2006 - Assignments
While by no means an exhaustive list of this year's work here are some of the highlights ;
- Alive - Darlow Smithson for Channel 4 and Discovery
- Extreme Dreams - Ricochet Productions for BBC2
- St Kilda - Aerial Dance - Gaelic Arts Agency
- Adventure Show - Triple Echo for BBC Scotland
- Tir Is Teanga - Caledonia for BBC Scotland
- BAFTA adventure Film Evening
- Banff Canada - Film-makers' Seminar
- Extreme Film School - Kendal Mountain Film Festival
Alive - Escape From Avalanche Alley
“Alive” - Darlow Smithson's series of docu-dramas followed on from the hugely successful film 'Touching The Void'. In this episode two climbers suffer a never-ending series of life threatening incidents that began when a snow-bulge collapsed on them as they climbed a mile high wall in Alaska. Technical mountaineering, falls (ouch!), skiing and crevasse sequences provided some pretty challenging filming days on locations in the French and Italian Alps. One day it was minus 20C with a 50 knot wind..............
I hr film on Digibeta for Channel 4 and Discovery.
Extreme Dreams - the Arctic and Kilimanjaro
The concept behind the series was to take novices with interesting back stories on expeditions that would push them to the limit. Transmitted at 6.30pm every weekday evening on BBC2 each location featured for a week at a time. In the Arctic the team, including Ben Fogle, travelled by ski - pulling sledges behind them with their equipment, by dog-sled and by snowmobile. They explored ice-caves, tried some extremely steep ice-climbing and endured the hardships of camping during the tail-end of an Arctic winter in Spitsbergen.
In June Ben and a new team of five headed for East Africa and Mount Kilimanjaro. At 5895 metres high the altitude took its toll on the expedition members. Ben Fogle, Ben T. and Jason made the summit, Deepika thought it better to stop at the crater rim, Jenny stopped just after our final camp at Kibo and earlier, Paula was escorted down with a stomach problem. So while the highest peak in Africa is non-technical it's no push-over. Flying around the peak shooting the aerials from the Cessna was truly memorable.................
12 x 30 minutes DVCAM for BBC2
Duet St Kilda - Aerial Dance - Gaelic Arts Agency
Take six French aerial dance specialists, one of the most dramatic sea-cliffs in the West of Scotland as the stage and over a kilometer of rope and you have one of the most unusual jobs I've ever been involved in. The final one and a half hour film will form the backdrop to a major pan-european arts project that will incorporate drama, theatre, choral and orchestral elements. The project is due for launch early in 2007 with performances in 5 countries simultaneously in the summer. The extract 'Duet' won the Innovation Award at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival this year. The cliff shoot was directed by Keith Partridge..............
The Adventure Show
Now in its 2nd year of production the series has covered Scottish based adventure sports events and supporting feature items including the Mountain Biking World Cup at Fort William, 70 Wild Miles in Glencoe, The Ben Nevis Hill Race, Tiree Wave Classic and the Orkney Triathlon………..
Monthly 1 hour programme on HDV for BBC Scotland
Tir Is Teanga
This Gaelic series explores the origins of Gaelic place names and mountain names as we walk through some the Highland's most beautiful scenery. Well that's what it would have been like but of course the weather didn't always play ball. Monsoon like rain and low cloud plagued some of the days. But it wouldn't be Scotland if every day was a blue-sky day........................
Digibeta for BBC Scotland
BAFTA, Banff, Dundee Mountain Film Festival and the Extreme Film School
This Autumn BAFTA held an event in conjunction with the Kendal Mountain Film Festival that celebrated 100 years of mountain film-making – “The Heights Of British Film-Making”. Being asked to present a number of clips from projects in which I have been involved to an audience of over 300 was an honour. The evening also premiered the documentary Deep Water by Darlow Smithson Productions.
Also this year as part of the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture's development programme I was invited to Canada to develop and implement a five day series of film-maker's seminars and workshops in conjunction with Producer colleague Richard Else. Subjects we facilitated included pitching, developing a project strategy, shooting equipment and getting the best out of it, trouble-shooting, production techniques, non-linear editing, sound and aquisition. Click on the Banff logo.
As one of the facilitation staff with a series of lectures and seminars run over three days followed by the 48 hour film-marathon the Extreme Film School once again proved to be a very popular event. The participant's final films that were shot and edited within the 2 day period can be viewed by clicking the Extreme Film School logo.
With the Dundee Mountain Film Festival now in its 24 year I was asked to be the key speaker for their Saturday afternoon slot and present "Don't Look Down - a sideways look at adventure film-making". I kept the audience of 350 entertained with an illustrated lecture and stories from behind the scenes of some of the many projects in which I’ve been involved ; a real just how did they do that and a diferent sort of challenge ……..