Sunday, 14 September 2008

Whats up at WE

What a week it has been. Three new shows, one new crew member, Emily's and my last trip down before the baby, a heat wave, a little rain, a cheetah, what else?
Without a doubt the most 'exciting' event has to have been the first WEwalk with a close encounter of an elephantine kind!! I was directing when this happened I and will admit to the fact that my heart was in my throat. I am very grateful to Pieter for his bravery, presence of mind and obvious knowledge of these amazingly smart animals. Thank you Pieter for keeping your head, when all of us were loosing ours.
The image quality on the walk has already begun to improve, but WE are working on several things here in Johannesburg that should bring the quality up to the same level as the game drive, which will help to make the WEwalk more and more enjoyable. Obviously we are well aware that the timing of this show, like most of our new shows, is not ideal for our North American (and for that matter our South American) viewers. There are several reasons why WildEarth has added these shows in our day time. Firstly because shows like the WEwalk are not practical at night, secondly our crew work very hard and to shift some of these shows in to the night places and unfair strain on folk who are already working very very hard. Thirdly because WE have begun a push for European viewers in the run up to our launch as a full blown 24 hour per day TV channel in Europe later this year. There are plans afoot to man the cameras 24 hours per day and start adding more Infra Red shows. In fact I can already let you know that WE are in the development stages of a show called WEIRD (WildEarth Infra Red Djuma) that will be brought to you by our newest crew member, Simon. I can't tell you exactly when this will start, but I pormise WE won't be sitting around ... it's not in our nature.
OK, there have been some small changes on the www.wildearth.tv site. Firstly, you will have noticed the lizard eye pre roll video. This space will be used for Internet video advertising in the not too distant future, and the eye logo will be cut down to just under 5 seconds. The eye will also change regularly, just like the eye logo on top of this Blog. In fact it is not just the eye of an animal that is WildEarth's logo, but the changing of the animal's eyes that speaks more about who WE are. Also, you will have noticed the heartbeat. Well, over the next few years you will see us slowly make this the sound of WE. On our logos, before the drive ... you will even be able to hear Pieter's heartbeat LIVE from time to time on the WEwalk. The sound of the heartbeat is the sound of life, and therefore of LIVE. It also evokes a sense of timing and the passing of time, which is very core to who WE are.
Another set of changes are within the Flash video player. There is now a date and time stamp in the lower left hand corner of the player and this will help our global audience make sense of our ever expanding schedule. Also, please right click on your mouse over the LIVE video stream, and you will see several new settings. Firstly you can now monitor the buffering in your player and this will give you a much better idea of how efficiently you are getting the LIVE video down to your computer. But you can also now change your buffer settings and this allows you to tailor the configuration of your player for your bandwidth circumstances. Please let us know at webmaster@wildearth.tv whether or not these help you to overcome any of your dreaded 'buffering' problems.
Well, spring has finally sprung. The days are getting longer and hotter, and the time has come to change the drive times. So from tomorrow morning (Monday the 15th September 2008) WE will go out on safari a half hour earlier in the morning and a half hour later in the afternoon. This means that the morning drive will happen from 06h00 to 08h30 CAT (Central African Time) and the afternoon drive from 16h30 to 19h30 CAT.
There will be a Fire Side Chat this evening at 19h00 where you will all get to meet WE's very own new American camera man, Simon, and chat about a very busy week at Djuma.
On Monday and Friday Pete will host two more shows of his highly informative and very populair WElearn show. After Friday Pete will be on leave for two weeks, traveling through the Kruger and down to Cape Town, so WE will also take a break from his show, but when he gets back he will go in to a full 6 week season of three WElearns per week. So, WElearn will go out at 15h00 on Monday the 15th September 2008 and 15h00 on Friday the 20th September 2008, marking the end of season 1.
Rexon is on leave so Texan will be presenting all the morning drives this week so that Pieter can be ready to do a solid week of 5 WEwalk shows departing at 09h00 CAT every week day morning. This will be the first week of this exciting new show, try to catch them if you can.
Immediately after each WEwalk Simpiwe will cut us straight into the WEchat show where you can log into the chat room at the WildEarth social network and discuss the walk, whats down at Gowrie waterhole or anything else that comes to mind.
Thank you to the WildEarth crew for all their very hard work on these challenging new shows. Thank you to Karen, Bev, Valorie and Colleen for all the tireless work you do behind the scenes building our social network into a place WE can all be proud of. Thank you to the Moolmans and all of their Djuma team for making WE what it is. Thank you to Emily for being the best wife in the world and fighting for whats best for WE even when she is super uncomfortable, not long now ...
Last but not least a BIG thank you from all of us to all of you. Without your constant support and words of encouragement this would just be a business, but you make it into a mission and a passion, and that is the greatest gift you can give us. Thank you.

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