Peter Schriemer Explores The Nature of God
- Tuesday, August 16, 2011
What about taking what you do to an even bigger screen? Wildlife documentaries in movie theaters over the past several years have become so popular. Do you have any thoughts on that?
I would consider it. But currently not, and I’ll tell you why. The reason being is that looking at the market, I would put that on the realm of very high-end cinematic and even sensational filmmaking, ‘cause you’re watching you know like Planet Earth for instance. It’s like incredible extreme shots that took three months to get for two seconds. It’s really, really intense, really expensive and there’s a need for that. I’m really glad that nature filmmaking has gotten to the point that we have such high-end production now and that it really is top-notch stuff. However, there is a movement I would say amongst nature stuff at the moment to be sensational.
“Shark Week” [on Discovery Channel] is an example. “Shark Week” is sensationalism. Another mentor of mine, Chris Palmer, who’s a professor at American University, just wrote a book called Shooting in the Wild which sort of is an expose on nature filmmaking over the years and talks about how basically bad things have been done and the staged things have been done that totally jeopardized animals to get the shot. And in talking about that and in doing that it brings a call to the ethical and moral standards and animal-friendly standards for filmmaking, when it comes to filming the natural world. All that being said, I think that with the push toward sensational is that you look at TV today and where are the hands-on accessible [shows] in your backyard? It’s gone. I don’t see it. And that’s what it used to be a little more of, and right now if you were to base nature on television you’d say well I have to go to Africa or South America or the South Pacific or Australia for amazing animals and that’s not true.
And so the reason I’m not considering that path is because there are people who are way good at that who are doing that right now, providing the content for the American public, but we need someone who’s going to say, ‘You know what? That’s awesome but your backyard can be just as awesome if you know where to look and what to find.’ And so I feel that it’s my job and my calling to help children and families in America, in general, understand the amazing animals, creatures, plants, ecosystems that we have right outside our doors. No matter where you live in the United States we have amazing things all around us, but we often take them for granted and overlook them because they’re right here. We feel like we have to go far away to find something cool, and that’s not the case.
And so that’s what I did with Critter Quest! and that’s what I’d like to do with The Nature of God is say, ‘Look there’s amazing stuff right in your own backyard, and I’m going to show you how to find it, where to find it and why it’s so cool and why you should care.’ So that’s why I would say I’m not currently considering [wildlife or nature documentaries] because I think there’s a great need to understand what’s right here, and because conservation and biblical and environmental stewardship and understanding our call to care and tend to God’s earth starts at home.
There’s a quote that says, ‘In the end we’re only going to conserve what we love. We’re only going to love what we understand. And we’re only going to understand what we’ve been taught.’ And so it starts with teaching people about what’s accessible. If kids understand how cool the things in their own backyard are and that their backyard is a habitat and acts like an ecosystem and that animals function within it, that’s going to be a heck of a lot more relevant to them than saying the rain forest needs your help—you know, way way far away. And the rain forest does need kids’ help, but the point is they understand what’s tangible. Tangible is going to stick with kids. And so that’s why I want to do what I’m currently doing in focusing on what’s in front of children to make that relevant, make that important, because if they love what’s here, they’ll love other places and understand the importance of management of God’s resources.
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