Behind the scenes in Antarctica with the National Science Foundation and Disneynature Penguins

Behind the scenes in Antarctica with the National Science Foundation and Disneynature Penguins

[Sophie Darlington]: My name is Sophie Darlington and I’m awildlife camera woman. [Julie Moniere]: Julie Moniere, I’m mainly additional camera person working with material called the Ronin but also doing time lapses and I’m also helping Sophie. [Sophie Darlington]: We’re here a part of the Disney film group to make a feature film about Adeli penguins. [Julie Moniere]: The film is about an adult who’s going to become a dad for the
first time and is struggle to raise two chicks until they can fledge and go to
the sea. [Sophie Darlington]: It’ll be the life cycle of an Adeli
penguin, but that doesn’t do the story justice, it’ll be the most amazing comedy-
drama, adventure, travel story you’ll ever see. I’ve never seen or worked with an
animal that has more charisma. They are natural film stars! [Julie Moniere]: The Adeli penguins
are very curious, but after a while if you stay in one area, it’s actually quite
interesting they start not caring about you and they’ve kind of get used to you. So what really surprised me is how resilient those little guys are. It
doesn’t matter what the weather is going to be like, what the wind speed is going
to be like, they’re still going out sea getting some food or in the colony feeding
their chicks. [Sophie Darlington]: They’re absolutely priceless!
They don’t know they’re funny, but they are beyond funny and you’ll be sitting filming and suddenly, you know a
couple was fertile path and fall over and they’re so covered in down you know
they just get right back up. They’re the perfect subject for a Disney movie – what
child would not fall in love with an Adeli penguin? [Julie Moniere]: [Laughter] I love them! [Sophie Darlington]: There’s a few challenges to workin here which I’m not particularly familiar with. I’ve worked in the Arctic, but the
Antarctic gives you a whole new set of things to play with. Isn’t it famous for being the windiest place on earth? [Julie Moniere]: The other two big
challenges is really to wind and the cold but you just have to put layers up
and in the wind there’s nothing you can do. It’s just a… a killer! [Sophie Darlington]: Today it’s beautiful it’s summer in Antarctica. It’s gorgeous the sun’s out, the Adelis are all preening,
it’s fantastic! Within 20 minutes we can have a full-on
storm here. [Julie Moniere]: You can get really cold. We have to wear very thin gloves to be able to touch our equipment
and to get feel to be able to focus. [Sophie Darlington]: There’s so many challenges
and then there’s the logistics where it’s 70 miles from the
nearest base. [Julie Moniere]: First time you come here and you get helicopter in an enclosure, camp and then the helicopter goes, then it’s you, by yourself. That’s quite scary! [Sophie Darlington]: It’s full of challenges which makes it much more rewarding. It’s an extraordinary and unreal reality.
You wake up you’ve got to prep your food for the day, you’ve got to melt your snow,
you’ve got to charge your batteries, put on your generators… it’s just a whole different way –
you’ve got to change your mindset. [Julie Moniere]: We do make a plan every morning
about what we’re going to be filming and then we get there and the weather is
going to do something very different so it’s always very difficult to know what
you’re going to be filming. [Sophie Darlington]: We can be here and this is going on but a hundred meters away you wouldn’t even know what was happening, so it’s a matter of sort
of sussing out what’s going on what changes have happened. [Julie Moniere]: We work about nine to ten hours a day.
You could do 24 hours obviously! [Sophie Darlington]: By the way I’m thoroughly confused by
this 24-hour daylight thing. I don’t get it. You get up and it’s light
you go to bed it’s light. If you wanted to you could work yourself to the ground. [Julie Moniere]: Our camp is way up the hill and it takes about 40 minutes to hike up back to camp, which
you know, can be challenging when you’re tired have to long day at work. I think
it’s also very good that we that far away from the colonies so we don’t
disturb them. [Sophie Darlington]: So we head up at around 10:00 or 11:00. Home from midnight. A spot of dinner. Try and get to sleep… with heat. [Julie Moniere]: National Science Foundation gave us the
permission to come to Cape Crozier which is a protected area and we feel very
privileged and lucky to be here. [Sophie Darlington]: You’ve no idea the amount of effort that goesinto something like this – the months and months of planning. Getting us out here
is such a huge operation because it’s not just us, it’s our tents, it’s our
fuel, it’s our food, it’s our gear. [Julie Moniere]: Making a Disneynature film for children is very
important for science. [Sophie Darlington]: And it’s that hand-in-hand science and wildlife filmmaking going together, so we’re building and working on the research
that’s been done here for years and without the National Science Foundation
we couldn’t have done it.

Comments (5)

  1. Weird, No " icewall " to be seen. Bwahahahaaa

  2. how that little bird resist
    against extremely cold

  3. Thank you for sharing this lovely background story of the work they do behind the scenes.
    It puts our daily life here in civilization in perspective

  4. I guess no one is totally happy about there job. I believe that we all expect it to be a hostile environment. That's why nobody is there.

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