As Britain's largest terrestrial carnivore, badgers are an important part of our nation's ecological structure whilst also sitting high on any discernible ranking of our favourite animals. This makes them a great subject for any short wildlife film... if it wasn't for them being so hard to film.
In Britain there are some magnificent mammals, you can include them in your Eden Short if you have the right techniques and equipment.
The best way to find your badger subject is by hunting out a sett, although these tend to be closely guarded secrets with the discrimination they face from bovine tuberculosis and the constant threat of badger baiting.
If you manage to find an active sett, trail cameras are the perfect way to record badgers with the lowest amount of disturbance. With infrared lights already built in and a motion sensor to start the camera recording at first sign of activity all you have to do is set them up and return in the morning to harvest your material.
But if you want better quality images and the ability to follow the action (remember, any trail cameras will just sit motionless) you will need to get yourself on location!
Badgers are crepuscular animals, meaning that they are busiest at dawn and dusk, but the majority of their activity comes under the cover of darkness. Arriving at the sett an hour before sunset will give you the time to find a good spot to get comfortable. Your considerations should include making sure you're down wind with the breeze in your face to ensure the animals won't be able to smell you, while also aligning your body with an object like a wall or a tree behind will make sure that your silhouette is not visible against the sky.
Infrared cameras are great for recording animals at night, but you could get by as long as yours is sensitive enough or by selecting one with a low light setting. In order to get full colour or for better detail you require your animal to be accustomed to light, either artificial or comfortable enough to venture out before sunset.
Finally, different camera angles help piece together an interesting sequence. You may need 30 or 40 different shots to make up a one-minute film and you don't want them to be too repetitive! A collection of wide, mid or close ups will give a good variety for your film with differing heights for low or high angles also provide context to the piece. Getting down to the subjects eye-line gives an intimate perspective and tells the story of your film from their point of view, while looking down on your subject could help your viewer understand the situation or layout of the wider environment.