The Making of Planet Earth

Geek Culture

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is communing deeply with his son/daughter and his HD TV in watching Discovery Channel HD’s presentation of the wonderful Planet Earth series. I literally have to be careful turning it on while my five-year-old is in motion, as he tends to immediately either a) trip, or b) stand rooted to the floor until I pick him up and move him. Anyway, it is magnificent and magisterial stuff, leading to all sorts of great discussions about nature, of course, but also about how difficult it is to obtain this sort of footage.

With that in mind, one of the best episodes in the series, at least for we geek dads, is “The Making of Planet Earth” (which is also a lovely book), a great look at how the series came together. It led to a great discussion with the five-year-old about how one cameraman could conceivably have spent weeks sitting in a single spot (“Really Daddy, really???!!”) trying to get footage of a bird of paradise mating ritual; or how they caught, on their last day of filming, one-of-a-kind stuff with a snow leopard chasing down a mountain goat.

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