BBC Natural World : The Super Squirrels
The squirrel family is one of the most widespread on earth, so what is the secret to their success? There are squirrels that can glide through the air, outwit rattlesnakes and survive the coldest temperatures of any mammal. We uncover the extraordinary abilities of these cheeky characters, putting their problem solving to the test on a specially designed assault course. We team up with some of the world's top squirrel scientists who are making groundbreaking discoveries - from the fox squirrel who can remember the location of 9,000 nuts to the grey squirrel whose tree-top leaps are the basis of new designs in robotics. We also see the world through the eyes of an orphan red squirrel called Billy, as he grows up and develops all the skills he will need to be released back to the wild. It is time to meet the animal family we should never underestimate - the supersquirrels.
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On Screen Contributor
In the programme I am putting grey squirrels to the test to show why they have been so successful all over the world. In this course which I designed and built, I test their grip, cognitive abilities, leaping power and general climbing skill.
To visually show this I used slow motion photography, allowing the audience to appreciate the minute details about what it really takes to live an arboreal life. Filming these incredible beings fly around the course was a challenge to say the least. The speed at which they moved was baffling, but like all animals you being to learn their moves and predict their behaviour.
I absolutely loved the filming process and talking just off camera as well as directly towards camera. I learnt an astonishing amount from being produced whilst building the obstacle course in the workshop, and whilst self-producing myself filming in the hide for months on end. Skills I will most certainly be taking to my next on-screen opportunity.
Other filming for the project
As well as film the Obstacle Course strand, I also did a large chunk of the orphan red squirrel strand in the film. Using macro photography, drone photography, filming actuality, sliders and gimbals to help cover this beautiful story.