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How Drones Helped Reimagine the Natural Habitats of 'Planet Earth II'

"Incredible intimate drone aerials – that the helicopter could never reach – have allowed us to make the habitat feel more visceral and experiental," says producer Chadden Hunter.3/14/2017 10:45 AM Eastern
Definition Magazine speaks to Chadden Hunter, producer of Planet Earth II, about the technology, skill-set, and good old-fashioned patience that made some of the series' most incredible sequences possible.

"The catchphrase of the day is being ‘immersive,'" says Hunter. "With the world of VR and 360 coming along we wanted to make these habitats much more visceral. Ten years on from Planet Earth we had these Ronins and MōVI type gimbals in our hands and not just on the helicopters. Also we had much smaller cameras and reliable drones. After years of thinking drones would come to our rescue, we’re now finally getting good results out of them. So we realized that we had a range of new tools to revisit the big habitat stories again, but this time to make it a different experience for the viewer. 

"It’s only once in a generation that a single piece of kit comes along and revolutionizes the medium so greatly," he continues. "The Cineflex did that for Planet Earth but this time I don’t think it’s one single thing. The drone has certainly helped us reimagine the habitats. In the 'Jungles' episode we can move the camera under the trees and through the canopy. In the 'Deserts' episode we can take the camera up really tight slot canyons with a drone. These incredible intimate drone aerials – that the helicopter could never reach – have allowed us to make the habitat feel more visceral and experiental."

Read the full story here.
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