OzyLellowen: I’m not surprised. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to get studio quality sound alongside the hidden cameras, let alone filtering and balancing.
billbixbyakahulk: Of course. You ever try to put a lapel mic on a poison arrow frog? Ever interview a bullet ant that didn’t degrade into a rant about the Second Amendment?
proctor_of_the_Realm: Explains the scene:
The lioness and the leader of the pride roar as they mate.
Plays sound: Flies buzzing around.
DisasterRat: “99% Invisible” Podcast Episode 38- Sound of Sport
It’s an interview with the audio engineer that adds sounds to broadcast sports including the olympics. It’s fascinating WHY they have to add it and how we genuinely don’t notice it’s fake. Apparently we have been listening to the same “horse race” for decades
Gilgie: Are people worried the lion will be misquoted? The dolphins statements will be taken out of context.
BeyondWikipedia: Documentaries about the deep sea have sound effects of the water critters squishing about.
chefdangerdagger: Isn’t this obvious? It’s not like they’ve got boom mic operators running after the giraffes…
holysocks: [this pretty much goes for all nature docs]
ClippinWings451: That is true of most professionally produced video.
imnotanmra: This is extremely obvious if you watch it.
realotismusic: I’m an audio engineer/producer by trade and I’ve worked on a few projects for the BBC in relation to post-production audio (which is what you are referring to). From my experience, I am given a copy of the live-take, with audio from the original shot included (which ranges from just occasional breathing from the camera team or actual sounds produced by the environment/animals) and then my job would be to use that as a template to design an entirely new soundstage. It’s a really interesting job because you can build the soundstage from a mix of foley sound and existing library sounds, which gives you a polished but also authentic final product.
Cebby89: Wow yeah I remember watching the blue planet series (i think), there was an episode called “the deep” and it was about sea life at the bottom of the ocean. Most the sounds were made with synths, I love it so much.
Adamaaa123: This is the same for any movie or tv show. nearly all sound is added in post production.
20000Fish: This just in: Editors edit their films.
lennyflank: That is true of virtually any documentary. It is very hard to record usable sound outside of a studio. Even the dialogue is usually re-recorded later in a studio and dubbed in.
crazylsufan: I’ve been bamboozled
JamesWjRose: At the beginning of this year I recorded what may be the first real-time passage through the Panama Canal, [watch here: 11 hours](https://youtu.be/mZEog6hxFwc) and I had to replace most of the audio because of wind and distance to subject matter. While I am not a professional film maker (understatement!) it does allow me to grasp why they have to add audio
justgiveausernamepls: Entire video: “Editors add sound effects and tie together various shots to create and support narratives. I’m fine with that”
It does annoy me when they insert sound effects that are likely incorrect. A lot of movement gets ‘illustrative’ sounds added, like tiny legs chittering or sea creatures going ‘bloop’.
That annoys the hell out of me because it’s literally misinformation for the sake of entertainment – in a format labeled ‘documentary’.
caspissinclair: In over 30% of the scenes Sir David Attenborough is just in a studio reading lines.
calmurjets: Most documentaries are
yakov_perelman: It’s obvious when You are hearing footsteps in a drone footage.
ChochaCacaCulo: There was a really interesting episode of the podcast 99% Invisible where Roman Mars interviewed a man that makes the sound effects for these things. I highly recommend it!
ghostoftheuniverse: I have a legit question, how objective are these videographers? I seem to recall a few of the more high frame-rate “glamour” shots of kingfishers diving for a fish and great white sharks breaching the waves and striking a “seal.” I understand that these documentarians are patient, but some of these shots are too perfect to have been lucky. How common is it to stage shots?
bulldog0256: There is a documentary that floats around on line about this. Before it was just about how audio equipment was difficult to use for wildlife videos, but in modern times it’s mostly about audiences expecting certain sounds from animals and not believing the real sounds are authentic. IIRC, there is a part about elephant footsteps being extremely quiet, but audiences expect them to make a louder sound
Douldy: This is the way tv sound is made. How do I know this? I make tv sound.
ZetaInk: Well yeah, but it’s not like they are pulling “sound of sparrow shitting” for when the lioness yawns. One would hope that they would try to be as accurate as possible with the samples of actual animal noises. They might need to bring in foley work for like… the giraffe running across the desert because they are filming that from a super loud helicopter way up in the air. Honestly, though, I don’t feel like that kind of thing is going to affect the accuracy of the production all that much.
SuadiArabia: I have so many questions about Planet Earth. Like how do they get their cameras right in the middle of Shakespearean animal action? Patience, luck, studio editing? Many scenes blow me away but some I am suspicious that there might be some splicing in the studio.
Heknarf: This is very evident in the new Blue Planet.
oldtimeguitarguy: That’s the same with pretty much every nature documentary ever made
phobos28km: Not all of the animals are in the wild either.
annamurphAY: Well yeah the obvious which means general most of the time in life reason is that it’s underwhelming.
laststance: Isn’t the BBC also known for creating “mini-sets” on sound stages to reproduce a “wild” shot?
stormysunshine: I watched that doc just the other day and Bambi most definitely did not get away… I wonder if this was a meta “fake” ending?
This podcast goes over this! Really interesting!
hazbutler: Honestly, its the part of the series that bothers me. It sounds comical in some places and takes away from the authenticity.
artifex28: Audio guy here.
The same applies to almost every nature documentary.
The sounds are often also plain wrong (on purpose). As in, that animal wouldn’t make that sound, but you won’t know the difference – and it fits the picture.
Jph1998: It’s known as hyper-realism, adding what sound like natural sound effects to enhance the viewers experience. And as an audio engineer I fucking love it. It pays so well 😂
phil8248: Some bird watchers have such acute hearing they pick individual bird calls out of a cacophony. Some golf show producers added bird audio files to their broadcasts and birders called them on it because they were adding species never seen where the golf tournaments were taking place. http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/090700/spg_3998936.html#.WiaAx0qnF1s
Skiingfun: Yeah well I just don’t think the show would have been as popular if you heard nothing helicopter and drone propellers.
Bigtsez: Not all of it is filmed “in nature,” either. I stayed at a guest house in Belize where the operator was a nature documentarian. He showed me his studio where he had several large terrarium sets – they would capture the animals in question from the rainforest, let them acclimate for a few days, then start filming them – the only way they are able to get extreme close-ups of extraordinary behavior. His footage appears in both Planet Earth series.
His best story involved an episode on vampire bats. In order to get the bats ready to demonstrate their biting behavior on the show’s host, he had to acclimate them to biting humans on their movie set. So, he would lie down with one of his legs exposed in the set and let them feed off of him.
wetbandit48: It’s painfully obvious and it really ruins the authenticity for me. The editing fabricates fascinating story lines but this become overdone at times. I’d rather have more raw uncut story lines to see the natural beauty instead of hyper produced story lines. Having said that I still love the show. I just wish they gave the viewers more credit
SpKK_: There are some things…that I would prefer to remain ignorant to.
Jeffoir: I kinda wish I didn’t know that. Ignorance is bliss sometimes
rubberhead: This is true of almost any film or tv show.
Nell_Trent: I’d rather no audio, or just the background music that plays anyway. Oftentimes the fake sounds don’t actually line up correctly. It is very off-putting.
Sithis74: I didn’t want to know that 🙁
neededanother: ITT: People that didn’t watch the video.
inb4 FTFY: Redditers
ihugyou: What a dumb video. Of course, the sounds are “fake”. The stupid title of the video does injustice to the quality of the film produced by Planet Earth.
Osiris62: This is news? It’s so obvious, for all the reasons stated. But the shows are still great. Do we have to tear EVERYTHING down?
samusmaster64: How does this surprise people? Give it a moments thought and you realize live audio is not possible in most of these filming situations.
ItsMrQ: I figured, and it makes sense. Its kind of off putting in some parts but the visuals and story telling they do with them, more than make up for the lack of sound authenticity.
nachoproblem: I’ve actually really enjoyed it on mute before.
burritosandblunts: Reminds me of movies and games and stuff when you use binoculars but suddenly also have super hearing too. It just doesn’t work that way but it’s easier to deal with than you’d think.
thrash242: That’s true of most nature documentaries. There was an episode of some podcast about it. 99% Invisible maybe.
onlineguy1234: Well they are filming most shots from so far away this is kinda obvious.
NomadPNW: The entire Blue Planet series is anthropomorphised to play into human emotions. Make the audience be more able to relate to the wildlife. You can watch any movie or documentary and find that the majority of the sound effects are exactly that… effects, fake.
thelonghauls: So…like most porn from the 80’s, then. I mean, if what my friends tell me is true.
Imperium_Dragon: Makes sense. It’d be a miracle to get good audio all the time.
RhymesWithYes: I’m picturing a giraffe chewing on a boom… not something you can fix in post.
Koolaidflavamix: No such thing as gyro-stabilized ultra-telescopic microphones yet.
LsDmT: thought this was common knowledge honestly
RestlessSubjective: I mean… that’s cool with me, though. Ffs there are like seven people *total* in the world that could identify the difference between a lizard licking its eye and the faked sound of a lizard licking its eye and then actually take the time to *complain* about it.
But still an interesting tidbit to know now, I guess. Guess I’ll have to listen to some lizards, now.
weequay1189: Foley studios have been used since the beginning of documentary filmmaking. Sir David Attenborough talks about it in his memoirs “Life on Air.” He discusses how a lot of eating sound effects are created by one woman eating food in front of a microphone. This tradition has been carried out for the last 50+ years.
Other things he discusses are how not everything you see is natural, some of it is set up. In the Zoo Quest series there was a segment about a flying snake, a snake that widens its ribs to fall more slowly, and to get the shot they threw the snake off the top of a ladder. It demonstrates natural behavior even if it was in an unnatural circumstance and then edited to make it look natural. The Life series did this in the plants episode by setting up a garden in an indoor studio and then shooting it in time lapse. Blue Planet II did this by shooting several scenes in aquarium tanks.
tygrenier: The teams need to be as small and lightly burdened as possible most times, and the sounds probably wouldn’t be great quality and so focused/isolated on the target if they captured on-scene.
Edit: cuz I rushed to finish when my OW match popped.
ZeSvensk: I had always thought that the camera people were just amazingly silent. Now I’m bummed. I’d rather picture god like silence while filming penguins.
combatonly: I don’t see why anyone thinks this is a problem, kudos to the Planet Earth crew for giving us a more immersive experience.
2old2care: This is true of the vast majority of films of any kind. Maybe the dialog track of a movie is authentic. Maybe.
tjw_: I thought this was common knowledge. This is an entertainment television series which does a fantastic job of capturing wildlife footage and a pretty good job of commentating. It isn’t perfect and an expert would be able to point out many misleading events or statements but you don’t watch it to become an expert. You watch it to learn something new at a level which is understandable and relatable.
By the way, an expert can point out errors in just about anything. Even the textbooks we use in school which are widely regarded as excellent sources of information have misleading statements caused by oversimplification or unconfirmed theories.
JordanSchor: This is true for a good chunk of most major productions
sugarmatterz: BAMBI LIVES!!!
kiwijungle: Wow. I’m not even mad…I’m actually really impressed
Carnifex4: Why are people upset by this though? I can’t think of any modern film that would use 100% real audio…
optoomistic: That “editor” shot of keyboard and mouse was used twice. FAKE NEWS
megamanxtc: Years of video games and watching cartoons conditioned me to hear and identify these sound bytes in movies and tv
Moforia: Watch the deep sea video and you’ll completely understand this.
ConoRiot: Booo, I remember a scene with a fish spitting out mud and sand in the water making a ‘ptouy’ sound. Really cracked me up.
AmagicalFishy: honestly i really don’t like all those sounds. most of them are *obviously* fake
Soylent_Hero: Has anyone watched the 4K release yet? I have the player at home and a bunch of movies, but can’t justify buying PE2 to just look at, but was wanting to use it at work.
julysfire: [Animals need a good yell too](https://youtu.be/Bkq1PAyGuZY)
catsan: Do they dub birdsong? Because the lyre bird clip is pretty widespread…
Jerry_McPhee: Was this supposed to discredit these docs? Because to me it made it cooler.
Davath0r: And the whole time I thought Morgan Freeman was actually watching that shit go down while talking about it
kungfueh: This really bothers me when I watch it (and blue planet). That, and when they cut together parts that were obviously shot ages apart/of a different animal to try to tell a story.
tumbl3weed: This goes for 100% of movies / tv
Source: am sound designer. Is job
Sumodenden: That’s the way most nature films are.
AngrySnowball: I’m disappointed but not surprised
nvrnxt: That must’ve been one hellavu karaoke night at the National Zoo.
boli99: I think I’d prefer it without the orchestra though. Overlaid appropriate sound effects are one thing, and are understandable, but the music is a bit annoying.
AlexGianakakis: I thought this was obvious, I could tell that just by watching the new series.
ed_case: This is not strictly true. For most of the long lens and ‘action’ stuff, sound is foleyed in after, but the actual sound beds, roars animal calls etc are real. There are field soundmen who spend weeks capturing the audio and sounds on location, those are then married up to the footage in post.
Source: spent most of yesterday sorting through the BBC NHU sound effects archive looking for specific wild animal sounds.