How was Netflix’s Our Planet made?

Netflix’s Our Planet is one of the world’s most popular natural history documentaries, utilising well-known British naturalist talent such as the legend that is Sir David Attenborough, and the team at Silverback Films, a large wildlife film and TV production company who worked with Netflix to make the production a reality, alongside the charity and NGO, the WWF.

Following the BBC’s and Silverback Films’ global success with Planet Earth and Blue Planet, celebrated director Alastair Fothergill OBE was also at the helm for Our Planet in an executive production role with Keith Scholey as Director and Series Producer. Colin Butfield from the WWF was also one of the producers serving from WWF and the much-admired Doug Anderson and David Reichert were part of this legendary team.

Some of the filming equipment used during the making of Our Planet:

  • Cineflex (gyroscope system)
  • Canon 50-1000mm Cine Servo Lenses
  • RED cameras (Dragons and Geminis)
  • Rebreathers from the British Army for diving!
  • Orca lights
  • 1,342 standard Nikon lenses including:
    • 14-24mm
    • 24-70mm at f2.8 with the Nauticams
  • DJI drones
  • Heligimbals

We daresay they are very likely to have used the Canon 200mm Lens! (We offer this Canon lens  as a rental) …and obviously much more! Feel free to share your tech geekery with Wild Films over on our social media channels by contacting us there. It would be great to collect a comprehensive list.

our planet netflix press images - wildlife filmmaking-wild films

Some facts about the production:

  • Our Planet made use of 600 crew members during filming and production
  • In real terms, Our Planet took 9 and a half years to film
  • Our Planet was filmed fully in 4K (and above)
  • Our Planet took 4 years in total to produce in full
  • Our Planet was filmed in 50 countries
  • Our Planet condenses 4 years and 50 countries into just 8 x 50 min episodes (on average)

As you will no doubt remember, Our Planet places its focus on climate change, earth’s most fragile ecosystems and some of the world’s most endangered as well as most well-known species of animals and plants.

Its success has been lauded globally as being one of the most urgent productions in the natural history field, thanks to its focus on both the creeping and destructive impact that humans have on the environment and the creatures that we should be taking better care of in sharing this planet with.

So said Alastair Fothergill, Director at Silverback: “…our most ambitious endeavour to date, we hope it will inspire and delight hundreds of millions of people across the world so they can understand our planet, and the environmental threat it faces, as never before.”

Our Planet - teaching children during the pandemic

During Covid-19, teachers that were forced to teach from home due to isolation and confinement guidelines had vehemently demanded for Othe seriesto be made freely available on YouTube, to support teaching and learning activities for children and young people across the world where conservation is included in the curriculum. 

Netflix were more than happy to oblige and went about making the whole series free-to-air (i.e. without the need for a Netflix subscription) and added all eight episodes of Our Planet to YouTube, so that schoolchildren and students would watch and study from home – including the new feature film, Chasing Coral.

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