Remember those cheesy, boring, grainy nature documentaries you used to watch in school when the teacher was not having the best day ever?
These films set my expectations for nature films. But Planet Earth 2 is not like those films. And I don’t regret my recent decision to watch the series on Netflix.
There’s a real drama to animal life (and even plant life), and this show captures it.
When you look at this trailer, you can see a bit of what I’ve begun to appreciate more and more in the best films: excellent cinematography.
The camera shots in Planet Earth 2 are jaw-dropping. While watching, I found myself just as amazed by the skill of the camera crew as I am of the film’s editing and storytelling.
You have to remember that every shot of every movie you’ve ever seen had a human technically (if not literally) behind it. Someone had to set up the shot, shoot the film from the helicopter, pilot the camera-mounted drone, configure the remote cameras, attach the camera to the back of that golden eagle (yes, this happens), or film that hyena.
Camera-people are absolute heroes, and they get to do some of the most interesting work of filmmaking. So don’t take the incredible shots in your favorite films for granted. There’s a story behind every camera angle and every bit of footage captured.
Try something different next time you’re watching a movie with great visuals: imagine yourself behind the camera. If you can imagine how footage was captured (instead of just seeing the footage itself), you can appreciate the film all the more.
This is another shining example of how consuming like a creator can make enjoying a finished product so much better.