Remember the controversy last year surrounding the use of a captive wolf in an award-winning wildlife photograph? Turns out this kind of deception might be common practice in the world of wildlife filmmaking.
Chris Palmer — the producer and director of quite a few notable wildlife films — has written a new book titled Shooting in the Wild in which he exposes many of the “dirty secrets” of nature documentaries.
The above video is an ABC Nightline segment in which Palmer discusses many of the tricks used in the business, including using trained animals, dragging dead animal carcasses to locations, digging fake dens, and even telling outright lies in the narration. One shocking example is found in the Academy Award winning documentary White Wilderness: a scene that seems to show lemming suicide was actually created by pushing lemmings off a cliff using a rotating platform.
Palmer also reflects on the question: does the positive good these faked scenes do justify the dishonest tricks used to create them? What do you think?