Preview | Animal Homes: Cities - About

The three-part series provides intimate, never-before-seen views of the lives of animals in their homes

Animals, like humans, need a place they can call home to provide a safe and stable place to raise a family, but they go about building it in entirely different ways. Whether it is a bird’s nest, bear den, beaver lodge or spider web, these are homes of great complexity, constructed from a wide range of natural as well as man-made materials. This three-part series investigates just how animals build their remarkable homes around the globe and the intriguing behaviors and social interactions that take place in and around them.

Hosting the series is ecologist Chris Morgan (Siberian Tiger Quest, Bears of the Last Frontier), who serves as guide and real estate agent. He evaluates and deconstructs animal abodes, their materials, location, neighborhood and aesthetics. In addition to Morgan opening the doors of animal homes in the wild, he is also in studio showing examples of the incredible diversity of nests and their strength, even trying his hand at building a few.

The series features a blend of CGI, animation, CT scans and signature blueprint graphics to highlight engineering principles inside the structures. A variety of cameras, including tiny HD versions, capture unprecedented views inside animal homes without disturbing natural behavior. When appropriate, filmmakers shoot behaviors in slow motion and use infrared and time lapse to reveal how animals create their structures over time and through the seasons.

Over the course of three episodes, the series delves into the amazing flexibility animal architects display, the clever choices they make and the ingenious ways they deal with troublesome habitats.

Episode 1: The Nest

Bird nests come in all shapes and sizes, crafted from an inexhaustible diversity of materials, including fur, grasses, leaves, mosses, sticks and twigs, bones, wool, mud and spider silk. Quite a few also contain man-made materials – colorful twine, bits of wire, even plastic bags. Each one is a remarkable work of art, built with just a beak! We begin with a museum collection of nests and branch out to scenes in the wild all over the world, where birds arrive at diverse nesting grounds to collect, compete for, reject, steal and begin to build with carefully selected materials, crafting homes for the all-important task of protecting their eggs and raising their young.

Episode 2: Location, Location, Location

Finding a good base of operations is key to successfully raising a family. One must find the correct stream or tree, the correct building materials, neighbors and sometimes tenants. In the wild, every home is a unique DIY project, every head of household is a designer and engineer. Animated blueprints and tiny cameras chart the building plans and progress of beavers, tortoises and woodrats, examining layouts and cross sections, evaluating the technical specs of their structures and documenting their problem-solving skills. Animal architecture provides remarkable insights into animal consciousness, creativity and innovation.

Episode 3: Animal Cities

Animals congregate in huge colonies partly out of necessity and partly for the security that numbers provide. Icelandic puffins form nesting colonies of more than a million, tucked in between hundreds of thousands of other seabirds, which provides shared information about food sources and reduces the odds of individual birds being attacked. But, colonies are also useful for predators. Social spiders in Ecuador work together to capture prey 20 times the size an individual might subdue on its own. For others, communal living provides perfect multi-generational caregiving options or the opportunity to build enormous cities – such as the acre-wide, multi-million-citizen colonies built by leaf cutter ants in Costa Rica.

Production Credits Print

ANIMAL HOMES “THE NEST”

PRODUCED BY
Ann Johnson Prum

HOSTED AND NARRATED BY
Chris Morgan

WRITTEN BY
Janet Hess

SUPERVISING EDITOR
Jim Isler

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Michael Male
Mark Carroll
David Parer, ACS
Ann Johnson Prum
Jacob Steinberg

EDITED BY
Jim Isler

ADDITIONAL EDITING
Nathan Punwar

ORIGINAL MUSIC BY
Chris Biondo and Lenny Williams

FIELD PRODUCER
Melanie Quinn

ANIMATION
Tim D'Amico

ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ronan Donovan
Erik Rochner
Sergio Garcia Mayer

ASSISTANT EDITOR
Veronikah Sanford

LIGHTING DESIGNER
Andrew Wegst

GRIP
Kit DiBenetto

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS
Elizabeth Parer-Cook
Robin Klein
August Prum

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS
Harold Greeney
Richard Prum
Kristof Zyskowski
Thomas Martin

