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  • >>Female Presenter: And I'm really excited to introduce our speaker for all you here

  • today. His name is Bill Wallauer. And he's from the Jane Goodall Institute. So, let me

  • tell you a few fun facts about Bill. All right, fact number one: For 15 years, Bill spent

  • almost every day following chimpanzees in Tanzania and Africa.

  • And during that time, he spent more time with chimpanzees than he did with humans. Fact

  • number two: Bill has served as a cameraman and scientific adviser for more than 30 shows

  • on the BBC, Animal Planet, and The Discovery Channel, including the very popular "Planet

  • Earth" series. Fact number three: In the early 1990s, he successfully captured a video of

  • wild chimpanzees giving birth on tape and got asked by Jane Goodall to join the Jane

  • Goodall Institute.

  • >>Bill Wallauer: So, thanks so much for coming out. My name is Bill Wallauer. And I think

  • you can see from that video, I kinda like my job. So maybe next to a Google employee,

  • I'm probably the most happily employed employee on the planet.

  • [laughter]

  • Yeah, I keep reading how this is the best place in the world to work. And I keep thinking,

  • "They've never been in my forest."

  • [laughter]

  • Anyway, this next slide. Have any of you ever seen a Jane Goodall talk? A couple of you.

  • And Jane, I got a message from Jane to send a greeting. And we've already heard that greeting.

  • But let's hear it again. This is Jane with her classic chimp greeting to all of you.

  • [Jane Goodall makes chimpanzee sounds]

  • And that's that wonderful chimp call, which we've been hearing in the forest now. Me,

  • for 20 years. Jane, for about 60 years, as we go through the forest. And that's just

  • a chimp greeting to all of you from Jane.

  • Thanks so much for coming out. So, a lot of people ask me now how do they get involved

  • in this work? And I have really three people to credit, my mom on the left side. This is

  • my mom as she was growing up. She was from the East Coast, a traveler, English teacher,

  • very cultured, from Charlottesville. My father on the top right, he was a professional rodeo

  • cowboy.

  • Grew up in the mountains in California. And so, I got this great mix of both worlds. So,

  • we'd be at a Shakespearean festival in Ashland one weekend and then Dad and I would go up

  • to Northeastern Oregon and go fishing the next weekend. And so, I'm from Oregon originally.

  • And so, I owe--. Is somebody from Oregon here? Yay.

  • [laughter]

  • A great state. And so, I owe them just so much for giving me that sense of wonder about

  • both human culture and also about wildlife. And it's just been a wonderful ride. And then,

  • of course, Jane Goodall, who always a hero.

  • I met her as a Peace Corp volunteer in 1989, and instantly fell in love with her and her

  • mission. Yeah, to find out more about that mission, I really encourage you to find out

  • more about her. She is certainly a pioneer in more than just chimp research in conservation,

  • in the way she views the world. She is a true living philosopher and visionary.

  • So, from my background, climbing around these hills and mountains in Oregon gave me a very,

  • very good background to do the same kind of work that Jane did in the early 1960s. And

  • so, it's not such a different forest. Very different climate, but not such a different

  • forest. So I just, with my two years in the forest as a Peace Corp volunteer and my knowledge

  • of Swahili, I was the perfect fit for Jane.

  • And this is what I looked like in, when I first went out. I was in my mid-20s. This

  • is about '92. And very, very green around, green in the field; didn't know very much

  • about chimps or very much about film-making. And within a year of the Jane Goodall workout,

  • I had totally gone bush.

  • [laughter]

  • You've all heard the Jane Fonda workout? Well, that's got nothing on the Jane Goodall workout.

  • [laughter]

  • So, I totally got into it, went completely bush. And just Jane, I filmed this birth that

  • Winnie talked about. And Jane said, "Well, why don't you just do this full-time? Let's

  • get a research, visual imagery to go along with the long-term data," which they had been

  • collecting at that point for 30 years.

  • So, now we have a thousand hours of research footage of every aspect of chimp behavior.

  • But then, film groups would come, film crews would come and they would realize, "Well,

  • wow. This is really steep and really thick and our scientific adviser can actually get

  • through this stuff just like a chimp can."

  • And so, I would be keeping up with the chimps, trying to radio them, "Catch up, catch up.

  • All this stuff's going down." And they would be a hundred yards behind me trying to keep

  • up. And so, pretty soon they started giving me the camera and teaching me how to shoot

  • for film-making, which is a very different art than doing chimp research home movies,

  • which I was learning how to do.

  • So, I got this great crash course in chimp behavior from the chimps and in film-making

  • from these visiting film crews. So, as Winnie said, I worked on about 30, 35 films. And

  • this pinnacle now is this; I think many of you have heard about the "Chimpanzee" film

  • by Disney Nature. I was one of the cinematographers for that, which is, as a wildlife cameraman,

  • just a dream job on so many levels.

  • But particularly for me, because it gives me a platform to actually come to people like

  • you and talk about not only how amazing chimps are, but the fact that within my lifetime,

  • at the rate we're going right now with the Equatorial forest, the African forests, they

  • could be gone in my lifetime. So, that also gives us a really amazing platform to talk

  • about chimps and chimp conservation.

  • So, Gaia still very much has my heart. And it was absolutely amazing when on my visits,

  • I would be there for ten, eleven months out of the year, and you could imagine, like during

  • the 90s, there was a lot going on technologically. You might be aware of that. I missed all that.

  • [laughter]

  • And I just heard rumors about this Google thing. I'm a real map person. I love my maps.

  • I love being able to see where I'm going and see where I've been. And you could imagine

  • my delight when I could get on Google Maps and mark the tree that Gaia was born in. I

  • mean, is that cool or what?

  • [laughter]

  • So, you could go on Google Earth and check out the tree that Gaia was born in. That is

  • absolutely intriguing. You hear about Jane's Peak. It was just off Jane's Peak in the tree

  • that Gaia was born. But it's this tree.

  • [laughter]

  • For those of you who are scientist-minded, this is Parinari curatellifolia was the species

  • of the tree that she gave birth in.

  • [laughter]

  • And this is Gaia now. This is now 19 years later. She has a baby of her own. And guess

  • what we called the baby? We called it--. We have G-family, so Gremlin had Galahad and

  • Gaia, and Goldy and Glitter.

  • Do you see the pattern there? Fifi has Freud, Ferdinand, and Faustino. So, we named them

  • through the female line by their--. And so we thought, "Well, what would be an obvious

  • name to name another G-baby?" So, there we go.

  • [laughter]

  • [clapping]

  • Born about June 4th, within a day or two of June 4th, 2009. So, Google, meet Google.

  • [laughter]

  • And like the chimps, the chimps are obviously aware that I am there, but don't think about

  • me at all. But hopefully, you'll be involved and follow Google's life. And she will never

  • be aware of you. So, it's a very one-sided relationship. But that's the way it has to

  • be because that's one thing this movie has been able, something it's been able to do

  • for me is like, be a voice for chimps.

  • And so--. We talked a little bit about my background. Did you see the "Planet Earth"

  • series? I mean, I haven't seen most of these series 'cause I spend all of my time in East

  • Africa filming, but "Planet Earth" was one that I filmed, "Life of Mammals," both of

  • which were produced and directed by Alastair Fothergill, who came to me with this Disney

  • idea.

  • And that was one of the shortest decisions of my life, next to saying "yes" to Jane,

  • "Will I come to Gombe?" From 2008 to last summer, I got to spend on and off three years

  • filming for this Chimpanzee project for Disney Nature, which was just wonderful. But what

  • does it take to make it happen? They didn't tell me about this part.

  • [laughter]

  • I kind of pictured, 'cause often I'd get a shot list, which is the list of shots that

  • a film crew wants. They don't even send a producer. They'll just send a camera and a

  • shot list and a tripod and I'll start my work. We did that for "Planet Earth" and for "Mammals."

  • And I did a couple BBC series. But in this case, I stopped by Bristol, England to pick

  • up equipment and I thought it was gonna be a few boxes and bags.

  • We had 22 hard cases plus our luggage plus all our carry-ons. We were, my wife and I,

  • my wife has done this with me for about ten years now. She did the sound. So, when you

  • go see the film, she did--. Just close your eyes once in a while and just listen to the

  • wonderful sounds of the forest. That's all Kristin's sound.

  • And she did the production stills as well for this film. But yeah, the initial shock

  • at having to carry and be responsible for about 500,000 dollars' worth of boxes and

  • bags and camera equipment was extraordinary. And then the other thing, we get to our field

  • site and then we have to buy two months' worth of food to add another ten, twelve boxes to

  • our boxes.

  • And then, we'd also go to these wonderful open food markets where--. I mean, I just

  • experienced your open food market, which was quite nice I'll have to say.

  • [laughter]

  • But there's nothing like an African open market with all the tropical fruit: the mangoes,

  • the pineapples and just all the food that we can get. And we loaded up and happiness

  • is seeing this city in my rear view mirror.

  • You can imagine. Hit the open road and it's just extraordinary. That shot on the left,

  • a beautiful lake in the middle of Africa, but not every scene we see is amazing. I mean,

  • this is chimp's habitat and the distance in this upper right shot, but that's a tea plantation

  • surrounding it. You get the same in all over West Africa: coffee, chocolate.

  • There's a lot of unsustainable removal of these forests for the things that we in the

  • West and East have a hugely high demand for. So, part of our messaging is as far as a conservation

  • organization is make sure you know where you're buying and eating that stuff. Make sure you

  • know where it comes from because if we don't, the result of that, like the African hardwood

  • demand, which is pretty much developed country-wide, you can buy all kinds of African hardwood

  • in this country.

  • Just be sure you know where your wood's coming from when you need to build something. Obviously,

  • we need to keep utilizing. We need to keep building. It's just a matter of sustainability.

  • I have a feeling I'm preaching to the choir here, but it's still worth saying. And so,

  • this is, as soon as we turn off the main road, this is what the road looks like. It is extraordinary

  • getting to the field site, about a nine and a half hour drive.

  • And then, we enter this forest, this magical kingdom of the chimps, which you'll see in

  • the film. I hope you all plan on going. It's just an amazing, amazing place, this magical,

  • 150-, 200-foot canopy. Layers of canopy unlike anything we see here anymore. It's still untouched,

  • phenomenally beautiful and absolutely worth saving.

  • And this is home sweet home. We lived in this tent, on and off. We have a little hut in

  • Gombe National Park, where Kristin and I have lived for 12 years together. But in this field

  • site, we just lived in this tent. And on the right is our technology base tent. So, I would

  • have my computer, hard drive, HD screen.