Backyard Wilderness

Presented by award-winning SK Films, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Arise Media and Archipelago Films, Backyard Wilderness takes viewers on a surprising and spectacular journey to discover the unexpected natural wonders that lie right outside our doors. The film follows young Katie and her family, living in a house at the edge of the woods. Absorbed by screens, electronics, and their busy modern lives, they’re blind to the real-life spectacle unfolding all around them. Until, that is, a school project sends Katie outdoors, and sparks her gradual discovery of a whole new world that had previously gone unnoticed. We experience her joy and wonder as her backyard comes alive—wood duck chicks diving out of trees, a mouse running through the house, salamanders dodging traffic, and coyote pups learning how to hunt.

Backyard Wilderness reveals Katie’s neighbors in rare and breathtaking intimacy, with stunning 3D imagery captured by high speed cameras mounted inside dens and nests, and sliding along the forest floor and pond bottom. The film highlights how unexpectedly exotic our own backyards can be—providing vivid proof that Wi-Fi is not the only connection that matters.

The film will be accompanied by a multi-faceted impact campaign designed to get kids outdoors and exploring. Components include Seek, a family-friendly citizen science scavenger hunt app from the makers of the wildly popular iNaturalist app; family activity guides; NGSS-aligned formal education materials; bioblitz toolkits; and beautiful pop-up displays that will engage audiences at libraries and museums nationwide.


Produced and Directed by
Susan Todd and Andrew Young

Executive Producers
Jonathan Barker
Sean B. Carroll
Stephen Apkon

Supervising Producer
Myles Connolly

Story by
Susan Todd & Andrew Young

Script by 
Andrew Young
Susan Todd
Wendy MacKeigan


Additional Writing 

Mose Richards

Director of Photography
Andrew Young

Andrew Young
Michael Male

Original Music
Gil Talmi

Jim Isler
Lincoln Athas



Managing Director
Anne Tarrant

Director of Operations
Lori Beane

Consulting Producer
Jared Lipworth

Research Director
Laura Helft

Special Thanks
Paul Beardsley
Laura Bonetta
Jennifer Bricken
Bridget Conneely
David Elisco
Dennis Liu