What is real, anyway? The depiction of nature in an age of hyperreality


As part of April’s School of Sound, Stephen Deutsch introduces and chairs this session on sound in documentary, focusing on the representation of nature.

Nature is depicted in a variety of ways, from ‘fly-on-the-wall’ programmes such as Naturewatch to Hollywood-treatment, big-budget, blockbuster series such as Planet Earth.

It is also depicted in exhibitions, often mute, in films about locations and people, and through sound alone. Each type aims to present the natural world, and especially wildlife, in an engaging and truthful manner, but the range of styles employed makes one wonder what ‘truthful’ means in some of these contexts. The panel includes

Stephen Deutsch,
Composer for film, radio, theatre and television, writer and sound designer; Professor of Post-Production at Bournemouth University; co-editor, The New Soundtrack journal.


Honor Beddard

Exhibitions curator at the Wellcome Collection in London, where she curated Making Nature (2016-17) and co-curated The Institute of Sexology (2014-15). Previously she was a curator at the Freud Museum and the V&A.


Mike Gunton

Creative Director BBC Natural History Unit, producer of over 120 wildlife films including the award-winning and critically acclaimed series Yellowstone, Life, Africa, Life Story, Shark, Waking Giants and Planet Earth II.


Gideon Koppel

Filmmaker, artist, director of critically acclaimed sleep furiously (2009); Professor Emeritus of Film at Aberystwyth University and an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.