Stills Photography

Winner at Panda’s 2012

The African Cats team were absolutely delighted to win Wildscreen’s Best Theatrical Release at the 2012 Panda Awards. Frozen Planet were worthy winners of the Cinematography Award, it was an honour to represent the ‘Cats’ Team next to those guys, legends all and to see Alastair Fothergill receive the Outstanding Achievement Award made the perfect end to a great evening.

Presenting a Cinematography Masterclass was a challenge and I decided not to concentrate on the technical – there was the excellent trade show at the other end of the festival for that – but instead to talk about what had inspired me to become the kind of filmmaker I am. Thanks so much to all those who turned up especially Camerawomen Vicky Stone, Justine Evans and Christina Karliczek, an added bonus and inspiration. For those who are interested the wildlife films I mentioned in the chat that inspired me were; ‘Here be dragons’, Mark & Vicky Deeble-Stone, ‘Islands in an African Sky’, Alastair McEwan & Patrick Morris, ‘Puma, Lion of the Andes’, Hugh Miles, ‘He Dances for his Cormorants’, Fredéric Fougea & ‘Lion, Pride in Peril’, Owen Newman & Amanda Barrett. Away from wildlife Chris Doyle is the cinematographer whose style I’m most in awe of, he shot ‘Hero’ & ‘In the mood for love’ two of the most stunning films ever seen. Last year ‘I am love’ was a visual delight and as a kid ‘Cinema Paradiso’ struck me as a thing of beauty.

Time and time again during the festival I was reminded what an amazing community of filmmakers the wildlife lot are, makes sense I guess but still lovely. As one of the winners said we owe a huge thanks to our families who put up with extended trips and absences, one of the few downsides of this industry. This picture is a favourite of my son and I when we lived in The Serengeti, they deserve a piece of awards won too.