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The Great Migration - Long Lens Action!

The Great Migration - Long Lens Action!

DoP Geraint Warrington has just completed filming the prestigious documentary series on the Migration of Wildebeest across the African Plains. “The Great Migration” is a 4 part 1 hour documentary series produced by Renegade Pictures for Five and BBC Worldwide. The documentaries are presented by Ben Fogle and produced by the same fantastic team that make New Lives in the Wild, led by Series Producer Natalie Wilkinson with Series Director Livia Simoka and AP’s Jo Young and Sophie Oliver.

GM-4The series took a whole year to film and was made up of 5 filming blocks. Most of the filming took place in Tanzania with 1 filming block taking place in Kenya’s Masai Mara to film the dramatic river crossings.

The series was a combination of Natural History filming and Ben’s Journey, meeting the scientist, the local people and the local tribes as the migration crossed from Tanzania into Kenya, then finally back to the birthing plains of the Serengeti. Geraint shared the DP duties with Pete Allibone, concentrating on the Natural History filming while Pete filmed the Documentary elements to the programmes.

The series was shot on the Sony PMW-F55, this was the perfect camera for the shoot, not only for the 4K sensor but for the high speed filming options. A lot of the wildlife filming was shot at 125–150 frames per second, filming at high speed gave Livia the Director some great slow motion footage of the Wildebeest, this was particularly dramatic on the river crossings. We also captured a Lion hunt as well as a Hyena hunting a Wildebeest all in high frame rate. Lens wise the new Canon CN20x50 PL zoom was used with it’s amazing 50–1000mm zoom range,

"The lens was hired from VMI and gave the most amazing range to capture the Natural History sequences. On earlier filming blocks we went with a Canon HJ40x14 with an IBE B4 to PL adaptor, this again gave the most amazing zoom range and the quality of the pictures held up well with the PL adapter. Thanks to VMI for supplying the long lenses for the production.

A truly amazing filming experience, it was a great honour to be the Director of Photography on this prestigious series. The series is scheduled to be transmitted in 2016 on Five and then Internationally through BBC Worldwide. Watch this space." Geraint Warrington


Filming with the F55 and the Canon CN20.  The team had a custom built Land Rover filming car with a tripod mount integrated to the vehicle.

GM-5GM-3The Team!

  • Presenter: Ben Fogle
  • Series Producer: Natalie Wilkinson
  • Series Director: Livia Simoka
  • AP: Sophie Oliver
  • DP Natural History/ Documentary: Me
  • DP Documentary: Pete Allibone
  • Camera Assistant: Ross Pimlott, Jackson Wardle
  • Sound: Lanny, also Olly Astles Jones, Simon Koelmeyer
  • Line Producer: Claire Bugden

GM-2The dramatic River Crossings in Kenya.

GM-7The Ngorongoro crater, part of the conservation area in Tanzania.

With special thanks to Geraint Warrington for the reproduction of his blog

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