Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield – what was your inspiration
Linfield – Well no I mean we haven’t seen anything like it. this is great because it’s you know a chance to bring an epic piece of wildlife to the big screen and we’re so pleased that the timing has come around now for the release of this new label from Disney because we just think the timing is absolutely right compared to when we first started making the Earth movie. There’s been such a rise in awareness about the planet.
Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield – they started this independently?
Fothergill – We started working on the TV series planet earth and the movie at the same time. We were at that time employed by the BBC um and we were very fortunate that we knew we were making a movie in parallel with a TV series and that allowed us to develop a completely separate stories, to develop a lot of filming with key characters, the polar bear, the whale, and the elephants which aren’t in the TV series but also you know you have to approach cinema a movie very differently from television and that was very good to know that at the beginning and to constantly have that in our minds throughout the process.
Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield – on Disney nature
Fothergill – Well we didn’t know about Disney nature 5 years ago. Um I think it’s a relatively recent vision from Disney as well. Uh but what we did know is that we had to make an emotionally engaging experience in the cinema and um and as such you know your animal stars have to be characters and we were very selective in the animals we chose because we knew that their lives had elements had storylines and if we could potentially film them would be very emotionally engaging for the audience.
Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield – was it a long process following the bears
Linfield – It was because it had to be because as you say, we had to follow these characters and have them develop and see the trials that face them whilst living out there their lives on earth and it took 2000 days in the field, you know up to 40 different teams around the world. 5 years. That’s the kind of investment that we had to make in order to get these character stories to play out and to be true life adventures because of course true life you can’t hand the animal the script, they have to actually do these things and you have to be there when you they do them.
Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield – were they able to track the same animals through years
Fothergill – We worked with, well the first thing is we worked with very experienced scientists in the field and they help us a great deal. For a long time we’ve had a relationship, a symbiotic relationship between us as filmmakers and them as scientists um and that was the key thing actually and working with very good theater systems as well.
Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield – on the whale
Linfield – Well we were also quite lucky actually with the timing of starting this movie because HD technology and digital cinematography was just taking off and there’s piece of equipment in particular called the Cineflex heligimble which is a gyro stabilized camera that hangs underneath the helicopter and it allows us to film animals from up to a kilometer away and get close up detailed behavior which has completely sort of revolutionized our ability to film you know animals and particular animal behavior but the particular thing about that is of course you’re filming from a helicopter, which means where as you might not be able to follow an animal from the ground or from a boat, you can certainly follow it from a helicopter and that was enormously helpful at allowing us to kind of keep up with individuals and not lose track of them.
Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield – no staged feeling
Fothergill – I mean our first rule is never disturb, never interfere, and uh you know these are true life adventures and one of the wonderful things and the response that we’ve had to the movie where it’s been released in Europe and Japan is a lot of people have come out and said the images in this movie have got’ve been created on computers. You know they say, where was the CGI? So many journalists have asked us that and we said, well no, genuinely there is not a frame in this movie that wasn’t shot for real and I think that’s very refreshing and I think it’s an important part of what we’re doing because so much in cinema today is artifice, it’s created by computers. I mean let’s face it, the masters at Disney, and that’s fine, and there’s a great audience for that, but I also think there’s an audience of people who want a true life experience, they want to see something that’s natural, that’s out there and it’s beautiful and it’s inspiring.
Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield
Fothergill – We had this geographical story. I mean the sun’s annual journey, north, south. The seasonal story, that’s sort of the global story in which effects us and our lives emotionally but also effects the lives of the animals and we basically needed an animal in the north and the polar bear clearly is the key one. We needed an animal in the tropics, and the elephant is the key one, and we needed an animal that would take us on this extraordinary 4000 mile journey from the tropics to Antarctica, so it was partly geographical, but also they had to be charismatic and we wanted them all to have babies because uh you know it’s cute, but not just because it’s cute but because with the audience, it might have emotional resonance.
Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield – skipping the predator part
Fothergill – We don’t need it. everybody knows what’s gonna happen.
Linfield – Exactly. I mean you don’t need to see that. We made a conscious decision. I mean really the interesting part is the buildup, it’s the strategy and the hunt, the amazing way that a cheetah uses a special claw it’s got there to hook the gazelle. These bits are informative and interesting. The blood and gore and the chewing, you don’t really need to see it to know what it’s gonna look like.
Fothergill – Typically for a family audience and this is what these movies are about. If you’re 4 you can watch this film. If you’re 94 you can watch this film. And there enough movies out there for families in my view.
Sound Bite: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield – slow motion with great white
Linfield – I mean that’s quite interesting we were quite, we love those sequences because they are quite sort of um they’re sort of mesophorical, they seem to stand for so much more than there actually is within those images I mean in the case of the cheetah hunting the gazelle we’re saying that this it sort of stands for the circle of life, we’re kind of removed from now living in urban environments, lots of us, and I think the score works very well there it’s not the kind of score you expect, it’s not scoring the movements with the animal, it’s sort of scoring the underlying thought, the underlying meaning, which George Fenton the composer is absolutely genius at and um I think again it’s the same with the shark, it’s very um it’s a beautiful serene piece of photography which again is surprising, it’s not what you would expect. I think it’s full of surprises, both sort of photographic surprises and kind of surprises in story as well.
Description: HRN-3276 earth Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield Cam C
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