LIFE IN QUARRIES

EDUCATIONAL

AERIAL VIEW OF THE IMPRESSIVE YVOIR QUARRY, NEAR DINANT, BELGIUM, WHERE WE SHOT DURING TWO DAYS

How to develop methods to optimise the biodiversity potential of mining sites operating in Belgium

Every year in Belgium, over 70 million tons of rocks are extracted of the bowels of the earth, which inevitably disrupt and transform the landscape. 

But a quarry leads to the creation of environments which have become rare in Belgium, such as cliffs, sandy surfaces, rock slides, temporary ponds... These habitats are ideal for the development of endangered species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, algae and pioneer plants.

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A COMBINATION OF CLIFFS, SWAMP, PONDS AND WET ZONE, GENERATED BY MINING ACTIVITY. "LES PETONS" QUARRY, BELGIUM ©Jean-Marc Joseph

Extraction operations have to be managed to create long-term natural habitats within the quarries. That, is the idea behind "LIFE IN QUARRIES", a program financed by the European Union. 

I was in charge of creating a series of 5 thematic videos aiming to educate the professionals of the mining sector on how to implement measures that foster the developpement of biodiversity in active quarries. 

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FRAME FROM EPISODE 1, PIONEER PONDS

Each episode focuses on a specific habitat and is structured around two objectives: 

1. Show the richness and beauty of the endangered species that find shelter in quarry environments. Indeed, you can't protect something if you don't know that it exists. 

2. Educate by showcasing a series of concrete actions that quarries can implement to integrate the management of biodiversity into every day mining operations. 

Episode 1
Create temporary ponds to foster the development of amphibians, dragonflies and water birds.

TITLE: Life in Quarries - Pioneer Ponds
MY ROLE: Director - Script - Camera - Editing

TIME OF YOUR LIFE REQUIRED: 6 Min 12 Sec
KEYWORDS: #Biodiversity #Mining #Ecology #Education


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We wanted the films to be an ode to nature, making the audience feel as if watching a BBC wildlife documentary, but with a twist: everything had been filmed inside active quarries, an environment a priori hostile to life. 

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A MALE COMMON MIDWIFE TOAD CARRYING EGGS ON HIS BACK

Splitscreens helped to visualize the symbiosis between the mining environment and the endangered species that find shelter in the active quarries.

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SPLITSCREENS WERE USED ACROSS ALL EPISODES

Episode 2
Create soft sediment cliffs to offer suitable habitat for sand martins and solitary bees.

TITLE: Life in Quarries - Loose cliffs
MY ROLE: Director - Script - Camera - Editing

TIME OF YOUR LIFE REQUIRED: 5 Min 40 Sec
KEYWORDS: #Biodiversity #Mining #Ecology #Education


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THE DEEP PIT OF THE YVOIR QUARRY, BELGIUM

Episode 3
Install shelters by stacking rocks in open grounds to enhance the hosting capacity of quarries for reptiles and amphibians.

TITLE: Life in Quarries - Shelters and scree
MY ROLE: Director - Script - Camera - Editing

TIME OF YOUR LIFE REQUIRED: 5 Min
KEYWORDS: #Biodiversity #Mining #Ecology #Education


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We teamed up with motion designer Antoine Deschuyter to create animation sequences that, combined with motion graphics, helped to make the technical aspects of the films clear and entertaining.   

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ANIMATIONS AND MOTION GRAPHICS USED ACROSS THE SERIES

Episode 4
Restore dry and flowered grasslands on quarry dependencies to offer habitat for insects, birds and pioneer plants.

TITLE: Life in Quarries - Pioneer grassland
MY ROLE: Director - Script - Camera - Editing

TIME OF YOUR LIFE REQUIRED: 5 Min 30 Sec
KEYWORDS: #Biodiversity #Mining #Ecology #Education


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THIS EXTRACTION PIT WILL LATER FILL WITH WATER AND FORM A LAKE

Episode 5
Install floating platforms on quarry lakes and dig permanent water streches to create habitat for birds and amphibians.

TITLE: Life in Quarries - Permanent water bodies
MY ROLE: Director - Script - Camera - Editing

TIME OF YOUR LIFE REQUIRED: 5 Min 40 Sec
KEYWORDS: #Biodiversity #Mining #Ecology #Education


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PRODUCER AND WILDLIFE FILMMAKER TANGUY DUMORTIER (LEFT) AND MYSELF DURING THE SHOOTING AT LHOIST QUARRY, JEMELLE, BELGIUM

The entire project, shot over the course of 6 months in 5 belgian quarries, required a rigorous planning.  Indeed, we were depending from the natural cycle of the different species aswell as from the work calendar of each quarry. 

Tanguy Dumortier, producer and wildlife documentary filmmaker was of course in charge of capturing the fauna and flora as this is a highly specialized task. He would sometimes be called in emergency by quarry personnel when rare animals had been spotted.  

I took care of capturing the mining aspect and interventions of contributors while writing the scripts and keep the overall vision over the project. I ultimately edited the entire series. 

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SHOOTING BLUE WINGED GRASSHOPPERS

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MOMENTS AFTER FILMING A DYNAMITE EXPLOSION

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TANGUY USES ADVANCED CAMOUFLAGE STRATEGY TO APPROACH THE SAND MARTINS

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TANGUY SHOOTING DRAGONFLIES

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Lhoist On-Jemelle quarry, Belgium

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SPOTTING A TOAD HIDDING UNDER A ROCK. CAN YOU SEE IT?

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CLIMBING SLOPES TO REACH WATER INFILTRATION WHERE PIONEER FLORA GROWS

CREDITS

A production by
WILD CLOUD PRODUCTION

Directed, Written, Filmed and Edited by
JEAN-MARC JOSEPH

Project coordinator
ALEXANDRE SNEESSENS

Wildlife images
TANGUY DUMORTIER

Assistant Camera / Drone operator
Arnaud Dupire

 

Underwater footage   
ALEXANDER IWAN
OLEKSI KONOVALOV

Animation 
ANTOINE DESCHUYTER

Music & Sound mixing
THOMAS DELBART

Translation and voice recordings 
RIVER STUDIOS


 

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Phone: +34 679 75 56 40
Email: jm@superjeanmarc.com