How do you think your course went ?
I feel the course went really well. I learn so much I had no idea about not only about wildlife filming but also field craft and the wider film industry. We completed the film and made it to a good standard considering none of us had picked up a video camera or used a proper editing system before.
Did you accomplish what you set out to do?
I would say so yes, I set out with few expectations. But the main one was to learn how to make a quality documentary. Although I did not expect us to make us a broadcast standard film. I expected us to make something decent and I believe we exceeded that and produced something you would like to watch; and watch all the way through.
I definitely learnt all the things I wished to learn on the course regarding camera, audio and editing equipment. Learnt their function, use and care. I feel like I have a good grounding all those things so that I can have a career in this field.
Did you enjoy your course / What was your favourite moment?
I did enjoy the course, my favourite part of the course was going out on the boat and filming the sea eagles, it was a really cool experience and considering that we had pretty much a month and a half of miserable weather to get a nice day to film the eagles was special.
I also really enjoyed the editing process it was where you could see how a film is really made. The layers of audio and video lines that build up a film so that it works as one piece. It also gave me a better understanding of how to use camera as you can point and shoot at anything but what you film and how you film it needs to be filmed through the eyes of the editor or viewer. You may really like it but it may be useless for the edit and won´t engage the viewer.
What did you like about your instructor ?
Ric is a firm and fair instructor, he has a wealth of knowledge and he takes time to speak to locals that you gain valuable knowledge from that otherwise would go a miss.
He is always trying to improve you as his student and will tell you exactly how it is. When you do well you´ll get praise but at the same time you´ll get told when it´s wrong.
Camp craft and organisation is paramount and your skills will improve with Ric and he always has stories to tell…
JJ´s Student Testimonial
Before this course I was unsure of how or what it entails to work in wildlife film. All I knew is that I had a passion for wildlife and working in an admin wasn´t for me. Arriving in Oban two days after my last day at work I was nervous but excited.
The course is what you make of it, the more you put in the more you get out. Listening and watching Ric and your peers you can learn a lot. It seems with wildlife film the best way to learn is by learning from mistakes. Before you make them or someone else does you have no idea how important the little things are (even when Ric tells you).
From using camera, pitching tents and editing, there is nothing I didn´t improve in. Becoming comfortable with the camera gear, ranging from a DJI Osmo to the FS7 a production level camera was a steep learning curve.
Although I have watched a plethora of wildlife documentaries and have some knowledge about wildlife. You really come to understand the skills needed to produce a wildlife film.
Filming to a script is easier said than done with wildlife, initially I wanted to do my segment on Birds of Prey, but unfortunately apart from Buzzards they seemed to be more elusive than they normally are this year.
But the most engaging part was the edit process. When the film comes together. Where you choose and add music and end up with your final film. Our film really shows the fun we had on this course, we weren´t always the most productive with our days. But using creativity we managed to use our footage to its fullest.
Life changing experience, I’ll be back to Mull to see the White Tailed Sea Eagles, Otters and hopefully a Golden Eagle that isn´t so far away I need 3000mm lens. It´s a shock to the system as wildlife film making isn´t as romantic as it´s made out to be; but it´s thoroughly rewarding, and that final film makes it all worth it.
If I am lucky enough to work in wildlife film in the future, this will be a perfect grounding.