Kenya, Madagascar and Mauritius are only a handful of the breathtaking international locations that audiences of the Indianapolis Prize Gala have been transported to over the years.
For Matt Mays and his film team, whether it’s trekking through the heart of a rainforest or diving into the depths of an ocean, the goal is sharing the incredible stories of Prize Finalists and Winners to engage and inspire people to care about saving species.
“It’s an incredibly amazing thing to essentially have a private audience with the most accomplished conservationists on the planet,” Mays said. “They are great people who are so gracious with their time and energy. Plus, the scenery is not so bad.”
To move quickly and keep their footprint small, the team is comprised of two to three people, several cameras, a drone and other gear in hand. Surprising challenges are always part of the adventure — from facing environment and weather, to finding power in the middle of the desert!
While 2016’s shoot involved a thrilling opportunity to work with Sir David Attenborough, Mays said there are many different standout moments since 2006.
“My first shoot for the Prize in 2006 was in Samburu, Kenya with Iain Douglas-Hamilton. This was at a time when elephant populations in Kenya were recovering and is seemed that they were everywhere,” he said. “It has been amazing to see the changes due to poaching and conflict that really took off just a couple of years after being there for the first time.”
He’s learned a great deal about how the natural world works but also the harm we have inflicted upon it through his experiences as part of the Prize team.
“These people have the answers to the question, ‘What can I do to help?’ We need to listen to them and I am inspired to do my part.”
Watch the team’s incredible videos here.