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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » They Said It Couldn't Be Done: In-Flight Movie

They Said It Couldn't Be Done: In-Flight Movie  (1999)

Alan Hayward filming an imprinted pigeon for In-Flight Movie

Discussing a truly groundbreaking production, They Said It Couldn't Be Done: In-Flight Movie sees David Attenborough chatting with award-winning cameraman John Downer. In front of an audience at the Royal Geographical Society, John shares the inventive filming methods he employed, with photographs and footage documenting the numerous, less-than-perfect, trial runs.

Skillfully demonstrating flight for a number of bird species, In-Flight Movie used innovative filming techniques to give viewers at home a unique view of avian flight. Strapping cameras to trained buzzards and establishing the use of helicopters as filming mounts, this landmark production successfully indicated how a bird's evolutionary design is optimally adapted to a life on the wing.

Followed by a repeat screening of this insightful production, They Said It Couldn't Be Done: In-Flight Movie is the third of seven programmes celebrating pioneering natural history documentaries, and offers an intriguing glimpse into the technology used in the complex world of wildlife cinematography.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: BBC - Natural History Unit
Address: c/o BBC Motion Gallery
Room E251
Woodlands
80 Wood Lane
London
W12 0TT
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8433 2861 / 2
Email: motiongallery.uk@bbc.co.uk
Website: http://www.bbcmotiongallery.com

Film credits

Field Assistant: Nigel Marven
Film Editor: Charles Aldridge
Interviewee: John Downer
Photography: Alan Hayward
Photography: Owen Newman
Photography: Mike Richards
Presenter: David Attenborough
Producer: John Downer
Producer: Martyn Suker
Production Secretary: Ruth Flowers
Series Producer: Mike Beynon
Sound: Peter Hicks
Sound: John Haley
Writer: John Downer

Related links

Wildlife on One (1977 - 2005): In-Flight Movie (1987)
They Said It Couldn't Be Done: Kingdom of the Ice Bear: The Frozen Ocean (1999)
They Said It Couldn't Be Done: Mzima: Portrait of a Spring  (1999)
They Said It Couldn't Be Done: Too Close For Comfort  (1999)
John Downer
Owen Newman
Clive Hall
Clips
Filming from the back of a bird
Filming from the back of a bird
To fly with the birds
To fly with the birds
Using model helicopters
Using model helicopters
Stills
Clive Hall with a stork-glider, used for the aerial filming of In-Flight Movie
Clive Hall with a stork-glider, used for...
Alan Hayward filming an imprinted pigeon for In-Flight Movie
Alan Hayward filming an imprinted pigeon...