A Year On Planet Earth
Plimsoll Productions | ITVX
Presenter: Stephen Fry
Showcasing the many wonders of the world, A Year on Planet Earth, reveals the incredible ways in which almost all life is connected and how where we are on our journey around the sun affects the lives of individual animals.
- ITV Press Centre
I was brought onto the production of A Year On Planet Earth in September 2021 to capture footage for its Autumn and Winter episodes. For the Autumn episode I was tasked with capturing North American Maple and Oak leaves changing colour. It's a behaviour I'd never tried to capture before and was particularly scary to attempt, because you ultimately only get one chance to get it a year and there's no certainty that the leaves will go through the process of turning from green into the impressive display of orange and red we were hoping for. In order to match the change in temperature that was necessary for the leaves to change colour, we decided to film the process, not in my studio, but instead in an old stone-walled workshop. The amount of day light was decreasingly controlled to match the sharp decrees of daylight in Autumn.
For the Winter episode I was tasked with filming an broad variety of freezing and melting shots. We acquired 4 chest freezers for this and basically filled them cameras, motion kits and foliage. This work was extremely labour intensive, because you can effectively freeze stuff overnight, so the turn around is very fast indeed. We adopted a number of really interesting techniques and specialist equipment for these shots that included humidifiers, scientific hot plates, probe lenses and gooseneck microscope lighting. The ultimate success of all these shots rests solely with the impeccable research and leadership of the Plimsoll Team. I was also briefly brought back on the production just before they wrapped to capture a variety of slow-motion filler shots. This was exceptionally fun team work and the first time since university I'd been able to use a Phantom slow-motion camera professionally.