THE HARDEST/EASIEST/BEST/WEIRDEST THING ABOUT PRODUCING A WILDLIFE DOCUMENTARY
Thanks for the list request! I'm guessing it was written so that I could choose the title I liked best but I'm going to leave it as is and answer all of them.
- •HardestFinding the right angle. For the manatee show we just did, I pitched it a year ago. This is the 8th season of Changing Seas and we know it won't go on forever. I said we have to have a manatee show. But I didn't want just the usual "manatees aggregate in warm waters in the winter" show that I've seen a million times. So I looked up current research and loved the DNA research being done. I thought it would be a great way to talk about DNA, too. And feature female scientists!
- •EasiestWorking with the incredible Changing Seas team. It's mostly women (the series producer, the associate producer, the program manager, the VP). But the men are the coolest too. Everyone pitches in for a true team effort. Even when there is a problem, the boss is very calm and sweet and we figure it out. We are lucky to have an amazing cameraman/editor and the best graphics guy I've ever worked with. Also did I mention they let me work from home or bring my baby to work? He helped edit!
- •BestLiving my dream. When I was little I would make my own little documentaries. But I never thought I'd get to do that in real life. I thought I'd burned that bridge when I went to school for marine biology. But in grad school I started interning for Discovery and eventually PBS with Changing Seas. And once I graduated I kept working for both. I don't have an MFA and really only learned through work experience. It's been incredible.
- •WeirdestThat they let me get away with this. Talk about imposter syndrome! (I did... THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME 😉) And yet here I am. There's a lot of satisfaction with the job, and I have even won some awards for it. My parents weren't 100% convinced when I announced my decision to change careers but I promised them is take them to the Emmys one day and I made good on that promise. (Full disclosure: local Emmys. I did not see anyone famous outside the southeast region. But it was 👍.)