Orla Doherty is a producer of BBC’s Blue Planet 2 series. She is an expert at deep sea filming and has spent more than 500 hours underwater just to film a one hour long episode of the award-winning Blue Planet series. Her documentaries are highly appreciated all over the world.
Orla fell in love with the ocean when she started studying coral reef in the Pacific Ocean. She studied the remote coral reef for 10 years before joining the Blue Planet team in 2013. Since then, she has been working all around the globe, from Indonesia to the Arctic Circle.
One of her more famous achievements includes filming a whale fall. Whale fall refers to the process of the sinking of a whale to the ocean floor after it dies. Orla’s team is the first ever to succeed in filming a whale fall.
Orla describes her experience of filming a whale fall as one of the most dramatic experiences. She shared in an interview that every day brought her a different challenge; her team heavily relied on technology to keep them safe in the depths of the ocean but they kept experiencing technological errors.
She realizes that this is what comes when you are working at the edge of what you know about the world.
Her team also worked on a sequence about habits of Humboldt squids. Orla explained that they worked in absolute darkness to film Humboldt squids in their natural habitat. She added, ‘It was incredible because we think we know Humboldt squid, but this was the first effort to film them way down in their world, doing what they do’.
It’s safe to assume that the ocean is the love of Orla’s life and she is highly passionate about it. She focused the final episode of her series on impacts of pollution on the ocean. Orla explained, ‘We didn’t set out to make a series with a huge environmental message in it, but we couldn’t not show what we saw.’
Orla is an inspiration for people all around the world. She loves what she does and has proved to be the best at it.