Sea Watch and I on BBC Panorama

Just a quick post to let you know that Sea Watch was on BBC Panorama on Monday!  And I can be spotted brandishing a camera on board the Dunbar II!  Aside from the claims to fame, it’s a good program to watch; it highlights the decline in species around the UK and how it affects YOU.  We really need to start making a proper effort to conserve our wildlife, our food resources, and our planet.

Below are links to a short clip, and the Panorama episode:

On another note, I’ve updated the Film section of my website slightly.  And I’m in the process of getting my web design website up and running – it will showcase the websites I’ve made, as well as the design pieces I’ve done.  In addition, hopefully I’ll have the shortened Sea Watch edit done soon!

Advertisements

A climbing short and the job hunt

With the MSc now over, I am joining the rather large number of people on the hunt for a job.  There seem to be a few freelance things on the horizon, so hopefully they’ll go ahead – it will be amazing to make an income from film, photography & web!  Plus I have two full days of teaching at University after christmas which is brilliant too.  I’m also just about to move to a new flat, so it’s all a little crazy right now!  If anyone needs (or know someone who needs) a film-maker, a photographer, or a web designer/developer, or even tuition in any of these areas then let me know!

I’m starting to hear a little bit from Wildscreen about volunteering at the festival in Bristol in October.  I am EXTREMELY excited about this; it’s going to be such an incredible experience, even if i will be working hard! Hopefully soon I’ll know my actual role!

I’ve got a few ideas buzzing around for another (shorter this time!) video project, so I’ll be starting that soon … in between moving, doing 2 more Sea Watch edits, and my freelance work! It’s all rather exciting 😀

Click on the image above to watch the film!


Speaking of films, I recently did a bit of filming with Luke (lukesaddler.com) for one of his climbing shorts, so check it out!  And for any Twilight fans, see if you can recognise the music!!

Bay of the Bottlenose Dolphin

On 6th August, I completed the edit of my dissertation film.  It’s taken me rather a long time to get it on vimeo due to compressing it, and the important matter of relaxing, and gallivanting around the country after the completion of my masters!  But I’ve returned to Nottingham, and here is the finished piece:

Bay of the Bottlenose Dolphin. Click to be taken to my film.

(vimeo.com/14264168)

A massive thanks obviously goes to Sea Watch (seawatchfoundation.org.uk) for letting me work with them over the four weeks; this opportunity meant that I was able to capture footage I wouldn’t have thought possible for a film with such a small budget,  but also I learnt so much, made friends, and saw incredible sights I shall never forget.

I can’t even begin to thank Ryan Calmus (rmcalmus.co.uk) for composing the soundtrack for this – it’s incredible, and he worked so hard to create it.  Not to mention the fact that he gave up so much of his free time to do it!

I’m now working on a shorter edit for the Sea Watch Foundation, and using my new MSc-free time to move house, find a job, and of course, make more films and take lots of photographs!

On a less happy note, I recently watched both ‘The Cove’ and ‘The End of the Line’.  Neither are uplifting nor happy, but I’m glad I watched both feature-length documentaries; they are eye-opening and hopefully they will be a huge help in the fight to conserve our marine life before it’s too late.

Documentary Trailer

I’ve edited together a short sequence to act as a trailer for my film (which will be finished this time next week – assuming all goes to plan!)  It was a nice ‘break’ and helped me motivate myself further into getting it finished;  it’s quite hard working at something for weeks yet still not having a finished product, so it was good to complete something!

http://vimeo.com/13744902

Click the image to be taken to my vimeo account

Hope you enjoy it!  Now it’s back to more editing and essay-writing

The Big Edit

So I’ve been back in Nottingham for over a week now; it was very hard saying goodbye to everyone at Sea Watch, and saying goodbye to the sea and the dolphins!  But the stay ended on an interesting experience; BBC Panorama came to film on my final day.  We all went out on the Dunbar, in sea state 4 (not particularly clever!) but luckily there were dolphins near the harbour, which meant we didn’t have to face the worst of the waves.  They were filming a piece on biodiversity, visiting a number of different people and organisations.  It should be out on August bank holiday, so make sure you watch it!  It was peculiar being in front of the camera for some of the time, and also really interesting to watch the guys at work.  Equally it was quite reassuring that they weren’t super human, that I already knew almost everything they were doing, and even BBC cameramen can’t get perfect shots of dolphins straight off!

BBC Panorama

The tables turned; BBC filming me

It was a really good way to see the end of my stay in New Quay with Sea Watch, and Chris even came to say goodbye.

Chris comes to see me off

Since I last blogged, a fair bit happened.  Aside from the BBC, the Times newspaper came to do an article on Sea Watch, my parents came to New Quay for a weeks holiday (and I’m pretty sure they fell in love with the place too!).  The weather, however, decided it had had enough of being bizarrely sunny and lovely, so the wind picked up again and the clouds and rain came back … along with Wales’ notoriously unpredictable weather.  It made it very difficult for me to finish the filming I needed to do, since I found it very difficult to get steady shots with the wind.  In addition most of the stuff I still needed to do relied on the weather being good AND the tides being at the right time.  Still, I think I got everything I needed, and also met/interviewed the big boss of Sea Watch, Peter Evans!  I was really rather nervous if I’m honest….

