David Attenborough, Father of World Nature Documentary


He refused the offer of the top management of the BBC, but he is still hailed as Father of World Nature Documentary

"A spy robot monkey was accepted by the monkey group, and unfortunately fell off the cliff and died shortly afterwards. All the monkey group silently mourned for it." In this situation, the little monkeys felt like their children died.


Recently, this image of the animal world that is closest to human sadness along with 34 "animal spy robots" Wilderness Spy has blown up our circle of friends.


Some of them swim in the water, fly in the sky, run on land, and some are cute and peeping. They are so cute.

People also clapped their hands and praised the BBC filming technique, which is responsible for the conscience of the documentary.


In the past few decades, it is precisely because of the exhaustion of teams like the BBC that they have opened up the unheard of worlds for us.


David Attenborough, the Father of the World Nature Documentary

Among them, the most famous is David Attenborough, who is known as the father of the world nature documentary.


In more than 60 years, he led the team to record nearly forty natural history documentary programs.

His charming and magnetic voice became synonymous with BBC documentaries.

Under his impetus, the most advanced photography techniques have been applied to documentaries. He is also the only one so far.

People who have won the BAFA Awards (British Film Academy Awards, equivalent to the Oscars in the United States) in black and white, color, high-definition, 3D and 4K.


David Attenborough, Father of World Nature Documentary

The Sir Alex

The British royal family awarded him the title of knight for his contribution to the exploration of nature, and he was affectionately called "the Sir Alex".


He has personally inspected almost all known ecological environments in the world. Under his influence, hundreds of millions or even billions of viewers love nature.


Now, under his reputation, he is over 90 years old, who has won numerous awards, but he is still running in this career.


David Attenborough was born in London, England in 1926. His father was the president of a university in Leicester.


When he was young, he showed curiosity about nature, especially like collecting animal fossils and specimens.


Soon after, he turned into a small "museum", which was appreciated by everyone.


As a result, his love for nature is getting bigger and bigger like a snowball!


He has excellent academic performance since childhood, and after graduating from high school, he was admitted to Cambridge University to study zoology and geology.


David Attenborough, Royal Navy Soldier

After graduating smoothly, during World War II, he was naturally summoned by the Royal Navy and became a soldier.


After he was discharged from the army, he went to a publishing house by accident and became an editor of children's science books.


During that time, Attenborough held a stable salary and could free up some working time to do what he liked.


It didn't take long before he started to get tired of running around in the chores of the publishing house, and became increasingly disappointed with the works he had handled.


He quickly quit his job and submitted his resume to the BBC radio station on a whim.


He confidently enumerated his advantages as a broadcast host, and incidentally also wrote about his life experience.


What he didn't expect was that this position was the most competitive job at the time.


Because at that time, it was the golden age of radio broadcasting, and many people rushed in.


When there are more choices and no work experience, who do you reject?

After accidentally ate a closed door, Attenborough was a little frustrated.


But I didn't expect that the TV service department in the BBC, which had just started, fell in love with him and invited him to join this emerging industry.


At that time, like most British people, he had hardly watched TV, let alone TV shows.


But with a freshness, he not only readily agreed to participate in the three-month training, but also showed a faint smile after it was over.


It turned out that it was a training experience of a "blind" leading a "blind". Everyone is still exploring TV programs.


It might have been a pitfall for someone else, but he didn't think so, on the contrary, he worked harder and harder.


But at first, he was only the host of a few variety shows, and the influence was not big.

In the 1950s, most wild animals were almost isolated from humans, and there was no video record. People always stay in their imaginations about them.


Attenborough met the curator of a reptile zoo in London while hosting a show.


The two realized this situation and hit it off, planning to record the process of hunting animals in the wild.


When Attenborough proposed this idea to Taili, he immediately got everyone's support.


But it was very difficult to do this. He and his team had no previous experience with this kind of shooting.

During that time, they followed the zoo people to shoot in the wild almost during the day, and at night he wanted to check and understand the habits of the animals.


They may take a shot of an animal and wait for the whole day, or they may encounter an animal's surprise at any time and plan to take a bath.

During those difficult days, every scene, every line, every scene was passed by Edenburg himself.


The figure of David Attenborough busying around is no longer just a host.


With hard work day by day, in 1954 he hosted the show "Zoo Adventure" finally released.

These records of the impact of the London Zoo Reptile House's capture of wild animals in Africa and Indonesia immediately became a sensation, and people applauded.


Among them, Attenborough's handsome appearance in vividly and interestingly explaining the knowledge of wild animals is even more popular.


Although the pictures are black and white, and even some seemingly ordinary pictures, they are also very interesting under the vivid explanation of Attenborough.


