On this week’s episode we talk to Dr Chadden Hunter, who is a Director and Producer at the BBC Natural History Unit, and has worked on blockbuster nature programmes like Planet Earth II, Frozen Planet and Wild Arabia. He discusses how he balances the desire to highlight conservation issues with the need to produce an entertaining series, the role new media can play in reaching global audiences, and what it’s like working with David Attenborough on the storytelling side. He also tells us why he has hope in the younger generation and their climate change activism.
In the news roundup the team discusses the misbehaviour of the press and platforms in the wake of terrorism, why Twitter’s podcast indicates its changing priorities, and make predictions about Apple’s next moves.
In our own words: Esther Kezia Thorpe
It was almost a year ago when some friends offered my husband and I last-minute tickets to see Planet Earth II Live in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The concert itself was stunning, but what made it even better was discovering that they’d also booked spaces at the pre-concert talk, going behind the scenes of filming the series.
Dr Chadden Hunter’s presentation was brilliant, and I wish I could have got him to retell all the details on this episode, from the time they got trapped in an old house by a bear to being knocked over by enthusiastic penguins. But it was his story of how he got into media from academia that really caught my attention, and made me realise he would make a really interesting podcast guest.
10 months later, following various scheduling issues (my favourite was ‘So sorry, I’ve got to get on a plane to Peru earlier than expected,’) I finally got to speak to him. Narrowing down a list of questions was a real challenge, as was keeping it relevant.
But as with all our guests, we only have 20 minutes with them, so I focused on how he uses filmmaking to carry conservation messages to a global audience, what he makes of the wave of anti climate change sentiment, and what it’s like working with David Attenborough.
The part I would like to personally highlight is when he talks about what we as individuals can do. In an age of social media, it’s easier than ever to hold the higher powers accountable, and that’s where the big differences to our planet’s future can be made.
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