By Zach Johnson
Talk about a wild life!
In Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory, which is now streaming on Disney+, National Geographic Explorer Bertie Gregory takes viewers on epic and nail-biting journeys through some of the most spectacular and secretive corners of this wild world. For weeks at a time, the BAFTA Award-winning cinematographer immersed himself in animals’ lives, embedding himself in some of the harshest environments on Earth.
Filming the multipart adventure series allowed Gregory to do everything from braving the icy terrain of Antarctica in search of the biggest gathering of whales ever filmed to coming face-to-face with specialist buffalo-hunting lions in Zambia. “As a wildlife cinematographer, you can be a specialist or a generalist, and I really like doing lots of different things,” he says. “This series really allowed us to go after a lot of different subjects, environments, and habitats, whether underwater, in a jungle, or in the arctic.”
It should come as no surprise that, at times, the job puts Gregory and his crew in some precarious situations. “We had quite a few hairy encounters,” the 29-year-old admits. “The one that really sticks out is when we were filming the lion episode in Zambia. I came back to my room at camp, with my head torch on, and there was a crocodile in my bed! I can’t say that’s happened to me before. I went charging out of the room to find one of our guides. I’d love to tell you I was really brave, but I wasn’t.”
Gregory, who is already hard at work on Season 2, is excited for viewers to join him on his ambitious odyssey around the world. “I really hope I can inspire people to get outside and spend time with nature and realize just how important it is for us,” Gregory says. “In this series, we’re not just showing you the adventure or the amazing animal behavior. We’re also meeting scientists and conservationists who are doing incredible things to make sure that the animal characters we meet go on to have incredible lives.”