Animals' behaviour has so many parallels to our own lives, says 'Serengeti' director

A pioneering series in every sense, 'Serengeti' follows the interconnected stories of a cast of Savannah animals over one year.

Published: 12th September 2019 10:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2019 01:02 PM   |  A+A-


A still from 'Serengeti'. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

One place, one shared story’ screams the poster for the new show, Serengeti, which makes a journey into the most unspoilt corners of Africa, to explore the hidden mysteries of the most iconic Savannah animals in the world.

A pioneering series in every sense, Serengeti follows the interconnected stories of a cast of Savannah animals over one year. With unique access to a pristine, unspoilt corner of the Serengeti, deep in the heart of Africa, the show captures the drama of the animals’ daily lives and the emotional moments they face.

Join a lonely lioness, exiled from her pride, a passionate baboon desperately trying to win back his lost love and a cheeky, fun-loving mongoose family on the lookout for a free lunch.

Packed with humour, heartbreak and nail-biting tension, Serengeti presents a world of real-life drama in breath-taking detail. Read on for an intimate experience of the wild...

READ | 'Serengeti' documentary series review: Soap opera with an all-animal cast

What is your new approach in Serengeti? What is the difference from your other natural history projects?

John Downer, the film director says: I’ve been making wildlife films of every kind for over 30 years, but this is different from all of them. I’ve always explored innovative ways of taking an audience into the animals’ world, but Serengeti was a chance to push the techniques and visual style even further and tell a story from the animal’s perspective in a location that I’ve always found very special.

The series takes place over a year, so we see how the seasons impact on our characters, and we share in their triumphs and their trials. Everything that’s shown is real footage and real behaviour, but we have used the kind of narrative techniques and characterisations that you would find in a drama serial to allow us to tell a dramatised story, weaving multiple storylines together to give audiences a new experience.

I’ve become increasingly interested in what drives the behaviour of animals and how the heart of what they do has so many parallels to our own lives; Serengeti is a chance to bring this connection to the fore.

The storytelling also takes a unique approach; although we based the original outline on what we expected to happen and the known impact of the seasons over a year, we very much wanted this to be the animal’s story, so we were always ready for the unexpected.

Events that happened that we could never have foreseen became key moments in the story, and the drama was constantly evolving.

Equally innovative approaches to editing, music and narration helped deliver our character’s personal stories in a fresh way. To complement innovations, the filmic style allowed us to immerse the audience into the animal world.

WATCH: Serengeti | Official Trailer, Narrated by Lupita Nyong'o

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