Forest Troop is an independent documentary production company founded in 2011 by Nina Maria Paschalidou with the purpose to produce and direct guerilla social issue multimedia stories and films and provide production services for international clients through interaction.
Our Name's History
For most animal species, behavioral attributes are largely the product of interactions between genes and environment, with behavioral patterns preserved by natural selection. But when it comes to primates -including humans- a good deal of behavior is learned. Primates exhibit a wide range of behaviors, not just among species but also among populations and even individuals. Gentle ones, mean ones, and a few in-between composed 'Forest Troop', a troop of baboons. One day, a nearby hotel expanded its garbage dump, and another troop of baboons claimed the dump as territory and primary food source. Forest Troop's meaner males decided they would raid this exciting new resource, even if that meant beating up a number of the newly obese males from the garbage dump troop.
After feasting on the other troop's half-rotten hamburgers for a while, they got what was coming to them and died of food-borne tuberculosis. All that remained in 'Forest Troop' were females and males who displayed less violence. The males in the Forest Troop also displayed more grooming behavior, an activity that's decidedly less stressful than fighting.
The findings of the above model that first took place in Kenya in 1978 suggest that nonhuman primates acquire cultural traits through observation. Young chimps learn how to crack nuts with stones by watching their elders, for example. The young baboon transplants might learn that it pays to be nice by watching the interactions of older males in their new troop. Or it could be that proximity to such behavior increases the likelihood that the new males will adopt the behavior.
Today, all the original docile males died of old age, 'Forest Troop' remains a gentle culture, it is much more welcoming to new members, with a lot less fighting and much more cooperation among its troopers. New members quickly learn that things are different in 'Forest Troop' and adopt their methods.
If baboons can do it, why not us?
We are not baboons, of course. But Forest Troop is a community who wishes to make a difference, learn and teach through observation.
Forest Troop aims to become an online community for documentary professionals, visual storytellers, photographers and editors from around the world who wish to create original, inspirational cinematic narratives with a higher purpose, breaking away from the roads already travelled, leading paths to innovation. It also aspires to give opportunities to documentarians who are not able to produce or show their work and spread their ideas by providing them with the knowledge and means to do so. We welcome everyone to our peaceful and sharing community.