ONE LIFE is released in UK cinemas today, the first movie under the new BBC EARTH FILMS brand. You may wonder why we’re making films for cinematic release, aren’t the wonderful BBC wildlife TV programmes enough? Doesn’t everyone get sufficient nature content on the small box in the corner of the living room, rather than shelling out hard cash on tickets to take the family to the cinema? Well past experience suggests not. We turned Blue Planet into Deep Blue as an afterthought and it rapidly became successful in cinemas around the world. Earth, created from Planet Earth, then became the third highest grossing documentary feature of all time. So there’s definitely an appetite, especially in countries where there’s a tradition of going to the cinema to watch documentary films, like Japan, Germany, Spain and France.
So ONE LIFE was a natural progression, especially as we’ve now created BBC Earth as a business within BBC Worldwide, aiming to bring the BBC’s exceptional wildlife content to global audiences wherever and whenever they want it, from phones to film. The ambition with all our films is to tackle big subjects with mass appeal, creating popular entertainment, with stories that appeal to the heart as much as the brain. The big screen has so much more potential for emotion than the small one. And there isn’t a much bigger topic than the variety of all life on earth, the subject matter of ONE LIFE.
Despite that diversity, whether you’re an ant, an elephant or a human, we all share the same goals: to learn about life, find a meal, avoid danger, make friends not enemies and eventually find love and have children. We share so many aspects of our lives with other animals and ultimately we share one future, one planet. That is the story that unites us all and the emotional theme of ONE LIFE. On the big screen such powerfully emotional stories have a much greater impact than when the experience is on a smaller scale. For me, that’s what’s so exciting about creating films. If we are to touch the world with the wonders of nature, we cannot afford not to be in film.
See the trailer below:
Our next two projects aim to be even bigger. Walking with Dinosaurs, on the big screen in 3D, will transport audiences back 70 million years. You’ll truly feel you’re walking amongst these great beasts, immersed in their amazing prehistoric world. The story appeals to the heart, following a baby horned dinosaur through the adventures of his life but, as you’d expect from BBC EARTH, it’s all inspired by deep knowledge of real dinosaur behaviour.
Beyond that, Enchanted Kingdom, also in 3D, is a wild journey of the imagination, set in Africa, the wildest continent on earth. Travelling through a series of extraordinary worlds, audiences discover that Nature is more surprising, more mystical, more magical than anything we could ever invent. It’s more ambitious, practically and creatively, than any wildlife film we’ve ever done. Immersing you more deeply than ever before in fantastical natural experiences, it aims to ignite in audiences a deep, almost spiritual love of the natural world. If we can achieve that, who wouldn’t want to be creating wildlife stories for the big screen?