INTERVIEW AND REVIEW:
Big Bend: The Wild Frontier
Big Bend Literary Magazine's Michelle Minto and Emmy Award-winning wildlife cinematographer Skip Hobbie discuss Hobbie's film, storytelling, nature, and, of course, beer on The Porch.
This Critic's Score: 3 out of 4 Sotols
This documentary is chock-full of the best elements. You will see awe-inspiring images of Big Bend at dawn, noon, and dusk, in the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Bejeweled with sunshine and blanketed in rain. You’ll voyage across the desert floor, the mountain peaks, the sky. You’ll experience the stories of every kind of life therein. Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas does due diligence in honoring the home we share with each other and with wildlife, who know no borders.
In addition to the stunning imagery, this documentary has a cast of characters who best tell the stories of our home. From the munching sounds of the beavers in Santa Elena Canyon at dawn before settling in to meticulously groom themselves, to the majestic desert bighorn sheep who have an… ahem… interesting way of establishing dominance over one another. Observe the male elf owl, the smallest owl in the world, who works all night bringing food home to his family. He takes stops to snack on a scorpion, only to be scolded by the female. The owls’ expressions are priceless and sure to elicit an audible chuckle. The cast is diverse, lengthy, and endearing, and includes the usual suspects as well as some surprise cameos.
Skip is an Emmy Award-winning wildlife cinematographer based in Austin, Texas. He grew up in Texas flipping rocks and climbing trees, ever in pursuit of creepy crawlies and critters. After receiving his BS in Radio/TV/Film from UT, he turned his passion for wildlife into a career that has taken him all over the world for National Geographic, Animal Planet, Discovery and PBS. Skip’s passion for wildlife and conservation are only equaled by his passion for technology. His quick grasp of how to use the latest and greatest camera tech in aid of storytelling quickly advanced his career as a young cinematographer. In 2012, Skip earned an Emmy Award as part of the camera team for National Geographic’s series Untamed Americas.