Projects Abroad | Media & Journalism

South Africa: Wildlife Documentary Film-Making Internship

Mossel Bay, South Africa

Description

Location: Mossel Bay, South Africa

Duration: 1 months

Start Dates: Start dates are each month, enquire with us when applying.

Cost: $2,800 USD per month – see Costs section for more details.

Includes: all food, accommodation, airport pickup & dropoff, orientation, training and all project related travel

Does not Include: Flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations, equipment hire

Benefits:

  • Gain hands-on experience working with, and learning from, an environmental and media company in South Africa
  • Ideal for interns with an interest in working in documentary film-making, and creating a 5 minute video to showcase their skills
  • Keywords: wildlife documentary film-making, media career development, environmental and wildlife issues in Africa
Costs Explained

Introduction

You will be working with an environmental and media company who focus on bringing attention to environmental issues specific to Africa, always looking for unique and authentic perspectives in their work. We work with many different clients, ranging from broadcasters, corporations, non-governmental organizations, print media and online news outlets. Our work is not restricted to land-based work, and you can also get wet with our underwater photography work also!

During your time with us, you will learn how to develop, film, and edit your own wildlife documentary set in an African game reserve. If you are set on a career making wildlife documentaries, then we can help! You will gain skills specific to the working of camera operators, directors, producers, script-writers, as well as the diverse positions required to produce and broadcast a successful wildlife documentary. This course will give you a absolutely unique ‘hands-on’ experience geared towards allowing you the opportunity to break into this demanding industry.

Our wildlife filming course is run over 1 month. The first and last weeks are spent at Mossel Bay conducting pre-production and post-production work. The remaining 9 days are spent living on a reserve, filming your wildlife documentary.

Daily Life

The course is divided into three components, namely: Pre-production (6 days), Production (9 days) and Post production (6 days).

Week 1 – Pre-production

  • Day 1: Orientation – Introduction to South Africa, the wildlife filming program, and an overview of the industry and program goals.
  • Day 2: Practical – Camera operation and maintenance, and data management. Working with talent, audio in films
  • Day 3: Tutorial – Editing tutorials
  • Day 4: Practical – Filming and interacting with animals, reading behaviours, editing short clip
  • Day 5: Practical – Monkeyland & Birds of Eden shooting day

Week 2 – Production

  • Day 1: Practical – Editing Monkeyland & Birds of Eden. Stories in wildlife filma, and story Workshop
  • Day 3: Practical – Travel to reserve, orientation to reserve, and story development (D1)
  • Day 4 – Practical – Filming day at reserve (D2)
  • Day 5 – Practical – Filming day at reserve (D3)
  • Day 6 – Practical – Filming day at reserve (D4)
  • Day 7 – Practical – Filming day at reserve (D5)

Week 3 – Production

  • Day 1 – Practical – Filming day at reserve(D6)
  • Day 2 – Practical – Filming day at reserve (D7)
  • Day 3 – Practical – Filming day at (D8)
  • Day 4 – Practical – Packing day and return to Mossel Bay (D9)

Week 4 – Post-production

  • Day 1 – Media logging and organisation
  • Day 2 – Non-linear editing of footage
  • Day 3: Non-linear editing of footage
  • Day 4: Soundscape building, colour correction & grading
  • Day 5: Pitching & selling, exportation of production, evening showing

One of the reserves with whom we work is Schotia Private Game Reserve, which is the oldest private game viewing reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It borders the eastern side of Addo Elephant National Park. The reserve is a malaria free reserve and is probably the most densely stocked reserve in Africa. Over 40 mammal species and approximately 2000 animals, it can offer consistently good game viewing throughout the year. Schotia was the first reserve in the Cape Province to have free roaming lions and we can almost guarantee sightings of these magnificent animals on every game drive.

You can expect to find the following species;

  • African Lion
  • African elephant
  • White Rhino
  • Cape Buffalo
  • Hippopotamus
  • Black backed jackal (rare)
  • Brown Hyena (rare)
  • Caracal (rare)
  • Warthog
  • Bush pig
  • Nile Crocodile
  • Bushbuck
  • Giraffe
  • Black wildebeest
  • Blue wildebeest
  • Eland
  • Red hartebeest
  • Cape zebra
  • Impala
  • Springbok
  • Waterbuck
  • Blesbok
  • Ostrich
  • Rheebuck
  • Secretary Bird (rare)

Depending on the month, we may also visit different game reserves for filming. This will be decided at the discretion of the in-country coordinators.

