A year ago I found myself on an assignment unlike any other I've done. I was in China for my next film, a documentary titled "The Heist" about a mass extinction event, and part of the filing process included helping to bust one of the biggest dealers of endangered species on the planet.
The main problem of this story is the people in the illegal wildlife trade don't like to be filmed, and hidden cameras are illegal in China. If you get caught with one you go to jail. The airport policemen were now marching towards me with a bag I had checked earlier at the ticket. They found me in the middle of the airport and were coming at me with the luggage full of all our hidden camera equipment. Nearly all our cameras were designed for covert work, tools of the trade in what has become our line of work.
Our last film, "The Cove," is about a secret lagoon in Taiji, Japan, where every year thousands of dolphins are herded and captured for the captive dolphin trade. An awful fate awaits those not cute enough to be selected to do tricks for the SeaWorlds of the world. We broke into the site, climbing over barbed wire fences, getting past guards, motion sensors and guard dogs, using military grade thermal imaging equipment, cameras hidden in fake rocks, remote controlled drones, underwater cameras and hydrophones planted by world champion free divers. My team blew the lid on that little town with a dark secret, "a dolphins worst nightmare," and the film has been drawing worldwide attention to the now infamous cove and the captivity trade ever since.