Self-Shooting the Hebrides
I was lucky enough to be given my first role as a self shooting director last month on a 3 week shoot in the Outer Hebrides for Tigress Productions One Show department. I followed and filmed the journey of the delightfully adventuress Emma Massingale, who explored the length of the Outer Hebrides with her two Eriskay ponies Storm and Noah.
This wasn't my first time to the Outer Hebrides. During my gap year back in 2008 I took part in a survival course on the Isle of Taransay, the island where they filmed the iconic series 'Castaway' which put Ben Fogle on the map. Aside from the weather, this most recent trip was very different. This time I was being paid to be there and for the first time I was on a shoot that utilised almost all of the filmmaking skills I've learned over the years. Everyday was completely different. I had to film interviews, cutaways, timelapses, slow-motion, direct drone shots and at the end of everyday back up all that footage either in my tent or more frequently in the comfort of a campsite kitchen.
The most stressful thing had to be the weather. While the rest of the UK baked in a relentless heat wave, something we were constantly reminded of while journeying from one location to another and listening to BBC Radio 2, we had a completely different experience. Rain, rain and more bloody rain. And not the kind of rain that comes straight down like a lead balloon. This was the kind of rain that likes to float though the air and land miraculously on your lens just when you're not looking.
One of the biggest highlights had to be during a fishing trip we took on our third week there. The amount of incredible wildlife we saw and filmed on this one short trip alone was simply awesome. On any other day Sea Eagles catching fish from along side the boat, adorably inquisitive Seals and Great Skewer eating food from the presenter Emma's hand would have been enough to last any budding wildlife cameraman like myself a year of cool wildlife anecdotes. But this trip had something even more sentimental to offer. Working as a team, Emma and the skipper Lewis Mackenzie managed to free a capture an injured guillemot that was tangled in fishing wire. I managed to capture the entire experience on film and although I'm doubtful it'll be included in the final edit, I'm overwhelmed to have captured such a heroic effort on film. I'm even more pleased to say that the guillemot was well and released 2 days later.
I not sure when the film will be released, but I'd like to thank all those at Tigress for giving me this opportunity and an equally grateful thanks to Emma Massingale and her family for having me along for their epic adventure!