National Geographic is partnering exclusively with SVOD and content platform History Hit, digital content agency and media network Little Dot Studios (an All3Media company) and prodco Consequential for a documentary on the successful search for and discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance, one of history’s great lost shipwrecks.
The documentary is slated to premiere this fall as part of National Geographic’s ‘Explorer’ strand, and will air globally on National Geographic Channels and Disney+.
The film, which is also being produced in partnership with ABC News, will be directed by BAFTA-nominated Natalie Hewit (Antarctica: Ice Station Rescue). Executive producers are Paul Woolf for Little Dot Studios, Ruth Johnston for Consequential LLC and Bill Locke for History Hit. Drew Pulley and Jeanmarie Condon serve as executive producers for ‘Explorer’ and ABC News, and Alan Eyres, Charlie Parsons and Bengt Anderson are executive producers for National Geographic.
The Endurance was discovered 100 years after Shackleton’s death, at a depth of 3,008 meters in the Weddell Sea off the coast of Antarctica. The wreck, which was found using submersibles equipped with 4K cameras and lighting arrays, appears to be well-preserved due to the lack of wood-eating microbes in the Weddell Sea. The team is still on location, studying the wreck and documenting their findings, and they’re set to begin their return voyage back to Cape Town this month. The Endurance will remain untouched, with no artifacts being removed.
The documentary is part of a larger multi-media project around the Endurance first announced by History Hit founder Dan Snow and Little Dot earlier this year. History Hit, Little Dot and Consequential have produced a range of content covering the expedition’s set-up, the voyage and search, and now the discovery itself, as well as the history, science and other themes that connect to the mission.
Short-form content has and will continue to be distributed to subscribers, with exclusive content breaking first on TikTok followed by History Hit TV, HistoryHit.com and History Hit’s podcast network and other social media channels, together with Little Dot Studios’ network of owned and operated digital and social media accounts including Timeline World History, Earth Stories and Real Stories, with Nat Geo holding the exclusive rights to the long-form documentary chronicling the expedition.
National Geographic will also feature the Endurance project across its digital and social media platforms, as well as in a future issue of National Geographic magazine and an episode of the Overheard at National Geographic podcast.
“From the stories we are telling right now on natgeo.com, the ABC Network through ABC News and our ABC-owned television stations to what will be an exceptional documentary on the National Geographic Channels and Disney+ this fall, we are excited about the ways in which we will illuminate and celebrate the achievement of this remarkable team,” said Debra OConnell, president of networks for Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution in a news release.
“This has been the most exciting and challenging experience of my career so far,” added Dan Snow, co-founder and creative director of History Hit. “After going through storms, blizzards and thick sea ice, we have got some astonishing images of Endurance and a laser scan accurate to within centimeters. People thought the story of Endurance was over when it sank in November 1915, but it wasn’t. This is the start of a new chapter.”
Photo courtesy of Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic