Jeremy Roberts owns and operates Conservation Media, a small production company that helps scientists communicate their research through film, photography, and educational workshops. He holds a degree in Wildlife Biology and a master's degree in Science & Natural History Filmmaking. His past productions have garnered numerous awards, including a Regional Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a CINE Golden Eagle, and more than two dozen film festival recognitions
TERRA: How did you decide to make a film about livestock guardian dogs?
JR: Conservation Media was commissioned to make this film by People & Carnivores, a small non-profit dedicated to finding solutions that keep large predators on the landscape and working landscapes profitable.
TERRA: Give us a behind-the-scenes snapshot of what life was like in the field.
JR: The production required a lot of time being surrounded by large, powerful, and potentially aggressive dogs, so I was a little on edge, especially when alone. Overall, things worked out well. The puppies in Nevada were, of course, one of the highlights of the production. Who doesn’t love packs of puppies?
TERRA: What’s your favorite aspect of filmmaking?
JR: I’m particularly fond of simply shooting and editing. The administrative side of filmmaking is a drag, and acting as producer and overseeing large crews is pretty stressful.
TERRA: Do you have a favorite project you’ve worked on and why?
JR: My background is in wildlife biology and conservation science. As a filmmaker, that’s what I specialize in, so I work with a lot of biologists in the field and that’s probably my favorite part of my work. I get to be involved again with the collection of wildlife science data in remote locations, but now as a filmmaker I don’t have to deal with the crunching or publishing of the data. In my career I’ve been lucky enough to work with wolverines, wolves, grizzly and black bears, black-footed ferrets, alligators, and many others.
TERRA: If you could take any of the dogs home with you, which one would it be?
JR: Working dogs are bred to be many things to humans, including shepherds, retrievers, heelers, pointers, bear dogs, and even service dogs for the disabled. Livestock guardian dogs are also bred for certain traits, one of which is certainly not to be pets. While they are submissive to their human masters, they do not feel a part of a human pack as much as they do a livestock herd. They live with them 24/7, and protect them from perceived threats.
TERRA: Anything else you’d like to add?
JR: This little film with a tiny budget now has over 100,000 views and has been VERY successful in bridging the gap between the agriculture and conservation sectors. Each side of the argument sees this as their film, speaking to their concerns. We’ve tracked the film extensively behind the scenes and watched the dialogue that takes place as a result. This film has prompted news articles, blog posts, and more coverage generally, which was the whole point of the film.
A Sleepy Pup