Spend any amount of time with Andy B. Casagrande – whether you’re lucky enough to meet this adventurous filmmaker, or simply watch some of his unbelievable footage – and you’ll quickly learn how to fling yourself at the mercy of the elements, in the midst of dangerous wild creatures in their natural environments, without fear, without causing harm to species or habitats, indeed with great respect and reverence for the natural order and man’s place within it.
What’s more, Andy is someone who teaches by doing, not by preaching.
He’s an Emmy-award-winning cinematographer who has filmed for National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, ABC World News, the BBC, and numerous other media outlets. The most well-respected sources of high-quality travel television have featured his talents in their wildlife specials and adventure series. And Andy’s footage is typically that which few others dare to shoot.
From shark encounters to escapades among killer snakes and stampeding African herds, Andy doesn’t shy away from danger. If he’s got a creature in his sights that he wants to share with his fellow nature enthusiasts and environmentally-conscious travelers, you can bet he’ll keep his eye in the viewfinder until he’s got the shot — even if he comes within an inch of his life in the meantime.
But what does Andy pride himself on most? It’s not his bravado, surprisingly.
He’d sooner pat himself on the back for winning a new advocate to the conservationist cause than for shedding light on a fierce predator or elusive animal.
“The one thing that has been most instrumental to my success as a wildlife filmmaker has been my extreme passion for the conservation of wildlife and the desire to inspire people to care about our planet,” says Andy.
His humble attitude and talent for jaw-dropping cinematography make him an integral member of our 2012 Island Intern Contest Panel of Experts. We’re so honored that he signed on to guide the next generation of advocates as they vie for the opportunity to document life in tropical paradise.
I know no better example than Andy B. Casagrande to inspire our Island Intern candidates to tell our island’s story with its pristine natural environment as the main character. He has a knack for seeing the larger narrative behind the flash of teeth and the flurry of fur. When we asked him which story from Mother Nature’s vast anthology he considers to be the greatest he’s had the privilege of telling on film, Andy said:
“The greatest story I have ever told on film is that of the Animal Kingdom’s Great Migrations – from Great White sharks and grizzly bears to albatross and elephant seals – including zebra, wildebeest, crocodiles, army ants, bald eagles, pronghorn, Christmas crabs, butterflies… and the list goes on and on. The stories of tragedy and triumph that surround these amazing animal migrations is truly an inspiration to all of humankind.”
I’ll close this by stealing the motto of this daring documentarian, which fits the challenge we’re laying out for the hopeful Island Interns perfectly –
Inspiring People to Care About the Planet – Live the Life you Dream!
The 2012 Island Intern Contest applicants may be up against some serious competition for their dream job on Isla Palenque, but they certainly won’t lack for motivation with Andy B. Casagrande in the house.