There Will Be Attenborough: Discovery Premieres “Africa” Tonight

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On Tuesday, January 8, 2013, the makers of Life and the channel that brought you The Blue Planet and Planet Earth is premiering Africa, the newest installment in their epic quest to document the world in all its high-def and cinematic glory. Four years in the making, this seven-part series is a co-production with the Discovery Channel and the BBC, which means — wait for it — hosting duties by none other than David Attenborough in the final episode.

Described as an attempt to “bring the continent to life with never-before-filmed species, animal behaviors and secret, natural wonders of the world,” the show airs at 10 p.m. EST, and is sure to make a squeeze on your otherwise nearly full DVR.

Some interesting facts about the production per Discovery’s web site:

• One scene at Hoanib River, Namibia, two rival male giraffes battle it out in “the most intense giraffe fight ever filmed.” It took the crew four weeks to capture this 90-second fight, and there were no other fights the entire month the crew was there. Which begs the question: How many giraffe fights have been filmed ever?

• In False Bay, South Africa, a lone cameraman positioned himself on a floating platform between a small boat and whale carcass to capture great whites feeding on the remains of the whale — one of the largest concentrations of great white sharks ever to be filmed.

• Crews filmed more than 20 months of shifting landscapes in the Tunisian desert creating one of the longest time lapses ever recorded. The solar-powered cameras were placed in boxes and recorded the ever-changing movement of the dunes. The sand almost completely buried one camera.

• Filmed footage occupied 100 terabytes of storage space, equivalent to 200 home computer hard drives or more than 21,000 DVDs.

• More than 2,000 hours of HD footage filmed.

• 553 cameras deployed throughout the series.

[Africa: The Discovery Channel]

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