A National Geographic website built from my video won Best Use of Video or Moving Image for 2013, as judged by the Webby Awards. This multimedia website was perhaps National Geographic magazine’s first serious video website. What I love most is that we put the subject first, and buried the typical behind the scenes banality that often surfaces. Folks are free to take a visual safari and explore the sights and sounds of the Serengeti, as team member Jody Sugrue (creative director for National Geographic’s digital products) put it: “It is a lion lava lamp.”
The Serengeti Lion coverage was the culmination of ten years of work with the great photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols. He photographed and I filmed the lion prides who inhabit a remote and closed area of Serengeti National Park. We worked there 9 months over a nearly two year period. It was the assignment of a lifetime, and made even better by Brent Stirton’s incredible coverage of human/lion issues.
Just last month we heard the tragic news that the lion pride (dubbed “Vumbi”) who we followed most closely was wiped out by young Masai hunters – apparently inside Serengeti NP. It was a senseless act of cruelty, is indefensible, and even more tragically also resulted in the death of a young Masai who was accidentally killed by another Masai as they stabbed the eldest lion (Vesuvious) to death.
Many of my colleagues are in France right now, and the short film I created on Serengeti Lions is showing there at an exhibit of Nick Nichols’ photography. Here is the curator of that festival in a short video which I find gets right to the point.
Jean-Francois Leroy from Photo Raw Magazine on Vimeo.
Got back yesterday from NYC, where Nichols and I were flown up to appear on CBS’ This Morning show. It was very exciting to share lions with so many people..
Check it out here:
Whoa! NBC Today show throws up several minutes of my footage in an interview with Nick Nichols without real attribution.
The multimedia site I’ve been working on all spring is finally up and running. I’m so proud, it seems for the first time the video I’ve shot is really getting out there in a way I believe in. The format is a riff on how I first edited the material when I was showing it around early this year, more poetic than linear. I was looped in to edit the video with a really strong group of new hires at the magazine. Exciting times. Click here for the link.
Wow. It has been a busy few months. The lions footage I’ve been working on for the past two years premiered at the Look3 Festival last month. I created a 24 minute multimedia installation with Michael Nichols for his photo exhibition inside an old church. What made me happiest was seeing all the people from the community who came in to watch this free gallery show. Word had spread on the street virally. Very cool.