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Monkey Kingdom Interview with Dr. M. Sanjayan

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Movie poster for Disneynature's "Monkey Kingdom" featuring monkeys in their natural habitat with a temple in the background, indicating an adventure-themed documentary by Disneynature.Did you know that you can swing into your local movie theater this Friday to see Disneynature Monkey Kingdom? This is a fantastic family friendly film and I am excited to share my review with you tomorrow. We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Dr. M. Sanjayan, who is a Disneynature ambassador. The interviews are always one of my favorite parts of press trips because I get to find out more about the blood, sweat and tears that actually go into making a movie. It is easy to sit back and relax as we are watching a movie but there is so much that actually goes into making it. More than I ever realize!! I think that documentaries like Monkey Kingdom are amazing because you really have to shoot the perfect footage to make the perfect film. You have to depend on what you see and experience and not on Visual Effects. I was excited to learn from Dr. M. Sanjayan and hear his thoughts on the film.

Monkey Kingdom Interview with Dr. M. Sanjayan

"DR. M. SANJAYAN (Disneynature Ambassador) is executive vice president and senior scientist for Conservation International. The global conservation scientist, writer and Emmy®-
nominated news contributor focuses on the connection between nature and human well-being.
He serves on Conservation International’s senior leadership team as executive vice president and senior scientist."

Three monkeys perching on a tree branch during an interview with Dr. M. Sanjayan, with the one in the foreground looking directly at the camera.
Here are some things I learned from our interview:

  • Dr. M Sanjayan also worked on Planet Earth and Oceans.
  • In his opinions Monkey Kingdom set the bar high with its compelling story.
  • Monkey Kingdom was supposed to be a jungle book comes to life movie but then the story developed.
  • It took over 1000 days to film Monkey Kingdom
  • It took 10 days of filming for every minute of footage
  • Monkey Kingdom is filmed on location in Sri Lanka
  • Best light happens at dawn and dusk so each day started early and ended late.
  • Even when they they were on break, they would sit behind their camera because they were afraid to miss something.
  • There were many hours where nothing was happening.
  • It is hard work to make a documentary, but the magic happens when editing and you can see how all the footage you got comes together.
  • They knew early on that they had a special monkey with Maya
  • The film crew consisted of around 6 primary members and 10 or so Sri Lanken assistants
  • Dr. M. Sanjayan didn't start with a film background. His background is conservation Science.
Monkey Kingdom Interview with Dr. M. Sanjayan

Photo Credit: http://asmomseesit.com

Check out this inside look into  the world of Monkey Kingdom with conservationist Dr. M. Sanjayan:

YouTube video

Monkey Kingdom is in theaters this Friday. If you see Monkey Kingdom April 17-23,  Disneynature will make a donation in your honor to Conservation International to help protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats. Not only will you have the chance to see a fantastic film, but it will help support such a great cause!

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