As a wildlife filmmaker it’s traditional to miss almost everything of cultural importance going on at home. (I’m speaking from experience having not seen an Olympics for a decades!) And I’m definitely not moaning, it’s just one of those things and so I was delighted to actually be in the UK for ‘Wildscreen’ this October. Wildscreen is the wonderful wildlife film festival based in Bristol, a chance to catch up with everyone in the industry, old friends, new technologies, incredible films and celebrate the previous two year’s output. As usual I was staggered by the level of camerawork out there, it is, quite simply, inspiring.
My personal highlight was hearing Chris Packham interview Sir David Attenborough. The Student Union buzzed when he came into the room which is a testimony to his appeal, a ninety year old who everyone wants to listen to & learn from. Towards the end of the talk Chris concentrated on conservation with Sir David saying that “It is the ecosystems that we must save. That is the basic target that you have to go for if you are really going to talk about conservation. And, of course, in the end those ecosystems will join up if we are successful, so that we begin to realize that that little blue ball in the blackness of space is one ecosystem. It’s called the world and it’s in our hands.” He made us all a little proud to be a part of something that is hopefully making a difference, saying that natural history programming has a crucial part to play in preserving the planet’s future and as Chris also said we should all be doing more.
One of the main events is the awards, this year at Colston Hall. It was an honour to be part of the crews nominated for Cinematography for both Bears and The Hunt. The Hunt left with three; Matt Meech’s editing award, Best Score by the gorgeous Stephen Price and …
THE HUNT – for the episode The Hardest Challenge (UK)
Producer(s): Silverback Films, with the BBC, BBC Worldwide, BBC America, The Open University, CCTV9 & NDR Naturfilm United Kingdom
Camerawork: Jamie McPherson, John Aitchison, Doug Anderson Sophie Darlington, Mark Smith, Mark & Vicky Deeble-Stone.
Jury comment: Outstanding cinematography that has taken wildlife filming to a new level and makes you feel completely in the moment.
It’s a really lovely thing to have finally won a Panda for Cinematography, my first nomination was 20 years ago for Lion’s Share. Which, as I keep on saying to newcomers trying to break into the industry, only goes to prove ‘persistence’ is key!