Netflix commissions first original Australian documentary, ‘Microworlds: Reef’

Now in production in North Queensland

Netflix has commissioned its first original Australian documentary, Microworlds: Reef, filmed on the Great Barrier Reef.

The doco will capture the tiny creatures and plants of the reef in ultra-high definition with supermacro camera techniques.

The one hour film, directed by Nick Robinson, is reportedly now in production in North Queensland and is expected to conclude in March. Robinson is part of the production company Wild Pacific Media, which is partnering with underwater photography specialists BioQuest studios for the film. The latter previously contributed to the BBC nature documentary Blue Planet.


In order to capture the tiny creatures, most of the film will be shot with time lapses. Peter West of BioQuest told The Age that the longest time lapse is expected to run for eight months.

“We have six cameras, capturing one image a day. You need 24 images for a second, so if we’re incredibly lucky we’ll end up with a couple of minutes at the end of eight months,” he said.

In a press statement, Head of Documentary at Screen Australia Bernadine Lim said the filming techniques developed specifically for the project were “groundbreaking”. Robinson added that the film was “hugely ambitious”.

“This film aims to take us into the most beautiful of microworlds – a world as epic as the African plains and as alien as the frontiers of space.”

A release date for Microworlds: Reef is not yet known.