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Earth From Space

VFX for a Pioneering Production

Earth from Space is a landmark BBC One four-part series that sets out to provide new insights into our planet by expanding the range of perspectives we can view it from. This has been achieved by capturing imagery from satellites in different orbits as well as shooting via more conventional vantage points: from helicopters, drones and on the ground.

Moonraker VFX were commissioned by BBC Studios to maximise the impact of the pioneering footage being captured for the series. The team worked with satellite image providers to capture stunning new images of the Earth.

The satellites act as a camera within the series narrative that provides a unique and ground-breaking view of life on earth. A pioneering part of the production process was shooting an event by drone or on the ground, while the same event is being captured simultaneously in real time from space.

In addition, Moonraker worked with the BBC to replay lapsed time satellite footage in the clearest way possible to achieve the greatest impact.

Graham Stott, Creative Lead explains: “One of the greatest challenges we faced on Earth From Space was executing the drone to Earth orbit pullout shots. Technically it’s a question of precise alignment of tracked drone footage and ground survey, multiple satellite image captures and our Earth asset. Furthermore, it takes a huge amount of accuracy and control to send a camera smoothly down from orbit, to a drone shot only a few metres above the Earth.”

“Fortunately we had a great collaborative relationship with the Earth From Space team in the pre-shoot phase allowing us to plan the drone flights well in advance. This ensured we had superb material with which to execute the shots to an unprecedented standard.”

Jon Grafton, Managing Director says: “Earth From Space has been a joy to work on. The footage being captured by the producers is breathtaking and the seamless transitions we’re creating from one camera to another are producing shots that have never been seen before”

Simon Clarke, Creative Director adds: “We are delighted to be working with the BBC again at the cutting edge of film making and camera technology to deliver new arresting views of our planet. As satellite and aerial capturing techniques have evolved, so has our approach to the integration of this into our pipeline, the detail of the imagery we are creating now is mind blowing”.

Key Credits

Broadcaster: BBC
Production Company: BBC NHU
Executive Producer: Jo Shinner
Series Producer: Chloe Sarosh
Series Director: Barny Revill
VFX Creative Director: Simon Clarke
VFX Creative Lead: Graham Stott
VFX Producers: Jon Grafton And Scott Metcalfe