by senior contributor Brendan Kownacki
It was a walk on the wild side on Tuesday evening when The National Geographic Channel filled DC's historic Uptown Theater for the premiere of their newest miniseries --- "Untamed Americas" -- a four part film that explores the landscape and natural inhabitants of the Americas region, stretching from Canada down through Patagonia.
The film is a high-definition masterpiece, exploring the highest mountains and deepest reaches of the jungle to get a true and stunning picture of what the Americas have hiding in every one of their natural crevices. Academy Award-nominated actor Josh Brolin narrates the epic and serves as an intrepid guide to everything the audience will see.
In part one, "Mountains" - the audience is treated to the stories of a variety of animals including wolves, bears, flamingos and a rare new species of bat. The one character that ties it all together throughout is the landscape...the peaks, the valleys, the sky and the plants.... all set a stunning scene that seems to interact with everything that comes into contact with it.
"You're looking for new stories and things the audience hasn't seen before" said Karen Bass, director and producer of the film when describing how she decided on the locales to explore in the film. Production stretched over dozens of countries and took more than two years to complete. "Freshness, revelation...variety" were all the commodities she hoped to discover as she plotted a trip that almost literally stretched pole to pole when you consider the northern-most parts of Canada and the southern reaches of Patagonia at the base of South America.
Bass explored items of all size and scope, filming both massive volcanic craters as well as delicate interactions of humming birds and tiny flowers. She explained that "it helps to go from scale to scale; that's what nature is." She knew that the massive land scape around her would help her to paint a portrait of something epic, but when she began to witness the interactions of the animals in the individual ecosystems, she realized that "the dramas are very intimate." This is when she relied on an array of technological advances, lighting and cameras of all sizes, to capture a truly natural look at each habitat she entered.
The four-part series will cover Mountains, Coasts, Deserts, and Forests when it premieres June 10th and 11th on simultaneously on all of the National Geographic Channels.