Behind the Scenes With Deep Look: The Diva Decorator Crabs

by birtanpublished on September 15, 2020

– Deep Look is a web science series produced by KQED that gives viewers a unique view of the natural world by showing them animals and plants that are very, very small. – We really like it when the answer to like, a big scientific question, can be found

By really zooming in on our subject. – We wanted to create a sense of magic and wonder around nature. I've been trying to locate a tree in San Diego. It's really a collaborative show. The stories are all discovered by the individual producers,

But then workshopped among the three of us as well as with our host, Lauren Sommer. – So for this shot … The producers come back with these really incredible images out in the field. And when they get back, I work with them

On shaping that story, what are the really fascinating tidbits there? – The main challenge of producing Deep Look is that animals and plants are on their own schedule. We went out to film the decorator crabs. We waited almost two full days,

And in the afternoon of the second day, they finally decorated for a total of about 15 minutes. – Doing this type of cinematography is incredibly difficult. And it's not always the kind of thing where we can look into the camera as we're filming

And know that we got our shot. Often we don't even know whether we got it until we are actually sitting in the edit room and looking at the footage. – Filming in the wild is always fun, but it's always super challenging.

The tide pools are a perfect example of a place that's constantly changing. The waves can be coming in, you can never really focus completely on whatever it is you're looking at, because you have to keep at least, you know,

One eye every once in a while on the waves to make sure you don't get swept out. I myself have spent a couple of very short trips into the ocean with my camera equipment, in the past. – We end up showing

A lot of visuals that are pretty gross, and that's because we're covering nature. And nature is beautiful and it's gross. – One of my favorite things about Deep Look is that we ask how and why things happen at a very tiny scale.

But out of that, we really discover some incredible universal truths that you never think would be there. – There's that moment when you're looking through the lens, and you see the animal or the plant, and they're doing that thing that the scientists described,

And it's so fantastic. I really hope that that's what we're conveying to viewers, is, "Look how amazing the natural world is." (dramatic music) – Hi there, it's Lauren. Hope you enjoyed getting a tiny glimpse

Of how we make Deep Look happen. Make sure to check out our episode on decorator crabs. They're very picky dressers. Because that piece of seaweed on their heads is life-saving camouflage. And, subscribe.

That way you won't miss what we're cooking up next. See you soon!

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