We've been working together on natural history films since 1980, when we met in New York City, just out of college, while working as freelance crew on TV documentaries and commercials. We started filming birds for a "video guide" back when VCRs were first making an appearance. We have always used 16mm film. Our film footage can always be transferred to the latest of the ever-changing video formats - even high definition, but what a HUGE drain on the resources! 50 cents a second! In 2008, we made the transition to shooting digital high-definition and we expect to pick up the pace with no more film and processing to pay for!
For the first ten years, we concentrated on warblers, filming a few here and there between jobs that paid the bills. We started with this difficult group in 1985 because some people told us we'd never be able to get them all and we're really ornery. Thanks to their challenges, by 1995, we had all the Eastern species in the can and were able to finish "Watching Warblers." Its success has allowed us to devote more time to bird projects. "Watching Waders" only took us three years - and three years to film both "Watching Sparrows" and "Watching Warblers West." Whew! At this rate...
Meanwhile, we've been making movies for National Geographic, PBS, BirdSight, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We've also contributed to several of the great series that David Attenborough and the BBC Natural History Unit have created - "Planet Earth," "The Life of Birds," "The Life of Mammals," "Blue Planet," and "Journey of Life." We worked with many charming reptiles and amphibians for "Life in Cold Blood," and spent many days with Red Knots and Horseshoe Crabs for the BBC series "Life." Michael was nominated for an Emmy in 2009 for his cinematography on the PBS NATURE program "Crash : a Tale of Two Species." In 2010 Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology added clips from our library of bird footage to the "Birds of North America" online project. 2011 brought exciting adventures with our new RED Epic Camera to the Arctic tundra of Canada and Alaska.
So far in 2012 we are deeply into DUCKS for our own DVD and for an upcoming program on the NATURE series on PBS. We're also working on "Watching Waterfowl," "Watching Shorebirds," "Backyard Birds" and "Birds for Kids" but being the obsessive types that we are, this will take a while....
Meanwhile, check out our new internet show - The Little Nature Show. We're really excited about this project because it will allow us to get some work out there to the world without taking our usual FIVE YEARS. If you click some of the pictures on this page, windows will open with more of our story!