“How important is Bob Landis’ passion for making films about wildlife?…It’s his life. It’s his mind. It’s his body. It’s all of that.” Connie Landis
What happens when you spend four decades in the same place, showing up every day to see what’s happening and documenting it on film? You become an insightful, honest and remarkable storyteller for that place. Not too many people can make that claim, but Bob Landis can.
Bob Landis transitioned from a middle school math teacher to a wildlife cinematographer and filmmaker by spending his weekends in a primitive cabin outside Yellowstone National Park, working until he needed to be back for the school week.
In 1993 he was able to retire from teaching and move to Yellowstone full time. Decades later, he is an Emmy-award winning wildlife filmmaker who, among other subjects, has documented the reintroduction and flourishing lives of the wolves that have called Yellowstone home.
Almost every day before dawn (yes, even in the brutal Lamar Valley winters) you will find Bob waiting and watching, his camera pointed expectantly at a site where he anticipates there may be some action.
When I speak with people concerned about wolf recovery in the U.S., they almost always mention Bob Landis’ films. Very few people will ever see live wolves on a natural landscape, so Bob’s work serves as an important source of information about a wolf’s lived experience; Bob’s documentaries have been essential for telling the new story of wolves in the American West. We spoke in April 2016 and he shared a glimpse into his work and the lives of Yellowstone’s wolves.
Curious about the wolves Bob mentions? See images from Bob here.