National Geographic

National Geographic Channels Worldwide has chosen NHNZ’s Moving Images to be the footage sales agent for more than 20 years of accumulated footage from its blue-chip factual programming library, including hundreds of hours of HD footage.

The film archive deal adds thousands of hours of new footage to NHNZ Moving Images’ collection and provides a goldmine of fresh HD material, says Caroline Cook, Manager of NHNZ Moving Images.

“This is a real coup for NHNZ Moving Images. There is a significant market crying out for archive HD material and to date there hasn’t been a lot of it out there.

The NGC collection contains a huge variety of stunning footage. Unique animal behaviours, amazing establishing shots, aerials, time-lapse, CGI and slow motion shots – you name it and you’ll find it in this collection.”

Germaine Deagan Sweet, Vice President, Global Content Sales at National Geographic Channels, says NGC saw an opportunity to increase its revenue streams for its production investments through licensing.

“National Geographic Channel has a longstanding reputation for brilliant, high-quality imagery, and we wanted to provide producers with a broader opportunity to access the incredible breadth of our inventory with footage that has captivated audiences worldwide.  NHNZ’s Moving Images was a natural fit for this, and National Geographic Channels Worldwide is happy to partner with NHNZ on the venture.”

She says the footage collection represents many award–winning series and programmes including Living Edens, Known Universe, Megastructures, Shark Men, Secret Bible and Perilous Journeys, and spans core genres ranging from natural history and science to culture and engineering.

NHNZ General Manager, John Crawford describes the deal as a “significant boost” to the content of NHNZ’s stock footage library, which already holds over 200,000 hours of footage from its own productions and the many award-winning production houses and filmmakers it represents.

NHNZ Moving Images has been meticulous about selecting clips, and inputting high quality key wording to enable footage buyers to quickly access the NGC collection through its website

“We’ve also recently changed our purchasing model,” says Mr Crawford.  “There are no “killing fees”, no minimum order and it sells by the second not the clip. To make viewing and ordering easier entire sequences are placed online rather than breaking them up into short clips.”

(From a press release)

Move or die. National Geographic Channel’s Great Migrations gives the word “move” a whole new meaning. This seven-part global programming event takes viewers around the world on the arduous journeys millions of animals undertake to ensure the survival of their species.

Shot from land and air, in trees and cliff-blinds, on ice floes and underwater, Great Migrations tells the powerful stories of many of the planet’s species and their movements, while revealing new scientific insights with breathtaking high-definition clarity and emotional impact. The beauty of these stories is underscored by a new focus into these species’ fragile existence and their life-and-death quest for survival in an ever-changing world.

The National Geographic Great Migrations team spent two and a half years in the field, travelling 670,000 kilometres across 20 countries and all seven continents to bring this ambitious production to television.

Seven hours in total, Great Migrations premieres worldwide this November 7 in 330 million homes, 166 countries and 34 languages, with four core hours chronicling epic animal migration. Additional hours include a special on scientific investigation of the mysteries of animal migration; a behind-the-scenes special on the advanced technology, dramatic challenges and passion required to capture these spectacular events; and an hour-long visual concert comprised of the stunning footage set to original music.

A global initiative unprecedented in the Society’s storied 122-year history, Great Migrations content will also be featured across the spectrum of National Geographic platforms, including magazine articles and maps, books, DVDs, mobile and iPhone apps, games, lectures, screenings, exhibits and tours, among others.

Great Migrations reveals new scientific insight, previously undocumented behaviours and the most-in depth visual record of a diverse range of animal migrations, including red crabs on Christmas Island, flying foxes in Australia, Pacific great white sharks, Botswana zebras, Mali elephants and army ants in Costa Rica. The series is a technical tour de force capturing the travels of microscopic ocean plankton and translucent jellyfish and documenting the attachment of radio transmitters to monarch butterflies and elephant seals in order to study their migration behaviours. Each animal’s fragile, yet majestic, existence will inspire viewers to consider what it is really like to move like your life depends on it.

The films reveal in detail animal behaviours never before caught on camera, including the dramatic moment a herd of Mali elephants pass through “La Porte des Elephants” – the elephants’ door – in West Africa, and a monarch butterfly flying with a radio transmitter attached. Off the coast of Guadalupe Island, observe rarely seen behaviour as a great white shark devours a seal. Also see the unusual footage of a zebra stallion as he tries to herd an orphaned foal. Witness history as massive numbers of white-eared kob in Sudan, thought to have been wiped out during 20 years of violent unrest, are filmed for the first time, as well as a heartbreaking crisis for Arctic walruses confronting historic climate change.

