Saturday, March 5, 2016

Insect Video Resources

I have recently been adding videos to my own Bug Eric YouTube channel, but my skills are rather weak and my equipment not as sophisticated as that of some of my friends. So, allow me to introduce you to videographers who produce some truly stunning work that you may find useful.

The Bug Chicks, Kristie (L) and Jessica (R)
The Bug Chicks

Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker are academically-qualified entomologists who are also gifted with superb marketing skills and a talent for communicating scientific knowledge in easily-understood language. You may be familiar with them for their appearance in four nationally-televised commercials for Windows 10, which started airing the evening of the Academy Awards. The Bug Chicks are masters at using a playful approach with an audience of children, but also understand how to engage parents and teachers.

The core of The Bug Chicks empire are short, informative, accurate, and hilarious videos that impart facts in an endearing and entertaining way. Not sure why Kristie and Jess have not yet received Oscars themselves. I laughed my way to learning what a "solenophage" is, just now, thanks to their video about lice.

The Bug Chicks have an infectious enthusiasm for what they do that is sure to win your heart. Meanwhile, they are true professionals who are sticklers for accuracy, don't talk down to their audience, and empower young people, especially girls. They are the role models and mentors we should all aspire to be.

Mark Berman and P.R. Mantis
Bugman Educational Entoprises

Mark Berman is also a professional entomologist. He and his sidekick "P.R. Mantis" bring the world of insects, spiders, and other arthropods to audiences all over Ohio and beyond as Bugman Education. Mark is, like The Bug Chicks, able to captivate adults as well as children. He has even given TED talks in Columbus. Innovative videos are often at the heart of Mark's presentations and displays. His YouTube channel is managed by P.R. Mantis, and showcases some excellent camerawork and production skills. Check it out.

Dick Walton © Shawneen Finnegan from Facebook
Dick Walton Natural History Services

Richard Walton may be "old school" in his documentary-style approach to wildlife videography, but few do it better, or have managed to record such a wide variety of insect species. He does not limit himself to invertebrates, either, nor any one geographical area. Please see for yourself at his website. He aims to not only film the natural behaviors of his subjects, but to make new predator-prey and host-parasite associations as well. Dick is a gentleman and a scholar, accredited in natural history education and with a wealth of publications and teaching experience under his belt. He has served more conservation organizations and government agencies than I can list here. I will let his body of work, much of it available online, do the talking.

I have had the honor of meeting all of these people and am impressed not only by the quality of their products and services, but by the content of their character. No ego in any of them, just a fierce commitment to instill an appreciation for the natural world in others. They do so with love and respect for their audiences. We can learn much from them, and not all of that has to do with "bugs," either.

Have I ignored other talented entomologists and filmmakers? No doubt I have. Please feel free to share your own heroes and their work through your comments on this post. Don't forget to include links to their websites, YouTube channels, blogs, and other online presences. Maybe you create videos. Do not be shy, please. Promote yourself, too.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing these excellent resources! I'm going to visit all these sites.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great stuff here, Eric. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete