Filming on the Kinabatangan

The Amazon of the East – Animal Planet

Roger Munns Blog

Being an underwater cameraman there are few things which can tempt me out of the water to shoot on land but filming in the stunning rainforest in my adopted home of Sabah is one of them. So in May 2015, within a week of returning to Sabah after getting married to my wonderful wife in London, I found myself heading into the Bornean rainforest for a 52 day sync and wildlife shoot. So much for a honeymoon! Over seven and a bit weeks our small crew filmed a three episode series for ZDF on and around Sabah’s mighty Kinabatangan river. We followed the path of the river from Imbak canyon all the way down to Sukau and the the lower Kinabatangan-Segama-Wetlands where this long and winding river finally meets the sea. Along the way our main contributor, wildlife photographer and guide Cede Prudente and his assistant Rizal introduced us to the wildlife and human inhabitants of the river.

The Kinabatangan is home to a rich and diverse array of wildlife. Rhinoceros hornbills, proboscis monkeys, orangutans, macaques, crocodiles and even herds of bornean elephants can be found in the riverine forest that grow on its shores. As well as the wildlife we filmed many of the people who call the river home. Researchers and scientists such as Wong Siew Te (Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre), the HUTAN team, fishermen, the brave men and women of Sabah’s Wildlife Rescue Unit and the honey hunters of Imbak. While it is home to stunning flora and fauna the Kinabatangan also faces many challenges. Many of the contributors we worked with are on the front line in dealing with the results of deforestation and animal-human conflict and it was fascinating to see them at work.

The show is co-produced by Scubazoo and Wild Bear for international distribution by ZDF.

The program is broadcast on Animal Planet (ch.556) in SE Asia during September 2017. Exact timings can be found on Astro’s website here. Enjoy!

Equipment


Sony PXW-FS7
Canon EF Lens to Sony E Mount T Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x
Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM
Canon Extender EF 2 x III
Zacuto FS7 recoil rig