Oz is currently in - Bristol, UK
May - I was fortunate enough to be offered the camera bursary scheme which the BBC advertise each year for one of their landmark series. So this month, I began my new position as Junior Camera Operator with the BBC working on Planet Earth 3. For the first time in my career I had to sign an NDA so I can't reveal where or what we are filming. But I will be somewhere, filming something, and trying to do it well!
April - After working at Off The Fence Productions for 10 years it finally became time for me to fly the nest and dive into other adventures elsewhere! This month was spent mostly handing over my various responsibilities at Off The Fence, saying goodbye to my good friends and colleagues I've worked with for the past decade and preparing for the next adventure.
February - Travelled to Scotland to work as a drone pilot on a historical series for an Off The Fence/Curiosity Stream production. Sequences involved GVs of the Scottish landscape and dramatic reconstructions of historical assassinations.
January - Worked as a camera operator on a short natural history sequence for the BBC's One Show. We travelled to Peterborough to film a small flock of common cranes to document the slow repopulation of this species into British wildlife. Working with presenters Ollie Olanipekum and Nadeem Perera.
December - Took some time off to celebrate Christmas and New Year with friends and family.
November - Travelled to Sharm el Sheikh in the Red Sea to spend a week testing out the new(ish) RED Komodo and GATES underwater housing combo whilst filming for stock footage. A great low profile 6K raw recording powerhouse of a camera for its size. It was great to be back in the familiar warm waters of the Red Sea with a camera able to capture everything in 6K raw glory!
October - Worked as a camera operator on a short natural history sequence for The BBC's One Show. We travelled to RSPB Snettisham to film murmurations of knots and other bird life at the RSPB site. Worked with presenters Ollie Olanipekum and Nadeem Perera.
September - Returned back to the UK and continued working as Head of Operations at Off The Fence Productions in Bristol. The company is currently expanding into two office locations in Bristol so much of the remaining months this year (when I'm not filming) will be spent focusing on the logistics and practicalities of this huge company expansion whilst keeping productions and post productions running smoothly.
August - Journeyed back to Africa to work as Director of Photography for the Morocco episode of the Off The Fence/ZDF specialist factual documentary focused on the African continent. We travelled throughout Morocco, capturing cultural, natural history and personality driven stories with an emphasis on aerial cinematography using drones.
July - Continued my various operational duties as Head of Operations for Off The Fence in Bristol. I also started to make plans and prepare production equipment for filming on the next episode of the Off The Fence/ZDF specialist factual documentary focused on Africa.
June - After what was intended to be a 3 week trip to Cape Town in December turning into a 5 month stay, I finally returned to the UK close to 6 months later. During June I returned to my more sheltered existence as Head of Operations at Off The Fence in Bristol. Most of my time this month was spent managing operational logistics for the company and reconnecting with colleagues, friends and family I hadn't seen in a while.
May - Continued filming for the Off The Fence/ZDF specialist factual documentary focused on Africa. This month I travelled to Ghana to join a local team of camera operators, drone pilots and producers to help direct the shooting style and structure of this series. We filmed some truly eye opening sequences in Accra before travelling around the rest of the country. We also had the opportunity to work with the new Sony FX6 camera along with the familiar DJI Inspire 2.
April - Filming resumed for the Off The Fence/ZDF specialist factual documentary focused on Africa. I travelled to Kenya and worked with a local team of producers, directors, camera operators and drone pilots to direct the aerial photography elements of this episode in Kenya. We travelled around the country documenting various human and natural history stories.
March - Despite difficulties filming in Africa during a pandemic I remained in Cape Town, South Africa for another month. Work continued on the Off The Fence/ZDF specialist factual documentary focused on Africa. With filming delayed due to Covid-19 I spent the month developing story ideas for the remaining episodes along with kit testing and planning future shoots.
February - Still in Cape Town, South Africa. I have been fortunate to extend my stay in South Africa whilst filming continues on the Off The Fence/ZDF specialist factual documentary focused on Africa. We have been travelling around South Africa filming various aerial sequences for the series using the DJI Inspire 2 and Sony F55 and Sony A7S3 on a DJI Ronin RS2 for the ground filming.
January - Continued working as Director of Aerial Photography on an Off The Fence/ZDF specialist factual documentary focused on Africa. Filming continued in the new year throughout South Africa as we travelled the country documenting a diverse range of human and natural history stories for the series.
December - Just before the end of the year I was fortunate enough to be sent to South Africa to work as Director of Aerial Photography on an Off The Fence/ZDF specialist factual documentary focused on Africa. The series is being created with an aerial perspective as the main focus as we cover a wide range of human and natural history stories.
October - Filming as second camera/drone pilot/camera assistant for the UK section of an Off The Fence/National Geographic specialist factual documentary focused on the finite supplies of water worldwide and methods to save this natural resource.
September - After a solid 6 months with no international travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was fortunate enough to travel to Poland on a short shoot for Off The Fence/National Geographic about the natural history of Poland. Specifically we were able to film European Bison, Wolves and Konik horses.
August - Filming interviews, drone and reconstructions for a UK based crime documentary about familicide for A&E Network.
