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Free Content Calls of the wild? ‘Fake’ sound effects and cinematic realism in BBC David Attenborough nature documentaries

The BBC’s Planet Earth II represented a landmark in natural history documentary television, using the latest technologies to capture nature in ways never before seen or heard. But the series was mired in accusations of ‘fakery’ and ‘trickery’ when it came to the sound, due to its entirely post-production soundtrack. This article explores these accusations in the context of the history of Attenborough documentaries and contemporary practice.

Keywords: David Attenborough; documentary film; natural history; nature; realism; sound

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • The Soundtrack is a multi-disciplinary journal which brings together research in the area of music and sound in relation to film and other moving image media. A complex cultural, technological, industrial and artistic phenomenon, sound-with-moving image is a rich area for analysis, investigation and speculation. We encourage writing that is accessible to audiences from a diversity of intellectual backgrounds and disciplines as well as providing a forum for practitioners. The Soundtrack's aim is to nurture this new and expanding area of academic investigation in dialogue with soundtrack producers of all kinds.
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