DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
Author: Milica Marković, Corporate Communications Manager, DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
You don’t have to be an aficionado of the famous “Survival” nature documentary series to love “Our Planet”, although the latter brings many of us back to a time when we couldn’t wait to hear the well-know voice of the narrator, accompanying the breathtaking scenes of nature that we could watch on only one television channel, at a precise time of the week. You don’t even have to be an amateur of nature. You will most definitely fall in love with it after only one episode of this monumental series. If you are the type that is attracted by spectacular sights of wildlife, you should know in that eight episodes of “Our Planet”, you will see never before filmed habitats and incredible, fantastic animals living there.
What you first notice when you press play is the well-know silky-smooth voice. The narrator of “Our Planet” is 90-year old Sir David Attenborough, British journalist and naturalist who has been named among the 100 greatest Britons in history, among other things for all the nature documentary series that he filmed and produced in the last 40 years. Uncharted places on earth no researcher has ever set foot on are few and far between. Now, at the dusk of his life, Attenborough is witnessing the devastating changes happening on our planet.
However, if you thought that “Our Planet” is just another typical documentary on the topic of climate change, you are mistaken. This series is also a harbinger of good news – the long awaited, modest steps mankind is taking to restore nature to its normal course. Watching this series, it becomes clear how the laws of nature work and how man managed to undermine them. From episode to episode, one understands the fragility and interdependence of almost all the living beings on the planet and their natural ecosystem. These insights are brought about subtly to you, while you admire picturesque shots filmed in the most incredible of places, from the Amazon rainforests, through the North and South Pole, to the vast African lands and never filmed before, mysterious ocean depths. Through breathtaking pictures of rare or previously unseen wildlife, with a witty script and inspirational narration, you are subtly, almost inconspicuously enlightened with the sobering truth about man’s relentless impact on the habitat of the Planet and all its species.
And just when you realize that you enthusiastically keep asking yourself “How did they film this?”, there comes the answer. This ambitious 4-year project is the largest of this type ever attempted and also Netflix’s first step in nature programming. It was aired in April 2019, after being shot in 50 countries on all continents. The crew, which included more than 6000 people, mainly experts filming BBC’s nature documentaries, took in total more than 3,500 days to film Our Planet. With state-of-the-art film equipment, the crew have been able to capture all of the incredible footage of immense territories, jungles and glaciers using the latest in 4K camera technology. They waited for as much as one year to spot the Arabian leopard and Siberian tiger, ending up filming them with special infrared motion activated cameras. Apart from top shelf cinematography, what sets “Our Planet” apart from BBC’s already famous nature documentary series is the fact that it does not ignore the problem nature faces.
To those among you that are the most demanding Netflix users, it will be perhaps useful to know, in deciding to watch this series, that “Our Planet” was, to the surprise of many, nominated for as many as ten Emmy Awards, almost shoulder to shoulder with the Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, Fleabag and The Handmaid’s Tale. Among others, it was nominated for outstanding script, outstanding music, outstanding sound, outstanding cinematography and grabbed two awards, one for outstanding narration by Sir David Attenborough and the other for outstanding documentary or nonfiction series.
However, the reason why this series is relevant to us, the people involved with the media, communications and social responsibility, is the fact that “Our Planet” is a bold stride on the path of creating socially responsible content on the topic of nature. This task was taken upon by the most popular streaming platform in the world, which was quick to boast good results, announcing that 33 million households throughout the world saw the series in only three months from the launch. It may not sound impressive only if compared to Netflix blockbusters, such as “Money Heist”, the 4th season of which was watched by 65 million people since the start of April, when it was premiered.
However, the story does not end after the 8th and final episode. The creators of this high-quality, socially engaged content hereby invite you to visit the website www.ourplanet.com, where the series will live, through inspirational behind the scenes stories and carefully scripted storytelling and content for different multimedia platforms. The idea underpinning all this is not only to bring millions of people into intimate contact with precious natural habitats, but also to encourage them to choose, together with the World Wildlife Fund, the way in which they want to contribute personally to preserving nature. Furthermore, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Netflix has posted on its YouTube channel this series, which can be watched free of charge, along with other documentary content. As their representatives said, the goals is to enable teachers, schoolchildren and students to educate themselves, since each Youtube episode is associated to a set of educational material that can be downloaded from a specific Netflix blog.
“The wildlife population shrank by about 60% in just one human life span. We cannot take nature’s stability for granted,” Attenborough says in the opening moments of the series.
“What we do in the next 20 years,” he adds, “will determine the future of entire life on Earth.”
For starters, would it be too much to watch “Our Planet?”