Right Whales Film Underway

by Laurie Schreiber

Seventeen North Atlantic right whales died in 2017, a crisis for the critically endangered species.

Now a two-part film series is underway to examine the history of the right whale in American culture and economics, integrating the voices of scientists and academics.

The project is at its inception, with producer Jeff Dobbs of Dobbs Productions in Bar Harbor, co-producer Zack Klyver, and their partners getting ready to launch a website and fundraising campaign.

According to preliminary information, the focus will be on the work of the global, national, and local organizations that study and protect right whales, including those whose business is commercial fishing in the Gulf of Maine. The right whale is among the largest mammals on earth.

Called “Saving Giants,” the film will include the voices of fishermen, the shipping industry, scientists, conservationists, and more.


Right Whale Diagram


“It’s about getting people to hear each other and raise public awareness,” said Klyver. “I think it’s important to get the message out. It’s my hope the film will help in this process.”

Working over the years with scores of nonprofits, Dobbs Productions has to its credit more than 25 documentaries, all of which have aired on PBS stations. Dobbs’s work reflects his concern for the natural world, and his enthusiasm for the protection of land and sea, as well as his desire to preserve history.

Klyver has been guiding whale and seabird trips on the Gulf of Maine for almost 30 years. He’s worked with numerous wildlife and conservation organizations, spent 10 seasons as a right whale endangered species observer on dredging ships off the southeast seaboard, and worked as a marine mammal observer in the Arctic and as a marine mammal lecturer guiding trips to Antarctica. He is currently the lead naturalist for Bar Harbor Whale Watch, and independently operates “Flukes: International Whale Tours,” a company that takes guests on extended marine mammal tours around the world

The team also includes Dobbs Productions’ long-time cameraman, editor, and producer, Bing Miller, who has worked on a wide range of projects in his career, including more than 30 documentary films about Maine, dozens of national and international programs, including work for NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, PBS, A&E, The Food Channel, and many other national programs. Catherin Russell, who has been involved with Dobbs Productions for almost 20 years, is the project’s writer/researcher. Nick Hawkins is contributing videographer.

For more information, contact Jeff Dobbs at jdobbs@jeffdobbs.com.