How do series like Planet Earth capture footage of things like the inside of ant hills, or sharks feeding off of a dead whale?


Partially I’m wondering the physical aspect of how they fit in these places or get close enough to dangerous situations to film them; and partially I’m wondering how they seem to be in the right place at the right time to catch things like a dead whale sinking down into the ocean?

What are the odds they’d be there to capture that and how much time do they spend waiting for these types of things?

In: Technology

some of the series at the end do a brief section about how they go about capturing the footage that they showed. They make their own custom rigs with various types of cameras to help them get shots. They leave camera ‘traps’ in places and hope to get lucky with them. They wander around following research or local guides to help increase their chances of being in the right place at the right time. So a lot of it is somewhat down to luck. They will know from research roughly where to go for certain things, but being able to capture specific things is down to luck on whether they get any usable footage in the days they allocated at a site. Depending on what they are looking to film at any given site, the time they allocate will differ.

The odds of finding something interesting to film are good if you’re filming with multiple crews over span of years. And as with any film, the sequence the audience sees the scenes are not necessarily the sequence that the actors (animals) actually performed.

Since people are bad at distinguishing animals traits, the actors themselves don’t even have to be the same from scene to scene.

Some of the dead whale scenes they were able to capture because they followed a whale that beached itself, died, and was dragged to open water so it didn’t rot on the beach.

Videos like these they compiled from thousands of hour of footage over a long time. Planet Earth took 5 years to make.

A camera person could be set up in a location recording several days worth of footage of nothing but trees before finally getting the 10 second clip of a moose walking by. Then they’ll typically follow the animal several days.

Theres not much of a difference in skill/dedication between a scout sniper and a wildlife photographer, other than one shoots with a gun the other shoots with a camera.

The snow leopard scene in Planet Earth was THREE years of trying to film it. After only getting about an hours worth of filming the animal asleep, and just as they decided to give up, they captured the hunt scene that made in the show.