Nature of the Beasts
Escape into a place where art and science live with the wild beasts of a natural world. Allow the artist and scientist in each of us to come alive. Visitation in Rocky is rising. With education, respect and our help, these legions of visitors can become the salvation for a park in peril.
100 Days of Optimism
Inclusion StatementOur diversity is our strength; sex, age, race, and origin. Parks are where we come together. We are all part and parcel of, not separate from, the "beasts," our wilderness, our world. When we see ourselves as one, we will find our role in a regenerative path forward. We can save our parks.
About The Project
In just a few short years after designation as Wilderness, Rocky Mountain National Park is experiencing an unprecedented surge in visitation -- more than 4.5 million visitors in 2016 alone. Massive numbers of people are moving into the Front Range of Colorado and millions of Americans along with world travelers are discovering and re-discovering our national parks. The impact is stressing both the infrastructure and environment of Rocky and the nearby communities. Wildlife is pressured while visitation is growing exponentially. Quantity is poised to overpower the quality of the experience. Even under this cloud of uncertainty, the importance of the human need for this experience must be realized and celebrated. The value of awareness over impact is forefront in the observers’ minds. With the word "we" rather than "they" we will find that more visitors can mean more support for preservation. As lovers of our parks, we are all in this together. Our hope is in education.
Whether it be climate, land use, or economics, we cannot allow politics to override honest discussions about the future of our wilderness environment. Allowed to go unchecked, the bombastic forces of fear and ignorance can result in irreversible damage to something critical to the wellbeing of all living things. Education as presented in this film is a wakeup call for those of us wishing for a legacy of preservation and a future that is proactively regenerative; a future where a national park is available to all cultures in our society and not just the elite. The language of the film is integrity in presentation of our best science, in the company of our amazing wildlife set in the breathtaking beauty of our environment.
Nature of the Beasts examines interactions of life; different species, geography, geology, climate, and people in their quest to sustain their existence. Within this story, we observe people in proximity to their fellow “beasts” and how they relate to the spirit of adventure in the purest sense of co-existence. Relying on education, we come out winners.
As Emmy nominated producer, director and cinematographer, Nick Mollé has studied and filmed Rocky and other national parks for over 25 years, observing both preservation as well as destruction. He has seen species thrive and decline from natural and artificial causes. Nick lives at the edge of Rocky, understanding and scrutinizing the relationship of a “gateway” community in a connected biosphere. Working closely with scientists, citizen scientists, professional artists, and citizen enthusiasts, he has bonded with many with a sense for the common good, as expressed in his films.
Filming wildlife in a wilderness can be extremely challenging. Animals are not where you want them when you want them. Nick and his team have developed a sense for “what they are up to”, or “what is their next move?” and they are sometimes right. It takes hours of perseverance. The terrain can be difficult to impossible as can the weather. Permits and regulations must be strictly adhered to. With 30 years of experience in all these things, Nick and his fellow filmmakers, equally experienced and qualified, create finished work that is stunning in beauty and thoughtful in education.
Each creature we study, from the pika, squirrels, and birds, to the coyotes, bears, bighorn, elk and moose will add to the insights of those who rely on this national park for the energy of their life. The artists, and the scientists and the artist and the scientist in all of us share this requisite sense of wellbeing.
As the story develops, our host, Nick, relates to each creature, observing interactions, harmony, and conflicts; not just wild creatures but humans, never talking down to but always talking with along the way. In this setting, some people know a little about where they are; some know a lot, but most want to know more. That is, those who wish to sustain and survive. Visitors are not the enemy. They only need to be reminded to stop and take a look. After a pause for minor meditation, ignorance rather than a candy wrapper falls by the trailside. As awareness settles in, the meaning of “wilderness” slides from mere thoughts into an epiphany.
The wildlife that live or migrate through this national park reveal their stories through renowned biologists that Nick has befriended over his years of experience in these mountains.
The story reveals intimate scenes such as young moose attempting obstacles like the immature but swollen Colorado River -- an obstacle enhanced by careless photographers who have not completed “Wildlife Etiquette 101.”
Natural dramas unfold as when a group of peacefully co-existing marmot and pika sound the alarm as a, never-to-be-taken-for-granted coyote trots through their tundra domain.
The story includes hard to get to wilderness landscapes as well as key bio-systems easily accessible yet thriving with life for the fortunate citizen naturalist. One such account involves an encounter with a gentleman who once had enjoyed a career as a park ranger but now, still at a young age, is limited to trails that accommodate wheel chairs and scooters as he pursues the art of photography and the science of documentation. His heartfelt comment is a powerful testament to the value of a sustainable natural environment, “This place gave me my life back.”
Told with exceptional cinematography supporting sensitive research, this is a story of hope for the future of a national park surviving generations of changes; both natural and humanly induced. How will the Park and we the caretakers assure generations to come a positive experience in the best of wilderness settings our planet has to offer?
