'Planet Earth II' Is BBC's Most Cinematic Series Yet, Here's How

How did technology make "Planet Earth" so much more cinematic? If we go back to how it was done back in the day and compare it to the technology we have today, it's quite a leap. Back in the day 35mm was the broadcast standard. The 35mm cameras were bulky and heavy, they were perfect for studio and not for the shots that they needed. In the filming circles and the BBC insiders saw 16mm film as being for amateurs. But, thanks to David Attenborough first taking his 16mm camera out to shoot abroad and coming back with footage of animals never filmed before, it changed opinions. This made the program that later became one of the best wildlife documentaries of all time.

Stabilization the Game Changer

BBC switched from film to digital in 2002. This allowed for smaller setups and stabilization. Stabilization being the game changer that gave the shots the cinematic look. And like most technologies, the gyroscopes and gimbals got smaller and made it possible to get the cameras closer and lower than before, to see the world through the eyes of the lizard or wolf. 

If you're looking to move into video or want some stabilization in your footage you can look at a couple of gimbal systems that will give you the ability. The main brand that is most well known for stabilization and gimbal technology and the way their hardware and software works together is DJI. 

For hand-held stabilization:

For a stabilizing rig

For areal stabilization 

We covered the trailer in a previous post. The fact that stabilization has become affordable has democratized the cinematic look that only the movies once had.

Wouter du Toit's picture

Wouter is a portrait and street photographer based in Paris, France. He's originally from Cape Town, South Africa. He does image retouching for clients in the beauty and fashion industry and enjoys how technology makes new ways of photography possible.

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Way Cool!

My set is already on order, just waiting for the release date :)