I am very honoured to have been one of the principal camera operators on the Blue Planet II One Ocean camera team that won the Panasonic Cinematography Panda Award (big budget) at the prestigious Wildscreen festival on Friday. The Wildscreen Panda Awards have sat at the heart of the Wildscreen Festival since they were presented at the first Festival in 1982 and remain the highest accolade in the wildlife film and TV industry. On the night Blue Planet II also picked up the panda awards for best animal behaviour and best series!! So much passion and effort from so many amazing people around the world went into making this series and it’s wonderful to see that hard work being recognised. Thanks to everyone; from the peerless BBC NHU Production team to the scientists, skippers, fixers, dive guides and boat crew that gave their time and knowledge to help make this series. The underwater footage was mostly shot on the awesome Red Epic-Dragon in the bulletproof Gates Deep Weapon housing so a big thanks to those innovative teams who designed built the cutting edge gear to get the job done. Take a look at my blog about working as a cameraman on Blue Planet 2 for some more behind-the-scenes insights and series stats.
The series (somewhat surprisingly to me) didn’t win the impact award but I’m so proud to have played a small part in making a show that has helped raise awareness of the issues facing our oceans and even helped to change legislation on plastics in the UK. I really hope and believe that showing the general public what beautiful, intelligent and diverse life is beneath the waves through series like Blue Planet II will inspire people to push our governments to protect them.
Congratulations again to everyone involved!