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Media Masters with Paul Blanchard welcome to medium creative director of the BBC natural history unit is responsible for global warming planet Earth II which was viewed by millions worldwide in 2018 his groundbreaking animal behaviour series dynasties also picked up a raft of awards and was recognised by Sir David Attenborough natural history filmmaking A fellow of the Royal television Society always wanted to be in television, but not necessarily in wildlife filmmaker.
David Attenborough was a bit.
The kids Simon and now your his boss is like reading his reviews in the paper and I'm talking about just got me interested in televisions at the most common question I get asked is he really as nice as he appears on television is your night going to say is and I've just been in Costa Rican just literally last week's and extraordinary man to be with actually and how does it work in terms of this symbiosis because you're in charge of bringing it to screen.
How does that actually work in terms of the actual working relationship as well.
I mean that relationship between myself and others with him.
I think it depends on different projects.
I've worked with him for 697 actually and I would say how about junior then but not the standing that I think how how we worked as producers with him was different than it is now and that's for holding reasons party the evolution of being poly his journey.
He's taken because you remember when I started I was in my 20s and he was in his sixties when he started and already done as much and television as I've done now my career when I started the same again.
It is quite as head in after one of his natural treasure levels of is candlemas God's representative.
I represent depends very much on the project.
I'm working on with him.
He's very much involved in.
The weather has been involved in these big landmarks as much as he has in the past.
So when was the first one I went on the back in the 80s and that was very much his theory that the idea he wrote The Broad outlines of the script with producers and took them design design the sequences and went on vacation and design how we would shoot two sequences, but it was still very much his kind of editorial vision the latest now this thing called the green planet.
That's very much my project and Vision but he is actually doing similar role in it because unlike parts the summer tops and tails it and then writes it this project.
He's the old days when he's actually out of the field this watch this let me show you that and I think he's loving that I'm loving that because that is what he's a genius at just showing people the wonders of the Natural World
And I think that's what is Unix and that's great, pleasure doing this with the moment doesn't it double the difficulty of the shoot though, cos you've not only got to film the possum do whatever you're doing, but then you've also got to get it done.
That's always been the case the Register xxx off you'll never work with children and animals or presenter of course he's all the people want to work with the complexity of the logistics is exponentially night as well as we had him animals weather and from at night.
So that was in a children.
Yeah, we got sidetracked because as you write that I asked a very obvious question we did actually start with you know.
How did you get into the how to get into TV let me let me try the podcast the returns to item.
I had always had an interest in television and when I was a student I fiddled around with metal and the cameras my mum and dad gave me a Super 8 camera for my 18th birthday, so I thought I would be first camera operator you can and then I thought I would be social documentary interested in documentary and really that's what you doing well as a student but because I'm a biologist studied sociology at university and a doctorate in the area became quite into the hardcore natural history.
I was also quite interested in whether I could come and sort of him and I did actually make a little film about a flat through that and and the wonderful competition called the mick Burke award which was named after the cameraman who actually died on.
Expedition Cameron in his honour they had this competition where expeditions could apply for funds and they will give you a camera and they would give you some advice and then you go from film exhibition that will be able to get one of those and made that film and so got a little bit of access to the machinery of the how the BBC works and accommodation for those things coming towards the end of my PhD I was looking for something to do a job as a researcher came up for The Open University and so because of those are having had a bit of an academic background they thought I would be a good fit as I started working there as a research on a series.
They were making and what there for a couple of years and go Peter Jones who was used to run the Natural World in Bristol he and we work together on a project and he was setting up the trials of life and he was looking for somebody had some expertise of the present.
Had because of a rubbing the presenter of this he said could fit I hate you.
I had some work to do that for three years because I was actually the timer due to go work for I got a job on tomorrow's world, and I was going to go to London I went to work for pizza and did this year's work with Attenborough on the tools like why would I ever do anything else and they do that evidence and what are the trials of the job? I mean what's the good stuff.
I mean I imagine the good stuff.
Is you get the opportunity to see and learn so many amazing things I watch your shows there amazing they National Treasure levels of excellence but on the other hand.
