Rockhopper Penguins, Up Close: On Location | Hostile Planet


Ever wondered
how wildlife crews managed to capture
the perfect shot right in the heart of the action? Check out the behind
the scenes to see the great lengths
that the crew went to to film “Hostile Planet.” MATT RICHARDS: Rock
copper penguins live in cold, quiet
often brutal conditions. It’s a pretty tough
location to get to. It’s very remote. It’s quite near Antarctica. We left about a month,
so it was a long trip. And so we really got
to spend a lot of time with those penguins. ANTHONY PYPER: The
best thing for us is to be noticed by the
species we’re filming and get them completely
used to us being there so we’re just part
of the furniture. MATT RICHARDS: We were filming
where the penguins were coming onto shore, essentially
it was a sort of boulder field. It’s covered in a thin film of
guano, which is fine when it’s dry but the second you get
any moisture it essentially becomes like walking on ice. PETE CAYLISS: It’s sunset here
on New Islands in the Falklands and I’ve just been
waiting for penguins to return from the sea. The bit I’m actually trying
to film at the moment is where they explode from
the water onto the dry land. And to do this, I’m using
a high speed filming rig. I want to time it exactly right. And you get barely
any warning at all. [chirping] MATT RICHARDS: What’s
on the agenda today? Today we are taking
the giant homemade crane right down to the penguins. It’s just what we
call a pole cam, but a sort of enormous
version of that. Really, the whole
point of the crane is to have a camera at the
end and us as far as possible. So here’s the business
end of the crane. So far it looks good,
so we’ll give it a go. [music playing] Ultimately, we were
trying to capture how difficult it was for a
penguin to feed its chicks. We wanted to see how they coped
in really hostile conditions. And we got lucky because
we got the biggest storm in the Falklands that
they’d had for 30 years. It was pretty scary, actually. So the storm has kicked
in and the penguins are still coming in. Those 80 mile an hour winds,
the waves were getting bigger. Bit too windy for the drone? It’s a bit windy. We didn’t know how
far these waves were going to come up the shore. We were playing this fine
gambling game where you definitely wanted to be safe
but you wanted to try and get that immersive feel of
what it’s like to be a penguin coming in a storm. The thing that really stands
out is how well these animals can cope with some of the
most hostile conditions you can imagine. Every time you come back from a
shift you have fresh admiration for these amazing animals. [music playing]

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