It’s 160 degrees outside, a massive sandstorm could appear at any moment, and you’re trying to capture footage of a pack of lions chasing a giraffe. They’re bigger, faster, and scarier than you are. Oh, and you’ve been out in the desert for weeks, waiting for this exact moment. Don’t screw it up.
That, evidently, is what it’s like to be a member of the crew for Planet Earth II. And as we watched the show, we found ourselves wondering how it all comes together. So we asked! This is the second episode in a miniseries in which we’re sitting down with some of the people who make Planet Earth II to talk about the cameras, infrared lights, helicopters, home-made lens protectors, and all the other things that go into making this crazy show.
Many of the show’s creators have been working in these places for years or decades, finding themselves suddenly able to capture new things in new ways as technology gets better. Wasn’t that long ago you could barely get a camera on your shoulder, much less have one flying quietly through the air. For this week’s episode, “Deserts,” David Pierce chatted with director and producer Ed Charles. They talked about how to film in a sandstorm and not ruin your camera (spoiler: it’s impossible), and how to find and capture a tiny animal that almost never comes above ground.
You can watch Planet Earth II on BBC America, Saturdays at 9pm. If you haven’t seen anything yet, you can watch the premiere free on BBC America’s website. See all of our recent Planet Earth II coverage. We’ll do this for the next few episodes, too, through the rest of the season. We still have lots of questions. If you do too,
send the hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds (David Pierce is @pierce, and Michael Calore is @snackfight) or bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab.
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