“Great Migrations has thus far been the most ambitious undertaking in National Geographic Channel history,” said Steve Burns, EVP, Content, National Geographic Channel. “We assembled a team of the best wildlife cinematographers in the business and gave them the most advanced technology in existence to capture these incredible stories of survival with life-and-death drama unfolding in every shot. Working with our partners at National Geographic Society, we are using every resource at our disposal to produce and distribute this spectacular content in a coordinated effort across all media platforms.”


Set to original music by film and television composer Anton Sanko (“Big Love”), these epic stories of animal migration across the globe are told in four world premiere hours:

Great Migrations: Born To Move

Sunday November 7 at 7:30pm

For these animals, moving literally means survival. Witness the dramatic migration of Christmas Island’s red crab, dinner plate-sized creatures that travel en masse from interior forests to mate on the beaches and deliver their young, braving intense battles with ferocious yellow ants; the heartbreaking moment a wildebeest calf falls prey to crocodiles as her mother helplessly watches from the river’s edge, all part of the arduous 480-kilometre journey the wildebeest make each year across Kenya and Tanzania, with danger lurking at every turn; the monarch butterfly’s annual journey in North America that takes four generations to complete; and the marvel of the sperm whale, who may travel more than a million kilometres in a lifetime.


Great Migrations: Need To Breed

Sunday November 14 at 7:30pm

The stories of species’ need to reproduce, the obstacles they overcome and the distances they travel to ensure future generations, are awe inspiring. For the first time in nearly 30 years, proof emerges that the white-eared kob is alive and well in war-torn Sudan as they perform a deadly, yet comical-looking mating ritual. This episode also features stunning footage of little red flying foxes soaring across Australian skies with their young wrapped in their mothers’ translucent wings; hard-working army ants on the floors of a Costa Rican rain forest, where the females and their brood of 200,000 larvae demand 30,000 prey corpses a day; and remarkable feeding and breeding behaviours of elephant seals, penguins and black-browed albatross in the Falkland Islands – all creatures that must leave the sea and find land to breed.


Great Migrations: Race To Survive

Sunday November 21 at 7:30pm

Every spring in Botswana, hundreds of zebras leave the largest inland delta in the world to make a desperate 250-kilometre slog into hell – a desert of salt and sand – so their bodies can take in much-needed minerals. Shot by the award-winning filmmaking team of Beverly and Dereck Joubert, the journey is documented as never before. Off the coast of Alaska, we see the heartbreaking struggle of Pacific walrus who have become victims of earth’s changing climate. Travelling hundreds of kilometres along ice floes to reach their summer foraging ground, they find fewer and smaller floating ice chunks, unable to hold the walrus population that struggles to occupy these insufficient life rafts. In the untamed early days of the American West, the pronghorn antelope were plentiful and moved freely, proud and unconstrained. Watch one small herd of 200 that follows its ancient migration, travelling north in early spring from southern Wyoming, moving to lower elevations to follow the retreating snow line – a tough journey made even more difficult by human encroachment. Forty feet long and weighing up to 20 tons, the mysterious whale shark is the largest fish in the world. Join them as they migrate to feast on the eggs of spawning fish. Then in Borneo, a single, fragrant fig tree provides the impetus for a chaotic chorus of orang-utans, red leaf monkeys, macaques and grey gibbons who travel from throughout the jungle to feast before the figs rot and drop to the forest floor.


Great Migrations: Feast Or Famine

Sunday November 21 at 8:30pm

Witness the fortitude and elegance of Mali elephants as they undertake the longest elephant migration on Earth – a vast, 480-kilometre circle around the heart of landlocked Mali in West Africa. Traversing the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, the only way they can survive is to keep moving across the scorched earth – from water to water, food to food – both in desperately short supply. Great white sharks cover thousands of kilometres of open ocean each year from Hawaii to northern Mexico to reach an abundant feast nearly 250 kilometres off the coast of Guadalupe, Mexico, where the waters are teeming with marine life: mola mola, dolphins, rare beaked whales, fur seals and elephant seals. A rarely filmed attack on a seal by a great white is seen close up, shown in incredible detail from above and below the water’s surface. In the Mississippi River Valley, we find a great winged highway humming with traffic as bald eagles, peregrine falcons, ducks, songbirds, geese and pelicans search for food in this avian crossroads between the Gulf of Mexico and Canada or even the Arctic. Finally, witness the incredible, beautiful sight of golden jellyfish in Palau on a race to follow the sun on their daily migration.


