Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Borneo’s bears, orang utans and crocodiles

The island of Borneo will be the subject of a new 10-part series of half-hour documentaries, temporarily titled, Borneo.

But this is not just any documentary. It is said to be the biggest co-production agreement in factual programming between Malaysia and Singapore.

Jointly produced by Malaysia’s Kyanite TV and Singapore’s Beach House Pictures (BHP), Borneo, which is slated for release mid-next year, will shed light on the world’s third largest island’s rich biodiversity and chronicle the efforts by both local and international individuals to protect it.

During a press event announcing the documentary in Kuala Lumpur, the producers did not reveal the show’s budget but described it as “a significant sum.”

“It’s not just about the money but the scale of it, how long we’re spending on the field, the teams we’ve pulled in from everywhere, the equipment we’re using. The editing process alone will take six months,” says BHP managing director Jocelyn Little.

Indeed, the fact that production started last January and is still ongoing. gives viewers an idea of Borneo’s magnitude.

As it is an “observational documentary”, Little shares the long production schedule has to do with letting the stories develop organically: “We don’t set things up, we have to film and see what happens. So we go in and we follow a story. It can conclude in just one week or three to four months.”

She adds the crew members pretty much live in the jungle.

Kyanite TV’s managing director Michael Lim shares that some of the stories explored so far include: following a group of 100 scientists on their mission to find new species and the rare release of a sun bear and an orang utan into the wild after being rehabilitated in animal sanctuaries.

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