If you’re ever at a party with Gordie Lucius or Stephen Robinson—co-creators of the local nature comedy web series Frick, I Love Nature—you’re probably going to hear some mind-altering animal facts that will make you turn your head and go ‘For real?’
“They [researchers] don’t know what colour spectrums an eagle can see, but they think that eagles have this introspection we don’t know about and can see colours we can’t even perceive,” Lucius says.
“But an eagle’s body mass is like only 10 pounds, and so much of their brain is dedicated to eye sight,” Robinson adds.
While making the first season of their series—which follows Lucius (playing a “heightened” version of his personality) wandering through ecosystems and divulging a shit tonne of fantastic animal facts—he and Robinson, who plays double duty as the producer and director, learned a wealth of knowledge about animals and their ecosystems.
“Guys can we talk about salmon for a second?” Lucius asks. “Salmon have this amazing memory to go back to exactly where they were born. It’s like a three-to-four-year cycle. They travel up to 300 miles to get back from the ocean to freshwater. They can smell a drop of scent in like one to two trillion drops of water whereas we can only smell a drop in like two thousand drops of water. And we eat these things.”
While Frick, I Love Nature (which you can watch here) is rather funny—especially when Lucius is interviewing professional animal researchers and they don’t know how to react to him and his bumbling humour—it offers information in an easily digestible way.
You could at times call it a Canadian parody of Planet Earth or a knowledgeable and fun piece of science communication like Bill Nye The Science Guy. Either way, it will change your perception of nature and its inhabitants.
“We think about nature from the standpoint of humans, comparing things animals do to what humans do,” Robinson says. “But animals don’t give a shit what we do and that’s why Gordie is so vital to the show. His presence forces us to think about him in that context of the animal.”
The show also has a whimsical, DIY feel to it, featuring props and stellar handmade sashes all created by Lucius.
“It makes it easier to get our points and jokes across. I mean, how often to you get to make a puppet that shoots blood out of its eyes?” Lucius says, referencing the short-horned lizard, which does actually shoot blood out of its eyes when attacked by a predator.
Frick, I Love Nature’s first season was funded through Telus STORYHIVE’s web series contest in 2017. The series was awarded $50,000 and Robinson and Lucius put it to good use as most of the footage and production value is top notch.
“We had the money for advanced filming technology, and honestly one of the big reasons the show is able to exist is stock footage on certain websites,” Robinson adds. “We got shots of animals that probably cost $15,000 for say, 35 bucks. So we can control things like Gordie getting pulled up on a cart up a mountain, but we owe a lot of the show to amazing stock footage.”
All of the locations in season one of the show—like the Badlands, Gabriola Island, The Rocky Mountains, etc.—should be at least familiar to Edmonton audiences, but Robinson and Lucius hope the series will take off, allowing them to travel to other ecosystems throughout the world.
“Our original goal was to do something cool and talk about nature while getting to travel the world,” Robinson says.
“We should go to New York and do an episode on urban nature,” Lucius laughs. “But seriously, crows use moving cars as a way to open nuts and things. Raccoons are really crazy smart. There’s so many possibilities.”
“Our current goal is to continue to grow the channel and really get some numbers on it by doing smaller, quicker content,” Robinson says. “We’re talking to Telus and CBC about doing another season, but either way, there is going to be new content.”
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