National Geographic is headed to the Red Planet. This week, the network announced they’ve ordered 10 digital shorts in addition to a prequel series, Before Mars.
The digital shorts include Animal Close-Up, which features “the cutest, funniest and strangest faces of the animal kingdom,” and InTime, a travel series utilizing time-lapse photography.
In anticipation of National Geographic’s fall series Mars, the network has ordered Before Mars, a six-part digital narrative series “about change, exploration, discovery and friendship.” The series is expected to launch sometime later this year.
Read more details below:
(NEW YORK – MAY 9, 2016) National Geographic (@NatGeo) revealed today its 2016-2017 NewFronts slate, bringing consumers closer to the adventure than ever before. The announcement was made by National Geographic Partners CEO Declan Moore at the media conglomerate’s first NewFronts event since the formation of the expanded joint venture last November that brings together all of the media assets of National Geographic under one umbrella, including the global television channels, magazine, travel, kids and social and digital properties. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com or follow @NatGeo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
The NewFronts announcements showcase National Geographic’s unrivaled ability to tell stories across multiple platforms. Talent who participated in the morning presentation included Jason Silva/@JasonSilva (Origins), Richard Bacon/@RichardPBacon (Explorer), Anand Varma/ @anandavarma (Invisible), Angeli Gabriel/@AngeliGabriel (National Geographic’s SnapChat Quiz) and Ami Vitale/@Amivee (NG photographer).
“What makes National Geographic stand out in a crowded digital media space? World-class storytelling backed by 128 years of science and exploration – and a strong sense of purpose. Our competitive advantage starts with our people – on the ground, in the field and all around the world at any given time,” said Moore. “Consumers and corporate partners alike come to us for our unparalleled access to the people and stories that are impacting our ever-changing world. Engagement with our brand can be seen most significantly by our massive social media footprint that now generates more than 1.6 billion monthly actions.”
The new programming includes 10 digital short series – most notably Before Mars, a prequel to the highly anticipated television event series MARS – and Wild_Life With Bertie Gregory, Nat Geo WILD’s premiere digital series featuring the up-and-coming filmmaker’s journey into the Pacific Northwest in search of elusive coastal rain wolves.
Building on the unrivaled success of the @NatGeo Instagram community (48.4 million followers) the new original Instagram series MoviNG Pictures will capture intimate moments from photographers in the field. Through short videos, photographers will share their experiences while on assignment, giving followers an up close and personal look at life behind the lens.
National Geographic photographers will also play a role in The Moment – an initiative launching this fall in which Nat Geo photographers and social ambassadors will be enlisted to focus their lens and storytelling on a singular subject, at the same time, to drive global awareness and change for some of the biggest issues facing our planet today. From fresh water on World Water Day to feeding a planet of 7 billion on World Food Day, The Moment will grab the attention of the world, with the best images, videos and stories through a full-on social takeover across SnapChat Discovery, Live Stories, Instagram, Facebook Live, Twitter and other social and digital platforms.
Also announced was the plan to form NG VR STUDIO – a virtual reality studio that will take viewers to the front lines of the action, placing them on the ground alongside Nat Geo explorers, photographers and storytellers through Nat Geo VR. Harnessing the unparalleled resources and access of National Geographic, Nat Geo VR will offer both originals and franchises of the brand’s popular media properties, transporting users deep inside the stories covered in Explorer, simulating what it takes to build a home on the Red Planet in anticipation of the global television event MARS, and going on assignment with photographers and filmmakers such as Brian Skerry and Renan Ozturk.
In addition, National Geographic is launching a socially driven nationwide casting call for a digital correspondent for National Geographic Channel’s critically acclaimed documentary series Explorer. The correspondent will create digital narratives that expand on show topics while giving a voice to the National Geographic audience through the curation of related social conversation.
Finally, National Geographic shared a first look at @NATGEO: The Most Popular Instagram Photos, featuring the brand’s most liked and commented-on photos. @NatGeo is the world’s largest noncelebrity Instagram account, featuring the work of award-winning photographers such as Paul Nicklen, Joel Sartore and Michael Yamashita. The book, on stands October 25, 2016, will feature forewords by Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom and adventure photographer Cory Richards, and will be curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Ken Geiger, the deputy director of photography at National Geographic magazine.
The 2016-2017 NewFronts Slate includes:
(Please note: All are working titles and subject to change.)
National Geographic is serving up the cutest, funniest and strangest faces of the animal kingdom. Each episode brings viewers closer to the animals they love, alongside important stories and insights, to provide a better understanding of these adorable creatures.
National Geographic Channel’s first-ever digital short series, Before Mars, sets the scene for the highly anticipated fall event series MARS. The six-part series, set in present day 2016, presents a heart-warming story about change, exploration, discovery and friendship, while entertaining and engaging the audience with a combination of mysterious cliffhangers and hopeful adventures. It also creates a narrative arc to the larger series debuting in November, with twin girls’ struggle to adjust to their new rural home, paralleling mankind’s desire to one day make Mars home.
Get Out: A Guide to Adventure
National Geographic’s first how-to series, Get Out, features adventure experts as they share insider tips and tricks to owning the outdoors like a pro, taking viewers one step closer to living like a Nat Geo explorer.
Through hyper-lapse technology, InTime takes viewers on a high-speed romp through iconic travel destinations around the world.
Ever wonder how a bat lands upside down? We’ll show you the unbelievable acrobatics of a bat, frame by frame. What happens in the split second a human bursts into laughter? Or sneezes? Or cries? We’ll break these down in (often hilarious) slow motion with scientists and psychologists explaining frame by frame.
In Limitless, National Geographic goes inside the bodies and minds of individuals who seem almost super-human, surprising viewers with insights into what makes a world-class athlete physically superior to the rest of us.
In National Geographic’s original web series targeted at millennials, host Angeli Gabriel answers intriguing questions that plague the human mind in an entertaining, engaging and relatable way. Covering topics from science to history and sprinkled with quick wit and pop culture references, NGenius is Nat Geo’s answer to the trendy YouTube explainer series that have gained extreme popularity in the digital age.
Through National Geographic’s extensive arsenal of filmmakers and scientists, we have access to some of the most special, wild and unbelievable moments around the globe. These include capturing a crocodile’s mouth clamping down on a camera, discovering an elusive shark in an underwater volcano or witnessing a baby blue whale nursing its mother in the wild.
The Real (City)
Everyone knows that the best way to experience a city is to talk to the locals. In The Real (City) National Geographic Travel takes viewers to cities around the world, uncovering the hidden gems known only by the inhabitants who live there, and inspiring each of us to pack our bags.
Wild_Life With Bertie Gregory
In Nat Geo WILD’s first digital series, wildlife filmmaker Bertie Gregory journeys to the Pacific Northwest in search of the elusive coastal wolves that inhabit one of the last places on the planet where a wild forest meets a wild ocean. While in the field, Bertie navigates harsh terrain filled with unexpected encounters, all in an effort to find and film wolves that seem more like ghosts of the Northwest than actual creatures.”
What do you think? Do you watch National Geographic? Will you watch their new digital shorts?