Friday, January 13, 2017

Wake for the Spycam Monkey

How do you photograph skittish wildlife up close and personal? Design a camera robot that looks just like them. That’s the idea behind Spy in the Wild, a new documentary series on BBC.

While the producers anticipated using the disguised cameras to get unique shots, they didn’t anticipate what would happen when a group of Langur monkeys thought the animatronic camera had “died.”

The new series, which aired Thursday in the U.K. on BBC and is set to premiere in the U.S. on PBS on February 1, aims to capture what wildlife videographers often have a hard time finding: emotions.

A preview for the series shows the monkeys interacting with the camera, but where it really starts to get interesting is when one monkey tries to play with the fake Langur and ends up bringing it into a tree — and letting go.

With animatronics only in the face, the Langurs appear to think the camera monkey has died. The unexpected turn of events allows the crew to film how the animals react when one of their own die. The monkeys gather around the motionless camera and older Langurs pull younger monkeys into a hug. more