I filmed video footage of the Red-shanked douc during my visit to Vietnam in May 2015. I was accompanied by a local field researcher working for a wildlife conservation NGO. Upon my return to Singapore I set up a Skype interview with the founder of the NGO. I found their story fascinating and extended my help in forwarding their cause to save the Doucs.
The opportunity came when Wildlife Photographic Magazine published my first article. The magazine feature a conservation organisation in every issue and I proposed to the editor that they consider the NGO.
Bill Gozansky, Wildlife Photographic Editor, agreed. He approached the NGO founder to write an article. It was suggested a video be created to reinforce the article based on the footage I had filmed in Vietnam.
As the article took shape, it was evident that the video would need to cover more than just the behaviour of the doucs. My partner, Reehana Shihab, produced a script that covered DLF’s conservation efforts. Her script met with immediate approval of the NGO. I then put together a storyboard that combined video footage, motion graphics and stills from the DLF.
We sourced freelance talents. The first was US based, British narrator Ian Russell. His compelling demo left the NGO with ‘goosebumps’. Ian won a unanimous vote for giving voice to the plight of the doucs and DLF’s continuing fight for the primate’s survival.
We found a motion graphics artist with a background in a media production agency. Olena Trushina lent the appropriate skills and experience to deliver the style of animation suitable for the video.
We completed the post-production in time for the deadline. Thanks to the professionalism and collaborative nature of everyone involved. The team’s commitment to the cause of Doucs has been rewarded with the video being chosen as an official selection at the 2016 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York.
Red-shanked Douc Video Synopsis
In Vietnam as much as 70% of the Red-shanked Douc population has been lost in a span of just 30 years. Doucs may be extinct in Vietnam in the next 10 years, because of poaching, hunting and habitat loss. To date wildlife crime is met with disappointing attention in Vietnam. Authorities are slow to react to violations. Prosecutions are few and far between.
The NGO was set up in 2007 to protect Doucs in Vietnam. They have been successful in removing traps, destroying hunter camps as well as confiscating primates kept by locals as pets. The challenge for the NGO is to keep up enforcement efforts in the face of escalating illegal hunting and trade.