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Hugo van Lawick 

Hugo van Lawick during filming for The Baboons of Gombe

For more than thirty years, Hugo van Lawick lived and worked alongside the wildlife of the African plains, filming many of the animals that live there and becoming an expert on the behaviour of such species as: African wild dogs, leopards and wildebeest. Hugo's individual style of cinematography placed an emphasis on the individual, where possible, and while contemporaries were concentrating on obtaining portrait shots, he paid particular attention to the lighting of his subject and documenting action.

Hugo began his career in 1957 working with a Dutch film company that made commercials, before moving to Africa with the hope of fulfilling his desire to film wildlife. After working for Armand and Michaela Denis for a while in the early 1960s, Hugo was suggested as a cameraman to the National Geographic Society by the famous archaeologist Louis Leakey, a working relationship that was to last for more than five years.

It was the National Geographic Society who first sent Hugo to The Gombe Reservation in Tanzania to make a lecture film. This led to his study of three generations of chimpanzees that lasted over twenty years, culminating in his film People of the Forest, and also introducing him to his wife and collaborator for many years, Jane Goodall.

In 1968, Hugo became an independent producer and cameraman, and moved towards filming for the cinema screen, which he felt was a better medium to display the incredible sceneries and large numbers of animals of the Serengeti. His aim was to get people emotionally involved with the animals that he filmed, thus turning them into conservationists.

Hugo van Lawick won eight Emmy awards for his films and in 1992 was appointed Officer in the Order of the Golden Ark, which is awarded to the world's most distinguished conservationists. Hugo was awarded the Panda for Outstanding Achievement at Wildscreen 2000.

Oral History

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WildFilmHistory Films

film-smallMiss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees (1965)Cameraman 
film-smallThe Wild Dogs of Africa (1973)Producer,
Director,
Photography 
film-smallBirds Do It, Bees Do It (1974)Additional Photography 
film-smallThe World About Us (1967 - 1987): Africa's Tallest Story (1978)Camera 
film-smallCheetahs and Cubs in a Land of Lions (1993)Producer,
Photography,
Associate Producer 
film-smallThe Savage Paradise : Cheetahs The Blood Brothers (1993)Producer,
Director,
Photography,
Associated Broadcaster 
film-smallThe Savage Paradise : Wild Dogs - A Tale of Two Sisters (1993)Producer,
Sound Recording,
Photography,
Associate Producer 
film-smallIslands in the African Sky (1994)Executive Producer 
film-smallFifi's Boys - A Story of Wild Chimpanzees (1996)Archive Footage,
Executive Producer 
Stills
Jane Goodall and Hugo van Lawick interviewed on Life
Jane Goodall and Hugo van Lawick interviewed...
Hugo van Lawick during filming for The Baboons of Gombe
Hugo van Lawick during filming for The Baboons...
Hugo van Lawick and Jane Goodall during filming for The Baboons Of Gombe
Hugo van Lawick and Jane Goodall during filming...
Hugo van Lawick filming baboons on the shore of Lake Tanganyika for The Baboons Of Gombe
Hugo van Lawick filming baboons on the shore...