Filming Fast Hummingbirds: On Location | Hostile Planet

Filming a show
like “Hostile Planet” comes with a lot of
unique challenges. Check out this from
“Behind the Scenes.” OK, ready? One of the aims
of “Hostile Planet” was to try and
immerse the viewer in the world of the animals. You want to film something
people haven’t seen before or film it in a
new surprising way, which is going to be difficult. [chirping] We went to the heart
of Ecuadorian Andes to film hummingbirds. That’s nice. We spent four weeks
out there, filming 12 hours a day, every
day, just to capture this hummingbird sequence. That’s the one. I think it looks great. But it’s really
challenging to capture how a hummingbird moves,
because you can barely see it. So this is a Phantom
high-speed camera. It’s one of the cameras that
can record almost as fast as the hummingbirds can fly. And what we’ve done is
we’ve suspended this rather expensive camera from a rope. And we’ve created a little
hummingbird paradise here. And the idea is that we
can just move the camera. And so we get that feeling of
flying with the hummingbirds. That’s very nice. It’s super sharp. That may sound easy. The shot’s over
in half a second. This camera allows us to
take that half a second and stretch out into 30. [motor buzzing] We also wanted to
give the perspective of what it’s like
to be a hummingbird flying through the forest. So we got this racing drone
pilot to go out with us and fly his really
fast 4 agile drone dodging between the trees. He came for five days. And for the first two
days, it rained solidly. And you were just thinking,
how can we get the sequence? But we got inventive. You’ll see the very expert
taping around the whole drone, just to keep the
water out, because it just keeps on pouring. And then we had to build
a little roof for it. Isn’t she a beauty? Water dripping
everywhere, so you think you got the
most perfect shot, and there’s this splash
of water on your lens. And it’s like, ugh! After a while, we
actually realized that that looked really good. It made you feel immersed
in this environment in a way the clean image wouldn’t. [chittering] We entered the
project with the idea that we were going
to try and push things as much as possible. [wings beating] I know what we’re trying to do. And I’m seeing the raw footage. And I’m going,
that’s incredible. That’s when you know it’s going
to work I hope you’ll be blown away, because I know I was. [music playing]

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