It took two weeks and over 1,000 kilometers on the road in Costa Rica for a production team to film the best natural spots and animal shelters for Season 2 of the Animal Encounters series—a nature documentary produced byARtv, the TV and video production arm of Adventist Review Ministries.
The production follows the successful series of Animal Encounters filmed in 2011. In that first series, felines, elephants, sharks, dolphins were featured. The series has been aired repeatedly on Hope Channel, Revelation TV in the U.K., Parables and Go Christian TV in the U.S., as well as Amazon Prime and ARtv.
André Brink, producer of the series and lover of nature, animals and media technology, said the production team of professionals, who came from South Africa, Germany, the United States, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Costa Rica, successfully completed the filming in the Central American country a few days ago.
It took seven years to get to the point of filming the second season, said Brink, but “God’s timing is always perfect.” More than two years were spent just on planning and obtaining permits to film in the natural areas and locations for Season 2.
Costa Rica was the perfect location to film the series for its biodiversity of animals and plants, explained Brink. Thanks to coordinated efforts with the church’s Esperanza TV Costa Rica, key sites were selected.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with André and his team with this project in Costa Rica”
For months, Daniel Valerín, producer of Esperanza TV Costa Rica, worked with Costa Rica’s Tourism Institute, the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and the National Conservation Area System, for the project.
“To get permits and logistics coordinated to film in various natural locations was a great challenge, but we were able to see the Hand of God leading each step,” said Valerín, who was delighted to show off his home country.
The new series follows a format led by Adrian Duré, director of content chosen for the second season. “I am passionate about the stories, so I want to go to a format closer to reality,” said Duré. “We want viewers to experience a close encounter with nature but also feel the emotions of our presenters.”
Viewers will enjoy a greater experience, said Duré. The series was filmed completely in 4K quality, which gives a sharpness never before achieved in the images. Aerial views through drones and GoPro cameras were used as well as special equipment used for slow motion, and VR360 on land and underwater, Duré added.
The project has been made possible thanks to Adventist Review, Hope Channel, and several media production centers around the world, said Brink. It was also produced in partnership with Hope Channel Inter-America and Esperanza TV Costa Rica.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with André and his team with this project in Costa Rica,” said Abel Márquez, communication director for the Inter-American Division in charge of Hope Channel Inter-America. Hope Channel Inter-America and its Esperanza TV Costa Rica were able to contribute four staffers to help with the logistics and filming of the series.”
The series will be translated into multiple languages, said Brink. “We hope Adventist and non-Adventist people around the world can experience something new with our program.”
Animal Encounters Season II will include 10 episodes of 24 minutes each and is expected to be available on the internet, on demand and television by the end of the year. Short clips of the episodes will be available on the ARtv app and full-length episodes available on Hope Channel.