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Travel & Accommodation

You will need to fly into George Airport, Western Cape , South Africa.

The project is located in Mossel Bay, which is surrounded by the Outeniqua Mountains 400 kms east of Cape Town.

Accommodation with our partner is luxurious!

Generally , the rooms will be shared with up to three other students of the same sex. At a surcharge of $500 per month, private rooms are available on a first come, first serve basis)

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Requirements

  • Minimum age 18.
  • Minimum 1 month commitment.
  • Basic English language skills.
  • Background in film or biology preferred
  • Necessary vaccinations
  • Necessary flight & visas.
  • Full travel & medical insurance – full assistance provided in arranging everything you will need if you choose our Premium Support

All video equipment is supplied as part of the course. If you want to bring your own equipment, particularly if you are interested on shooting with DSLR cameras, you are more than welcome.

In terms of post production – we prefer you bring your own laptop to edit on. This should have at least 4gb RAM and be pre-loaded with a version of Adobe premier. We do have a limited (three) number of editing computers available if you do not have your own personal editing computer.

Video Cameras available:

  • 6 x Panasonic HVX-200P series P2
  • 7 x GoPro cameras (effects camera)
  • 1 x Phantom 4 drone

Audio Equipment available:

  • 6 x RODE shotgun mics (camera or boom mounted)
  • 3 x Sennheiser and sony lavallière radio mic systems
  • 1 x Tascam digital audio recorder
  • 1 x Rode DSLR mounted shotgun mic
  • 1 x Soundproof audio recording suite

Accessories available:

  • 6 x video camera tripods
  • 6 x video ‘throw bags’
  • 1 x video camera crane
  • 3 x reflectors
  • 1 x radio control ‘cub cam’ filming vehicle
  • 1 x camera slider (tracking shots)

Computers: Please bring your own laptop if you have one. It must be pre-loaded with Adobe Premiere Pro CC2015  or CS6 as we use this extensively on the course. We do have three computers to use if it is impossible for you to bring your own computer.

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Costs

The cost is $2,800 per month.

*$750 deposit to confirm your place
**All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** For the latest currency conversions, check out xe.com

What’s Included:
  • All food and accommodation
  • Local transport
  • Airport pickup & dropoff
  • Entry and access to filming platforms (including 10 days on the Schotia Reserve)
  • All tuition and experiential learning
  • Use of broadcast quality HD video cameras (Panasonic P2), use of professional audio gear, use of professional drone, filming expeditions to Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Harry Getty park,
  • Use of programs equipment and facilities
  • Internet access
What’s Not Included
  • All Flights, Travel Insurance and Vaccinations
  • Additional short courses
  • Laptop computer (please bring your own)
  • Laundry service
  • Tourism excursions
  • Extra food and beverages

Depending on your habits and lifestyle, we usually suggest adding to your monthly budget between 4,000 and 6,000 South African Rand (approx. $300-500 USD) for souvenirs, excursions, entertainment and other personal daily needs. If you want to do a SCUBA course you should add a further R4000.

Due to the number of applications received and limited places, we unfortunately cannot accept all applying interns. Therefore, we do not welcome cancellations or date changes after the final confirmation and deposit has been paid. We request that a non-refundable USD750 deposit is paid within a week of booking into the program as confirmation (foreign and local bank fees are for your own account). The remaining fee must be paid in full 21 days prior to your arrival in South Africa. In case of cancellation, we will attempt to move you to a preferred month that you are able to attend, however, we cannot offer refunds on deposits.

Pick ups and drop offs from George Airport will be organised for the 1st of the month. Interns arriving or leaving outside this time will be required to arrange transport from the airport to the us at their own cost. Domestic flights within South Africa can be arranged with one of the following companies (www.kulula.com, www.1time.aero, www.flysaa.com).

If you would like to stay with us outside of the program dates (1st to the 30th) then we ask R400/day to cover food and accommodation.

Note: Map coordinates are approximate


Past Participants Say

Chiara Seidlitz
Chiara Seidlitz
Germany
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  "My time at the project in Mossel Bay was very special to me. This project really focuses on wildlife filmmaking and everything that comes with it. There hasn't been a day where I was bored or felt out of place. Every single day was pure work, laughs and overall an amazing experience. I don't know if I personally made a difference to the ...
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