I imagined as a cameraman.
Just about waiting for the polar bear to do something hours and hours of waiting for the idea.
Is that the cliche as it depends on you?
Has evolved again I start off as research then you become an assistant producer director and producer of the program and all these are the top right now.
You're basically I'm glad I'm doing this job now because the pleasure this is you have a lot of influence in what is get made and you can both influencing what people will Sunderland get commissioned when they're being made you have a lot of influence in the direction of the programs and the creative direction of them that part of the job that support the title and it allows you to also get involved in lots of project if you're just making you just the producer of the show which is great because you are that.
It's your baby, but that's that's it take a long time to take you.
30th at 10 as I've been able to be involved in probably about 300 films in micro summer at that level of visit somewhere in between just over seeing it.
You know it all depends on the on the project and the level of involvement it needs so it's quite a broad Range and given that evil is it better to oversee it now because you've already done the lower rungs.
Is it where you just repeating it was at this point you can like you said you'll be much more strategic point it just depends on other people.
I know who effectively have made the same program repeatedly over their careers and just use new technology to make it better and they love it and I'm on the other two a complete dilettante is who wants have to do something else.
I'm sort of probably be close to the dinner time but somewhere in the middle because the pleasure you get from this.
Is that you do?
Trinity of being involved in so many different types of expression of the Natural World and I personally enjoy doing something different but also feel that is quite important part of having been brought up in that public service television world where the counter commercial if you have a great success in your commercial where's in the public service were strangely.
There was a success is an interesting.
That's been a very interesting of counter-cultural thing the exception that proves that because it's unbelievable.
And when we made planet Earth II it wasn't cold pasta to the most the time we make it because we were effectively making that and interestingly I was in America talking to our Partners in BBC America and their head of marketing was saying so, what are you calling? You told me what the show is about to me like it's planet Earth II and I said this was Fast and Furious that will be possible 1234567.
Why don't you and at the same time the buses in London on the light in the same thing? It's the same thing and this chap in America
Because the brand is so strong but people for some people it delivered while people think I've seen it all before but actually it was a masterstroke because the combination of the the Brand and also the sense that it was nothing modernised updated for 10 years later and the world had changed we spent again.
It looks you look back on it so obvious, but at the time the amount of effort spent on think about what to do if it was going to say in that balloon.
I don't remember the opening and Tom and we thought for you tomorrow about where we should do that.
What it should say, how was your friend because we were trying to if we going to go to we can have a little bit of reference reference reference to the bank yet, but you don't want to say it's the same as you seen before but also we want to make sure that people knew that they were that we were doing this for a reason there was coming back and that was because.
The world changed at the technology changed the way we told stories of change but I think the little extra ingredient which again now looking back on it at the time wasn't which is the attitudes to the pad had changed in there.
We were now much more aware of and concerned about the fragility of these ones that were showing and you know that was in some ways that was the the hidden message message on what David said that we took him out there because planet Earth 11 God's eye view at the planet.
What was down in the world with the balloon was a kind of trying to met for a metaphor for that David looking down at not telling us.
We're gonna go actually down and in with animals which she did that isn't it? You've got to keep the visuals interesting.
How do you do that?
I think that's the trick it and it somewhere to find you the answer to bottled and sold it I don't think that you it's up combination of inspiration.
It's a combination of other things that you want some intellectual some of it's it's something by technology that you you've been looking at sometimes.
I can do that now all the times you think what can I use that for you know this is driven from a number of different directions sometimes.
It's serendipity scientists have discovered some extraordinary new perspective on what animals do or a location that thing is absolutely the drug.
We're looking for all the time what's new what's new to say what you want to show but also how to show and I think one of the things that audiences one of the things all the way from our shows when they work is that a slight sense of how dirty they get that shot in a bit as a kind of subliminal.
How am I getting anything about from my perspective? How can I How can we get the audience to get perspective view point to a sense of what the animals life is like that can be a you.
Tell it and it tells often it's literally getting the camera position whether the cameras tell you something show you something that is unique and that works perfectly it's putting you into the world of the experience of the the life of that you're seeing the world through its eyes.
