99% Invisible: Sounds Natural | KALW

99% Invisible: Sounds Natural

May 26, 2018

Of course, there’s some level of illusion in all film-making, even in nature documentary film. Filmmakers choose their shots and edit footage to form a narrative. In some cases, these illusions can help tell the truth about animals, but not always.  Filmmakers sometimes lure wildlife closer to the cameras or harass animals to get them to do something exciting.  

And then there’s the question of sound. In most wildlife films, the sounds you hear were not recorded while the cameras were rolling. Most filmmakers use long telephoto lenses to film animals, but there’s no sonic equivalent of a zoom lens. Good audio requires a microphone close to the source of the sound, which can be difficult and dangerous [...]