When we got the call from our friends at the BBC to work on a project with Dr. Sylvia Earle — one of the foremost thought leaders in marine biology and oceanography and President and Chairman of Mission Blue — we didn’t give it a second thought. Of course, we’d help.
In the past, we’ve worked with the BBC on several important documentary projects, including the new documentary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, which will air this year worldwide on the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy.
This new project, Perpetual Planet: Heroes of the Oceans, was produced with BBC Earth and featured drone photography of Dr. Earle in the place where she first fell in love with the ocean, Caladesi Island State Park near Clearwater Beach, on Florida’s west coast.
As an avid SCUBA diver and underwater cinematographer, it was such a thrill to work on this production. We planned to use one of our DJI Global Inspire 2 drones with the 6k X7 camera to capture incredible vistas over the land and sea with Dr. Earle on the beach.
Our main goal: To communicate just how special our oceans and marine ecosystems are, and why they’re so important to preserve and protect for future generations.
There was just one problem: It’s illegal to launch or land a drone in a Florida state park.
What’s not illegal: Flying a drone over a Florida state park.
One of the things we pride ourselves on is providing solutions for our clients. They’re not compromises, though. The solutions we offer leverage the challenges we’re presented with to make the production even better than it would have been otherwise.
It was also important to us to maintain our excellent relationship with the Florida State Parks system, which has been such an integral partner in some of our most-beloved projects.
In this case, we partnered with 2 Shea Charters, a SCUBA and fishing charter boat company out of Clearwater. We launched the DJI Inspire 2 drone from the boat and flew over Caladesi State Park to get the most beautiful establishing shots possible.
The rest of the crew was physically on the beach with Dr. Earle, shooting documentary style while we flew overhead with a DJI Inspire 2 in glorious 6K raw resolution to show off every detail of the natural beauty of the beach, the ocean and the park.
We chose the Inspire 2 with the X7 Super 35 camera not just for the resolution but for the speed to get to the beach from the boat, it’s excellent maneuverability and extended flight times.
It was incredibly inspiring and humbling to be with Dr. Earle in one of her favorite places where it all began. Her love of the oceans was palpable, and we were so honored to be a part of telling her story.
The footage we shot was used in the in the opening sequence and heavily throughout the documentary, which aired internationally on Wednesday, June 8, to commemorate World Oceans Day.
ICYMI, Perpetual Planet: Heroes of the Oceans is now streaming on NatGeo TV on the Discovery+ streaming service in the United States, and is available online to watch HERE.