A barrelful of langurs rise along with the sun in Jodhpur, a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats leave their cave miles away in Texas, and a troop of lions patiently wait for a herd to move in Kenya’s Masai Mara. With National Geographic’s two-hour broadcast Earth Live, you can catch some of the world’s wildlife from across six continents and 25 locations in 12 different time zones and on 52 cameras on July 10. In India, the programme will be aired from 5.30am.
The langurs of Jodhpur will be captured by wildlife cinematographer Sandesh Kadur. “Earth Live is a very ambitious way to show people the natural world, as it is happening,” Kadur told Scroll.in.
Hosted by American actress and comedian Jane Lynch and celebrity host Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race), the show will be guided by zoologist Chris Packham.
A long time associate of National Geographic, Kadur has contributed to several episodes broadcast on the channel, including Secrets of King Cobra (2008), Return of The Clouded Leopards (2011) and Secrets of Wild India (2011). Kadur’s work also features in David Attenborough’s BBC Planet Earth (2016).
His production company Felis specialises in wildlife documentaries. “They wanted to select some of the most leading cinematographers in the industry and kind of bring in their world into the show,” Kadur said. “Since it is completely unscripted, anything is bound to happen.”
Trailing langurs is anything but smooth sailing, Kadur said. “We have to make sure that that the monkeys do show up at the particular time, so we studied their behaviour.”
The monkeys are “very India and speak of India”, he added. “When people visit India, one of the first memories that they take back from the country is the fact that there are langurs everywhere, especially in Rajasthan,” he said. “They are very playful and are very fun to watch. You can watch them all day long and you won’t get bored.”
No amount of groundwork can prevail over the importance of timing, with the show playing around with real time technology. “While the project is far reaching, it makes it that much more complicated as it works with various time zones at the same time,” Kadur said. “So we need to have that faith in the technology and hope it works out.”