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‘Flight of the Swans’ is a mission that connects wildlife, wetlands and people; from the wilderness of the arctic tundra all the way to Slimbridge, UK. One woman, 7.000 km, 11 countries, by Paramotor glider; a daring bid to fly with one of nature’s great migrations on a quest to save Bewick’s swans.
The movie puts a totally new spin on migration with an epic 7,000km journey by Paramotor glider from the Bewick’s Swans arctic breeding grounds back to the UK.
Sacha Dench and the expedition team will be flying the Bewick’s entire flyway, often at altitudes as low as 100m on a voyage that lasts as long as ten weeks; providing a birds eye view on the challenges facing these critically endangered birds. Once they’ve safely navigated the vast Russian tundra – and its polar bears – Sacha and the team will continue to track the swans’ progress through Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and France.
If Sacha completes the flight from the French coast to England, she’ll become the first woman to successfully cross the English Channel by Paramotor. Now on the home straight, and following the Thames, Sacha will fly through central London before finishing the mammoth journey at WWT Slimbridge.
Between 1995 and 2010 numbers of swans making the migration from arctic Russia to northern Europe plummeted by more than a third – from 29,000 to just 18,000. By joining the Bewick’s on their migration, Sacha and the expedition team will see for themselves just why swans are unable to survive the journey. Flight of the Swans will gather first-hand evidence and information that, combined with existing research, can contribute to life-saving conservation action right along the Bewick’s migratory flyway.
"This expedition is marvellously imaginative and adventurous, and a fitting project in WWT’s 70th anniversary." Peter Scott did similar in his day and inspired the world. That swans should fly from Russia, to come here, is surely a kind of parable - we can live in harmony with nature, and it’s up to us to do so.
The expedition will be shot in the 4K format with RED cameras and Fujinon ZK3.5x85 (85-300mm) Telephoto Cine Zoom lenses. The 4K ZK-Series Cine Zoom range have long been established as the lens of choice when it comes to Natural History productions, which are usually shot under divers climatic conditions; Dry and dusty deserts, humid and hot jungles to sub-zero artic climate zones. They are rugged and work seamlessly under the harshest weather conditions; being light-weight at ~3kg they are ideal for extensive long term shooting, reducing the overall payload of the production gear. The ZK-Series ZK2.5x14, ZK3.5x85, ZK4.7x19, ZK12x25; deliver premium (above) 4K optical quality throughout the entire focal range, enabling quality productions around the Globe.
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