Not literally but you you get that it since it's in a lot of it is about making a connection when they work and the setting the contempt.
Have this part of the DNA is the audiences feel really connected with what's going on animals lives and that's what I think planet Earth II clicked in that way ever since I started but it says something about the combination of of the technology and the and the ambition and the scale and that approach his own at the moment most it does not much matter on.
It says there is somebody is very much drama so to play in a drama space you have to have some of those notes in your show and I think that's your history if you let it if you let it run that is absolutely extraordinary in the beauty of it.
Is that people if you feel it right if you fill it with with choosing conviction.
There's nothing beats the reality of what goes on that.
Because it is intrinsically so dramatic you plan like the year of shows or what you going to do next do you sit down with Charlotte on the 2nd of January and say right we're going to send David to Africa this year or a new is alaska's proved popular commercial Discovery Channel everything you want every single sure seems to be Alaska this and what's that was Alaska on the TV that but I forgot it and it's a great but how does that work? What does it just kind of emerge as a bit of a dark heart that is development and from my perspective development coming up with ideas and from the channels respect for the commissioning of both of these are crystal ball dark heart spelling.
There's like guys.
Whatever you want to call it type of thing on people's heads and what you wanted it as well.
Things into sex and what you'd like me.
Think is the Thing Coming is what also people like shards and Tom MacDonald with the head of the channel.
Yes, I don't think the same thing themselves but part of my eye.
I think one of my jobs is to be looking and again.
It's a kind of subliminal thing but trying to think what is going to be in people's minds and time what is this going to Be Desire Go to take a long time to make and that's what's happening now, but you're still trying to think this is this will be yesterday's news in 4 years time today is yesterday's the duration of these shows means that you have to be keeping your head.
Give your eyes on what's what's the green planet? That is really good example that came out that a couple of years ago and I felt that there was a kind of wheels turning and that of course as it turned out climate change has turned out to be bigger.
I was thinking of that actually the role of the love of the importance of the plant World Under-20 I had a sense of what was coming next.
I think it has proved rather annoying me and I really want to be top of the agenda.
21 never seen using the latest technology are the reasons why the stimuli one of the stimuli was also technology there has been some developments in the visualisation that I thought would allow us also to be take people into the world of plants where they have me how to do before 25 years ago with the Private Life of Plants which was the first time we really through time-lapse photography at the Natural World and it we've done it cost it was a massive bigger enterprising breakthrough.
December some stuff is have been happening and some computer driven robotic types of cameras have allowed us to do things that we have to do before and also the son of microscopic camera technology because the world is like a parallel universe because it seems he just plants and plant world different time scale and if you can find the ways of using the camera which is in a one of the things.
I keep going back to take you into the into the living world world and if you use a camera to take you into the plants world sudden you see it in a completely different way and it is very dynamic and lots of parallel with the animal world and that's why people today in a David's.
He's done everything but he's always and when I was talking to him about.
This is playing ne40 applying new photos and so that's why it would you ring him at like 4:30 a.m.
Monday when it's 4:30, but we had a WhatsApp group mobile phone a mobile phone you on WhatsApp but sometimes we just have a chat about this project and what next and he was interested in next you got so many things on his played but this is definitely think I was saying he's in this in a way that he hasn't been in a class 1 of that life in the life in Cold Blood I think we should like 10 years ago.
He hasn't done that but we're returning to that with the green planet.
But there might be some people I've got a friend.
That's if it's not a lion chasing after a zebra.
I'm not going to watch it very interesting question is we've had newspaper editors here where they say newsstand sales daily basis that weed everyday, but then it goes up with a really good splash to what extent you have a can of payroll audience anyway that will watch anything you put on and I mean it as a compliment because they know or is it that you have took an apostle or selling to someone who say well, I normally watch this stuff about plans not interested.
There is there is a definitely I kind of a Nature Lover's audience.
Who will stop and and and god bless them, but I think my job is to get bums on seats and just as a television producer as a bit of an evangelist for the Natural World you want as many people to watch stuff about nature as you possibly can but I think that the has been is kind of Step changes.