Additional hours include:


Great Migrations: Behind the Scenes

Sunday November 7 at 8:30pm

National Geographic crews took dramatic measures during years in the field in pursuit of painstaking shots, including swimming with sharks out of the cage; facing an enormous sandstorm moving at 96 kilometres an hour; making harsh journeys through forbidding and war-torn landscapes seeking the kob of the Sudan; dangling off a 120-metre cliff to get never-before-captured footage of peregrine falcon nestlings; spending 14 hours a day for an entire month 45 metres off the ground in Borneo to film primates in the canopy; and almost getting trapped in the Arctic by ice and shifting currents while filming walruses.


Science of Great Migrations

Sunday November 14 at 8:30pm

Investigate the mysteries behind some of the most impressive and puzzling migrations. Watch the intricacies of placing the first radio transmitter on a butterfly and what this triumph of miniaturisation may reveal; follow ingenious scientists tracking elusive elephant seals in the dark and frigid depths with a special tag called a “Daily Diary” with sensors that monitor temperature, speed and light, designed especially to find out what these creatures do during the ten months every year they disappear beneath the surface of the ocean; and meet a man whose life mission has been to study and advocate for the elephants of Africa, only to have historic floods destroy almost everything he has.

The final hour is a visual concert comprising the stunning footage set to original music airing with limited commercial interruption. Great Migrations: Rhythm Of Life premieres Sunday November 28 at 7:30pm. The official companion book to the miniseries – “Great Migrations: Epic Animal Journeys” (ISBN: 978-1-4262-0644-3. Author: Karen Kostyal) – will be released to coincide with the global series premiere. The book includes more than 250 National Geographic photographs, mirroring the incredible stories from around the world told in the film. National Geographic is also publishing five children’s books, and Great Migrations will be the cover story of the November 2010 National Geographic magazine, which will include a foldout map detailing some of the greatest animal migrations on the planet.

Great Migrations is a National Geographic Television (NGT) production. President, NGT is Michael Rosenfeld. Executive producer is Keenan Smart. Series producer is David Hamlin. Executive producer for National Geographic Channels is Char Serwa; for NGC-US, senior vice president of production is Juliet Blake, and executive vice president of content is Steve Burns. For National Geographic Channels International, executive vice president of content is Sydney Suissa.

For more information visit

The devastating eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull in mid-April brought mass disruption to skies over Europe, shutting down European airspace and stranding hundreds of thousands of air passengers around the world.

As news crews frantically monitored the ash cloud’s progress and reported on the repatriation of tourists and business travellers, a National Geographic Channel film crew was on the ground in Iceland. They documented dramatic events unfolding at the scene before, during and after the volcano’s two eruptions on 20th March and the second, larger eruption on 14th April.

This crew was the only one to cover the story from the beginning – getting the first access via helicopter to the glacier atop the volcano. In doing so, they secured incredible, unparalleled footage of the volcano as it was erupting.

This never-seen-before footage is featured in Iceland Volcano Disaster premiering Sunday 2 May at 6.30pm on National Geographic Channel.

The crew’s work was fraught with danger – as they filmed next to the enormous crater spewing fire and ash, every 10 minutes a gigantic sonic boom hit rocking them to the core.

The massive eruption also caused major local flooding which washed away roads. The crew was trapped in one of these floods, which is also captured on film. At times, they were forced to drive into the enormous wall of dense ash cloud – with no light and losing all sense of direction, the crew began to have difficulty breathing and had to stop when the road disappeared.

This timely film also features other dramatic events including Coast Guard rescue flights, exclusive eyewitness accounts from the scene, renowned geologists collecting data from lava and ash, as well as explaining the science behind the volcano chaos and its global impact, including the disruption in air travel, the biggest since 9/11.

Iceland Volcano Disaster premiering exclusively on Sunday 2nd May, 6.30pm only on National Geographic (SKY Channel 72). 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Sunday 7 February, 8.30pm

The year’s best photographs are brought to life as the photographers explain how they captured these unique pictures while National Geographic Magazine Editor in Chief, Chris Johns, describes why he chose these from over a million pictures submitted. Top 10 celebrates the story behind each of the images featured in the show. With exclusive interviews, footage from the field as well as archival material, the Top 10 Photos of 2009 give viewers a front-row seat as photographers reveal the hard work, perseverance, and luck behind capturing that one-in-a-million shot.

New Zealander Matt Watson and his team are on the hunt for ravenous flesh-eating carnivores, fish with human-like teeth, stingrays the size of buffalo and the conservationists on a mission to protect them — see the amazing encounters of man and megafish…

“The biggest fish we’ve seen! A real-life Loch Ness monster.”
— Zeb Hogan, fish biologist, conservationist and National Geographic Explorer

Whether for science or sport, encountering the sheer power and size of the world’s biggest fish is nothing short of awe-inspiring. National Geographic Channel brings the excitement of monster fishing home on Mondays at 7.30pm from 5 October with the new series: Hooked!

