The Use of Drones In Blue Planet II

If you were one of the 14 million viewers to see Blue Planet II on BBC1 in 2017, you’ll know that it featured incredible sea life footage. But did you realise that many of the aerial shots of the ocean waves were filmed with the help of drones that had sophisticated cameras attached to them?

In this blog from Blue Whale Media – the SEO company Liverpool – we’ll look at how drones were used in the landmark programme. And we’ll also explain how drones were utilised in the production of a similar series, Planet Earth II, which was also critically acclaimed when it was broadcast in 2016.

How did Blue Planet II benefit from drones?

Viewers were treated to amazing footage of sea lions hunting yellowfin tuna. The dramatic encounter happened in the Galapagos and the sea lions’ methods of forcing the yellowfin tuna into coves had never been seen before on TV.

Cameraman Dan Beecham and his team were responsible for the filming, and they utilised DJI Inspire and Phantom drones. We have similar equipment here at our web design company Liverpool, because we are qualified to operate DJI Inspire 2 and Parrot drones.

Previously, before drone filming was established, this type of filming would have been a logistical nightmare and only achievable with the help of a costly helicopter. But now it’s possible with lightweight drones that are comparatively inexpensive.

The footage is also an example of how drones are transforming natural history documentaries, as well as other genres, such as advertising. At our SEO company Liverpool, for instance, we use our drones to promote businesses that know that sweeping aerial shots look wonderful.

And such dramatic material undoubtedly helped Blue Planet II become the most watched programme of 2017, beating Strictly Come Dancing and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.

How did Planet Earth II benefit from drones?

Planet Earth II also utilised drones with high-tech cameras to film images that would have been impossible to capture in any other way. Notably, the production team took drones into the jungles of Costa Rica.

Drone pilot Guy Alexander and cameraman Ewan Donnachie designed a special drone with a camera on top, instead of one underneath the drone’s main body, which is more common. So the camera was pointing to the sky, instead of the ground.

This gave the viewer a unique bird’s eye view, as the drone navigated its way through tall trees and then up into the clouds.

The dangers of flying

At our web design company Liverpool we can appreciate that creating such ground-breaking shots isn’t easy. In the above example, for instance, the production team knew that the drones don’t respond too well to rain and they were flying in an environment that was full of dense vegetation. Naturally, this could have resulted in the drone becoming seriously damaged and the opportunity could have been lost.

But it wasn’t. And both programmes have gone down in TV history as giving us unforgettable insights into rarely-seen animal kingdoms.

Our SEO company Liverpool offers many services, including web design, app creation and PPC marketing. But we also have a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and we are equipped with DJI Inspire 2 and Parrot drones. Call us today on 01925 552050

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