Is it going to keep go back to play as it is quite similar and it did actually change so before he came out it wildlife films were successfully have been in in terms of the general nature of television factual television audiences in the traditional sense people watching on disappearing.
There was no appointment to view all the client is now 200 channels on a Skybox what was so weird about planet to so people watching his family's people make an appointment with you young people watching X Factor and it Trance X Factor X Factor design for you something about the combination of a lot of The Perfect Storm things that happened for that for that audience to come to that show at that time, but it has rekindle the
Also, I think that audiences now particularly if it's a planet a bit of the culture people know if they come to that time they going to see something extraordinary and they don't want to talk about it on Monday morning with their friends and I think the green Planet without David I think of a different kettle of fish but actually the combination of the the kind of the DNA of the planet the Natural History unit BBC One and David Attenborough I think people will come to it.
Is there an editorial changes well? That's driving audiences through it because you know you think I've already told him that encourage behaviour change about climate change is not just merely reporting on what happening the change.
This is what we can do about it and something has to be done is one of the
How to speak with you I think we're concerned about drawing people's intentions not just that but the general status of the Natural World issues of space for animals overconsumption of land all the things that are affecting the the other creatures that we share the Planet with who we don't really give you space and you kept that that's not any kind of not exercising not we're not saying I think it's very important especially in these type of shares and not agree with me and I probably will get into it will be people who shout at me, but I think the our job in the US is not to be too preachy pious and self-righteous and kind of holier Than now.
And I hope we don't but there is if you're not careful.
I think you can and and audiences that there is no, I don't want to be I want to know but I don't want to be told off so I think you're trying to avoid this.
We must we should you mustn't type of go back to green plant one things I'm excited about that.
Is that so much of the sum of the sort of advice or the what's the word you can say to people you can do is stop doing this you don't use plastic.
Don't do that although important and we're going to be able to do something.
Don't think so you can actually actively do something to help improve biodiversity of the that's one of the big challenges in a wood turning the planet into a bit of a monoculture party for our benefit.
You know agriculture inevitably deselect all the things that we don't want and select all the things we do so.
We wanted to domesticate become dominant and that that destroys biodiversity and nobody really knows that's the trouble the ecology of the planet is so complex, but I do know is a very rich complex biodiversity ecology as seen the very well.
Thank you very much for hundreds and hundreds of years and I'm going to pull a monastery at the tapestry.
We're the whole thing that's right and it's you put the thing is we don't know how many strings that tapestry can put before the whole thing for the ground and I guess people beginning to think we're getting quite close to change is a universal challenge, but there are many other things that we try and draw attention to in our programs that are other factors that influence the health of the in terms of psychology and health.
I think is but I kind of spiritual health of genuine.
Isn't I think it's much more connect with the Natural World and Pat's realise after all we are animals.
We've spent you know how far back.
Do you want to go but a million years plus evolution has had us in the Natural World that far is on at all natural habitat.
No 50% of those living with quite disconnected with nature.
I think it's probably has a significant impact on us which we probably won't even realise for a long time so I think people subconsciously want to feel connected with that one of the things what programs does that that means we have a very important role because if that's the People's only connection and Express another word Howie portrayed has to be everything very hard about that.
That's why I think we have changed are the sort of them spectrum of ways of the way.
We tell stories now to try and contextualize some of them the wonders in some of the other elements of the Natural World
Obviously have to take her a very complex set of variables into coronation when you decide how to bring some into screen not just the story in the latest explosive but it does that at featuring to your planning due to the unique weather BBC Sport that you got to spend licence fee payers money we have the physicist professor Jim al-khalili in recently and he was saying you know the double-slit experiment that you do a documentary on BBC Four and I can I do with lasers and computer graphics or I can cut two holes in a plank of wood and horrible kits onto it.
You know how much money have you got so you sit down with you know we can feel this way, but if you give us another 2 million.
We can we can get a bigger draw with more cameras experiment.
I would argue that sometimes the constraints of budget make you to have more interesting piece of wood.
