BBC Series Planet Earth II Will Be Unparalleled, Says Attenborough [The Guardian] “A lone eagle soars high above craggy mountain tops, the tips of its wings lifting lightly in the wind. A lemur leaps from tree to tree in a dense forest, the camera following the animal with every bound. An enormous grizzly bear wriggles his back against a tree, as if caught in an embarrassing dance. This is planet Earth, but not as you have ever seen it before. That’s because, more accurately, it is Planet Earth II [YouTube], the latest – and perhaps most spectacular – blockbuster nature series the BBC has ever made. Ten years after Sir David Attenborough narrated the channel’s groundbreaking epic Planet Earth, the 90-year-old broadcaster has returned for part two, a lavish six-part series that will screen on BBC1 from Sunday 6 November. Shot over three years in 117 filming trips to 40 countries, it is one of the first series to be fully filmed in the latest UHD and HDR formats, according to the BBC, and features countless sequences that could not have been achieved without new, ultra-lightweight cameras and drones.” [more inside]
Sir David Attenborough is decidely NOT dead. Yet. But he is turning 90 in a few days, and the BBC is very wisely choosing to celebrate him while he's still around to enjoy it. Their tribute page features quite a lot of material, which isn't all that hard when you consider that he's been on the air for 60 years, but does feature some rare treasures like color footage of his very first Zoo Quest program (sorry, programme), along with color still photos from the same. A BBC archivist stumbled upon a total of six color Zoo Quest episodes, all of which will air in Britain as part of the tribute. [more inside]
A month after its release, Naughty Dog's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us is being hailed as one of the best games of all time, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics. Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps fungus (previously), leaving behind lush wastelands of elegant decay teeming with monsters and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies. Into this bleak vision of desperate violence journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future. Boasting tense, immersive gameplay, compelling performances from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite and Half-Life 2 as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages. And don't miss the 84-minute documentary exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
"I've been lucky enough to film with elephants, gorillas, bears and none of them have ever sat on my head."
Magic Meerkat Moments: In this clip from BBC's Planet Earth Live, we get to see meerkats, which have become so acclimated to film crews that they now view them as part of the landscape and use them for shade and as vantage points. [via]
Fans of BBC series Planet Earth will once again be thrilled by the power of nature in HD as Discovery Channel airs the new series Frozen Planet, made by the BBC Natural History Unit, which created the original series. Entertainment Weekly has a lengthy interview with the series producer and director about Frozen Planet and the making of the series. The series premieres on Discovery Channel on March 18 at 8pm.
Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth. The culmination of five years of field work, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups -- including many sights rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
Planet Earth, the new Prince album, to be given away for free as a newspaper insert. Music industry bigwigs splutter, fume.
The mother of all Mother Nature programs premiered in the US this weekend on the Discovery Channel. The 11-part series makes the most of three remarkable camera technologies: shooting in total darkness, counter-vibration stabilizers, and 1000 fps sequences. Here are some clips of: penguins sliding, baboons swimming, and birds of paradise mating. Finally, here's footage from the original BBC version (with the much preferred David Attenborough narrating) that shows, for the first time,a snow leopard hunting in the wild.
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement "Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense." More inside...
Humans Pushing Planet Earth Beyond Capacity.
Kiss your asses good bye.
I say, good f**kin' riddance.
Kiss your asses good bye.
I say, good f**kin' riddance.