The documentary poem “The Ancient Forest” focuses on the habitant of an old growth forest – birds, animals as well as elderly people living nearby. The film will guide its viewer through the dense woods, wolf holes, up to an eagles' nest, down to the underwater forest, sunk thousands of years ago and back to the man's home. In the cottage the time is “human”: days and hours seem to be on pause. Yet is it easy for a man to obey the flow of the nature, undividable into hours and minutes? Or does the growing old become his essence?
The film gently erases the line separating the human and natural lives, interweaving them into a single poetic story. Its style and narrative brings it close to a fantasy tale. The “Ancient Forest” will be shot by using original climbing and diving equipment, which will enrich the cinematic language with a variety of camera angles and shots.
I had a dream to create this movie since I was in the fifth grade. A long way was waiting for me towards this dream. Initially, I took the pictures of nature. Moreover, while in school, I participated in the Young Scientists Conferences of Lithuania and the European Union (here I introduced my scientific observations of nature by a number of photos).
Later, I joined Vilnius University, where I was granted the Bachelor's degree in biology. At the end of the graduate studies of ecology and environmental management I finished my first movie "Meeting the Ospreys" (“Susitikimas su Žuvininkais“), which was awarded the prize by Petras Abukevičius as the best Lithuanian film about nature.
Immediately after this I started working on the creation of "The Field of Magic" ("Stebuklų laukas"). For me this film was the cinematographic school because I was able to acquire the experience from the team of some of the best cinema professionals in Lithuania working with me (a montage director, a sound director, an operator, a colourist, etc.). Moreover, the famous filmmakers from abroad also provided me with priceless knowledge.
The latter movie attracted not only a huge number of audiences to the Lithuanian cinema theatres, but also began to travel around the prestigious documentary film festivals.
I have been purposefully preparing for this film for 18 years already. I feel that it will be particularly difficult to create; however, I believe that with the rich experience and the help of a reliable team anything is possible. I do hope that the movie "The Ancient Woods" (working title) will not only attract a number of people to the cinema theatres, but will also stimulate the discussion on the theme of values.
The rare species are particularly sensitive to disturbances. However, I use the means of the maximum protection.
I lift the tents at quite a long distance from the nests and during winter (when the nests are temporarily abandoned). The tents are disguised (the returning birds already find a tent near the nest and quite easy get used to it).
The trees are climbed one night and the tents are abandoned the next night. Sometimes as much as 3 days-and-nights are spent in the tent waiting for the unique shots (the bird realizes that something is going on at night (e.g. the moose approaches the tree), however, it does not associate this with risk).
Our tents are raised high up,
around 10-30 meters above the ground
and within the distance of 20-50 meters from the birds's nests.
The tents are approached by two people. I climb the tree into the tent, while the colleague later goes away (this way the impression that someone came and someone went away shortly afterwards is formed).
Under no circumstances one should get out of the tent at the day time because the bird can see you: the tent is then associated with a man and a bird can even leave the nest (e.g. during the filming at the height of 27 meters I was overtaken by the fierce storm. Although I swung for as much as 2 meters from side to side together with the top of the tree, I did not leave the tent. From that day on I try to avoid shooting in the trees when the violent weather conditions are forecasted.
The unconditional respect for these provisions determines the possibility of seeing the completely peaceful and unstrained birds, which are engaged in their routines at the dawn of a new day. They pay absolutely no attention to the camera lens protruding through a small hole.
Some of the most competent scientists in Lithuania are to provide their support for the movie making. They have been researching the specific species for many years already; thus they are able to present the information on where and what to look for, to tell about the behaviour of different species, or to warn of the impending dangers.
As an example here the situation of capercaillies can be presented. The peak of their “wedding” lasts for only a week. However, if the weather appears to be bad or technical problems arise, the filming group has to wait a year for the next “wedding”. The same can be applied to all the species: if some the most important events of their life are not recorded within a short period of time, then you need to wait for the next year.
The creation of the movie will be divided into the following stages:
In 2013 – the preparation: the search for locations, the development/production of a necessary inventory, the purchase and testing of the main equipment, autumn/winter shooting.
In 2014 – the shooting: in the beginning of January the installation of shelters, the purchase of the rest of the required equipment, the shooting in winter, spring, summer, autumn, winter.
In 2015 – the basic montage works, the recording of the missing scenes.
In 2016 – if necessary – the completion of montage, audio and video post-production.
If only part of the budget will be collected, then the money will be allocated according to the order of priority (for what is the most necessary at that moment) and the film will be further created searching for the additional funding.
"The Ancient Woods" is a huge and complex project, which is going to take place for three or even four years. At the very beginning we strive to make people aware about the film in order to follow and get involved into the process of its development. On Facebook, the social network, it is already possible to find unique pre- filming moments coming directly from the producers of the film. We are also planning to involve people in other different ways.
This is a huge project, which requires a lot of time and energy and also finance. Professional equipment is necessary to create a high-quality film about nature, which would interest the audience worldwide. Of course, it is possible to film with equipment available; however the film would be already morally out-of-date before its premiere. The new camera would also provide an opportunity to reveal what the human eye cannot capture. For example, during wolves’ mating season there happen instant fights to establish a hierarchy, and that is impossible to capture with a simple camera. The new technology would allow to shoot such scenes and also to show them in slow motion, revealing every predator’s movement.
A lot of people in Lithuania as well as abroad trust our work after the success of the film "The Field of Magic", which was created by our team. We already received support from such a great number of companies and private people and believe if we were able to involve more people and sponsors we could show wonders still existing in our forests.
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Name VšĮ „SENGIRĖ“
Registration code 302877798
LT38 7044 0600 0786 1652
BIC (SWIFT) CBVILT2X
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We would like to present small gifts to everyone who supported the film. Thank You for Your support!
Mother's warmth. There are only 10 pairs of the Ural owls living in Lithuania. These birds nest in old trees only.
Giedrė ir Antanas Šaviniai
Ramūnas Motuzas ir Viltė Motuzaitė
Egidija Kaziukaitytė ir Agnė Daukšaitė
Vita ir Domas Monkai
Ka Ki Fung
Rūta Ramanauskaite Cicn
Mantas Zurba ir
Jim & Dorothy Murphy
Aistė Bimbirytė - Mackevičienė
Živilė Elena Vėžienė
Sigita Simona Paplauskaitė
Yes, you found it! This is a tent used to film wood-grouse. You get into the tent at 4pm and leave it only at noon the next day with some footage - if you are lucky to get some!
© VšĮ „Sengirė“