(CNN)Paradise today might not stay that way for long. Bill Weir visited eight destinations around the world that are now at a crossroads. He took filmmaker Philip Bloom with him to shoot CNN's new show, "The Wonder List."
'The Wonder List' Facebook chat: Creating a cinematic travel adventure
1 of 21
2 of 21
3 of 21
4 of 21
5 of 21
6 of 21
7 of 21
8 of 21
9 of 21
10 of 21
11 of 21
12 of 21
13 of 21
14 of 21
15 of 21
16 of 21
17 of 21
18 of 21
19 of 21
20 of 21
21 of 21
"The Wonder List" airs at 10 p.m. ET/PT Sundays on CNN.
They discovered untold stories while capturing breathtaking portraits of locations. It just might tempt you to try to go there before it's gone.
Here are some of the highlights from the chat, and you can see more of his answers on the CNN Facebook page. These highlights have been edited for clarity and grammar:
Brian Farmer: Bill Weir, how did you pitch this to CNN?
Bill Weir: I said I wanted to find the most amazing places right on the brink of massive change, and go there before they do. I framed it as questions from a father: my kid will turn my age in 2050. What will her world look like? Will there still be tigers in the wild? A flowing Jordan River? How many glaciers will be left in the Alps? How many species will go extinct in Galapagos? Jeff Zucker bought it almost immediately.
Micah-Alison Brown: Philip Bloom, I have this moment every once in a great while during a shoot. At which point during filming "The Wonder List" (in between shots of course) did you look up from the camera and say to yourself, "What I am witnessing right now is incredible."?
Philip Bloom: Ha! It's so easy to not realize when filming as you are so focused on getting the shots. I knew these places were amazing, but it was often not something that sunk in till later!
Lee Brown: Do you at realize, "That's the shot!" when you've just filmed something amazing? Or does it not really hit until back editing?
Philip Bloom: Oh absolutely. You gotta know when you got it and there were some magic moments. In our behind the shot series.
Carmine Viola: Bill, what did the drink in Vanuatu taste like? Did you consider not drinking? (come on, mashed up spit ...)
Philip Bloom: Bill was on camera ... he HAD to drink it. I politely declined ... mind you I had been filming, in extreme slow motion close-up, the making of it for the previous 45 minutes. My stomach was churning!
Paul Kachris-Newman: I noticed in the piece Anderson Cooper did with you two that you said you are a camera nerd. You also explained how the idea for the series came to mind. Did you know Philip Bloom personally and thus chose the best person you knew for the job, or did you just mostly know of his work and formed a relationship after?
Bill Weir: Never met, but had been a fan of his blog for awhile. I've always love shooting/editing since my early days in small markets and became a DSLR fanboy when I was still at "Nightline." We used to consult Philip's blog for lens/setting advice. I actually offered the job a fellow fan of Philip's, who accepted on a Friday and then called on a Monday to say he'd gotten a better offer. I thought "I'll show him! I'll get Philip Bloom to do the series. Sent him an email, had one phone call, and a couple weeks later over gin-and-tonics, he accepted. Best bit of luck I've ever had.
Jamaine Semple: So Philip Bloom, did you storyboard this or was it mostly framing on the fly in connection with the story you wanted to tell?
Philip Bloom: No, you can't storyboard things like this. You document what happens ... there is stuff that is set up with a rough wish list structure
Beverly Murphy: What would you say was the most surprising experience you had and where was it?
Philip Bloom: I think Florida. I have been there so many times and didn't expect to be so taken with the Everglades. Easier to film places that are fresh as you have the new place wonder. Florida was just a big big surprise for me
Philip Bloom: Countless amazing experience of course!
Bill Weir: I'd agree. I always thought the Everglades was one big swamp, but it turned out to be one of the most magical places to shoot. And the history/stories are incredible. It's the best domestic example of modern folks waking up and trying undo the ecological sins of the past. But Vanuatu also blew my mind in a dozen different ways.
Brandon Baumeister: Hey, Bill, is there any location on the list would you would recommend to an everyday traveler and if so why ?
Bill Weir: All of them have their charms, but whether it is Galapagos or Venice, I'd encourage people to look for ways to appreciate the local communities in the deepest way.
I heard it in every destination; the cruise ship passenger who spends a couple hours in St. Mark's Square or looking at iguanas in Galapagos, buys a cheap souvenir and an expensive Coke and gets back on the boat does not help the people or landscapes.
More conscientious eco/etho tourism allows these places to stay intact while still giving the locals the income they desperately need. Sometimes that means giving up the creature comforts of a big chain hotel or comfy cabin, but the experience for the guest and host can be MUCH richer in the end.