Conference Analysis : Nature drives broadcast technology13 September 2014
Exclusive footage of Atlantic Films’ upcoming wildlife production for Sky 3D, Conquest of the Skies, fronted by Sir David Attenborough was shown during ‘Natural future: the new natural history documentary’, an IBC conference session chaired by journalist Neal Romanek.
Shot in full 3D, the series posed a series of daunting technological challenges, according to Anthony Geffen, the CEO of Atlantic Films. “We wanted to be as close to the birds as possible and get some proper raw 3D footage, which meant putting two RED cameras on a drone. If you lose that rig, that’s half a million pounds down the drain!”
In an interview made especially for IBC and aired during the session, Sir David Attenborough explained that the production was about “ evolution and how animals started to fly. Birds, bats and insects move in 3D and the technology we used enabled us to get images that human beings have never seen.”
Atlantic Films is creating a programme for virtual reality headsets. “We really believe in the potential of VR: people want to fly with the birds and touch things from the natural world”, added Anthony Geffen.
At the other end of the spectrum Peter Cowley, the founder and CEO of Spirit Digital Media, is the producer of a YouTube channel, Lionwhisperer TV, featuring South African animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson, who uses a GoPro camera to shoot lions up close.
“We have a cast of one, which enables us to keep the cost of production down. But it also allows us to present a different perspective, closer to the viewer and that plays to the benefits of digital media,” he described. In both cases, technological constraints have pushed the boundaries and paved the way for riveting content.