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6.- The Green Planet

Parasitic plants, hummingbirds, mockingbirds, lots of cactus and a pandemia were the ingredients to shoot this sequence for BBC's "The Green Planet"

During the pandemic period, travel had many restrictions and we had to manage to be able to fulfill the jobs assigned to us. A good example was the assignment of BBC Studios to carry out the sequence on the quintral del Quisco and the dispersal of its seeds by the Tench for the desert chapter for the series ¨The Green Planet¨.

For 2 years we planned to film the sequence in the Norte Chico, but the existing local restrictions due to the pandemic forced us to change our plans. We quickly had to find a new location with easy access and within the area close to Santiago, the capital of Chile. Finally we found the perfect place in the hills of Caleu, in TilTil and in the Cerro Colorado that is part of the Cerros de Renca, in whose hills I spent a large part of my life as a child, so I knew those places and their nature as the Palm of my hand.

After managing the corresponding filming permits, we made two filming trips, one in winter and the other in spring where we were able to film what they requested. Long days waiting for the little hummingbird to feed on the pollen of the quintral flowers and then for the tench to feed on the fruits that grow after flowering and finally to film the dispersal of the seeds when the tench defecates them on other cacti. But without a doubt the most complex part was filming the germination of the seeds with the timelapse technique and showing how they parasitize the cactus. To achieve this, we set up a provisional study on location but it was not enough, so later we collected the seeds and took them to our study on the Island of Chiloe and also in Pucon, in addition to a parallel study in England that was also trying to achieve the filming of the germination of the Quintral seed. Several weeks were necessary to achieve our goal but finally after trial and error and great teamwork the goal was achieved. A nice sequence narrated by Sir David Attenborough that you can see by clicking here.


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