When Blue Planet II aired on BBC1 in the Autumn of 2017, millions of people around the world became gripped by its tales of life beneath the deep. Last week, the Royal High School Bath gave local residents the chance to gain a behind-the-scenes insight into this multi-award winning series.
On Wednesday 7th March, almost 200 students, parents and visitors to the leading independent girls’ school were blown away when James Honeyborne, Executive Producer, presented a talk on the making of the Blue Planet II. Taking the audience through the four-year process involved in creating this masterful example of natural history film production, Mr Honeyborne told how the hearing of legendary fisherman’s tales developed into years of research into unique natural events, and filming in some of the most challenging and exciting environments imaginable.
Mr Honeyborne showed specialist footage of his production teams in a myriad of different locations, including on submarines in the deep blue ocean and on board one of the world’s most advanced research vessels. He told hilarious and heart-warming stories of working with Sir David Attenborough and his joy at watching Hans Zimmer and the BBC Concert Orchestra create the iconic and moving theme tune.
At the end of his presentation, Mr Honeyborne, whose daughter, Jemima, attends the Royal High School, answered questions from the audience, about everything from his background as a biologist to the scariest situation he’d ever found himself in. Fundamentally, he also spoke of his delight in the impact that the series has had on attitudes and behaviours across the globe towards the use of plastic and other pollutants, and how he hopes he will one day be able to make the series that shows how the world has reversed the damaging effects that are currently taking place.
Head of the Royal High School, Jo Duncan, said “We were absolutely thrilled to welcome Mr Honeyborne to our school and to hear more about this series that has captivated the nation, and are so grateful for his time and insights. Thank you also to all who attended and helped to raise over £1400, which will be shared between our new Music School & Recording Studio project, and the charity ‘Evie’s Gift’, in memory of student, Evie Clover, who very sadly passed away earlier this year and who is greatly missed.”