April to July - COVID-19 Crisis. With the UK in lockdown and all scheduled film shoots cancelled I bunkered down and provided office support to the team at Off The Fence. With everyone working remotely except for myself, I managed and maintained the entire post production facilities for the company, provided technical support for the whole staff working remotely and adapted the office space to the new covid secure government guidelines in preparation for staff returning to the office.
March - Filming continues for an Off The Fence/National Geographic series based around the coming of winter. This shoot focused around the winter environments and natural world in an area of far east Russia called Primorsky Krai.
February - Another shoot for Off The Fence/National Geographic on a series based around the coming of winter. A superbly timed trip to the Cairngorm National Park in Scotland had us arriving a day before the biggest dump of snow the area has seen all year. This helped with our task to capture stunning winter scenics along with stormy, blizzard condition sequences for the series.
January - Starting the year off in the freezing cold, -40 degree environment of Alaska filming for Off The Fence/National Geographic on a series based around the coming of winter and the effects this has on the natural world. It was a small team with just the director and I tasked with filming bald eagles and trumpet swans along various rivers in the frozen landscape. -40 degrees celsius is a new record for the coldest environment I've ever had the good fortune to work in. I'll expect I'll still be defrosting in June!
November - The final shoot for a series I have been working on which focuses on the natural world in Africa. This final trip was to the Sahara Desert to film Sand Vipers and the Atlas Mountains to film barbary macaques.
October - filming for Off The Fence/National Geographic in Ethiopia for a natural history production based on the wildlife of various countries in Africa. The 2nd trip to Ethiopia this year for two completely different series. During this trip we spent time in Awash National Park and managed to capture some great behaviour of Warthogs, Oryx and Hamadryas Baboons.
September - filming for Off The Fence/National Geographic in Washington State, USA for a specialist factual documentary based on the 1980 volcanic eruption of Mt St Helens.
August - filming for Off The Fence/National Geographic in Rwanda for a natural history production based on the wildlife of the Akagera National Park; Zebras, Giraffe, weaver birds and more.
July - filming for Off The Fence/BBC One on a variety of short, UK shoots for The One Show.
June - Mozambique and South Africa taking time off diving among the kelp forests of Cape Town and Manta Rays of Mozambique. During my time here I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to help film a dead juvenile humpback whale which had drowned after becoming entangled in octopus fishing traps. This led to the octopus fishery responsible to be closed down and octopus fishing to be banned in nationwide in South Africa. You can read about the story here.
May - continued filming for the Off The Fence/National Geographic series based on Re-wilding Europe, this time in Romania and Bulgaria. We filmed sequences of Pelicans in the Danube Delta and Taurus being released onto an island in Bulgaria as well as much more.
April - continued filming for the Off The Fence/National Geographic series based on Re-wilding Europe, this time in Greece and Italy. We filmed various re-wilding projects throughout both these countries.
March - continued filming for the Off The Fence/National Geographic series based on Re-wilding Europe, this time in Portugal. We spent our time filming the diverse landscape and wildlife of the Coa Vally.
February - worked as a drone pilot for Off The Fence/National Geographic on a short based on the Nespresso Coffee Farms in Ethiopia. You can watch the finished short here.
Januaray - filming for Off The Fence/National Geographic for an ongoing series based on Re-wilding Europe. We filmed a sequence of a skulk of arctic fox being released into the wild. It was a challenging shoot to film white arctic foxes running around on white snow, with white sky in a white blizzard at -25 degrees but we managed to carve out a good sequence despite the challenges.
June - filming for Off The Fence/National Geographic in Finland for a series based on the wildlife of the Arctic. For this shoot we spent much of our time in hides filming brown bears, wolves and wolverines.
November - filming for Off The Fence/National Geographic in far east Russia for a series based on the wildlife of Russia. I was the drone pilot for this shoot and managed to capture beautiful aerials of spotted seals, sika deer, wild boar, Lake Baikal and the Siberian Wilderness.
September - lucky enough to visit Kamchatka in far east Russia for an Off The Fence/National Geographic production to film the wildlife of Kamchatka and specifically bears catching salmon during the Salmon run. I was the drone pilot for this shoot and captured some exciting aerials of sea lions, orca, brown bears hunting salmon in rivers and the volcanic Kamchatka environment.
August - part of a memorable trip to Svalbard to be the drone pilot of an Off The Fence/National Geographic production based on the Arctic Circle. We set sail aboard MV Havsal and sailed the arctic waters north of Svalbard for 7 exciting days. Although drone flying this far north can and did cause lots of technical issues with the drone I still managed to capture some stunning aerials of huge bird cliffs, walrus colonies, glaciers, ice packs, polar bears and the Arctic habitat.
January to July - filming for Off The Fence/The European Nature Trust/Auchan Romania on a feature film based on the natural history of Romania. I worked as a drone pilot for the production and was one of 2 pilots for the entire film. Throughout the production we travelled all over Romania, capturing scenics and wildlife from an aerial perspective using DJI Inspire 2 drones and DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus. Other roles included filming timelapse's and main camera for a sequence covering a brown bear emerging from hibernation over winter.