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Rockhopper Penguins, Up Close: On Location | Hostile Planet

Ever wondered how wildlife crews
managed to capture the perfect shot right
in the heart of the action?
Check out the behind the scenes to see
the great lengths that the crew went
to to film “Hostile Planet.”
MATT RICHARDS: Rock copper penguins
live in cold, quiet often brutal conditions.
It’s a pretty tough location to get to.
It’s very remote.
It’s quite near Antarctica.
We left about a month, so it was a long trip.
And so we really got to spend a lot of time
with those penguins.
ANTHONY PYPER: The best thing for us
is to be noticed by the species we’re filming
and get them completely used to us being there
so we’re just part of the furniture.
MATT RICHARDS: We were filming where the penguins were
coming onto shore, essentially it was a sort of boulder field.
It’s covered in a thin film of guano, which is fine when it’s
dry but the second you get any moisture it essentially
becomes like walking on ice.
PETE CAYLISS: It’s sunset here on New Islands in the Falklands
and I’ve just been waiting for penguins
to return from the sea.
The bit I’m actually trying to film at the moment
is where they explode from the water onto the dry land.
And to do this, I’m using a high speed filming rig.
I want to time it exactly right.
And you get barely any warning at all.
MATT RICHARDS: What’s on the agenda today?
Today we are taking the giant homemade crane
right down to the penguins.
It’s just what we call a pole cam,
but a sort of enormous version of that.
Really, the whole point of the crane
is to have a camera at the end and us as far as possible.
So here’s the business end of the crane.
So far it looks good, so we’ll give it a go.
[music playing]
Ultimately, we were trying to capture
how difficult it was for a penguin to feed its chicks.
We wanted to see how they coped in really hostile conditions.
And we got lucky because we got the biggest
storm in the Falklands that they’d had for 30 years.
It was pretty scary, actually.
So the storm has kicked in and the penguins
are still coming in.
Those 80 mile an hour winds, the waves were getting bigger.
Bit too windy for the drone?
It’s a bit windy.
We didn’t know how far these waves were
going to come up the shore.
We were playing this fine gambling game where you
definitely wanted to be safe but you wanted to try and get
that immersive feel of what it’s like to be
a penguin coming in a storm.
The thing that really stands out is how well these animals
can cope with some of the most hostile conditions you
can imagine.
Every time you come back from a shift you have fresh admiration
for these amazing animals.
[music playing]
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