How—and Why—Filmmakers Fake Those Emotional Scenes in Nature Documentaries

Kirstin Fawcett
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Animals can’t talk or take cues from a camera operator, but BBC's Planet Earth still manages to make their daily lives look emotional, whimsical, and wild. As DSLRguide creator and host Simon Cade explains in the video below, filmmakers use fake sound effects and creative edits to spice up bland scenes, streamline weeks of footage into taut narrative arcs, and evoke compassion for the lead "characters," which are often helpless baby critters.

In short, those nature documentaries you see on TV aren’t 100 percent real—but let’s face it, they wouldn’t be quite as interesting (or as exciting) if they were.