires with the Bushmen in the Kalahari....
What is your favourite place in nature? I guess they're spaces / moments, rather than places. Liuwa Plains was special.
From your field experience, what is your biggest concern when it comes to the environment?
I'd feel a bit arrogant saying that I'd be concerned about our environment. Is she not a reflection of our perceptions? I am very concerned about our current superficial inner landscapes and even more about our resulting relationship with her. Nature's self generating healing power and her limits to that became beyond most of our understanding.
How do you think the media industry should be addressing environment and conservation issues?And if you could give one message to the world's leaders on climate change, what would it be?
No one in his of her right mind leaves their intimate relationships, i.e with their family, partners etc in the hands of their countries minister of social affairs. But many of us relinquished our relationship with our planet to our countries' ministers of environmental affairs, industry leaders and "others".
In order to rebuild a reliable environmental understanding in our industrialized "culture", we need to leave our mental and physical comfort and luxury behind every now and then and spend quality time in nature, ideally without distracting gadgets and paraphernalia. It would be even better to take part in multiple day hikes as organised by South Africa's Wilderness Leadership Schools for instance.Love and respect for our natural (and resulting human) environment needs to be learned (earned?) through experience in a system that has proven itself: wild nature. We all need to do that. Our leaders and decision makers need to do that too!Logic tells me they'd have to do that more than the followers. That is my message.
Books, films, talks etc deliver information, create and awaken (learned / familiar?) emotions, which rarely leads to wisdom. It stays somewhere "out there". I've received a lot of feedback that The Last Lioness has touched a lot of hearts, but I'm not sure about the extend to which my work has really deepened any one's connection to their environment, to be quite honest.
So as a filmmaker I work towards forming a strong enough link to remind the viewers who they are. Hopefully we can do that well enough so they can then turn their initial interest from watching a wildlife movie into going out to experience nature and finally a sustained commitment towards our environment.
What are you working on at the moment?
My show reel... And I'd love to film and learn from wolves.
What advice to do have to someone wanting to break into the industry?
Don't break nothing!!! Go for it!!! There's no one single way.
What would you like to remembered for?
Hopefully for having first recognized the human in every person I've met.