Wild China 美丽中国纪录片

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“We want the Chinese to feel proud of their countryside and wildlife, to care about it and to seek to ensure its survival. We also hope to redress the negative view of China’s environment propagated in western media.”
— Series Producer Phil Chapman, writing in BBC Wildlife magazine

Wild China is a six-part nature documentary series on the natural history of China, co-produced by the BBC Natural History Unit and China Central Television (CCTV) and filmed entirely in high-definition (HD).

With wildlife filmmaking in its infancy in China, and a perception in the developed world of a country plagued by environmental problems, the producers hoped that the series would change attitudes in both the East and the West. Filming for the series took place over 16 months, and involved half a million miles of travel on 57 separate filming trips to some of China’s most inaccessible and spectacular locations. The production team shot over 500 hours of HD footage in 26 of China’s 30 provinces.

Despite being granted unprecedented access to many remote and protected areas, one of the main challenges faced by the filmmakers was finding wildlife. Although 15% of China’s territory has some form of protection, this is not a guarantee of safety for wildlife, as reserves were often found to be under-equipped and under-staffed. In addition, they encountered a lack of local expertise and specialist knowledge, as few of China’s zoologists were naturalists with an interest in observing wildlife. Producers even struggled to film the courting behaviour of one of the country’s commonest creatures, the rice-paddy frog. Consequently, the team’s attempts to find and film wildlife were not always successful.

With the support of local party officials, the producers found it easier to contact and film local people. They were particularly keen to record examples of traditional lifestyles which incorporate the natural world to give the series a cultural context. The episodes were divided by region to present the distinct cultural as well as ecological differences.

《美丽中国》是第一部表现中国野生动植物和自然人文景观的大型电视纪录片,也是中国中央电视台(CCTV)和英国广播公司(BBC)第一次联合摄制的作品。该纪录片历时4年拍摄,使用航拍、红外、高速、延时和水下等先进摄影技术,记录了大量珍贵、精彩的画面,呈现出前所未有的立体角度,向世人展示了中国“天人合一”思想的独特魅力。《美丽中国》曾荣获第30届“艾美奖新闻与纪录片大奖”最佳自然历史纪录片摄影奖、最佳剪辑奖和最佳音乐与音效奖。

《美丽中国》从技巧、内容、精神上都是纪录片创作的典范,它生动、深刻地展示了自然类纪录片应该如何从纪实的品格上升到思维的品格,引发人们对人与大自然的重视审视与深刻反思。同时,作为普通观众,人们在欣赏自然类纪录片时,不能简单停留在一种表象的震撼上,应当怀有一种思维品格,站在一个更高的角度上来欣赏和思考自然类纪录片所展现的美丽的、震撼的视觉语言。

Filming techniques

Over 80% of the series was based on traditional observational techniques in the wild. These were conducted in some of China’s most remote areas:

1)Apart from a handful of biologists, the Wild China team were the first to set foot in Tibet’s remote Chang Tang reserve for almost 100 years. After a five-day drive from Lhasa, they were faced with the challenge of filming rutting chiru in temperatures of -30°C at 5,000m above sea level. The sequence showing a duel between two rival males was successfully filmed after staking out the herds for seven days.
2)After two unsuccessful attempts to film wild giant pandas in the Qinling Mountains, the producers switched to a different part of the region, the little-visited Changqing Reserve. Here they were able to track and film the creatures in winter, and also film courtship and mating activity, the first time such a complete sequence has been shot in the wild.
3)Producer Kathryn Jeffs and cameraman Paul Stewart travelled to the remote Gaoligongshan mountains in western Yunnan and after a three-hour trek to a ridge overlooking the forest, managed to film a troop of bear macaques feeding on fruits in the canopy. A second sequence showing white-eared pheasants at a rarely seen lek was ruined when the birds were disturbed.

Certain sequences could only be filmed using special techniques:

1)High speed cameras were used to slow down the action 80 times to show a songbird evading the lunge of a Pallas’ pit viper on Shedao Island.
2)A time-lapse sequence of a remote Tibetan gorge was filmed using still images taken at intervals after the main filming camera broke down.
3)Infrared lighting enabled the team to film Francois langurs and bamboo bats covertly.
4)Thermal imaging cameras were used to show how the elephant yam uses convection heating at night to distribute its distinctive smell, which attracts pollinating beetles.

In some circumstances behaviour was too difficult to obtain in the wild, and controlled conditions were required:

1)Bamboo rats and Roborovski hamsters were filmed in subterranean burrows with glass side panels in a studio set.
2)The producers negotiated an agreement to take Chinese alligator eggs from an incubator at the Xuancheng breeding centre and place them in an artificial nest to film them hatching.
3)The courtship display of Temminck’s tragopans was filmed using a captive pair of birds habituated to the presence of humans. Hunting pressure has made the wild birds in Yunnan too wary to approach.
4)The slowed-down images of jumping spiders on Everest could not be filmed in the wild due to the impracticality of transporting high-speed camera equipment to the remote location, so a closely related species was filmed in a studio set.

拍摄

超过80%的影片拍摄都是在野外采用传统观测手段。这些区域多为中国最为偏远的地方:

1)告别了生物学家,摄制组成为了近100年来首次抵达西藏最为偏远的北部草原——羌塘保护区的人类。经过了从拉萨出发后经过5天的行程,摄制组面临的最大挑战就是在海拔5000米、-30出发后经过5天的行程,摄制组面临的最大挑战就是在海拔5000米、-30°C的条件下拍摄发情期的藏羚羊。经过7天,摄制组成功地拍摄到了两头雄性藏羚羊之间的角斗。
2)在秦岭两次尝试拍摄野生大熊猫失败后,摄制组转到另外的一处保护区——长青自然保护区,在此,摄制组拍摄到了冬季大熊猫的活动,并首次完整记录到野生大熊猫的求偶和交配活动。
3)制片人Kathryn Jeffs和摄影师PaulStewart前往云南西部偏远的高黎贡山,经过3个小时的搭乘牛车,抵达山脊处,拍摄到了森林的鸟瞰画面,以及一群短尾猴在树冠上觅食的画面。另一组镜头罕见地展示了一群白马鸡进行群集展示,但却被扰乱而终止。

使用特殊技术拍摄的一些镜头画面:

1)在蛇岛拍摄一只金丝雀逃离中亚蝮的捕食时,使用高速摄像机,拍摄到了画面速度降低了80倍的镜头。
2)红外照射被用于黑叶猴和扁颅蝠的拍摄中。热成像摄影机在拍摄滇南魔芋时被使用。

由于一些行为难以在野外拍摄,遂采用特殊手段拍摄的有:

1)扁颅蝠和竹鼠的拍摄也是在摄影棚内采用地下透明玻璃管道拍摄完成。
2)摄制组与当地保护区达成协议,从宣城繁育中心取走扬子鳄卵,采用人工巢穴以拍摄孵化过程。
3)红腹角雉的求偶行为是用一对在英国饲养的红腹角雉所拍摄的,野外的红腹角雉因备受捕猎威胁而相当难接近。
4)珠穆朗玛跳蛛在珠穆朗玛峰捕食的特写镜头因摄像机过重的原因而无法在野外完成,而改于摄影棚内完成。

Episodes

Video

English

Name

Chinese

Name

1

“Heart of the Dragon”

《锦绣华南》

2

“Shangri-La”

《云翔天边》

3

“Tibet”

《神奇高原》

4

“Beyond the Great Wall”

《风雪塞外》

5

“Land of the Panda”

《沃土中原》

6

“Tides of Change”

《潮涌海岸》

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