But I certainly wouldn't use that arguing when I'm talking to the people that funding for listening.
There is an argument that there is there is an equation between budget and time in the field.
So if you want to get extraordinary, never-before-seen behaviour it tends to take a long time so the more the more cash you have to spend in because it's about time in the field of these once in 3 weeks once a month wants in this season events that happened and you to be there to witness and film them that requires you to be there.
Would you get lucky but how many make you have you seen where it says after 3-weeks on the last day? I mean it's a bit of a throat but it's true.
You know we do these things do take a long time because you're what location is.
You're a bit like side of life insurance actuaries with reducing the everyday.
I think that you're trying to reduce all the variables.
Likelihood of this event that you want a film happening happened in front of the camera and that takes time and money with you know baby starving to death or something last year where he was talking about that bird.
It was one of the mother basic ignores one of the latest after death in a fight and whichever one wins then gets to live and the guys on the BBC and I was in tears for that little that was old mother was stabbed to death or you can you switch off but we had lots of Dereham any conversations about this and people are called Love in this situation to be able to make some kind of Rule but every situation is different.
Contact to be like and we tend to general you don't interfere for a whole I would want to defend against a line anyway, what would be the point you never be able to do anything exactly very dangerous and you're you're upsetting a balance so in particular because the thing people tend to fail more time.
They do fail many more times and they succeed the reasons why you would not there are the situation quite recently.
I did a series called dynasties where we had a bit of controversy a couple of people in the Press
How to create a bit of April and December penguins and what has happened was that the mothers and their babies got blown into her into a gully and we were trying to escape and they were failing and then the crew came back a day later and decided to cut some steps into the Ice so that the adults could if they want to work found it.
They could escape and you know there was there was gonna spend most of the day on Radio 4 on various arguments.
Why there was there was a counter argument though, you will lose you should never interfere and we would we would say yes, we are all the reasons.
I described often because you can't do any good part through the years ago.
We were referring them really.
Difficult story about the drugs in and the baby this baby elephant does dying in front of it from the camera in front of its mother and the mother why can't you why don't you say that when you feel it? Did you like our 12:00 on without of its misery into the Pulp Fiction music I digress the food if you if you managed to get a pair of penguins that you have you done it.
So that was quite even though it was very clear with the emperor Penguins we just decided that was that there was no we weren't upsetting the balance of nature.
We went depriving a spray.
We weren't actually handling the animals.
We weren't we won't change it always doing what is a freak.
Spelling that's a freak storm equally I haven't appeared in a bit.
Just wasn't a place so we left them to it and sure enough they discovered it may escapes and animals adapt their precious and fragile and you want to make sure that they know if you can help you doing I think we felt and David agreed action despite some of the press trying to say that he didn't agree.
He did agree that we would have all rescued him in the same situation and this is why in Star Trek the federation do have the prime directive daughter, but they don't interfere in other cultures of planets is a similar similar policy.
You have to judge every case on its own and in the end.
It is a personal decision you make actually Under Pressure but I would say 99.9999 I think we do what we what we do is we could we defend and feels right.
Who were the judges right or wrong? I don't know about you know if you're in the persons of you.
That's what you have to be able to sit with your own conscience and slightly more practical which is what it said.
They were affected the circumstances in your immediate environment around you when you are filming a show for example a lovely dorable little clip on Twitter couple of weeks ago and it was a little baby bear running up and I take to get to the top and I've always lovely it's captured and then and naturalist comment even said actually that was filmed by drone and the baby was running away from the drone the active it was the thing that put the bear in a state of fear that that that that to me that's far more heinous crime and walking in and there's no excuse for that.
That's poor filmmaking.
That's bad natural history.
That's bad filmmaking.
That's bad everything we have a much more much more practical much more.
All about animals but you have to be the knowledge and experience of teams in the Producers who understand nature to know where you can do that and get the camera too close to an element it stops behaving in that case it stop doing what you wanted to do and say you've defeated your own the purpose of the exercise so the camera particularly the camera are brilliant that restaurant they have this they are they almost they have a superb sense of what's going on in the in in the world.
They can sense it.
This is why they are so good at predicting what's going to happen and I think they have the very very fine tune sense of when things are going to go wrong not have gone wrong, but it going to go wrong.
And they will take a step back and that is that is really very critical because the worst thing that could ever happen is that you caused some terrible outcome that change the natural wonder whether you would find it hard to argue defend never happens, but that is because it's business the whole thing but you try your hardest her hardest to get that sense of non-interference years ago is fascinating very hard to film and some people start to try and Light Blue lighter situation.
You're changing a tariff with infrared night vision, so you're not influencing either.
There is the present in the prior to the process.
So you rather than your light on allowing to do.
So that's a very good example of where it would be without thinking it through if you if you didn't understand understand what we do with you could easily fall into that trap but we make sure that we have no 20 years we've been using these other and infrared noticed.
It is TV in terms of effecting change in society.
How powerful is the medium of television particularly surrounding issues of history which about your entertaining and informative, but there's clearly a serious problem.
We have with climate change on this planet.
It's very difficult thing to judge because you are you courting this kind of dilemma you hope that what you produced has impact but you also know that it's an extraordinary family business that people watch it and it's gone I think which is not bad in and of itself of course it and it entertaining and gauging informative hour of television that really means she was still with me and I think there's education for want of a better word.
Can sometimes be a little thing you know knowledge goes into your head that sometimes.
I've always found always been quite keen on the sense of humour.
I love telling people about you will not believe animals do this the Wonders of Nature what actually animal behavioral adaptations which is the kind of education, but I think we all feel that that I still think that is it I think that is still a vital thing for all sorts of reasons, but I think we all feel there is another role that are programs can do which we've tried always trying to do but the audience seemed to be ready for it all of it which is a little bit more about the real context the real story behind some of these other wonders what is actually happening in the Natural World and there is there is a
Criticism that by showing wonders in these shows you are actually concealing to an audience some of the real difficult realities of the Natural World that you give me the sense of course you if you want to show the most beautiful rainforest you go and find the most beautiful rainforest the show shows that people who criticizes for that.
I think we're trying to redress that by still doing that but also at some point in their in the program and not just in the program associated with the program around it because we now have the opportunity and the other healers really shows to try and show people that there is a big and broader context and that is an educational purpose, but what has every now and then you hit them you hit a nerve and it's sets and you never know what they're going to be but it sets the public agenda and plastic.
I think was a really interesting things.
Replied to you after after we've started that ball rolling on at 2.
I think we felt the reaction to that was there was there was clearly An Appetite for more and being a particularly Frontline environment in terms of environment and Conservation up that we talked about overfishing a whole raft of challenges that the Natural World is facing the ocean plastic.
We have no idea what would catch people's attention you need anything good plastic.
Just hit just caught people's imagination.
I think it did it for a very simple reason when was because it's a very simple as a quite a simple thing to get your head around so it's a very Direct thing you show an individual animal suffering from the consequences of
Can you throw in the trash ends up in the water an albatross mother picks it up and feeders to check and it dies that is a direct individual and all be affected by a consequence consequence of directions to that and I think that personalised storytelling absolutely draw people's attention to it and it has changed it has a massive impact to effect and that you know that makes you feel that you have done something to change the leaving the global agenda in a plastic is now top of people is very important in people's mind.
I think the only the only caveat is that the only thing I would add is that what you don't want them to think that's a bit of that a bit of conservation of environment because it's a nasty pernicious issue, but it's only one of the many many things that need to be.
It's a very tangible one, but there are there are others eat and fundamentally or reports down to just over consumption.
We are as a species are lots of ideas about making sure that can we can we find a way of allowing the other 99.9% of the inhabitants of the Dead Space there are opportunities to get access to resources whilst we can as well.
That's the tension and that needs physical will I mean your shows are incredibly expensive too but you had your net contributors.
Aren't you today in the coffers of the BBC because these partnerships and you must go into a quite strong negotiating position with Charlotte but you know you're going to get 15 back historically.
They are expensive has always had to find funding from the
So although these are made the world has changed slightly but historically we will work for public service.