POST PRODUCTION MANAGER
Traude Botha

SOUND EDITOR
Stefan K. Fiedler

RE-RECORDING MIXERS
Stefan K. Fiedler
Ed Campbell

ONLINE EDITOR
Victoria Dick

COLORIST
Lee Niederkofler

ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE PROVIDED BY
Juan Carlos Reboreda
CosmoVision Media Group
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

SPECIAL THANKS
Alan's Wildlife Tours
Leticia Aviles
AWC - Australia
Thibault Bertrand
Eric Brown
Felipe García
Rafael Andrés Tosi Germán
Professor Corey O'Hern
The INIA Las Brujas Field Station
Jatun Sacha & Sumaco Research Stations
Darryl Jones
Kibale Chimpanzee Project
Shomeek Mukhopadhyay
Newhaven Sanctuary, Australia
Juan C. Reboreda
Reserva “El Destino” Fundacion Elsa Shaw De Peason
Richard Wrangham
Romina Scardamaglia
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Yale Peabody Museum
Martin Lab 2013 Arizona Bird Crew

FOR TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Ivo Filatsch
Sabine Holzer

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SUPERVISING PRODUCER
JANICE YOUNG

SENIOR PRODUCERS
TARA THOMAS
LAURA METZGER LYNCH

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
JAYNE JUN

LEGAL COUNSEL
BLANCHE ROBERTSON

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
COLIN SCHOENBERGER

WEB PRODUCER
ERIC R. OLSON

SENIOR PUBLICIST
JOHANNA BAKER

BUDGET CONTROLLER
KAREN FEIGENBAUM

ONLINE EDITOR
STACEY DOUGLASS MOVERLEY

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

A PRODUCTION OF CONEFLOWER PRODUCTIONS AND THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC IN COPRODUCTION WITH TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS IN ASSOCIATION WITH WNET.

THIS PROGRAM WAS PRODUCED BY THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC, WHICH IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CONTENT

© 2015 THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

ANIMAL HOMES “LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION”

PRODUCED BY
Ann Johnson Prum

HOSTED AND NARRATED BY
Chris Morgan

WRITTEN BY
Jaime Bernanke

SUPERVISING EDITOR
Jim Isler

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Michael Male
Mark Carroll
Ann Johnson Prum
Jeff Hogan

EDITED BY
Jim Isler
Nathan Punwar

ADDITIONAL EDITING
Karl Dawson

ORIGINAL MUSIC BY
Chris Biondo and Lenny Williams

FIELD PRODUCER
Melanie Quinn

ANIMATION
Tim D'Amico

ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ronan Donovan
Erik Rochner
Jeff Reed
Jacob Steinberg

ASSISTANT EDITOR
Veronikah Sanford

POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
Andrew Wegst

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
August Prum

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS
Harold Greeney
Richard Prum
Kristof Zyskowski
Bernd Heinrich
Thomas Martin

POST PRODUCTION MANAGER
Traude Botha

SOUND EDITOR
Stefan K. Fiedler

RE-RECORDING MIXERS
Stefan K. Fiedler
Ed Campbell

ONLINE EDITOR
Victoria Dick

COLORIST
Lee Niederkofler

ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE PROVIDED BY
Michael Male and Judy Fieth
Harold Greeney

SPECIAL THANKS
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Harry Spiker
Georgia Johnson
Nick Stonesifer
Mike Fazenbaker
Rob Harvey
Rande Brown
Hammonasset State Park
Chris Elphick
Alyssa Borowske
ANMH Southwest Research Station
Mike & Ali Lubbock
Sylvan Heights Bird Park
Siobhan Dennison
Jonathan Davis
Newhaven Sanctuary - Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Hugo Kitching
Ryan Norris
Niilo Sillanpaa
Dan Strickland
Rachael Derbyshire
Tim Winegard
The Algonquin Wildlife Research Station
Stephen Broker
Bowdoin Scientific Station
Aaron Gooley
Shawnee National Forest
Reginald Hoyt & Maggie Liguori
Delaware Valley University

