by Lisa McGarry

David Attenborough’s groundbreaking film Flying Monsters 3D will air on Christmas Day 2010, at 6pm on SKY 3D.

Flying Monsters 3D which is written and presented by BAFTA winning natural history broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, is a pioneering feature documentary about the evolution of pterosaurs – flying vertebrates with a wingspan of up to 45 feet who lived 200 million years ago. A behind-the-scenes preview; Making David Attenborough’s Flying Monsters 3D, will also air on SKY 1 at 5pm on Christmas Day.

Filming Flying Monsters 3D took nine months and involved David Attenborough and a crew of 12, taking in locations across the world including Germany, New Mexico, France and the UK. A team of over 80 people were involved in the filming and post-production, required for the film’s scale, and the process took over half a year in total to complete.

The film has been produced by award winning producer Anthony Geffen and his company Atlantic Productions. The film immerses the audience using cutting-edge 3D TV technology and also features incredible 3D CGI from VFX studio ZOO in association with Molinare, Fido, CVFX.

Flying Monsters 3D features a host of pterosaur species including Dimorphodon, Darwinopterus, Tapejara and Quetzalcoatlus and culminates with spectacular footage of Sir David Attenborough flying in a glider alongside a Quetzalcoatlus:

“This was one of the most complicated sequences ever filmed in 3D. We shot David in a real glider and later superimposed, using CGI, the biggest pterosaur – a Quetzalcoatlus. The idea was to demonstrate the extraordinary scale of the pterosaur – a creature that was longer than a bus and could fly at 75 miles an hour – by setting it beside something from the modern day of the same size that people could relate to,” explains Geffen.

Responsible for the commission of Flying Monsters 3D for SKY 3D, Celia Taylor, Head of Factual and Features at Sky commented: “Flying Monsters 3D has been an unprecedented investment for us, involving a team of over 80 to bring the film from the storyboard to the living room. But more than that – it’s been a real labour of love; and we’re incredibly excited to be able to offer families this unique viewing experience on Christmas Day.”

“Flying Monsters 3D represents a landmark in our portfolio,” notes Jeremy Darroch, CEO of SKY. “It’s our first natural history documentary, our first piece of factual content for SKY 3D and for the first time, we’re honoured to be working with Sir David Attenborough, one of the greatest storytellers in the industry. Whether it’s the level of detail that has gone into the historical research or the technological innovations that have been created in order to make this programme, the sheer scale of Flying Monsters 3D is stunning.”

The film will be released theatrically in IMAX cinemas around the world in 2011 and return to SKY 3D later in the year.