Wildlife Media/BEARTREK Milestones

About a week ago I asked our behind the scenes guru Carmen for the milestones of Wildlife Media for our Facebook page.  What she returned to me is an impressive list of accomplishments and an exciting display of movement over the last 12 years.  Take a look at where we’ve been and stay tuned to hear more about where we’re headed!

2001 – BEARTREK begins as an idea. Chris imagines an around-the-world filmed adventure by bike to meet with biologists and benefit bear conservation. From here the concept is shaped with Joe’s input a year or two later – when Chris and Joe meet by chance in Alaska (Joe filming, Chris guiding).

2005 – Enter John Taylor (now our Chairman and CEO). John saw huge potential in the plans that Joe and Chris were discussing and took it to the next level. He not only provided generous funding to begin making BEARTREK a reality, but his foresight lead to the founding of our organization, and a mission to change the face of conservation through films to inspire change in the world. John’s strategic mind and passion for the wild continues to fuel Wildlife Media’s direction.

Mar 2007 – Wildlife Media Founded. Wildlife Media is formed with one vision:  To change the hearts and minds of people everywhere through exceptional films that raise awareness for conservation work around the world. Our small group of dedicated co-founders (Chris Morgan, Joe Pontecorvo, John Taylor, Annie Mize, Jim Lewis, and Chris Palmer) set out to create an organization like no other conservation group, and like no other film production company. We also make plans to channel proceeds from the films back into conservation work on the ground in the areas that were filmed.

Sept 2007 – Filming in Alaska begins. The giant brown bears of the Alaska Peninsula. Joe, Chris, and John embark on an adventure that is to last years, and inspire more than they can ever imagine.

John Taylor (Wildlife Media Co-Founder and Chair) and Joe Pontecorvo (Wildlife Media Co-Founder and BEARTREK Director of Photography/Producer) preparing to film among the giant brown bears of Katmai - BEARTREK location number 1! Photo: Chris Morgan.


Sept-Oct 2007 – Filming continues in Borneo. The smallest bears in the world, sun bears, in one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems on the planet.

May 2008 – Chris and Joe screen Alaska and Borneo footage at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula. PBS is in the audience. Shortly after, PBS commissions the mini-series, ‘Bears of the Last Frontier’. Wildlife Media is listed as a production partner alongside PBS and National Geographic. The series is broadcast to 200 million homes around the world in May 2011.

August 2008 – Joe begins filming spectacled bears in Peru with Robyn Appleton for BEARTREK.

May 2009 – BEARTREK theatrical trailer created.

Nov-Dec 2010 – Peru filming complete. Came away with amazing rare footage of wild Andean, or spectacled, bears!

May 2011 – Chris talks bears on Letterman! Promotes Wildlife Media and ‘Bears of the Last Frontier’.

Sept 2012 – Wildlife Media begins its first of two polar bear film shoots in Churchill, Manitoba – this one with Dr Nick Lunn.

Oct 2012 – An anonymous donor provides the final funding needed to produce BEARTREK (the day before we leave to film our final BEARTREK location… now with BIG smiles on our faces).

Nov 2012 – Final BEARTREK filming takes place in Churchill, Manitoba! On to post-production.

Mar 2013 – Wildlife Media hires Oscar-nominated film editor Billy McMillin to oversee the process of editing BEARTREK footage. Billy has been involved since the very beginning and has edited many of the shorts you’ve seen.

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  1. nikki says:

    Absolutely Fabulous :)

  2. Patty Taylor Matheus says:

    Amazing work ethic! I’m impressed by the progress achieved in such a relatively short span of time! Keep up the great work!

  3. Bruce Faanes says:

    Looking forward to seeing the movie this spring. (unfortunately, spring’s been officially cancelled in Wisconsin).

  4. verner kristensen says:

    your doing a brilliant job there keep it up hope to se some films on bbc 1 soon

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