JOIN OUR TEAM
You can be part of this positive stance, a love song for regeneration of Rocky Mountain National Park, and by extension, for all of our parks and the entire world that we share. We are indeed of one nature with the beasts. See the many gift possibilities in our campaign. There is a welcome place for everyone in this place of extraordinary beauty, this journey of hope.
TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION
Your donation is tax deductible! Nature of the Beasts is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions in support of Nature of the Beasts are payable to IDA and are tax deductible, less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level. If you would like to deduct the entire donation you have the option to simply decline the reward at checkout.
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Nick Mollé serves as producer, director, host, and writer of this film. Nick has traveled the globe from Alaska to Australia in search of the unusual, the extreme, and the unforgettable. His serious purpose, with a touch of humor, has won him many awards for his productions. Nick has hiked, documented, and filmed Rocky Mountain National Park for more than twenty-five years. When not in the Rocky Mountains, he follows a passion for inspirational destinations. His first releases with American Public Television included "A Walk in the Park with Nick Mollé: Real Rocky", and "WildSide with Nick Mollé: Costa Rica". He returned to Rocky Mountain National Park, literally his home, with Rivers of the Rockies. His love of nature, quest for knowledge, search for adventure and eye for photography have taken him to exotic destinations including the Costa Rican Rain Forest, Alaska's Prince William Sound, and Australia's remote Northern Territory. Most recently, Nick’s "The Living Dream: 100 Years of Rocky Mountain National Park", was nominated in 2016 for an Emmy.
Seán Doherty - Co-Producer/Director, Camera and Assisitant Editor. With a rich background of production with Disney and management several of film festivals, Seán has worked as production manager at Nick Mollé Productions for the past ten years and in the film & television industry for over twenty years. He is a master of the edit suite adding flawless visual effects as well soundscaping to our productions. His favorite suggestion to Nick is,"Tell them something they don't know!" Sean has a remarkable eye for an asthetic style of camera work that comes from his love for the pure beauty of our natural surroundings.
John Goerner - Associate Producer Camera & Editor. John has been working in the Video and Film Industry for nearly 35 years. In 1988, he founded Non-Stop Productions. He is a successful Independent Producer/Director providing clients services ranging from cinematography, pre and post-production services, to entire projects concept to completion. He has worked and photographed throughout the United States, and in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Costa Rica and China. John and Nick have partnered on many projects where their shared appreciation of the adventures offered by our natural wonders is reflected in the success of their work.
Claire Mollé - Production Assistant and Script Consultant. Claire recently graduated with a degree in Journalism and is working with Nick Mollé Productions and the Rocky Mountain Channel as a producer and writer as well as project manager. She adds journalistic insights emphasizing fact checks and truth in production.
Lauren Mollé - Marketing, Script Consultant, and "beasts" relations. Also a recent graduate with a degree in communications, Lauren is busy keeping our community of supporters informed as to the goals and the missions of our productions.
Jerry Kennell - Production coordinator. Jerry worked with Nick, Sean, and John producing the film, "Semillas de Paz, Seeds of Peace"shot in Guatemalla documenting the work of those pursuing peace in a volitile land with a hostile history. He now is coordiinating the contributions of the interviewed scientists and experts in "Nature of the Beasts".
Lulu - Associate Producer. Lulu is a dedicated supporter of the Arts and Sciences in the communities surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park. Lulu worked with Nick to bring the Emmy nominated, "The Living Dream: 100 Years of Rocky Mountain National Park" to PBS and world recognition.
Craig Soderberg - Artists relations. Craig is bringing the voices of the atrists to the film. Understanding the passion of artists and their connection to the national park, he is coordinating their participation in the film.
Scientists and experts to be interviewed include (among others):
- Darla Sidles, Superintendent, Rocky Mountain National Park
- Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer, Rocky Mountain National Park
- Chris Ray, Investigator, Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research, University of Colorado – Pika Expert
- Katharine Suding, Lead PI, Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research, University of Colorado – Plant community ecology, restoration, invasion biology, environmental change, and conservation
- Noah Molotch, Investigator, Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research, University of Colorado -- Surface water and snow hydrology, remote sensing, ecohydrology
- Scott Denning, Climatologist -- Professor Scott Denning received his B.A. in Geological Sciences from the University of Maine in 1984, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1993 and 1994. He studied radiometric geochronology, surface water geochemistry, and mountain hydrology before becoming interested in global climate and biogeochemical dynamics. After a two-year postdoctoral appointment modeling global sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2, he spent two years as an Assistant Professor in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He joined the Atmospheric Science faculty at Colorado State University in 1998, and has served as Director of Education for CMMAP since 2006. He does a lot of outreach about climate change and takes special delight in engaging hostile audiences.
- Robert Brunswig, Anthropologist, Professor Emeritus and Research Fellow, University of Northern Colorado