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Making David Attenborough’s

Conquest of the Skies

1 x 60′, Sky 1

Self-shooting Director (1 x 60', Sky 1)  

I shot, directed and edit produced this hour long, primetime documentary following Sir David Attenborough as he made his landmark 3D series for Sky on animal flight, Conquest of the Skies.

I shot the show on a Sony PMW-300 (along with an army of go-pros) over the course of a year in a range of challenging locations – from a freezing Loch Lomond, to the gorges of central Spain and the depths of the Bornean rainforest.

Atlantic Productions, 2015

Cockroaches in the Bat Cave

For his final piece to camera of the series, David (and cameraman Paul Williams) hung 250 feet in the air in a cave in the heart of the Bornean jungle to observe a stream of a million bats flying out at dusk.

The feat required 1000s of metres of rope, an army of riggers and a lot of patience from David as he hung in the air for several hours while the team captured the shots required.

Yet the team on the ground faced an added challenge: they had to share their workspace with one of the world’s largest concentration of cockroaches –  a vast horde that feeds on the 100ft dung pile left by the bats…

Swans on Loch Lomond

How do you persuade a flock of whooper swans to fly directly alongside David Attenborough while he delivers a piece to camera?

This was one of the team’s first challenges for the series – all played out on on a freezing Loch Lomond in the depths of winter. The answer lay with some remarkable trained birds, imprinted since birth to treat their handler as their ‘mother’.

Even with these extraordinary performers, however, getting a perfect take in sub-zero conditions on a speeding boat proved proved less than easy…