I’ve been slowly making my way through the documentary series “BBC Life“. It’s the follow up to “BBC Planet Earth” that came out a few years before.
As expected, it’s beautiful. But it’s slow going because it’s a) really long and b) they are merciless about showing dead baby animals.
The babies don’t start off dead, they start off adorable, fluffy and frolicking. That is the foreshadowing. Very shortly after, there will be a lot of panic and frantic, futile attempts to survive. And all in high-definition.
It’s kind of awful. Whenever one of the animal does manage to escape, I feel like cheering, and then turning off the DVD player immediately, so I can end on a high note.
Fuck you Lion King and your “Circle of Life”.
Anyway, that’s not what I meant to talk about. What I meant to talk about is the sound effects.
It occurred to me, while watching, that OF COURSE the BBC wasn’t able to capture actual sounds of a chameleon sucking back a praying mantis from its perch. That had to be the work of a sound effects artist, working hard at making a plausible, snappy, slithery sound.
I mean, maybe the sounds from the lion hunt was genuine (doubt it, imagine how distracting a lion would find a boom mike?), but the clattering sound of a beetle as it skitters across the forest floor? Not likely.
Documentary foley artists; severely under-appreciated.