We make programs for you the licence in the UK and to do that the BBC licence fee but the percentage of the budget is surprising and we've always always gone to the market who produces mind is so public service broadcasters in other parts of the world and they will then contribute funding towards the pot for the rights to show the show and the first thing I did for the latitude of life.
I remember 3 weeks into the bin on in the in the team the boss and I went to northern Europe and we went to all the different classes and retain about the story to get them to contribute like a collection plate knock on the door, but it's always been the case but the way.
This international the travel because there's no speaking roles in landlord, doesn't so there is a there is an international an international that easily internationalised.
That's that has been up to this now, but they definitely are there in the market there in the game certainly be interesting to know how much but what's happened in the last half a dozen years or so is the popularity of the of this kind of car has gone exponential the same that same reason but with so much else been hard to your other television struggling to perform this now.
Not only performing as it did much much better, so it's doubly attracting attention and a lot of players are getting into the into this work which is good and is bad and the good is that it's great to see natural history out there is bad because there's only so many stories you can tell and you don't want in tenpole about films and yours to be the last one that goes out even if it might be hope the best if there's been five other ones competitors and say he didn't even BBC to-do list at the moment.
What's front of mind when you in the shower and there's no emails bleeping exactly time.
I haven't heard anything about my own business.
What do you think about a lot of projects on at the moment which is exciting?
Differentiation making sure that people come to each other projects time is different from what ROBLOX is doing all that it's getting tricky tricky to make clear blue water between your project and having a clear and even in the past the last question is a lot of players in the market now and there was very easy access points and it's so if you're not careful lots of stuff gets done.
That is the end it quite similar and then you've worked on so many landmarks.
Series is there a particular sequence or a particular individual program in any one of the series you've made that you particularly proud of capturing for me.
It's the back of my mind.
I did a sequence on trials of life and was about a bird called a weaver bird and the approach we took on that sequence.
Set my projector for the rest of my career, so I think that is the reason why I said building nests and the scientists have been working with the with the story with the standards for amazing intricacy with which these birds weed is Messi's extraordinary Dexter this wonderfully complicatedness and that's that would be the same as where you would talk and that would make a lovely thing to told me that it's a tricky for the tallest building in the mail to build them have to learn and he and the young males are rubbish at it and they could be an interesting twist on this so the cameraman young male birds have the same as your emails not very good at stuff.
Did he found his to one of which has been built by an absolute master and one was being built by an absolute idiot and he phoned them both and then when we were watching the to go to be to have a projection sweet and they would load the film when it came back from the field.
We would go and watch it and it just so happened that the word have been done two cameras projectors wrong and it just happened on the left-hand screen really good bird and all the features on the right as I was at this rubbish, and I was watching the rushes the people watch with just wetting themselves laughing and I thought I thought that's it.
That's how to tell that story that's how to connect with your audience to make that the science of that which is the wonderful biology of the how they do that but also of how.
We have to learn how this male was so the one who is used then the engine.
It is built this pathetic.
You have to do it in for it is the key so you want the audience to root the animals and what he does at the end of thing where you flaps its wings to attract a female and it was utterly hopeless but with the sensors like you say with a sense of benevolence.
No sense of your really wanted them to succeed but at the end you you empathize with them because you felt you have another that sequence which is 30 years ago.
Maybe that's how I that's how I need to work in the future.
I need to find stories that allow you to connect empathize and root for your your animals.
The audience get involved, so they get the learning they get their reading education information, but they also get their entertainment and entertainment me the whole load of things not connecting and empathize against takeaway message from it.
How do you keep your own ideas and your own training fresh because you've been in a long time.
I mean we had John Riley recently Sky News and I was saying how much your BBC News do you watch 4 on screen and behind the camera Talent you know you've got to keep your eyes and ears peeled about what your competition is doing for new ideas.
She deliberately don't watch too much of other people's watch a bit but I try not to watch too much of it because I think and act as I try and watch other types of television other types of Media other types of content and approach and where did you get your sense of what's happening? You get that from other things not from the trusty servant otherwise some is already done it.