FOR TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Ivo Filatsch
Sabine Holzer

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SUPERVISING PRODUCER
JANICE YOUNG

SENIOR PRODUCERS
TARA THOMAS
LAURA METZGER LYNCH

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
JAYNE JUN

LEGAL COUNSEL
BLANCHE ROBERTSON

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
COLIN SCHOENBERGER

WEB PRODUCER
ERIC R. OLSON

SENIOR PUBLICIST
JOHANNA BAKER

BUDGET CONTROLLER
KAREN FEIGENBAUM

ONLINE EDITOR
STACEY DOUGLASS MOVERLEY

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

A PRODUCTION OF CONEFLOWER PRODUCTIONS AND THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC IN COPRODUCTION WITH TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS IN ASSOCIATION WITH WNET.

THIS PROGRAM WAS PRODUCED BY THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC, WHICH IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CONTENT

© 2015 THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

ANIMAL HOMES “ANIMAL CITIES”

PRODUCED BY
Ann Johnson Prum

HOSTED AND NARRATED BY
Chris Morgan

WRITTEN BY
Jaime Bernanke

SUPERVISING EDITOR
Jim Isler

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Michael Male
Mark Carroll
Ann Johnson Prum

EDITED BY
Jim Isler
Nathan Punwar

ADDITIONAL EDITING
Karl Dawson
Andrew Wegst

ORIGINAL MUSIC BY
Chris Biondo and Lenny Williams

FIELD PRODUCER
Melanie Quinn

ANIMATION
Tim D'Amico

ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ronan Donovan
Andrew Wegst

ASSISTANT EDITOR
Veronikah Sanford

FIELD ASSISTANTS
Susan Currier
Robin Klein
Ann Tofflemire

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS
August Prum
Zachary Ntanyaki

UNDERWATER MATERIAL SUPPORT
Evan Kovacs
Ocean Technology Systems

CAMERA ASSISTANT
Chad George

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS
Harold Greeney
Richard Prum
Kristof Zyskowski

POST PRODUCTION MANAGER
Traude Botha

SOUND EDITOR
Stefan K. Fiedler

RE-RECORDING MIXERS
Stefan K. Fiedler
Ed Campbell

ONLINE EDITOR
Victoria Dick

COLORIST
Lee Niederkofler

ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE PROVIDED BY
Michael Male and Judy Fieth

SPECIAL THANKS
Suzanne Alonzo
Leticia Aviles
Yi-Ru Cheng
Cameron Currie
Joe Engebretsen
Gregory Florant
Sarah Laurence Guindre-Parker
Adrian Pinto
Dustin Rubenstein
Dr. Lora L. Smith
Lindsay Young
Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway
Spitfire Studios
Jatun Sacha Foundation Ecuador
Ka'ena Point Hawaii State Park
Mpala: Research Centre and Wildlife Foundation
Holly Kindsvater & Susan Marsh-Rollo
Pierre Lejeune & Alexandre Volpon
Stareso Station de Recherches
Parque National Sumaco
La Selva Biological Station
Siobhan Dennison
Jonathan Davis
Newhaven Sanctuary - Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Tom Nicolson
Erpur Hansen

FOR TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Ivo Filatsch
Sabine Holzer

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SUPERVISING PRODUCER
JANICE YOUNG

SENIOR PRODUCERS
TARA THOMAS
LAURA METZGER LYNCH

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
JAYNE JUN

LEGAL COUNSEL
BLANCHE ROBERTSON

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
COLIN SCHOENBERGER

WEB PRODUCER
ERIC R. OLSON

SENIOR PUBLICIST
JOHANNA BAKER

BUDGET CONTROLLER
KAREN FEIGENBAUM

ONLINE EDITOR
STACEY DOUGLASS MOVERLEY

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

A PRODUCTION OF CONEFLOWER PRODUCTIONS AND THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC IN COPRODUCTION WITH TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS IN ASSOCIATION WITH WNET.

THIS PROGRAM WAS PRODUCED BY THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC, WHICH IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CONTENT

© 2015 THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED