Mirrorless is so 2016. This year is all about animatronic cameras meticulously crafted to look like wild animals, at least for the producers of new extension of BBC One’s Nature series: 5 episode miniseries “Spy In The Wild.” They’ve created more than 30 spy “animals” that are remote controlled and capable of recording ultra high definition video, and set them loose among their flesh and blood brethren in the wild to capture scenes as never before.
Though to the human eye they look something like wax sculpture meets terminator (that creepy camera eye…) they apparently have been able to dupe wild animals into interacting with them.
Robotic creepiness aside, it really is a cool concept and for what they are, the faux-creatures are fairly realistic looking and are able to mimic their doppelgänger animal’s sounds and movements to further the ruse. There has even been an instance of monkeys appearing to grieve their infiltrator that had been “killed.”
Being able to move among the animals undetected has offered perspectives unattainable by any human or even unmanned camera. In a way, it’s kind of like Kate Middleton photographing royal goings on. Maybe the spies will be recognized by the Royal Photographic Society.
The first episode airs on the BBC tomorrow, and will be available for online viewing shortly afterward. The series will also be aired on PBS starting February 1st. You can check out the BBC trailer below.