[HOTSPOTS] Article on why the title is Life Force internationally

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Nothing on Masha but the article does explain why in Japan Hotspots is Hotspots but internationally it is called Life Force. Link given by Angelreii, original article which is in English can be found here. You can find more facts, articles, etc there. For purposes of brevity, I am only reposting the relevant stuff which is the partnership with NHK and why the title in Japan is Hotspots but internationally is called Life Force, which by the way confused many fans checking the TV schedule!

More after Read More link.

With NHK and NHNZ the main partners of Life Force - this major new series on evolution is based on a collective and shared responsibility that represents a true co-production model in the full meaning of the word.

Life Force’s supervising producer, Peter Hayden, who also acted as liaison between NHK and NHNZ, says both companies were involved right from the start. “Long before the idea became a reality we spent a lot of time scoping ideas that would work for both partners and also succeed in the international market. It is about evolutionary science and honours the bicentennial anniversary of Darwin’s birth,” he says.

The idea of Life Force was based on a gazette about top bio-diversity hotspots compiled by Conservation International. “NHK and NHNZ became interested in the evolution of species found in these hotspots – why were there so many unique species in these so-called hot spots?

“Tossing ideas about as to how such a production could be made was really the unofficial start of the co-pro partnership. And since NHK and NHNZ have co-produced two successful major series in the past (Wild Asia in 1998 and Equator in 2006), both companies were keen on the idea of another co-pro. Later France Télévisions, Science Channel and Animal Planet also came on board as co-production partners to complete the funding for the series.

“Then the arm-wrestling, which is typical of a true co-production partnership started. Both NHK and NHNZ had ideas about which ‘hot spots’ should feature. We realised it was going to be a long process and both organisations immersed themselves in researching the viability of various locations. We settled on six areas – Madagascar, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Africa’s Rift Valley Lakes and Brazil’s Cerrado. We agreed that NHNZ would be responsible for the post production of the series as well as filming two episodes on New Zealand and Australia, while NHK would concentrate on filming the rest of the episodes. In addition, NHNZ took over much of the pre-production academic research for the series and NHK did the ‘specific field based’ research for its episodes.”

Peter says deciding on a title is often a “prickly subject” and both NHK and NHNZ held different views. “Our initial working title was Weird Edens, and that remained the title until we were almost in post production. However, NHK was keen to call the series Hotspots after the initial research document. But because the word “hotspot” has a negative – often political – connotation to it, NHNZ favoured Life Force as did France Télévisions and our distributor, Off The Fence. Discovery Channel on the other hand favoured Mutant Planet.

But the biggest challenge of this co-production was perhaps the language and cultural differences between the two main partners, NHK and NHNZ, Peter says. At times there were robust discussions about the editorial direction, pacing, music, style. But because of the mutual respect we have for each other’s knowledge and skill, underpinned by a working relationship that has stood the test of time, we always managed to work things out – so much so that we are already looking into the possibility of another co-pro... but that’s a story for another day.”


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