Journey across the globe to see the most extreme encounters in megafishing and the groundbreaking research being done to protect these fish. New Zealand’s Matt Watson and a team of avid anglers and scientists track, bait, catch and release fish of extraordinary proportions. Then, in select episodes, fish biologist, conservationist and National Geographic Explorer Zeb Hogan continues his five-year-long mission to help preserve the world’s biggest freshwater fish.

From a colossal squid weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds to a stingray almost 12 feet long, each adrenaline-filled episode examines the environmental challenges these megafish face — from climate change to pollution to overfishing. Some of these Goliath fish have been around since the dinosaurs and now, like their predecessors, they face extinction. With each capture, conservationists and biologists can study these amazing creatures and begin the dialogue needed to analyse their sometimes dire situation and debate possible solutions.

As producer/filmmaker Dean Johnson says, “Most of the species I film won’t be on this planet in the next 50 years, and each time I look through the viewfinder I realise the images we are capturing will be telling a story that others may never have the opportunity to see.”

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Friday 8 May, 7.30pm

Known for drug-trafficking, kidnapping and guns, Colombia has a well-earned reputation for danger. Diego Buñuel gets his first taste of this treacherous lifestyle after meeting a tailor specialising in bullet-proof clothing – everything from underwear to suits. In a country that produces 80 per cent of the world’s cocaine, Diego patrols alongside the farmers tasked with destroying cocaine plants one-by-one in the mine-littered fields of guerrilla country. Travelling to Medellin, Diego visits the abandoned home of Pablo Escobar, where he meets the notorious drug lord’s pet hippos. He also meets one of Pablo’s former hired gunmen who now teaches the children of his fallen friends. On Dead Man’s Road, Diego heads to Cali, where travelling at the wrong time of day can get you kidnapped. Kidnapping is so prevalent, one radio station has developed the “Hostage Voices” programme so relatives can send messages to hostages over the radio. Despite the rampant civil war dividing the country, Colombia has made steps forward, like in Picalena Prison, one warden has helped unite right-wing paramilitaries with left-wing guerrillas through an unlikely tactic: soccer.

Thursday 12 March at 8.30pm on NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

New Zealand Premiere!

Alaska: the last frontier and a vast wilderness that is home to the Northern Lights, sled dogs, Eskimos and criminals. Yes, Alaska has its share of bad guys, from drunk drivers to sex offenders, robbers to murderers. There are even twelve prisons to house them. But in a state larger than Texas, California and Montana combined, with a road system so sparse and disconnected that the capital city is inaccessible by road, simply getting offenders to jail is a challenge. This is the job of Alaska State Troopers, who transport prisoners by snowmobile, riverboat and, most often, aircraft. But Alaska has an inhospitable, sub-arctic climate that doesn’t always make for ideal flight conditions. Flying an aircraft in severe weather is hazardous enough, but put half a dozen criminals on board with a lone Trooper and a whole host of other dangers come into play: conflict, physical altercations, even the possibility of a hostage situation.

Tuesday 10 March at 8.30pm on NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

New Zealand Premiere!

Hoover Dam is regarded as an engineering masterpiece and an American icon. But what if it did not exist? How would it be built for modern times? A team of engineers tackles what they would do the same, and what they would do differently if they were to build it today, reinventing it for a new era.

Monday 9 March at 8.30pm on NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

New Zealand Premiere!

Sean Riley joins the Tower King crew from Dallas, Texas, to fix a faulty television antenna. Two thousand feet in the air and weighing several tons, the sheer height and magnitude of this fix make it a challenge even for Riley, a rigger by trade. Using almost a mile of line and a larger-than-life winch, the crew first removes the old antenna and carefully lowers it to the ground. Only then can they lift and attach the new one. This fix comes down to strength, guts and teamwork.

Sunday 8 March at 8.30pm on NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

New Zealand Premiere!

For the Egyptians, the Afterlife was as real as this life. Over thousands of years, they evolved elaborate ways to make the journey of death predictable to help guarantee everlasting life. None were more elaborate than the rituals the Pharaohs prepared to undergo in the nightmarish, yet beautiful territory through which they had to travel after death. With one of the most beautifully designed tombs ever uncovered in the Valley of the Kings, follow the path Pharaoh Seti the first would have set out on in his quest for immortality; a quest at the very root of the Egyptian civilisation’s fascination with dying and death.