‘Chimpanzee’ Filmmaker Mark Linfield Interview

The new heartwarming Disney Nature documentary Chimpanzee follows the real-life struggles of Oscar, a chimp living in the forest of The Ivory Coast. Chimpanzee is set hit stores on Blu-Ray August 21st, and co-director Mark Linfield had time to chat with Kidzworld about his amazing experience in filming in the wild.

KW: What made you want to make Chimpanzee?

  • Mark: I guess the first thing is chimpanzees! They are wonderful animals and Alistair Forthgill, my co-director, and I have always been interested in them and used to film them many years ago, on fact for most of my career I’ve been filming monkeys and apes. Chimpanzees are really difficult to film and we felt that no one had done a really great film about them - one of the reasons is that the technology to film in low light in thick forests was really only up to it in the last 5 years or so, so the timing was right. And of course Disney came up with the Disney Nature strand and came to us asking if there were any subjects that would work on the big screen and we said ‘hell yes!’ – chimpanzees are so like us it would be like a human drama. In 2008 we went out on a reconnaissance mission to make sure it was a good idea and after a few days we were convinced.

KW: How did you discover Oscar, the chimp you followed?

  • Mark: We’d planned to follow a particular female chimpanzee named Sumatra and it turned out she was camera shy and we thought she would come around, but it wasn’t that at all, just like people some chimpanzees like to go on camera and some don’t. So we had to stop following her so it turned out to be Oscar.

KW: Do you think chimpanzees have different personalities?

  • Mark:  I absolutely do, they %100 have different personalities just like we do and it’s so clear when you’re there. For example when we went on the reconnaissance trip we walked into the chimpanzee research camp and they were all talking about chimpanzees as if they were talking about a soap opera, like “did you see that” or “I never though they’d accept that,” and of course when I first got there I thought “oh god they’ve been in the forest too long, they’re going a bit mad” but after a couple of weeks you find yourself talking about them the same way. They behave the way we behave in certain situations.

KW: Following a chimpanzee can’t be easy, what was the trickiest part of filming?

  • Mark: One is that the forest is very dark and very thick so it can be hard to see the chimpanzees a lot of the time because they travel very quickly and are designed for moving through the forest, following them can be a nightmare. The other thing that’s hard is we filmed over 3 years so it was hard to keep morale up, it could be days and days where we would barely get a shot. I have to take my hat off to the camera men, they have amazing stamina to get up every day and think today might be the day you get something special.

KW: What do you think is the most interesting thing you learned about chimps during filming?

  • Mark: They live to about 40 or 50 years old, so as old as we would if we were propped up by nutrition. That sort of surprised me, I didn’t realise they had almost the same life span as us. Some of the tools they use, they use sponges made from leaves and put them in holes of trees full of water and wrung it into their mouths and sticks to dig grubs out of holes. Lots of things they do very quickly so it was hard to catch, but there are tons of little things they do that are just so smart.

KW: What are you hoping people take away from this film?

  • Mark:  I’m hoping that they take away the notion that chimpanzees are really special animals that are like us in the way that they think and they feel. And out of that there will be a sense of indignation at the way they are being wiped out. We knew the best thing we could do for chimpanzee conservation is to show what amazing animals they are.

KW: What scene in the movie is most special to you?

  • Mark: It’s really hard not to give an obvious answer to that, the adoption of Oscar of course, we never could have expected that. There’s another scene with Freddy grooming Oscar, gently touching his face and it’s so tender even though he’s the alpha male in charge of the whole group. I think it’s magical.

Have Your Say

Will you watch Chimpanzee? Let us know in the comments section below.


latest videos


Do You Know Which One Isn't An Ape?

  • Chimpanzee
  • Orangutan
  • Gorilla
  • Baboon

related stories

Tim Allen narrates the Disneynature documentary Chimpanzee, which follows a family of chimps duri...
On October 19 Disney Nature released two amazing new movies on DVD and Blu-Ray: The Crimson Wing ...
Three chimps journey into space to find an adventure that's out of this world. Kidzworld looks at...
If it wasn't for WWF, a lot of animals and plants you see today wouldn't exist! Learn abou...

Entertainment in the forums

thinhmac posted in Movies:
 [s:p/zqh] [s:p/zqh] [s:p/zqh] [s:p/zqh] [s:p/zqh] Check it out on Youtube ! ha ha
reply about 1 hour
catonio posted in Movies:
Phát sóng đầu tiên vào năm 2011, đã phim hoạt hình 3D 'Larva', ngay từ đầu, tạo ra một lượng fan hâm mộ lớn của cả trẻ em và người lớn một phần nhờ vào sự độc đáo, ngoại hài hước của hai nhân vật chính của nó, và cho vở hài kịch vui nhộn mà tiếp tục mà không có đường. Hiện nay, nó Đáng gây ra một cơn sốt không chỉ ở thị trường trong nước mà còn ra khỏi thị trường nước ngoài, với khoảng 1.000 mặt hàng của sản phẩm nhân vật có liên quan sẵn luôn luôn có và các phim hoạt hình của chính nó đang được phát sóng tại 97 quốc gia trên thế giới. Các tem Larva được ban hành dưới hình thức dán sẽ :. Hoàng vô độ và ngu ngốc chưa đa dạng Red, một đầu tham lam nóng giận và liệt nhưng khéo Léo. hồng, với khuôn mặt quyến rũ ẩn một sức mạnh rất lớn; Brown, một bọ hung độc đáo, quan tâm đến việc thu decimal quý giá của mình; Black, một con bọ của sức mạnh siêu nhân cho lực chết người và đấm; và Phổ, một con vẹt đó, nhìn từ trên cao xuống, lên vỗ của một sân, lực lượng Hach dịch. Ngoài ra, bao gồm bên lề của tem là các loại giấy dán tường, bạn có thể được sử dụng kết hợp với những con tem.      
reply about 6 hours
Greenlily96 posted in Celebs:
Ok soooo this might not be a celeb but to me, he is......its PEWDIEPIEEEEE. I also like logan Lerman. And Niall Horan.
reply about 7 hours
Greenlily96 posted in Celebs:
Okay first of all, to all those Swifties out there, Tay's got bad blood, and I knew she was trouble when she walked in. Ariana's got one less problem without her, because she broke free. And Taylor has to shake it off.  :) :) :) :) :) :) ;)
reply about 7 hours
-Gwen9-- posted in TV Shows:
The Simpsons
reply about 7 hours

play online games