PBS's Deep Jungle
A team of cinematographers ventures to some of the most remote corners of the world to shoot the documentary miniseries Deep Jungle.
In the opening of Deep Jungle, a three-hour miniseries produced by Granada Wild for WNET’s Nature series, a camera glides through a dense rainforest while a narrator describes a new generation of explorers penetrating the world’s jungles: “These 21st-century pioneers are taking with them an arsenal of high-tech tools, and they can reveal the forest as it’s never been seen before.” The montage that follows fulfills that promise to spectacular effect: thousands of bats light up in a rainbow of color through thermal photography; a scientist uses an infrared beam and a Global Positioning System to create a 3-D map of the jungle canopy; and a tarantula and its babies are discovered deep inside their burrow with a spy-cam, provoking the mother’s attack.
Deep Jungle gives as much play to the cameras and technology used in the study of rainforests as it does to the scientific knowledge these tools make possible. “We didn’t go in with the philosophy of trying to show every gadget we could,” says David Allen, series producer and one of the principal cinematographers. “It just turned out to be a complete tour of cinematography techniques. The different locations and bits of behavior required a plethora of gadgets and every kind of filmmaking.”
The “wow factor” of the series is tremendous. [...]