Film Friday: CNN Announces Stunning Documentery Series With Filmmaker Phillip Bloom

A few weeks ago, one of our favorite filmmakers Phillip Bloom was finally able to reveal what he has been up to the past few months, and we were not disappointed. Bloom and crew have been traveling around the world the past four months filming an ambitious, visually stunning documentary for CNN called The Wonder List. Similar to CNN’s recent Parts Unknown shot by world-class DP Zach Zamboni, The Wonder List is a very global show where Bill Weir will “tell the untold stories of extraordinary people, places, cultures and creatures that are at a crossroads.” See the trailer for yourself below.

The Wonder List with Bill Weir Trailer

Over the next few weeks, Bloom will be breaking down the shoots into posts on his blog covering various topics including: choosing the right camera, audio, lighting, production devices, traveling with gear and more. We highly recommend checking out his blog if you have not already. He has great insight and fabulous content for aspiring filmmakers.

Bloom Shares His Experience With The Sony FS7

“My first shot from the Sony FS7 I have shared. A really excellent camera indeed. I took it to Vanuatu for episode 5 of our filming instead of my F55 for the CNN doco series I am shooting to air next year, The Wonder List.

Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS II with Metabones Ultra Speedbooster at F2.8. ISO 6400 and hyper gamma 1 which hid the noise incredibly well. I didn’t think the camera would cope with 180fps in so dark a situation as it needs roughly to be set to 1/400th of a second shutter speed for the high frame frame rate (I actually had it set to 180 degrees which is slightly more open than that). Setting the camera to hyper gamma 1 and not S-Log 3 made a world of difference. Yes S-Log 3 would have been incredibly noisy here and it could have been cleaned up but much easier and simpler to shoot in one of the hyper gammas. It helped having the FS7 as it’s more sensitive than the F55 by almost a stop. We also shot with the C100 and A7s at the Volcano. The A7s of course did wonders as it saw everything!” – Phillip Bloom on Vimeo

More About The Wonder List


“CNN announced today that Bill Weir will bring a new Original Series to the network beginning early next year. The Wonder List with Bill Weir will join the recently announced series THE SEVENTIES and High Profits, both debuting in 2015. With The Wonder List, Weir will tell the untold stories of extraordinary people, places, cultures and creatures that are at a crossroads.

Who will be the last person to see a Bengal tiger in the wild or be baptized in the River Jordan? Who will be the last person to savor an unspoiled island paradise in the South Pacific or hike a glacier in Montana? At the current rate of planetary change, some odds suggest that the last people who will experience these wonders are alive today. And one of them might be your child.

“When Bill joined CNN, we knew his innovative vision would be an asset to the network as we expand the definition of news with series programming,” said Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide. “I am thrilled to announce that production of The Wonder List is underway and that Bill will bring his dynamic, personal and creative storytelling to the CNN audience.”

Through the lens of renowned cinematographer Philip Bloom, Weir will transport viewers to visually stunning locations from a sinking Venice, to a vanishing Dead Sea to the disappearing herds of Africa. Here, Weir will embrace amazing people, places and creatures that could be lost to future generations, including his own ten year old daughter, and discover what can be done to save them.

Said Weir, “The chance to find stories across six continents with one of the best photographers in the business is incredible in itself. But then to get eight prime-time hours to explore the forces of change that effect so many lives is the assignment of a lifetime. We’ve already captured some jaw-dropping corners of the planet and met some brave and brilliant folks fighting to save them for our great-grandkids. I can’t wait to share it all.”

The Wonder List with Bill Weir, a CNN Original Series produced by CNN, will air over eight, one-hour episodes beginning in early 2015, and joins CNN’s successful Original Series lineup that includes This is Life with Lisa Ling, Somebody’s Gotta Do It with Mike Rowe, The Hunt with John Walsh, Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown and Inside Man with Morgan Spurlock among others.” – Official CNN Press Release


Image Sources: Phillip Bloom

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Author: James Peacock

James Peacock is a Digital Marketing Specialist at FIDM in Los Angeles, California. He received his A.A. in Graphic Design from FIDM and was hired as Social Media Assistant in 2013 by his alma mater in order to help grow the institution’s social media marketing efforts. James now combines two of his passions, telling stories and solving problems by managing data-driven marketing campaigns across multiple channels that ultimately result in a positive return on investment.

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