The world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, the planet’s largest living organism, is a truly remarkable site to behold. Such an impressive subject is sure to garner attention, the latest of which is a Great Barrier Reef documentary that showcases this wonderland in greater detail than ever before.
The three-part one hour series was created by Cairns based company Digital Dimensions, and was produced by Britain’s BBC. The team allegedly spent weeks at sea in remote locations, shooting over 600-hours of underwater film in SCUBA and new high-tech gear that enabled them to stay underwater for greater lengths of time.
The team also deployed Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to capture what cinematographer and co-producer Richard Fitzpatrick says was footage exceeding Attenborough expectations, as it “has to be bigger and better”. This Great Barrier Reef documentary team also took to “bugging” reef hotspots with remote camera technology in order to minimise disturbance to wildlife, enticing animals into full view for the audience.
Whales were reportedly captured swimming a few feet from corals, while lemon sharks were captured in hunting mode and cameras were even attached to turtles, apparently in a harm free manner.
However, what greatly facilitated the filming of this phenomenal world was the collaboration of the project with James Cook University, and the aid of its giant scientific research tank. Here closeups of rare reef inhabitants were taken which would not have been possible in the wild.
Caught on film was the “precise microscopic details when corals bleach” – something that has never been filmed before. Although the most challenging aspect of this Great Barrier Reef documentary the crew faced was capturing a free-swimming coral polyp grow its stony exoskeleton.
Rarely explored lagoons were also captured in detail, as well as mountainous coral regions and cays barely above sea level. In all, 2300 km of the reef has been explored in extensive scope and detail, with the aid of technology that’s taken the team where no camera has gone before.
Viewers inspired by the Great Barrier Reef documentary can access this amazing place through any number of tours in the area, which are available from Thala Beach Lodge near Port Douglas, Cairns.