Professor Patrick Mullins
April 5, 2010
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) along with its Natural History division and the DiscoveryChannel produced in 2006 a television series called Planet Earth, a documentary about the wildlife and the impact of global warming and other issues on the ecosystem. The growing popularity of theseries was reflected with the release of a feature film titled Earth in 2009 in the United States. The series was a breakthrough on the nature documentary genre as it introduced new technologies in thefilmmaking process and set new standards for the genre.
Planet Earth consists of 11 episodes, each one exploring different ecosystems. The episodes also reveal the effect we as a society have overthe flora and fauna. In the episode “From Pole to Pole” the filmmakers show us how the polar bear is in danger of extinction because of the destruction of its natural habitat, and how other species areforced to migrate to other lands in order to survive. One of the most recent and alarming issues is global warming, and while we might have a general idea of what is causing such phenomena and itsconsequences, the documentary shows us the real damages it is causing to nature. However, Planet Earth does not suggest a solution to this social and ecologic problem, it just provides us with theevidence of such damages to the wildlife.
The series were shot in high definition, being one of the first nature documentaries to use this rather new technology at the time of its production, from 2002to 2006. The conversion to high definition allowed greater detail and exposure of even the smallest things in nature. However, as explained on the “behind the scenes”, it represented a great risk tothe filmmakers because the technology was too young and undeveloped. The crew also created a “hovering” device that carried the cameraman and his camera in order to achieve the impressive shots from...