Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

WildLIVE! Crocodiles Attack. Blue Whales Surface. Real Time Takeaways from Wildscreen

This week, we capture the highlights of my Wildscreen panel on LIVE wildlife programming.

Here is the panel description:

WildLIVE! Understanding the Trend towards Real Time Wildlife Programming:
LIVE video is the hottest trend on Facebook and in social media today.
How are wildlife programmers riding the LIVE wave?
BIG BLUE LIVE from the BBC and PBS captures the challenges of a live Blue Chip event.
And Nat Geo Wild’s safariLIVE from Graham Wallington’s WildEarth delivers a twice daily online feed from Kruger National Park that is repackaged into repeatable programs, Facebook Video content, and more.

As well as Graham, the panelists were the BBC’s James Honeyborne and industry veteran Dan Salerno (Nat Geo Wild).

Nat Geo Wild

  • Dan shared fascinating insights into the strategy of a channel that reaches nearly 60 million U.S. homes, but that lacks the big budget for national promotions of its sibling Nat Geo Channel which reaches around 85 million U.S. HH.
  • Nat Geo Wild seizes every opportunity to engage its audience through initiatives that resonate outside the 24×7 schedule, as safariLIVE does.
  • My Takeaway: Dan Salerno’s message is that the door is open to wildlife producers with exceptional ideas and access.


Yesterday I recorded a conversation with Graham about how he developed his focus on live programming.

We then explored WildEarth’s expanding output, discussed the power of Facebook Video Live, and wrapped up with his three big Takeaways:

  • Authenticity is what viewers want from live content.
  • Facebook Live is allowing us to broadcast on nature’s schedule rather than according to a TV schedule.
  • It’s all about practice, rehearsal and long term partnerships.

Watch WildEarth’s clip, including shocking crocodile attack sequences:

And here is my 20 minute audio conversation with safariLIVE‘s Graham Wallington.

Big Blue Live

James Honeyborne shared the development story and production challenges of the BBC/PBS blue chip event, Big Blue Live.

  • Blue Whale enters with perfect comic timing:
  • Blue Whale stuns the BBL presenter:



The panel: with James Honeyborne, Graham Wallington and Dan Salerno. Thanks to Wildscreen’s Inge Samuels