From paper to movie

A short while ago, I published a paper with Gurutzeta Guillera-Arroita and Brendan Wintle about the impact of disregarding imperfect detection when modelling the distribution of species:

Lahoz-Monfort, J.J., Guillera-Arroita, G., Wintle, B. A. (2014) Imperfect detection impacts the performance of species distribution models. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23(4), 504-515.

I won’t get here into the details of our study (you can read a Decision Point article about it in issue #77 here or as a blog entry in the Qaeco website here). What matters is that when we heard about the ‘Great EDG Video Competition’, Guru and I thought this study provided a great excuse to have some fun while experimenting with new ways (for us!) of communicating science to the broader audience.

We set out to produce our video having ‘managers’ as a target audience, or in a broader sense, people with direct responsibility of making decisions about wildlife and habitat management that require some knowledge about where a species is or is not. When this knowledge comes in the form of a ‘species distribution model’ that is based on survey data, decisions may unknowingly be impacted by the effects that imperfect detection of the focal species can have on the distribution modelling. And that’s exactly what our paper is about!

Well, without further ado, here’s our entry for the EDG competition! (for better image quality, please change the resolution to 1080p HD using the settings button – the little cogwheel under the video)


And since things don’t always go right when you try new techniques, here are also some outtakes:


We chose to use the stop motion technique, terra incognita for us. And some of my old Playmobil figures got to see the light of the day again (including ‘first generation’ klickies without articulated wrists from the early-80s!).

outback at home

Kitchen-turned-into-studio: the outback at home!

Although we underestimated the amount of time it takes to get the studio setting right, shoot the thousands of pictures required to fill 3.5 minutes (the video was made with 10 frames per second), record and synchronise the sound (thanks David for the nice mic!) and produce the final file, we thoroughly enjoyed it!

…only 1082 shots left…

…only 1082 shots left…

Golf players can be an occupational hazard when filming at Royal Park!

Golf players can be an occupational hazard when filming at Royal Park!

It has been fun producing the video. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

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8 Responses to From paper to movie

  1. James Camac says:

    Great work guys! This is brilliant!

  2. Julio Lahoz says:

    simplemente fantastico . I like JJ y guru

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  4. Jane Catford says:

    This is awesome! Well done, Jose and Guru. I especially love the outtakes!

  5. Great stuff Jose and Guru! Well done!

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  7. Pingback: Congratulations! | José J. Lahoz-Monfort

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