Gordon Buchanan: 30 Years In The Wild Tour - Interview
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One of today's leading wildlife presenters and filmmakers is taking to the stage to tell his remarkable story. Gordon Buchanan
, who has produced some of the most popular wildlife programmes on the BBC, will be taking a look back at his 30 year career in wildlife when he visits Birmingham's Town Hall in March. WeekendNotes caught up with him.
[B]Q: How did you get into making nature films as your career?[/B]A: I was 17, and working in a restaurant on the Isle of Mull at weekends and evenings to earn a bit of money - and the husband of the owner was a cameraman. He was going to Sierra Leone for 18 months to make a film about the animals in the Gola rainforest, and he asked me if I wanted to come along as his assistant. I knew nothing about what it involved, and I had no idea really what I was getting into - but I knew it was the sort of life I wanted, and I never wavered from that belief. So having never been abroad - never even been on a plane - there I was a month after leaving school, setting off for a year and a half on the other side of the world.
[B]Q: How has wildlife filmmaking changed over the years you've been doing it?[/B]A: The technology has changed hugely over the three decades since I started out - it's always been about showing viewers the parts of nature we've never been able to see before, and technology allows us to do that more and more. But the other huge change across the years has been the increased realisation about how vulnerable and fragile these areas of the world where I'm filming actually are. Thirty years ago we didn't know - the world was a lot bigger then, and we simply didn't realise the impact human beings were having on wildlife. Now we understand that so much better, and I'm acutely aware of it in every way, from my own carbon footprint to questions around changes that need to be made by governments across the globe, if we're going to stop the damage. Right now we're losing animals before we even knew their species existed - that's a tragedy.
[B]Q: Given all that, how optimistic are you about the future?[/B]A: Despite the immense difficulties I do have hope for the future. I spent time at COP26, in my home city of Glasgow, and I was really moved by how children and young people are making their voices heard. At the moment it's the suits who are making the decisions - but soon it will be the turn of the new generation, and they're going to understand the climate emergency in a very different way, which I think will make for real change. My growing-up years were the eighties, when we were all in awe of the US and consumption - it was all about big cars and having stuff. But the mentality has changed, and tomorrow's decision-makers are being formed by that.
[B]Q: What are your career highlights?[/B]A: A few years ago I was working with arctic wolves on Ellesmere Island in Canada; it's really remote, there are no people there. I got to meet a pack of wolves who had no preconceptions whatsoever about humans. What I realised is that wolves have been vilified for centuries by humans - but they've been totally misrepresented. They're actually highly intelligent animals, and I felt honoured to spend time with them. Another incredible moment for me was seeing polar bear cubs emerge into the world for the first time. They'd been in their winter den, under the snow, for the first four months of their lives, and I was there to see them coming out into the daylight, seeing what was outside, exploring it with a sense of wonder. Another amazing time was the two years I spent living in Brazil, travelling up the Amazon by boat. I remember the incredible sense of awe at being in the last great wilderness on the planet - that memory has stayed with me, and it always will.
Gordon Buchanan can be seen at Birmingham Town Hall on March 28. Tickets priced from £26 are available by calling 0121 644 6053 or visiting https://bmusic.co.uk/events/gordon-buchanan-30-years-in-the-wild-tour
!date 28/03/2023 -- 28/03/2023
74001 - 2023-02-02 22:22:00