134 hours of filming under ice – it’s all part of the job for Frozen Planet crew

Posted: 11/06/2011 in all marine news

By Marie Winckler – 

From the opening sequence of the first episode, it was clear the Frozen Planet series had established itself as ground-breaking television.

A string of awards would surely follow. It has even been deemed cool. After last Wednesday’s programme, London rapper Example tweeted: “If you’re going out tonight you’re a d***head.

Stay indoors. Frozen Planet. BBC1 9pm. Attenborough is MCing.” Frozen Planet has thrilled and captivated viewers (6.8 million viewers watched David Attenborough visit the North Pole for the first time in his career) with footage from both the Arctic and Antarctic.

One of the aims of the seven-part series was to produce a record of the natural history of the polar regions before the effects of climate change permanently alter the glaciers, ice shelves and sea ice.

Thirty separate teams spent a total of four years in the region, with some on board the Royal Navy ice patrol vessel HMS Endurance and others working in locations where no one has filmed before, including Antarctica’s active volcanoes and the Russian Arctic.

Here crew members talk for the first time about their life-changing experiences.

“I’m now unimpressed by British winters,” smiles Berlowitz, who has directed wildlife documentaries for more than 20 years.

She spent two and a half months in Antarctica, six weeks in Greenland, a week in the North Pole and seven weeks in the Norwegian Arctic in temperatures as low as -50C. “We were pioneering through freezing conditions and got to the most remote places.

The team was pushed to its limits.” The crew was sent to Svalbard in Norway to train for the trip, learning how to drive on ice and rescue someone from a crevasse.

“When we filmed David [Attenborough] in the North Pole, the back of the helicopter got hit heavily by the katabatic wind, which is a hurricane force wind, and we nearly crashed.

It was the closest I have ever come to dying.

Full story…

Comments are closed.