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EBS Docuprime UHD Nature Documentary ‘Green Animal’ Press Conference

  • Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 12:50 pm
  • ACROFAN=Jae-Yong Ryu
EBS held a press conference before the first broadcasting of EBS Docuprime ‘Green Animal,’ showing plants behaving with strong desire and instinct from a unique vision and perspective of ‘Plant is animal’ point of view, on January, 18, 2016.

Capturing plants evolving and using animals for survival and propagation in 4K UHD, ‘Green Animal’ is a documentary with beautiful scenes of dynamic aspects of plants which are thought to be static.

*Broadcast schedule : 2016. 01. 18(Mon) ~ 01. 20(Wed) PM 09:50, EBS1

▲ Seung-woo Son PD, in charge of directing and script of EBS UHD nature documentary ‘Green Animal,’ introduced the program.

With 4K UHD quality, EBS Docuprime ‘Green Animal’ is a documentary of plants’ life stories by looking for wonderful plants on the Earth by visiting five major oceans and six major continents for about two years. It shows nature’s beautiful scenes with a secret of primal, and illuminates plants which were discounted as static existences with a new point of view. It follows plants’ lives with the actor Sung-hwa Jung’s narration.

As plants cannot move, they couldn’t choose good land by themselves. The program reveals plants’ dynamic movements and strategies for survival and their unimaginable life stories. It lively describes images of plants moving for survival by fair means or foul through interval filming, micrography, and electron microscope. With a high speed camera, it also captured even a hundredth of a second movement created by plants.

Part one, ‘mating,’ contains scenes of plants solving sexual appetite through various mating methods. You can see a variety of views of plants attracting pollination mediator for mating, such as ‘Titan Arum,’ the size of 3m and attracting flies by stinking and increasing its temperature, ‘Hammer Orchid,’ attracting male wasps by its same appearance with a female wasp, and ‘Cypripedium japonicum’ which entraps bees for its mating.

Part two, ‘propagating,’ shows plants with the strongest desire of reproduction than any other live things on the Earth. It introduces how plants, the only producers of the Earth, solve their reproduction appetite, such as ‘Erodium stephanianum Wild,’ digging into the ground like a drill, ‘Giant sequoia,’ surviving even in the environment with temperature higher than 200︒C such as forest fire to put out its seeds, and Koelreuteria seeds which travels 3500 kilometers.

Part three, ‘hunger,’ examines survival strategies of hungry plants trying to survive from barren soil. Plants exist anywhere on the Earth that they can survive from barren soil, between jewels, or even on electric wires. Plants such as ‘Cuscuta australis R.Br,’ a parasitic plant hunting through scenting, ‘Nepenthes lowii,’ having evolved as an appearance of a toilet to use animal refuse as nutrients, and ‘Rhaphidophora,’ making holes on its leaves to hunt sunlight, are illuminated their animal-like behaviors through creative survival methods and strategies created by themselves.

▲ Through ‘Green Anima’, witness the innovation of EBS UHD documentary.

Seung-woo Son said “You might feel strange when see the title ‘Green Animal.’ People mostly consider that the opposite word of ‘animal’ is ‘plant,’ and I also personally thought the same way. However, I have been thinking that plants are not much different from animals since I started to look closely of plants. Then I started this program.”

He told about some abstruse things during filming “In the aspect of period, the longest period spent to film a plant was about three months, and it was filming of a leaf changing. But the most memorable difficult work was to film ‘Nepenthes lowii.’ This plant has the best form for tree shrews to defecate in the best position. There had been some programs that filmed Nepenthes lowii, but we filmed the scene of tree shrew defecating for the first.” The episode was also mentioned. He said “Filming was progressed on mountainous areas of 2700 meters in Mulu, Malaysia. Since the plant grows on top of the mountain, we climbed for three days with some food and porters. However, filming took only two hours. A tree shrew fortunately defecated right away.” Also, he said “I remember the biggest flower, Titan Arum. ‘Titan Arum’ has the height of 3 meters, so it was hard to film the flower due to having enough height and a fixing device of camera. To film from the top, we trimmed surroundings and built a cabin. Without the native’s help, we couldn’t film bird’s-eye view scenes.”

Among about 50 species of plants on film, the most favorite plant is ‘Erodium stephanianum Willd.’ Seung-woo Son said “I accidentally found Erodium stephanianum Wild when I went to Australia for filming. During filming Zaspilothynnus trilobatus, I opened the door and found the plant. The seed was unique. I had been thinking by looking at the seed, and talking about plants’ desire and appetite. At that time, I acutely realized that plants have desire and appetite. That kind of shape is almost impossible for humans to make.” He also said “Though it is also explained in the film, it isn’t simply digging into the ground. It fits the digging angle to the right angle by rotating its tail. After planting the seed, it has to be watered. So the period of digging fits the timing when the weather is rainy. If a rotating part is untied, it will be failed. It will be tied again when the weather is sunny. This will allow digging into the ground again when it is raining.”

Meanwhile, Acrofan asked two questions related to UHD production and got answers. The following is the arrangement of question-and-answer session.

1. (Acrofan) A content involving plants is very rare. By format standards, it almost jumped over from SD to UHD. What assessment was about in domestic and foreign trade fair?

(Seung-woo Son) 800 million won was invested into the production of this film. Among them, 500 million won was supported by UHD content enterprise from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

In the process, we gave presentation at RAPA(Korea Radio Promotion Association). Our ‘Green Animal’ proposal was ranked 2nd of all entries. Maybe results talks all, but we think that shows the plants to people who feel boring about watching animal is good choice.

2. (Acrofan) Related to terrestrial UHD content production, there are some sponsor agreements of Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and etc. How were the supports from these UHD relevant enterprises or institutions?

Supporting business is supported from largely two parts. Electronic industry and home shopping industry arranged fund, and we were also financially supported by government. There are several parts in it, and ‘Green Animal’ is a work supported fund from home shopping industry. At that time, it was also being judged for supports by electronic industry. Samsung/LG Electronics had a condition that the production should be done in eight months. Since a plants documentary includes changes of season, I didn’t enter it.