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Netflix’s Life on Our Planet Cinematographer on Lions, Mammoths Scene



For Netflix’s Life on Our Planet, cinematographer Jamie McPherson needed to seize motion that merely wasn’t there.

Within the pilot episode, “The Rules of Life,” McPherson framed this shot of cave lions going through off towards woolly mammoths — two species that went extinct thousands and thousands of years in the past.

“They’re essentially elephants and lions, so we have a sense of how they move,” explains the DP, who notes that VFX supervisor Jonathan Privett of Industrial Mild & Magic provided him with early mockups of how these long-gone creatures would work together. “We do walk and run cycles, so you can get a feel for how fast a mammoth walks,” notes Privett, who used research of the animals’ trendy evolutionary descendants to know these historic beasts.

Since all that continues to be are their bones, Privett’s crew reconstructed the skeletal types digitally earlier than including textured fur and facial expressions.

“There’s actually a skeleton in there,” he says, which is step one in crafting life like portrayals of the lions and mammoths. Whereas nature docs normally seize wildlife of their native habitat, Life on Our Planet needed to reimagine — and stage — the motion.

“The basis is an amazing interaction we would hope to film in the wild with real creatures,” says McPherson. “Something absolutely fantastical happens, but we hope it’s still engaging, exciting and emotional for the audience.”

This story first appeared in a Might standalone problem of The Hollywood Reporter journal. Click on right here to subscribe.

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