Two new films showcasing our coat color work

Fall colors

We are thrilled to share two new films that were produced this past Spring 2018 on our coat color work. 

The first film was produced as part of the International Wildlife Film Festival (IWFF). Each year the IWFF does an incredible thing: it accepts applications from both scientists and budding filmmakers who want to work together (and with superstar wildlife filmmakers as advisors) to learn how to make quality wildlife films.  The IWFF then chooses 3 or 4 local (mostly Montana) wildlife research or conservation projects, and assigns one of the teams of chosen scientists/filmmakers to do the impossible: In 4 days produce from scratch a film about the project, to be debuted on the big screen on the last day of the workshop.

The IWFF chose our coat color project for one of the projects to make a movie about.  Led by cinematographer Zach Montes, our film-making team included Alie Caldwell, Becca Skinner, and Mark Chynoweth.  Our first Science paper (the “evolutionary hot spot” paper) had just come out, so the focus of the film was on that.  But that paper builds on all the work we’ve been doing for a decade.  So somehow the film team had to figure out a storyline that boiled down the background, context, previous work, and punchline from the Science paper.  And then they had to do all the filming and editing.  And did I mention that the film had to be only 3 minutes long?!?!  And produced in 4 days!

Incredibly, they did it.  They filmmakers may make some future edits to it, but they and IWFF have said I can share it with the world.

So, enjoy this short but action-packed film, HOPTIMISTIC:



2) When the second Science paper (the ‘adaptive introgression’ paper) came out, PhD student Matt Jones and his advisor (and coat color collaborator) Jeff Good were the leads.  Jeff contracted with the same film crew to come make a film that focused primarily on the story of that 2nd Science paper: the  origin of the winter brown vs winter white color morphs in snowshoe hares.  Again, the film crew did an incredible job. 

You can enjoy this film, "Adaptive Introgression Underlies Polymorphic Seasonal Camouflage in Snowshoe Hares SD Version B," here: