Spiders can’t jump – or can they? Where did Skippy: The Bush Kangaroo go wrong? And how might you avoid coming a cropper against a croc? Radio/Podcast host Ann Jones answers these questions and more in How Deadly (AUS).

Director and Producer, Hannah Draper spoke to Melbourne WebFest about crafting the series.

What sort of research goes into each episode?

Research for How Deadly is basically everyone’s favourite pastime – watching animal videos on the internet. Once that’s done, we speak to the scientists and field experts whose research informs the educational part of How Deadly. We also lean on presenter Dr Ann Jones’ years of personal observation as she’s chased down some of Australia’s rarest and most elusive creatures for her nature podcast Off Track.

How Deadly – Koalas

What is the biggest misconception people generally have about the danger of wildlife?

People tend to think that wild animals want to be touched. Unlike their domesticated or habituated counterparts, wild animals can find human interactions quite stressful. So we try to remind people to admire from afar. Also, people mistakenly believe – and no judgement, I do this too – that animals can speak English.

How important is the message/theme in your series?

We want to help Australians better understand their local wildlife. But we also realise that people on social media like to be entertained. So we aim for a balance between those two.

What is your favourite part of the series?

Working with Ann Jones is a pure delight. She’s really passionate about producing nature content – and it shows on-screen!

What was your greatest challenge creating the series?

Even though I work for a major broadcaster, the answer is the same as everyone else – time and money. We film 4 x 4-7min episodes (so up to 28 minutes of content) in one day to keep costs low.

What is the future for your series?

We have just filmed new episodes that are longer in duration and uncovers some of the world’s most deadly animals, from leopards in Indian villages to wild boars in Berlin.

What was your release strategy?  

We release on the ABC Science YouTube channel first (please subscribe!) and try to embed the URLs in other digital content distributed by the ABC. We then release a snappier version on Facebook and Instagram through ABC social accounts and external partners. Finally, we deliver for ABC iview where the series lives in perpetuity.