The mission of Wild Lens’ Eyes on Conservation program is to create a community of biologists and filmmakers that care deeply about the health of our planet’s ecosystems. Through the connections that are developed within this community we are able to produce and market innovative content that inspires viewers to become more actively engaged in the natural world.
Creative storytelling is at the heart of this mission; it is through compelling stories that we are able to reach and motivate our viewers. All of our stories come directly from the source – in each Eyes on Conservation episode viewers will see how wildlife management and research is being conducted from the perspective of the biologists, researchers and citizen scientists who are working to address these conservation issues.
Matthew PodolskyPresident and Co-founderX
Matthew helped found Wild Lens in 2011 with the goal of bringing biologists and filmmakers together to produce films that would have an impact on critically important wildlife conservation issues.
Matthew began full-scale production on his first feature length film, Scavenger Hunt, immediately after the inception of Wild Lens. Since then Matthew co-directed and produced the Emmy-nominated Wild Lens film Bluebird Man, and has produced numerous short films for the Eyes on Conservation series. Matthew also serves as the host and producer of the Eyes on Conservation podcast – a weekly interview series featuring top scientists and filmmakers from around the globe.
After graduating from Ithaca College with degrees in both Environmental Science and Cinema/Photography, Matthew began a career as a field biologist. After working jobs in upstate New York, California, and Jamaica Matthew was offered a job working with the endangered California condor in the remote desert of Northern Arizona. It was this landscape that re-ignited his passion for filmmaking and storytelling – he began shooting for Scavenger Hunt one year after arriving in Arizona.
Matthew lives in Boise, ID with his wife Miranda and two-year-old son Rowan.
Neil PaprockiScientific Director and Co-founderX
Neil helped found Wild Lens while working on a Master’s degree in Raptor Biology from Boise State University. Coming from a strictly science and research background, Neil cut his teeth with Wild Lens producing several short films for the Eyes on Conservation series. In early 2013 Neil began work on his directorial debut film, Bluebird Man, a half hour documentary about the role of citizen science in the recovery of the bluebird. Neil completed his MSc in Raptor Biology in the spring of 2013. While currently serving as Conservation Biologist for the non-profit Hawkwatch International, Neil continues to play a consulting role with Wild Lens and is a regular contributor to the Wild Lens blog. His earned his BS in Animal Behavior from Bucknell University.
Sean BogleEyes on Conservation Project DirectorX
As the director of Wild Lens’ Eyes on Conservation series, Sean is involved in all stages of production on this innovative documentary series. Sean works closely with partner organizations to develop a production plan, and oversees each step of the filmmaking process from pre-production to distribution. Additionally, Sean has directed a number of the short films in our EOC series, including The Maasai Giraffe, The Forgotten Migration and all the films highlighting the work of The Marine Mammal Center. In addition to being a part of the Wild Lens team, Sean actively works with a wide variety of wildlife species as both a biologist and photographer/videographer, including the Hawaiian Monk Seal, Stellar sea lions, Northern elephant seals, Northern Fur Seals, Pacific fishers, black bears, and the elusive Ivory-billed woodpecker. He received his BFA in Sculpture and Cinematography from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Joey LeibrechtEyes On Conservation Senior EditorX
Joey is our Senior Editor who brings an extremely diverse skill set to the organization. For ten years Joey worked as a professional artist and multi-media designer before being introduced to the world of conservation biology. He now has six years of field experience working with a diverse array of wildlife species, with his current focus on the endangered forest birds of the Hawaiian Islands. Joey served as the editor on our Marine Mammal Center videos, and co-directed the EOC film Aikhag: A Personal Journey, documenting seabird research in Alaska.