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The Camera Loves Animals

For the millions upon millions of animal lovers everywhere, reality television has not only provided a means of seeing exotic creatures in their natural habitat but also to witness the benevolent efforts of many likeminded individuals who prefer to help rather than hunt. Productions of this kind both warm the heart and accumulate massive ratings for networks like Animal Planet and National Geographic Wild. For professionals in the production world like DP Ross Radcliffe, the programs of these networks offer the opportunity to test his abilities and use them to assist in telling the stories of animals for whom he has always shared an affinity. An immensely talented an acclaimed cinematographer in both the TV and film industries, the imagery Radcliffe manifests for some of the most popular programs of this genre is a major contribution to their popularity. Obtaining the footage can be dangerous at times but the results are more than worth it according to Ross. As a member of the team shooting some of Discovery Channel’s most popular and critically praised programs (Radcliffe’s work was an integral part of many programs including Alaska: The Last Frontier – nominated for three Emmy awards and winner of both a Telly Award and Communicator Award). While already receiving Primetime Emmy-nominations, Animal Planet has a host of new shows coming soon; they’re no doubt hoping that Radcliffe’s mojo for being involved with Emmy-nominated productions will magnify these riveting shows.

One of the keys to Animal Planet’s great success is the ubiquitous appeal of animals. While so many cultural factors do not translate, programming based around animals has fared incredibly well as evidenced by Animal Planet’s popularity in the US, UK, Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Canada, and almost every location on the planet. The network is expanding with a large variety of programming this year. Leading this charge is Dodo Heroes, Animal Planet’s First-Ever Global Series Premiere. The six-part documentary series shows compassionate people helping animals in need in numerous locations around the world and premiered on Saturday, June 9th at 9PM ET/PT in America and in more than two hundred countries and territories worldwide. Ross traversed the globe with his camera, filming at such exotic locations as: an elephant refuge in remote northern Thailand, Korea to witness a prosthetic leg made for a dog rescued from a meat factory, and others. These stories of Dodo Heroes are quite intense but reaffirm the existence of altruism in the world.

Radcliffe documented the investigations of lost/missing pets for the new series Trackers about a track handler duo who works with dogs to assist desperate owners in locating their beloved pets. Each story is an emotional rollercoaster. Ross’s work on Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet takes place all over Alaska. Dr. Oakley’s practice and the show covers hundreds of miles in the Yukon Territory. Episodes entail stalking Wolverines, performing surgery on bears, and other unusual manners of animal care. Ross adds, “The show is really extraordinary. Beyond being an animal lover myself, I respect what Dr. Oakley does. Before working on this show I could never say that I had hung out the side of a helicopter in sub-zero temperature to film someone pursuing wild horses. Whatever interesting situations Michelle gets herself into, I’m there to capture that story for the audience. I’ve been lucky enough to work around some amazing creatures all over the world. I have always been a huge animal lover and anytime I get to work around animals, I usually have a big smile on my face. Wild animals are in their nature challenging to film as they don’t exactly take much direction and are unpredictable. When working near animals such as Grizzly bears or Leopards, you must respect what that animal is capable of doing.” Watch Dodo Heroes, Trackers, & Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet on Animal Planet.

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