Mark Emery, a cinematographer–and the narrator–on “Wild Florida”

Mark Emery—one of the cinematographers, and the narrator, on the new documentary “Wild Florida,” part of the PBS series, “Nature”—addresses the early part of his career as a wildlife filmmaker, and how he may have been singularly equipped for it, growing up in Ocala, Florida. Elaborating, he says his childhood cultivated an early love for exploring outdoors and observing assorted animals, and the resulting familiarity with various critters’ movements and behavior proved enormously helpful when it came time to efficiently film those animals. Emery notes that he still lives in Ocala, part of the year, spending the other part in Alaska—and has traveled to some 30-plus countries to work on films. He addresses how the “Wild Florida” filmmakers made some of the decisions about what to cover—and which conservationists and other experts to interview—in preparing the production. Emery also speaks to a couple animals featured in the film—alligators, Burmese pythons—that are almost constitutionally required in a documentary about Florida wildlife, yet in each case, information is provided that will likely be surprising to even lifelong Floridians.  Other topics featured in the film, and discussed in the interview, range from kites (and their 5000-mile migration to South America), to key deer, to the Coral Restoration Project, whose work includes the fascinating process of growing corals in a nursery setting before relocating them to reefs. “Wild Florida” is currently streaming on the “Nature” website.   (https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature, https://markemeryfilms.com)

ALSO: I spoke with Suzanne King, organizer of Gulfport’s Get Rescued, the annual rescue/adoption event—now in its 16th year—that spreads across four city blocks of Gulfport. King explains this year’s incarnation, which was to be held on Feb. 22, would present 49 rescue groups, each offering adoptable pets. Though that constitutes the event’s focus, King noted some of the day’s other activities, including various elements of the Weiner Dog Derby, as well as the Bark-B-Que Fun-Raiser and Pet Supply Drive,  among others. (http://gulfportsgetrescued.com, https://www.facebook.com/Getrescued/)

COMEDY CORNER: Jim Gaffigan’s “I’m A Manatee” (excerpt) (https://www.jimgaffigan.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” The Sun Society’s version of “Octopus’s Garden,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  Sweet’s “Fox On The Run”

AUDIO ARCHIVE

Part One:

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Part Two:

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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