Rainbow in New Quay on my penultimate day

I took a brief trip to Pembrokeshire after my stay in New Quay to visit Skomer Island, and have a look round whilst I was in Wales.  The weather on the first day was absolutely incredible, and the water vis FINALLY decided to be good (a rare occurrence since I had my lesson, irritatingly) so I got some more underwater footage.  I was also lucky enough to see around 15-20 common dolphins swimming speedily; out to get their dinner, no doubt.  Incredibly I also bumped into Sion who was doing the last of his summer project; I knew he was in Pembrokeshire, but didn’t really know where, and we hadn’t organised to meet up until a couple of days later!   The following day, the weather was utterly terrible, and just so happened to be the day I went to Skomer island.  It was still an awesome day, and I didn’t realise how close the puffins came, and how incredibly cute they are.

A puffin dries his wings

Returning after a successful fishing trip in the rain

Heading back to land

Strangely, my stay in Wales seems rather like a dream now as I embark on the huge edit; I foresee many many long days and nights stuck in front of my computer!

Pretty places, the underwater world, and more dolphins

It’s been a while since I last blogged; internet related again!

Unfortunately the weather has now decided it doesn’t want to play ball; today is VERY windy and cloudy, with rain every now-and-then.  So today is primarily an editing day.  Hopefully I’ll get a decent amount done.  However, this afternoon I shall be interview Peter Evans, aka the big boss of Sea Watch – hopefully the sound equipment will all play ball.

I’ve been on another dedicated survey since the first one; not quite as incredible, but still really awesome.

Jenna working and watching dolphins

The weather was stunning (i believe this photo was from the first survey, but still) and we had one close encounter with some seriously cool bow riding; I’ve yet to go through my footage properly, but hopefully I’ll get a screenshot online soon.  Hard to believe now quite how awesome the weather was!

Training on Dunbar

The guys also did a bit more training at the end of the trip, so here’s a snap of the volunteers crammed on the front of Dunbar!  7 volunteers+?

One of the volunteers, Sharron, also took me on my first snorkelling outing – we just went off the beach in front of the Sea Watch office, but it was seriously awesome.  We got to see spider crabs, velvet swimming crabs, edible crabs, plus lots of fish.  Since it was my first time, I didn’t take my camera along.  Big mistake!  The visibility hasn’t been as good since, and now the windy weather is going to make it worse.  I managed to get some stuff down the coast a bit, but alas no crabs.  Now you may question my need of having a snorkelling lesson, but if I’m honest, it scared me rather a lot when I tried out the mask and fins at Mwnt beach … I’m a totally convert now, but I’m just impressed if I manage to get any usable footage from under the sea!

I’ve been exploring the local coastline – Jenna and I went to Mwnt last week which is a really beautiful beach just north of cardigan.  We saw seals and dolphins, plus the added bonus of it being really pretty and sunny!

Posing with Mwnt beach in the background

I also dragged Jenna up to Ynys Lochtyn to get a shot I wanted – It had a fair few more hills to get to the spot I wanted than I’d imagined! But it was a beautiful walk so it was worth it (i think!)

I’ve finally gotten round to sorting through my clips of the 3 hour session at birds rock, watching dolphins.  So here’s couple of screenshots.

3 Dolphins

Dolphin doing a huge leap

It feels like I haven’t been making much progress in the last week, but fingers crossed that will change soon :/ either way, I’m still really enjoying being here (even if I am missing people a bit) but the family are coming on holiday here next week so I’m looking forward to that!

So many dolphins…

Yesterday I decided to visit birds rock again to get some more bird footage.  However, I got rather distracted.  As soon as I got there, I spotted dolphins.  I was  going to still head on, until it leapt in the air!  As it turned out, my decision to stay was a good idea – I spent three hours sat in the same spot as dolphins continually foraged and played totally unaware of my presence.  And to make things even better, a seal turned up as well!  That was my best dolphin encounter so far.  That is, until today…

Grey Seal

My friend, the grey seal

Today was utterly incredible, and I will remember it always.  I just hope I don’t start taking further encounters like it for granted!

It was the first dedicated boat survey since I’ve arrived due to weather conditions and skipper availability.  On a dedicated survey, most of the Sea Watch team go out on Dunbar, and since we are collecting scientific data for conservation purposes, we have a different code of conduct to follow; aka we are allowed to change course to stay near the dolphins.  Aside from good data and photo ID, it results in lots of opportunity to film dolphins really close up.  I don’t know whether it’s just because we can stay with them longer, but they seem more happy to come up to the boat and jump around than near tourist boats.

Bow-riding juvenile

Bow-riding juvenile - not the best comosition, but look how close!

The boat left at 9am, but unfortunately I had to walk in for an hour today since my car-windscreen-chip is FINALLY being repaired. I hope.  I was a nice day for a walk, but it was along fast roads with no pavements, carrying two heavy rucksacks and a tripod! Once on the boat, we had a number of encounters (the first almost immediately), with there being around 14 dolphins at some points, swimming at the sides of the boat.  There was also some bow riding, and at one stage there were many of them leaping in the air.   I just hope the footage I got was good; it was definitely mind-blowing to watch.  Another success: we managed not to get hit by rockets being launched from the army base at aber-porth.

3 dolphin leap

3 dolphins leaping in sync. Incredible.