It drives you to keep coming up with new ways of because just new discoveries new wonders are come out of the European especially if we showed it to him like this or if we gave them that experienced a bit like you were talking about The Sopranos earlier human species, but there are million human stories is trying to take that kind of mindset to the Natural World and how can you try and take that that sense of what is that? What is another perspective on this animals life that people can see how can I get them to understand the trials and tribulations of animals life Bristol the BBC natural history unit is based at Bristol why is Bristol the centre of the universe and it comes to Natural History
I think it is too but it's a bit of weird history to be honest.
It's become a bit of a mystery Legend but my understanding is along the lines of those own accord Desmond Hawkins who was running there in the radio at Bristol and he was a naturalist and he wanted to do wildlife programmes as well as other stuff.
Just set up the Wetlands Trust Slimbridge and of course he was a naturalist and so he used to bring that they decided they would bring animals into the studio now going outside to get this kind of centre of gravity of wildlife filmmaking happening in Bristol and then I think when the powers that be decided that they needed to make sure that some stuff was on in London it was kind of ready-made and I suspect as much more complex to that, but it was a bit of a kind of historical accident of location to be.
Delighted that we're not in London so I don't mind as long as we keep a bunch of slightly strange people turn their they keep doing good stuff coming out of my hair every program that you've done it for many years now has a kind of how we made it sure you know that I found myself out if you was in a clear.
They want to know more but how how do you do that approaches series knowing that you've not only got to make the series but make the short on how it was made.
There's definitely an interest from the audience about the behind-the-scenes insight pleasure of your own location getting some of that experience is also a natural if you do they do have an interesting different narrative structure to the shows so that's a nice change it does give people a bit of insight into.
Technology and the techniques we are she was trying to we have been trying to change the their purpose of a little bit because they're not just how do we do it? How do we get the shopping bit more about the context of the story? It's been an opportunity to sometimes say bring something the environmental conservation challenges that are associated with one of the stories that we go when we when we started series will be going to one making off.
We take cameras and we shoot behind the scenes on loads of things we do and sometimes that happens of Interest then when the series is finished.
We start to put together a whole raft of content that goes online to the DVD is it becomes the behind-the-scenes making-of part of that were originally was a kind of them because the how long is slot internationally this shows tend to be only 50 minutes.
Make a 50-minute program and the 10 minutes feel that people now.
I know what they mean.
It's the final satisfying wrapping up of the of the Peace obviously at what you do is very visual.
It's ideal for television, but you know I can't imagine a line attacking a zebra as a radio program, but there is a huge increase in Natural History podcast there is Twitter and YouTube and all of these and social success is that is that part of how you finding a medium that the natural Histories content is seen on there is a bit of a golden age of the love of nature witches Bazaar in the ironic in the sense that it is interesting that somebody told me the other day a bit of a left-hand side but apparently on dating sites used to be one of things that used to be apparently a surefire tractors.
Travel I've been in another note.
I don't travel how many career care about the environment and that I think is a social trend and I may be that this is only anecdotal but I would be interested to know that hopefully that will verify that.
I think is that is a really change of heart and you want this to become you want to compare and concern for the environment to become a fashion that something that is you are people not just a feeling not for some quiet because I actually feel this is important to their own lies and all the people so you just saying about lion hunting zebra not making you rock it make a meeting with you.
It is sound is one of the things that cause all the attention is on the visuals, but in fact our shows the reason.
You are so engaging real is amount of effort we put into the sound recording sounds on occasion.
So you feel that's what creates the atmosphere.
That's what creates the sense of being there and that's all part of the that's all part of the I think the success of these things is you feel a direct connected experienced in the past.
You know these things were seen as equivalent of watching the Welsh repair binoculars.
What we're trying to say is no come with us.
You're in that world around us is this natural around with these animals see what they're doing experience what they don't understand what they're doing and that I think is that that's a very powerful pleasurable thought-provoking experience that hopefully will make you think about the Natural World in a different way like this is been an absolutely fascinating conversation.
Thank you very much for your time and thank you very much indeed.
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