Sir David Attenborough, now 95, is back with another beautifully shot documentary called The Green Planet.
Described as “Planet Earth through the eyes of plants,” the naturalist travels the world to explore extraordinary ways in which Earth’s plants have learned to survive and thrive in even the most challenging of environments.
Following on from the multi-award-winning A Perfect Planet, Our Planet and Blue Planet, the new Attenborough series uses never-before-seen technology to vividly bring plants and their beautiful yet brutal struggle for life to life.
From tropical rainforests to the frozen Arctic, where Attenborough braved temperatures of -18 degrees Celsius, The Green Planet covers almost all of the world’s fascinating foliage events.
Talking to the BBCsaid the veteran documentary filmmaker: “The world has suddenly become plant-conscious.
“An awakening and an awareness of how important nature is to all of us. An awareness that without plants we would starve, we could not breathe without plants.”
“The world is green… the world depends on plants… every breath we breathe and every bite we eat depends on plants,” he added.
How long did it take to shoot The Green Planet?
Filming nature documentaries is notoriously long, and camera crews stationed around the world often wait weeks for an animal or event to appear.
The Green Planet was no different. The series took three years to start filming, beginning in 2019 — and that’s not even counting research and development well before filming began.
Series producer Rupert Barrington said the series took four years to create from start to finish.
“You felt that because plants don’t move, they’re probably easy to film,” he said
“The production of the series showed that plants are much, much harder to film than animals. That’s partly because they don’t move on our timescale, so they’re a lot more complicated. Any behavior that can last five minutes in an animal could survive three months with plants.”
“On some shoots we had more than 50 boxes of gear compared to 15-20 boxes for filming animals.”
New Technology on the Green Planet
Barrington revealed in the same interview that some of the series’ groundbreaking new technologies were invented by a fan.
“One of our producers, Paul Williams, found a former military engineer, Chris Field, who had been inspired by seeing the time lapses on planet Earth to create his own kit that would incorporate motion into time lapse.”
“Chris designed a much smaller field-based system that allowed us to move the camera anywhere in an area in real time or time lapse. He then built another miniature version so you can do the same thing at sheet scale. “