Listen to the penguins!
I'm Ron Naveen and I hope this film inspires people to think more positively and proactively about climate change. And hopefully, inspires a whole new generation of penguin counters! Yes, I count penguins for a living! And along with my team of intrepid field biologists we really and truly believe that we can make a difference. Despite the obstacles of working in some of the world's roughest, coldest, stormiest places, we've produced unprecedented results about an entire ecosystem.
And we're already listening to the "messages" penguins are sending. Hopefully, you will too! Of the three species we study, one is doing fine in the vastly warming Antarctic Peninsula climate, while the other two are declining significantly. Examining "why" helps us understand how flexibility and adaptability in the face of climate change are key.
My Antarctic Site Inventory project is about to enter its 20th anniversary field season, and continues a passion for birds I've had since I was a kid. Ours is science in its most basic form. We're not explorers, climbers, or athletes. The weather we face is grueling. The terrain is hostile and we're only kitted out with golf-ball-sized tally-whackers and waterproof spiral notebooks. But our data has been instrumental in the formation of policies among polar scientists and the 50 member nations of the Antarctic Treaty Organization.
So we're driven by our wish to conserve Antarctica for future generations and, as you'll see in this film, framing climate discussions more positively.
Tell your friends about THE PENGUIN COUNTERS and help us spread the penguins' messages around the world!
Why would anyone count penguins for a living? That's what Peter and I set out to discover when we filmed Ron Naveen and his team at the bottom of the world. It may seem like mad, crazy science to count hundreds of thousands of ice-cold penguins in this rapidly warming region. But we love the idea that penguins may hold the key to how humans can cope with climate change, and that is what we want to share with you.
Erik Osterholm's career started in Aspen then Antarctica, and quickly expanded to producing for the Weather Channel, Anthony Bourdain's CNN travel series and Vice. Since this production he has filmed in the Arctic and Antarctic as well as Africa, Asia and South America.
Whilst at Getzels Gordon Productions, Catherine Shields can be found perched on her yoga ball, syncing up with whatever editing work is at hand. Cathy's opus of work as an editor of documentaries for 25 years has earned multiple awards, including 2 Emmys, 2 Oscars and an Oscar nomination.
Marc Masters has been a documentary editor for 15 years with credits on programs for PBS, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and TLC. He is also a freelance music journalist for Wire, Pitchfork, Baltimore City Paper; and his book 'No Wave', was published by Black Dog Publishing.
Kelli Serena was Line Producer and Production Manager. She has over twenty years of experience supervising a wide range of platforms including multi-million dollar projects. She worked across all the networks at Discovery Communications for 8 years.
Starting at G2 logging and transcribing hours and hours of The Penguin Counters, Patrick Foust quickly became Online Editor and Assistant Editor for this film.
Christine Ryan, who started at G2 with Patrick on the logging and transcribing shifts, is an Associate Producer. She coordinates shoots, script review, archive, artwork and graphic needs, with artistic flair. Her degree in English is much appreciated at G2.
Ron Naveen's been going to Antarctica for more than 30 years — what amounts to more than 6 years in real time, and counting penguins for Oceanites and his Antarctic Site Inventory for 20. Everyone concerned with Antarctica's future conservation, substantially relies on the Inventory's unique database and analyses. Penguins are Ron's marquee animals, they're constantly prancing across his dreams, reminding him how awesome it is to be alive. They also reinforce the responsibility he feels to think more positively and proactively about our fragile, watery planet, and to continue the Inventory's invaluable work well into the future.
Living in a stone house in a remote corner of Peru whilst trying to finish their first film about the largest religious pilgrimage in the Andes, Peter and Harriet thought they'd be there forever. But after three years they were able to complete the edit, and ever since they have chased stories about science, anthropology, religion and adventure.
With a long list of international awards and over forty documentaries plus a number of TV series, Getzels Gordon have produced for British, American, European and Chinese television. Based in the UK for 16 years and now in Washington DC, Peter is also the producer of Closer to Truth, a long running PBS series about the cosmos, consciousness and the philosophy of religion. At the heart of their work is a passion for great stories.