Hells Yes (again): the Lion Lava Lamp

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.

Webby Award Screen Shot