Executive Producers: What do they do?? A podcast with Love Nature’s James Manfull

What are the responsibilities and workload of an executive producer for a wildlife coproduction intended for a global audience??

James Manfull is the EP for Love Nature, and in a previous life a producer for Nat Geo’s Natural History Unit.

James shares his day-to-day responsibilities– from concept evaluation to delivery — as the EP of Jacob Steinberg‘s SEASON OF THE OSPREY for PBS’s NATURE series.

He compares the process for OSPREY — where Jacob had already shot 95% of the final footage used in the film, to his more typical projects that are greenlit before substantial field cinematography begins.

James turns to me, his co-executive producer asking what inspired me to become so involved in Jacob’s OSPREY film, and what were my EP contributions.

Listen to James Manfull on the work of the executive producer for wildlife films (30′)


Outreach Campaign

Our OSPREY outreach campaign celebrates this magnificent species, and covers in a detailed case study the making of a blue chip wildlife special.

In previous podcasts, available here:

  • PBS programming & prodution executive Bill Gardner describes how Jacob Steinberg’s osprey pitch reel ‘popped’ against the criteria that he uses to evaluate documentary projects, inspiring him to take the steps that led to the coproduction between WNET’s NATURE series and Love Nature.
  • Dr. Alan Poole is a leading osprey scientist and author of OSPREYS: THE REVIVAL OF A GLOBAL RAPTOR. He shares with Melanie Wallace the astounding wonders of the species.
  • Industry legend Ellen Windemuth is CEO of WaterBear Network, founder and CEO of Off The Fence, and executive producer of Academy Award winner MY OCTOPUS TEACHER. Ellen and Jacob share their lifelong passion to connect the art of filmmaking with wildlife conservation.
  • Janet Hess is the series editor of NATURE and the writer of SEASON OF THE OSPREY. In conversation with Peter Hamilton, Janet recalls how she found her unique and enviable writing career, and she describes her creative process, working with director Jacob Steinberg and her longtime editor Jim Isler to find and refine the story.
  • Natalie Cash is executive producer in charge of video production at the Wildlife Conservation Society. She explores the art, the craft and the challenges of wildlife filmmaking with OSPREY director / cinematographer Jacob Steinberg.

From the Archive