Serengeti is a BBC One wildlife show currently airing on Thursday evenings. Set in the Tanzanian wildlife park, it features sweeping shots of the savannah as well as startling footage of wildlife interaction. Here’s everything you need to know about how the wildlife programme was filmed and whether the storylines are real.
Is Serengeti CGI?
Serengeti is a new BBC One wildlife documentary looking at the complex interactions of the animals in the Serengeti National Park.
Airing each Thursday at 8pm, the show follows individual and partly fictionalised stories of the wildlife in the show.
The series was directed by wildlife filmmaker John Downer and shows animals up close and personal.
Many have wondered how the footage was captured as it contains storylines of that have been dramatised.
To achieve this, the animals were given names in the show so that audiences could follow their lives.
In a piece for the BBC, Downer admitted that to achieve this they sometimes used different animals to portray the same characters.
He wrote: “The named characters aren’t always the same animal every time we see them.
“Sometimes they are the same individual throughout but the more complex storylines are enhanced by behaviour captured of similar animals facing the same real-life challenges.”
He also explained that the makers decided to do this to be able tell dramatic storylines showing all the trials, disappointments and triumphs that the species face.
“This dramatised account aims to present a complete picture of an animal’s life that would be difficult to show any other way,” he added.
However, he did point out that no CGI was used in the making of the show.
He said: “No animals were created using CGI but occasionally compositing techniques, which combine real footage, have been used to help the narrative and the dramatic flow of scenes.”
Filming in the national park took place over two years with filmmakers using innovative camera techniques to film the animals.
This included filming with cameras that travel with the animals wherever they went on stabilised camera systems.
As well as this, the creators used drones and spy camera techniques to capture the real lives of the wildlife.
The official BBC synopsis reads: “The series follows the interconnected stories of a cast of savannah animals over one year, in a bold new format.
“From warthogs to lions, mongoose to cheetahs, a cast of our favourite African animal characters will be filmed closer and more intimately than ever before, using groundbreaking filming techniques and pioneering technology, including drone technology and the use of multiple stabilised camera systems.”
Episode one of the dramatised series follows the stories of Kali, a lioness who is exiled after birthing cubs from an outsider and is is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
The next episode of the show will be available to watch on BBC One tonight at 8pm.
Star Wars actor John Boyega narrates all of six episodes of the wildlife show.
Serengeti airs Thursdays at 8pm on BBC One
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