National Geographic has released breathtaking new footage of cheetahs in motion, with the help of a Hollywood movie crew and a Phantom camera.
Sarah is the world's fastest cheetah. She's 11 years old and lives at Cincinnati Zoo, and currently holds the prestigious title of the world's fastest land mammal after breaking the 60-mile-per-hour (96.5km/h) record in June 2012. National Geographic decided to capture her graceful run in slow motion for posterity.
In conjunction with a team of Hollywood camera operators — including Frank Buono, who has worked on action sequences for several Bond films — the crew set up a 122-metre custom-made track equipped with a remote-controlled sled that would hold the camera rig, so that it could keep up with the cheetah's pace.
The results are nothing short of spectacular, and have a touch of the Eadweard Muybridge to them. The finished result, as you can see below, was made up of multiple runs by five cheetahs over the course of three days.
Phantom cameras are renowned for their incredible frame rates. Nothing short of 1200 frames per second was needed to capture the blisteringly fast cheetahs. To see a behind-the-scenes video, as well as how the rig was constructed with a Phantom and some Canon 1D X bodies, check out this video.