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2023 Wrap up

Joe Pontecorvo

Jan 12, 2024

The beginning of 2024 marks the next chapter in the production of Heart of a Lion

As I write this, I'm tucked into my car along a remote forest service road, just 140 yards from Charlotte's kill. I'm monitoring a remote camera that I can control with a joystick, the same system used to capture the video below. I'm just hoping the cat comes back soon; tonight, we are expecting a cold snap, and temperatures will plummet. Hopefully, my equipment will survive.

We've had an incredibly productive 2023 and are now embarking upon the post-production process. We are still filming and will continue to do so, but with a more focused agenda as we begin to find and fill the gaps in our narrative. A large part of the post-production process is transcoding and logging hundreds of hours of footage.

We are also sorting through an enormous amount of archive from the Tenon Cougar Project so we can pull the best clips. We will be using some of the early Teton footage to set up Mark's seminal study in which we uncover the social lives of mountain lions. It also gives us an opportunity to meet F61 in those early years.

So clearly, there's a lot of logging, transcoding, and building out the project before we actually start the physical edit.

However, I wanted to share a very rough segment we put together as part of the pre-title tease (the opening segment before the title). Much of the footage will be replaced with material specifically shot for the open, including a sequence with Mark that we plan on filming in the coming months. Also, placeholder text for shots still to come.

Password: lions

We've managed to capture some really incredible moments over the past few months, and it's made me even more excited about the film. Some of that includes an incredibly rare sequence of a bobcat fishing for salmon. Here, bobcats frequently overlap with mountain lions and often scavenge mountain lion kills, so they play a small but significant role in our ecosystem story.

In the Tetons, Jeff has cameras deployed and is anticipating a great season of camera trapping ahead. We will join Jeff this winter to capture some recreations with Mark.

We are also gearing up to film more mountain lions and gather more footage of Mark and his team. A recent dump of snow has created ideal tracking conditions, so we expect a busy week of captures.

I will continue to send regular updates as we progress with filming and post-production.

We will also begin to build out a dedicated website for the project sometime this summer.

Please feel free to reach out anytime.

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