This show quickly made him famous and received a large number of fans, but at this time he came to a rapid retreat.

It turns out that this film is actually a continuation of the heritage of the British Empire.


It's just that the naturalists who returned from all over the world back then were specimens of animals and plants, but now they are transported back to live exhibition animals.


In this process, apart from showing how human beings have great adventures, their attitude towards animals has not changed at all, but they are still regarded as playthings.

In 1957, he chose to resign and returned to university to pursue a PhD in social anthropology.


But just as he was about to graduate, the BBC still worked hard to invite him back to be the director of BBC Two.


But this time, his eyes are far more than just a job. He gradually focused on how to change the way he used to shoot and change people's attitudes towards nature.


In order to better express the content of TV programs, he also took the lead in trying to produce and broadcast color signals.


This also contributed to the popularity of color television in the UK.

However, in 1972, when the BBC promoted him to the position of director, he chose to put his life on the brakes again.


Attenborough decides to give up all that and go back to his old business and continue to shoot his beloved wildlife documentary.


For this reason, he has traveled almost every corner of the earth and experienced hardships that ordinary people can't imagine.

At that time, the transportation industry was not as developed as it is now, and many remote areas did not even have roads.


For the existing shooting tasks, he and his team carried a lot of things such as cameras, batteries, light sources, and film boxes, which was no less difficult than the European explorers in the great voyage era.


On the other hand, as early as the end of the 1950s, Austrian film producer Hans Haas proposed the idea of ​​underwater photography and successfully developed a waterproof case for underwater photography.


It was David Attenborough who risked his life to present marine life on television for the first time, shocking the world.


Compared with the difficulties encountered in these shootings, what Attenborough wants to change is people's attitude towards nature and awaken people's awe of animals.


If you don't shoot people and rely solely on the lens of nature to tell the story, is it possible to let the animals and plants themselves be the protagonists? 

But this simple idea has tested every aspect, including changes in shooting technology.


For example, since animals are the main characters, shooting at night has become an inevitable part.


At that time, Edenburg and his team had to use artificial light sources to provide the necessary light for the shooting, but they realized that such shooting would cause serious interference to their habits.


With the invention of the infrared camera, people can finally capture the most real life habits of these animals in the dark.

In addition, this idea has also completely changed the way that documentaries tell stories in the past, and there will no longer be people in the pictures.


In order to allow people to understand various animal habits more accurately, Edenburg and his team also consulted with scientists all over the world to select the latest and most interesting research results.


After overcoming many difficulties, until 1979, an epoch-making work "Life On Earth" came out.


This set of films immediately received numerous fans as soon as it was released, and was hailed as the pioneering work of modern natural history documentaries.

But Attenborough is not satisfied with this, always looking for the latest shooting methods to show the true nature of nature.


As a result, his life in pursuit of nature has also become a model of lifelong learning.


Whether it is new photography formats such as color, high-definition, IMAX, 3D, 4k and computer-assisted virtual reality, or new shooting methods such as hot air balloons, helicopters, drones and submersibles, he always hopes to learn in the first place And adopt.

The Living Planet

Attenborough has released the two films "The Living Planet" (The Living Planet) and "The Trials of Life" non-stop, which together are called the "Trilogy of Life".


Blue Planet

Since then, his series of films such as "Blue Planet" and "Pulsation of the Earth" have also integrated the latest shooting technology and achieved greater success.


Life Series

In 1993, he was supposed to retire in his old age, but he still ambitiously planned a more ambitious set of "Life Series" DVD encyclopedias, which will present the audience in more detail after classifying natural creatures.


So over the past two decades, there have been: "The Fairy Tale of Ice and Snow", "The Private Life of Plants", and "The Blue Planet", which cover all the types of animals and plants on the earth.


Attenborough not only likes to shoot natural history documentaries, but also a world-renowned environmentalist who has devoted his life to protecting the ecological environment of the earth.


Blue Planet 2

In the process of participating in the filming of "Blue Planet 2," when he saw an albatross out looking for food for his children, he returned with a stomach full of things, thinking it was a squid, but it was actually plastic garbage.


He was deeply worried about the future living environment of marine life, and he used his influence to appeal to reduce plastic waste.


From 26 to 91 years old, from Zhu Yan with green temples to gray hair, for him, shooting documentaries is no longer just out of love.

The driving force of his life is more:

He felt that we must pass on the world to the next generation and truly express our concerns about the fate of the natural world.


It can be said that: born of sorrow, die of happiness.


Reference material: 

David Attenborough. Wikipedia


Documentary: Edenburg: 60 Years of Field Exploration


Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild

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