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Diary of Wildscreen Storytelling Intern: Herizo Randrianandrasana, MFP’s first Scholarship Student!
Wildscreen Storytelling Intern Herizo Randrianandrasana, shares his experience as a camera and storytelling trainee at Madagascar Film & Photography, highlighting the importance of Madagascar’s national parks and learning the craft of camera and filmmaking.
After being supported through the Wildscreen Storytelling Internship Scheme in partnership with the Aina Madagascar Film Fellowship as MFP’s first Scholarship Student, he kept a diary throughout his 2-month internship, chronicling his journey with the company
December 7th 2023
“So, after months of hesitation, a bit of convincing, and a lot of nervousness about whether I made the right decision or not to join the scholarship scheme, I can’t believe it’s been well over one month since I first joined Madagascar Film & Photography! I remember my first day, sitting on the balcony, staring at the ocean, surrounded by equipment that looks like it belongs in a NASA control room, feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness that made my heart race!”
GERP Project: In this project, my focus was on capturing the unique biodiversity of Madagascar, particularly the indri, one of the largest living lemurs. The indri is a symbol of Madagascar’s unique wildlife, and my photographs aimed to highlight the critical situation they face due to habitat loss and fragmentation. This visual storytelling was crucial to raising awareness about the need for conservation efforts in Madagascar.
October 25th 2023
“As we set off for our first assignment the view outside is a blur of green trees, winding roads, small villages, and an endless expanse of the ocean – a total change from my usual city vibe, but honestly, I’m loving it. The fresh air and the mystery of what’s coming next are giving me major adventure vibes. I’m here to soak up knowledge from the pros, to be a sponge for all things filmmaking and photography.
I’m itching to put my book smarts into action, to see how wildlife and environmental documentaries and photography projects actually get produced. Of course, there’s that little buzz of excitement about the chance that my name might end up in the credits of a real-deal documentary or on the front of a magazine cover someday.”
“But, in the midst of all this excitement, there’s also a healthy dose of nerves. I’m surrounded by folks who’ve been doing this for ages and whose work has featured on the BBC and National Geographic and here I am, the new kid on the block with more enthusiasm than actual experience. What if I mess up? What if I can’t keep up with the demands of the job?”
Fanamby: While working with Fanamby, I had the opportunity to document local community involvement in conservation. This included photographing local fishers who are integral to the sustainable management of marine resources, showcasing the human side of conservation and illustrating how local communities and biodiversity can thrive together.
October 27th 2023
“As we roll up to our location – a quaint village tucked away in the mountains – the crew jumps into action, setting up cameras, lights, and sound gear. I’m eager to lend a hand, but I’m not exactly sure where to jump in.
So, I’m standing there, feeling a bit like a spectator at first. Goff noticed my deer-in-the-headlights look and came over with a friendly smile. “Don’t stress,” he says, giving me a pat on the shoulder. “We all started somewhere. Just watch and learn, and you’ll be golden.” Those words hit the spot, and I started paying close attention to the crew’s every move. I’m asking questions, scribbling down notes, just trying to absorb everything like a sponge.”
Association Tsimoka – Oronjia Project: Here, my photography was centered around reforestation efforts. I captured images of the reforestation process, from the planting of native species to the gradual growth and restoration of habitats, serving as a visual testament to the positive impact reforestation programs have on the environment and local communities.
January 11th 2024
“As the days roll on, I’m getting more comfortable and I’m being given more responsibility. I was happy to be assigned a range of tasks including fixer, photographer and lighting assistant. I managed to handle them without any major disasters. I mean, I did bump into things because I’m super clumsy, but at least I tried my best and nothing got damaged! I even get to use their high end cameras taking photos of a range of conservation issues.”
January 15th 2024
“My scholarship has finished now and I know I’ve got a long road ahead before I can call myself a fully fledged filmmaker and photographer, but I’m feeling pretty confident that I’m on the right track.”
“I believe environmental photography plays a crucial role in conservation efforts. It has the power to connect people emotionally to places and species they may never see in person, creating a sense of empathy and urgency. I aim to not only document the beauty and fragility of ecosystems but also to tell compelling stories that inspire action and foster a deeper understanding of the importance of preserving our natural world.
Photography can bridge the gap between scientific data and public awareness, making the abstract concept of conservation tangible.
I would like to express a sincere thank you to Wildscreen, Aina Scholarship, and Goff and Chris at MFP. Thank you for the incredible opportunity the scholarship has provided me. My time with Madagascar Film & Photography has been transformative, filled with learning and hands-on experience that I could only dream of before. The guidance, knowledge, and encouragement I received have been invaluable. This experience has not only honed my skills but also affirmed my passion for wildlife and environmental storytelling. I am profoundly grateful for your support and for believing in me.”
Camera and Storytelling Trainee
Madagascar Film & Photography
The Aina Madagascar Film Fellowship works to train Malagasy nationals in wildlife and environmental filmmaking and photography. It aims to create awareness around conservation and help empower a new generation of impactful Malagasy storytellers. Travel and living expenses of this role and being supported by the scholarship.
The Wildscreen Storytelling Internship Scheme was developed in partnership with WWF-UK creating both UK and internationally-based paid internship opportunities for 18-35-year-olds wanting to pursue a career in natural world storytelling.