Watch Niall McCann’s technique for getting close and personal to some Black Caiman in the Pantanal Preserve: Araras Eco-Lodge grounds…
Watch the interview in High-Definition…insights into the making of Lost in the Amazon: the Enigma of Col. Percy Fawcett.
Be sure and check out Peter von Puttkamer’s interview about Lost in the Amazon at Huffington Post- AOL travel
Blue-chip Hollywood Entertainment Magazine VARIETY recommends director Peter von Puttkamer’s “Lost in the Amazon” appearing on PBS on April 20th @ 8:00pm (check local listings). Niall McCann travels to Brazil to search for the truth about Col. Percy Fawcett.
Excitement is building over the April 20, 2011, 8pm PBS airdate of Lost in the Amazon: the Enigma of Col Percy Fawcett. Thousands are walking by the Reuters Big Board in Times Square and seeing images of Lost in the Amazon star Niall McCann leading the way in the search for the mysterious Col Fawcett who vanished in the Amazon in 1925 searching for the Lost City of Z. Be sure and tune it to see what happened to the original Indiana Jones, and his search for a jungle city.
On April 20, 1925, Colonel Percy Fawcett, his elder son Jack Fawcett and Jack’s lifelong friend, Raleigh Rimmell, departed from Cuiabá, the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, to find “Z” — Col. Fawcett’s name for what he believed to be an ancient city lost in the uncharted jungles of Brazil. The search for the mysterious Lost City of Z would be the great explorer’s last expedition. All three men would vanish without a trace.
Eighty-six years later, Secrets of the Dead has mounted a modern day quest with explorer Niall McCann to find the truth behind the disappearance of famed adventurer Col. Percy Fawcett and his party in Lost in the Amazon, premiering nationally Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).
Secrets of the Dead is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET– one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.
When Col Fawcett set out in 1925 to find the lost city he called “Z,” it was the biggest news of the day. Millions followed the reports he sent back to civilization with local runners. But, he was not a treasure hunter like those seekers of El Dorado, the mythical city whose king was said to cover himself with gold dust.
Inspired by the discovery of Machu Picchu and other Incan sites in 1911, this war hero, surveyor and amateur archaeologist, became fascinated with the notion that large civilizations once existed in the Amazon. This fascination, coupled with a spiritual and mystical belief that his son was a “chosen one,” suggest the true purpose behind his final journey.
Along with new archaeological digs and the science behind the discovery of newly found jungle cities, there are two clues pointing to the fate of Fawcett and his two companions: his signet ring which surfaced 60 years after he disappeared and a map with a secret code only his wife could decipher. In addition, Secrets of the Dead shares surprising finds that are causing experts to re-think the image of a pristine uninhabited, uncivilized Amazon rainforest — a place that before Columbus, may actually have had large populations living in sophisticated towns and cities. Is it uninhabited or just not urban?
THIRTEEN’s Secrets of the Dead: Lost in the Amazon is a Lost World Films Limited production for THIRTEEN, VISION TV, JOY TV, and AETN in association with WNET. Narrator is Live Schreiber. It is directed and written by Peter von Puttkamer. The producers are Sheera and Peter von Puttkamer. Executive Producers for WNET are Jared Lipworth and William R. Grant.
Follow the link to a detailed story of the making of Lost in the Amazon.
Well it’s been a quick few months since returning from Brazil in Oct, 2010, to prepare the Lost in the Amazon (Col Percy Fawcett) Documentary for April 20th, 2011 PBS airdate in the US, with showings in Canada and England to follow. With shoots in the UK: London, Devon, Wales; the US: Connecticut and Washington DC; and Brazil: Five States- this was an amazing film journey: part treasure hunt, part adventure travel expedition…and some pretty magical things happened for us along the way. Please read the making of the Special- linked in the next blog!
We’ve finished a gorgeous looking High Definition Master Tape of the program which has been generating some great comments and reviews so far. Niall McCann is going to be the next superstar adventure-travel wildlife host on TV and the work he did for us on this program was just spectacular. Please watch for him coming up on a major cable network- a series is in the works!
Of course, we couldn’t have put Lost in the Amazon together without the input of a lot of people: Sheera, my loving wife and producing partner, Sandy Beck and Barb von Kleist at Gryphon headquarters, Cinematogapher Todd Southgate (currently in the Amazon again with James Cameron, trying to stop the giant Belo Monte Dam project from going ahead) did a fabulous job for us, as did Jon Ritchie on sound and my jungle “right hand man” Andy Dittrich came through as always with great assistance and photography. Composer Michael Richard Plowman’s music is as always spectacular. We had great input from Motion Picture Digital Matte Artists like Frank Belina- to create amazing-looking stylized-3d renderings of ancients cities in the jungle, based on the fabulous artwork of long-time supplier to Gryphon: graphic artist Jason Walton. Plus of course the Post Facilities: Watershed Digital (with Jim Finn and Rob Appleby’s great participation) and Jean Turner and Randy Kiss at Pinewood Sound who as always produced a kick-ass 5.1 surround sound of the show.
Stay tuned for more press and exciting details about the show to come! See our promotional poster attached.
Ok, it’s a been a week now, since returning from Brazil. Everyone on this journey had an amazing time: for a few weeks, we were a band of brothers -the film crew comprised of Brazilians, Canadians, Brits all working towards a common goal of solving the mystery of Col Fawcett: bouncing and careening over those remote dusty back roads, taking part in ancient Indian dance ceremonies, fording rivers, building bridges, analyzing treasure maps, fighting off bees and stinging sand flies: even dodging tiny deadly snakes which draped themselves over the rocks at the sacred Bakairi waterfalls and swimming just downstream from giant 6ft electrical eels- each packing 700 volts or more; confident we’d solved some mysteries and shed some new light on the Fawcett disappearance and on the Lost City of Z – we briefly met up in Sao Paulo…before heading off on our respective planes: across Brazil, back to England and Canada. It was a great ending, but bitter sweet too- as we’d all shared such a marvellous adventure together. And at home- Sheera, my partner and wife did an incredible job of producing and production managing this whole trip, along with help from Sandy Beck and Barb von Kleist, without whom, none of this would have been possible!
We’re now loading up the many hours of tape from the field into our editing system…and it’s looking good! One of the nicest things about returning back from the Amazon is – one week later, no more Malaria medication! Malarone makes you drowsy, upset your gut not to mention stress out your liver…so always happy when that final day comes up and we put away the pill containers!
Now we delve into the archive collection of Fawcett family photos, secret texts and some amazing field tapes…a 2nd journey begins to create Lost in the Amazon, a global documentary about the life and legacy of Col. Percy Fawcett.