BBC Planet Earth Iguana Vs. Snakes Behind The Scenes

The nation was gripped by the most intense face-off between a racer snake and a baby iguana the world has ever seen, most intense chase scene of all time broke our hearts into a million tiny pieces.

It saw iguana after iguana chased down and asphyxiated by wily racer snakes as they attempted to make their way to the sea, leaving just one left to poke its eyes above ground and survey the devastation like a shellshocked soldier.

The little iguana eventually made a break for it, darting away from the predators like Matt Damon or possibly notoriously cinematic sprinter Tom Cruise.

“I’m a bit of a movie fanatic so I kind of pick things up from all over the place – big Hitchcock fan, Christopher Nolan, Scorsese Spielberg etc,” he said.

“But cutting wildlife films are like cutting silent movies, it’s all about action/reaction. Also timing, be it for comedy or thrills. The narration can provide some of this, but you don’t want to make the pictures just wallpaper for the commentary. The shots need to speak for themselves.

“I really like to find a genre that fits with a sequence if I can, as it’s a subliminal way to ease people into a new story. On Africa (another Attenborough BBC documentary) I cut a sequence with fighting giraffes in the style of a Western, in The Hunt we did a wild dog hunt like a car chase in a Bourne film.”

A small, unassuming iguana – just recently hatched and new to the world, full of optimism and light and with a spring in its step – was set upon by dozens of racer snakes. The baby iguana was, as you would be, quite perturbed. It scampered off as fast as it could, clambering up rocks to try and escape. But – spoiler alert – it wasn’t enough. Hell, those snakes could climb. And the sheer number of them. There were so many. It was a relentless, apocalyptic nightmare.

The internet had a LOT of feelings. This is why I love the Planet Earth series. They make us look at our world in ways we never get to see.

I watched this with my father and we were in awe. 10 years put into this series and this is only the first episode. The next few weeks are going to be incredible.

“There was so much good footage that we couldn’t tell the story of just one iguana so we found a way of using all the great chase moments. As well as some of the more grisly footage (although there’s a limit to how much you want to see of that).

“One of the amazing things about the encounter was that it was shot at such a high speed. So in real life those things are moving much, much faster. It’s incredibly hard to film them while running and keep everything in focus. But sometimes the focus didn’t matter as the moment was so intense. The music and sound design was obviously a big part of it too. The work everyone did was amazing.”
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