BBC ‘fakes wildlife shots all the time’: Veteran cameraman claims species ‘smaller than rabbits’ are filmed on custom-built sets

  • Doug Allan revealed secrets of how BBC  makes wildlife films
  • He said most small  species are filmed in closed conditions
  • The cameraman said people felt ‘deceived’  by the trickery
  • But he defended the practice, and said  the BBC should be open about it
  • He was speaking at Cheltenham Literature  Festival to promote his book

By Rosie Taylor

PUBLISHED:18:32 EST, 8  October 2013

They are the programmes that leave viewers  enthralled by the wonders of nature.

But many wildlife scenes in BBC series are  faked, a veteran cameraman admits.

In fact, most footage involving small animals  is not what it appears, Doug Allan said.

Secret's out: Experienced cameraman Doug Allan let slip the fakery in a speech at the Cheltenham Literature FestivalSecret’s out: Experienced cameraman Doug Allan let slip  the fakery in a speech at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

Species ‘smaller than a baby rabbit’ are put  in custom-built sets and filmed under controlled conditions, rather than in the  wild.

Mr Allan’s revelation comes only two years  after Sir David Attenborough’s flagship documentary Frozen Planet was accused of  fakery for filming the birth of a polar bear in a zoo rather than in the  wild.

The footage was defended at the time by the  veteran naturalist, who compared nature documentaries to ‘making  movies’.

But Mr Allan – once described by Sir David as  the best cameraman he had worked with –  said he understood why people felt ‘deceived’.

He said: ‘I think the BBC didn’t handle it  the best. On their website there was a video showing how it was done, but they  didn’t quite bring enough attention to it. It wasn’t obvious.’

Mr Allan defended the use of captive animals  in wildlife films, so long as producers make it clear to audiences which shots  are not gathered in the wild.

Proud: Mr Allan said the BBC should have been open about the fact that some scenes for recent David Attenborough series Frozen planet were filmed in a zooProud: Mr Allan said the BBC should have been open about  the fact that some scenes for recent David Attenborough series Frozen planet  were filmed in a zoo
Preparing for the new arrivals: The fake nest being built in a Dutch zoo, ahead of the birth of the polar bear cubsPreparing for the new arrivals: The fake nest being  built in a Dutch zoo, ahead of the birth of the polar bear cubs
Not as it seems: The 'den' in the wildlife park was constructed out of plaster and wood, built below the zoo's polar bear enclosure. It was fitted with cameras shortly before the birthNot as it seems: The ‘den’ in the wildlife park was  constructed out of plaster and wood, built below the zoo’s polar bear enclosure.  It was fitted with cameras shortly before the birth

‘You can’t make a film about mice just by  going out into a meadow and looking at mice,’ he said.

‘You need to introduce them to a safely built  set in which they will be happy. There’s a lot of skill in doing that.’

Asked whether cameramen were worried about  filming wildlife on sets, he said they ‘have to do and accept it’, adding: ‘Nobody seemed to be bothered by it.’

Mr Allan was speaking at the Cheltenham  Literature Festival, where he is promoting his book Freeze Frame: A Wildlife  Cameraman’s Adventures On Ice.

He said the BBC should have been proud of the  way in which it gathered the Frozen Planet footage rather than hiding the  explanation on its website.

The sequence showed the new-born polar bears  mewling and nuzzling their mother in a cave. Eight million viewers were led to  believe the footage was captured by BBC cameramen in harsh sub-zero  temperatures.

However, it emerged it was actually shot in a  Dutch zoo, using fake snow.

Moving scene: The pair of two-day-old polar bear cubs shown on the documentary. At this age they weighed less than a kilo, but were filmed in a zooMoving scene: The pair of two-day-old polar bear cubs  shown on the documentary. At this age they weighed less than a kilo, but were  filmed in a zoo

New build: The polar bear and cub inside the man-made den fashioned out of wood and covered in fake snowNew build: The polar bear and cub inside the man-made  den fashioned out of wood and covered in fake snow
Faked? What the viewers saw on Frozen Planet turned out not to be filmed in the wild, but in a Netherlands zooFaked? What the viewers saw on Frozen Planet turned out  not to be filmed in the wild, but in a Netherlands zoo

It was interspersed with real shots of the  Arctic, while Sir David’s carefully worded narration led viewers to believe the  scene was genuine.

The veteran broadcaster, 87, defended the  footage at the time, saying: ‘Come on, we were making movies.’

But Mr Allan said the BBC should have flagged  up its filming techniques at the end of the programme.

He said: ‘Be proud of it, and then I think  people would have felt less deceived. I don’t have a problem with that sort of  thing – I did it myself years earlier – but the public, some of the public,  chose to think that was fakery.’

Mr Allan was not involved in the polar bear  scene and does not film small animals.

Mixed: The scene was mixed with real footage of polar bears in the wild, which may have misled viewersMixed: The scene was mixed with real footage of polar  bears in the wild, which may have misled viewersHe also addressed the future of nature  documentaries, saying there would be no one like Sir David on television again  and claiming the presenter’s involvement in a programme guaranteed 20 per cent  more viewers.

‘There will never be another David,’ he said. ‘As long as David is alive, for anyone else to be called “the next David  Attenborough” is a kiss of death. The way television works these days, a  presenter is doing well if they last more than ten years.

‘On the BBC, you’ll see a lot of new faces  that are being tried out. Some are good, some you see once and then bye bye.’

But if anyone is to follow in Sir David’s  footsteps, Mr Allan said, it will be Springwatch presenter Chris Packham because  he has ‘integrity’ even though he is not ‘everyone’s cup of tea’.

Kept quiet: Mr Allan said it would be impossible to make programmes about small animals like mice entirely in the wildKept quiet: Mr Allan said it would be impossible to make  programmes about small animals like mice entirely in the wild

Mr Allan also praised Professor Brian Cox,  but said he only ‘came alive’ when talking about space and physics rather than  wildlife.

In June, Sir David praised Mr Allan, who has  worked with him on Blue Planet, Frozen Planet and Planet Earth.

He said: ‘Capturing animal behaviour in  extreme and hostile places takes a very special kind of cameraman and they don’t  come more special than Doug Allan.

‘I’ve had the extraordinary good luck of  working with him over many years and no one knows the frozen world better than  him.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2450381/BBC-fakes-wildlife-shots-time-veteran-cameraman-claims.html#ixzz2kAxl2qlh Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

The BBC has worked for the bankster gansters since they were the people who created it in the first place:

https://mediachecker.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/bbc-rides-with-al-qaeda-in-aleppo-syria-bbc-propaganda/

https://mediachecker.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/fake-bbc-video/

“There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.”
―    T.S. Eliot

I read a few of the comments at the site and its quite stunning the amount of people who prefer the illusion of reality, iow, they want “what their itching ears want to hear.” –  Timothy 4:3

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s