It is a rare person who goes through life not carrying regrets, I have few, but for me, my biggest was not attempting to break into this business many years ago. Luckily I have dabbled in wildlife photography for a few years and I have been fortunate to witness some amazing moments, some I captured, others were simply beautiful moments captured in my minds eye. However I still have a bit of juice left in me yet, so I decided in 2014 to concentrate a lot of my spare time filming as opposed to stills. Living as I did in southern Spain for 12 years, from 2003 to 2015, it was a perfect opportunity for me to begin making trips into the Sierras close to my home, armed with a video camera and a passionate desire to hone my skills and begin to create stories about the plethora of wildlife around me. I took adavantage of the dense populations of birds of prey, concentrating mostly on Eurasian Griffon vultures and Bonelli's eagles, with a large vulture colony and 2 nesting pairs of the eagles within a 30 minute drive of my home.
I will never lose my passion for capturing stills images, but the desire to film some of the amazing things I have witnessed, some rarely seen or filmed before was too great a temptation for me to turn away from. Story telling is an art, some posses by the bucket load, I think I have it by the egg cup load, but where there is passion for what you do, there is always hope. We are all capable of learning more and pushing those limits in the grey matter department far beyond what we ever thought possible, ( even I, who left school before my O'levels to travel ) has the possibility to study as a mature student, as I feel my progress in this business, regardless of my age, would benefit from knowing more about the species I wish to film, and the habitats they live in.
Just before I returned to the UK , I spent almost 4 months in the Andujar region of Andalucia, where I went in search of the worlds rarest species of wild feline, the Iberain Lynx. I slept in the back of an old Toyota Previa for the duration, and with absolutely no assistance from the wildlife authorities ( medio ambiente ) or the organisations montitoring certain individuals with radio collars, I managed to film 12 minutes of footage, yes a whole 12 mins. I will shortly upload to the blog a piece on that little adventure, which I hope to turn into a film, in the near future. I am currently seeking to raise finance / co- production deal for the film and would be delighted to talk to anyone who is interested in the project. There is a fascinating story behind their long demise and their brush with extinction only as far back as 2000, when their numbers in the wild were down to between 75 and 100 individuals. In 2017, regardless of the increased numbers due to the captive breeding program, they are far from out of the proverbial woods yet, as far as their mid to long range survival is concerned.
I have sinced moved back to the UK and am currently based in beautiful Dorset, but I have decided to move to Bristol at some point in the near future. The presence of so many wildlife production companies, all the talent working within them, the networking possibilities, the filming equipment rental companies, much of which I have never used, so would certainly benefit from getting to know the staff and hopefully being allowed to spend time in house familiarizing myself with the kit, as well as renting it when funds permit. I am a bit of a health nut, and Bristol's numerous Veggie/ vegan offerings and great coffee bars will suite me just fine. However, first and more importantly, I have an elusive apex predator to film. Once again I am off to Patagonia in April 2018 for the winter, Torres del Paine National Park, to be precise. I was fortunate enough to have lived in this stunning mountain massif for 3 years, and if I am honest I cannot wait to return and spend a winter in this Patagonian Eden. I have had numerous close encounters with them during my extended adventures here, which you can read about in some of my blog posts.
For anyone interested in what I have been honing my filming skills on in Andalucia, Spain, also in the French Alps, please visit my youtube channel which contains a selection of clips, as well as some behind the scenes action. I am currently working on a showreel which will be uploaded to the sight when completed.