Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Will Work for Nuts from the Wildscreen Film Festival

Wildscreen Film Festival nominee "Will Work for Nuts" was high on my list of must-sees since I found out the reason for the presence of a two foot peanut at the Panda awards!

Will Work for Nuts was a collaborative effort from Tigress Productions based in Bristol, Five UK and BDH. From programme to programme we see animals' natural abilities put to the test in creative, fun and exciting ways.

The first episode documented the first bee race ever followed shortly by goldfish football (You may need to install the latest version of Flash to view this clip).

Presenters Lloyd Buck, Matt Thompson and James Cooper are querky michievous animal-lovers out to show what their favourite furry, feathery and otherwise fabulous friends can do.

Lloyd, the cheeky Essex lad, is a bird trainer who considers himself the equivalent of a mate to his pet golden eagle and enjoys putting his phenomenally fast falcons to the test.

Joker Matt has a background in wildlife tv production and seems to prefer the hard way when it comes to up-close encounters with bird-feeders disguising himself as a bin to get a camera-phone shot of a bluetit.

James is a mischievous Techy who finds ingenious ways to tackle the wild including inventing a self-taking bird feeder cam and creating digitally altered human bird song.

Episodes tested the reaction times of the fastest bird on the planet, the peregrine falcon, the possibility of birdwatching using your mobile phone and the bizarre concept of an eagle lie detector. However, my favourite and one of the most ingenious ideas was that of human birdsong. The boys slowed down a recording of wren song by 1000 times to approximately human voice frequency. They then sang along to this recording their efforts, and sped it back up to bird frequency...result? Human birdsong! No experiment is complete without a realistic test: they crept up on a hide full of seasoned birdwatchers and played their effort. Amazingly the birdwatchers identified the song as that of a wren - Brilliant!

You can find out more about Will Work for Nuts on the BDH website and Five's blog. There are currently no plans to schedule repeats but some Will Work for Nuts clips are available on youtube if you missed it.

You can also buy the show's book at for just a fiver!
And watch Matt's hilarious response to being a runner-up at the Pandas on youtube.

Related posts: Wildscreen 2008 Panda Awards


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