Alum producing wildlife programming for new Smithsonian video service
Knight Center alum Anisa Peters is the coordinating producer at Smithsonian Earth, a newly launched subscription service that streams nature and wildlife programming for Video On Demand devices like Apple TV and Roku.
Peters is involved in developing short-form stories, writing, field producing and post-producing. She also works with the director of digital media on maintaining existing relationships with Smithsonian’s partners and exploring new partnerships.
“It’s an exciting time for Smithsonian Networks,” Peters said. “Hopefully there are enough people out there that are as passionate about nature as I am, and will subscribe to our app.”
Smithsonian Networks is a joint venture of Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution.
After graduating from the Knight Center in December of 2008, Peters was at National Geographic Television for nearly six years, working on mostly natural history series and specials. They include: Untamed Americas, The Wild West, Dangerous Encounters with Brady Barr, The Big Picture with Kal Penn, and a NOVA / National Geographic special about the National Mall.
Her masters degree from MSU’s J-School with a specialization in environmental journalism prepared her for success at a National Geographic internship in the summer of 2008, she said. While at MSU she worked on the climate change documentary, “Meltdown,” with instructor Lou D’aria and was part of the Focal Point broadcast crew under Bob Gould.
“These classes in particular gave me the hands on skills I needed to shoot second camera on shoots at Nat Geo, and gave me a good background on how production works in the field,” she said.
She also contributed to the Knight Center’s EJ Magazine and did a study abroad in Madagascar which became the basis for her masters project – a short documentary, website and article.
“Taking that study abroad trip really sealed in for me that this was what I wanted to do with my life – produce wildlife documentaries,” she said. “MSU had an excellent range of study abroad programs, for which I’m so grateful for.
“Over the years at National Geographic I earned my stripes in the world of natural history television production, and this opened the door to more and more programming that I was passionate about,” she said. “The goal of working on these stories was to inspire others to care about the planet, and to have fun in the process.”
Her daughter, Ava, was born in 2014, changing her life in a good way. Her family moved from Maryland to New Jersey, not far from Manhattan where she works now.
“As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and so, my husband Ryan and I picked up and moved closer to our families,” she said. “I was extremely fortunate enough to have landed a job that enabled me to do this and maintain my career goals.”