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New Film in the Highlands

12.12.2023

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Fishing the River Spey

Wildlife and commercial films

I generally don't promote this side of my work here, but I have been making films both commercially and occasionally for TV for many years.

This film was made as a promotion for The Grant Arms Wildlife hotel in the summer of 2023. Filmed and edited by me, with invaluable help from Richard Elliott Aerial Filming and Mick Jenner with the Kingfisher and Otter clips from his library. I could never forget the pianist Shoshana Michel whose exquisite piece 'Ethereal' gives the perfect finish to the film.

Full length, 3 minute, version of the film for the Grant Arms Wildlife hotel

The Highlands are a sum of their parts and the mountains, the rivers and the wildlife are key drivers of the tourism that powers the economy.

Filming in the Cairngorms was prohibitively fraught with permit issues, so we settled for the River Spey, with kind permission of the Spey Fisheries board. The unique perspective the drone gave to the fishing shots was a huge contributor to the feeling of the film. Stuart was endlessly patient as we filmed from different anagles and then I repeated the visit with sound-recording equipment to get accurate sound that is so important to give atmosphere.

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TV presenter Nick and his delightful wife Ceri were so relaxed and a pleasure to work with, even when I made Nick re-peddle the mountain bike scene endlessly!

We were helped enormously by the Strathspey steam railway and also the efforts of so many people in the hotel, all of whome went the extra mile to make the film a real success.

Technical

On the techical side, the film was shot on my OM System OM-1 cameras at 2160p50 in 10 bit log. Some may question the use of a small mirrorless camera, but quality is excellent and with the use of quality variable ND filters, I was able to control the dept of field and look to perfection. Thier size and versatility, both in hand and on a Movi made life so much easier than using a full-sized movie camera.

Sound was recorded on a Sound Devices MixPre with a range of mics and a few clips were added from my Olympus LS-100 hand-held recorder.

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Aerial view of Grantown on Spey

The drone footage by Richard Elliott was from a mix of DJI drones. Primarily the Mavic 3 Cine with clips from 'built-up areas' taken on the Mini 3 Pro. Both graded well, but colour was better from the Cine drone.

The film was edited in Final Cut Pro and Shoshana's music cut slightly and levels mastered in Logic Pro to suit the needs of the film. I also edited all the 'atmos' in Logic to ge the authentic sounds of the casting and water.

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Fred Hart the exec chef prepared food to perfection in the hotel kitchens

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Common Sandpiper at Lochindorb. As the hotel is a mecca for birders, the wildlife content was important

If film-making interests you...

I love to make short films and sharing that knowledge is always a pleasure, so drop me a line. I have previously run film-making workshops for Canon UK, the BBC and others.


Our Wild Photography Workshops and Holidays

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Wildlife in Scotland
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Raptors in Snow
Bears and Raptors in Autumn
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OM SYSTEM training
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East African Wildlife
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Lightroom training
Birds and Wildlife of Eastern Spain
Goshawk and Black Grouse in Finland

Available Dates and Places on our bird and wildlife photography holidays

Finland Black Grouse, Goshawk and Eagles in Snow 2-7th April 2024 .3 places left


Scotland Birds, Wildlife & Scenery May 26-30th 2024. Places available


Spain Birds of Plains and Mountains May 28-2nd June 2024. 3 Places available


Scotland Birds, Wildlife & Scenery August 26-30th 2024. Available


Finland Autumn Bears and Eagles Sep 24-29th 20204. Only 4 places.


Uganda African Birds and Wildlife 28th October - 6th November 2024. 2 places


Finland Raptors in Snow Feb 26-3rd March 2025. Available


All our day training and bespoke camera / post-production workshops are available as normal.

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