Everyone has wanted to fly at some point in their life. Unfortunately for most of us, watching this unbelievable trailer about Discovery's Winged Planet is the closest we'll ever come to actually flying. That's okay thought because the footage is unbelievable—cameras were mounted onto birds to see life from their point of view.
Though we've seen helmet cam footage from a bird's perspective before, it was never like this. Winged Planet is not some one-off experiment, this video shows what it's like to be embedded with a flock of birds. You can see different environments, flying formations, life, death, hunting and so much more. It's a bird's life like we've never seen it before. Here's how they pulled it off:
What we had to do was strip down the highest-quality, but smallest HD camera available. We had to engineer it so it was basically a circuit board, a chip, a lens, and batteries. We had to make sure it was as light as possible, but we also needed it to record slow-motion. We wanted to film 50 fps rather than 25 which is normal [The standard in the US is 30 or 60 fps]. So, we had to make the cameras and the mounts so the bird could fly naturally and feel comfortable.
It also needed an extremely wide lens. You don't to see just the bird's perspective, you want to see the bird in the frame as well.
It's so unbelievably real it almost looks CGI. Watch the trailer of Winged Planet below and be sure to check out Pop Photo's interview with Winged Planet's Director John Downer here. [Discovery via Pop Photo]