Alastair MacEwen is an award-winning cameraman and director. His experience is unusually wide, ranging from conventional long lens cinematography with subjects such as humpback whales, Amazonian river dolphins and giant otters, elephants, lions and cheetahs through to the highly specialist techniques required for macrocinematography. He has worked extensively with film and has had considerable experience in high definition. He is a zoology graduate starting his career writing and directing commercial documentaries then he moved into wildlife camerawork which was more in line with his interest in Natural History. He has used an extremely wide range of equipment from starlight cameras, infra-red sensitive cameras, motion control time lapse and most of the latest high speed cameras. Watch his work in the Bear Battleground episode.
Emmy Award-winning cameraman Neil Rettig is a naturalist and filmmaker who began his career in the mid-1970s after attending the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Over the past three decades, Neil has contributed to the production of hundreds of films, including IMAX productions, National Geographic specials and science documentaries. Neil’s knowledge of raptors, especially the rare forest eagles, and his fieldwork have been instrumental in the conservation of rare and threatened animals, the establishment of protected ecosystems around the world and breeding projects for endangered species. Neil’s innovative camera work in tropical rain forests, his ability to move the camera from forest floor to canopy and “film on the fly” made him an integral member of the acclaimed National Geographic Channel series Great Migrations team. Watch his work in the Bear Battleground episode.
Karin Slater is a producer, director and cinematographer who was awarded the prestigious Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC Cannes 2008. She was also the recipient of the Best South African Documentary Award at the 2008 Durban International Film Festival and the 2008 Apollo Film Festival. She has shot documentaries for well-known international filmmakers and teaches independent documentary filmmaking at Selkirk College, Canada. Watch her work in the Bear Battleground episode.
Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone are a wildlife film-making partnership - founded in 1984, when they collaborated on the first of many award winning underwater films. In 1987 they were invited by Alan Root, widely considered to be the premiere wildlife filmmaker of all time, to the Serengeti, Africa. The result of the collaboration was two specials –Sunlight and Shadow and the critically acclaimed Here be Dragons. Mark and Vicky's films are personal, authored documentaries that typically take 2-3 years to produce. The couple both produce, direct, write and shoot their films. The films are made entirely on location, working out of remote bush camps. Mark and Vicky are versatile cinematographers - both are qualified pilots and divers. They are as at home underwater filming crocodiles as they are shooting aerials or filming minute insects perched high in the canopy. They were married in 1992 and have two sons who have been home-schooled in the bush. Their films have achieved global recognition with over 100 international awards - including an Emmy and a Peabody. Watch their work in the Bear Battleground and Crocodile Ambush episodes.
Kim's filming career across southern Africa is not a job but a passion. He lives amongst the beasts and strives to create an awareness for Africa's wild places and its animals. His goal is to maintain them for future generations through sustainable development, enhancing the lives of the communities that share the land with the wildlife. Kim hopes that through the entertainment his films provide he can captivate the viewer, many of who will be the future stewards of our world's heritage. Watch his work in the Crocodile Ambush episode.
Peter Lamberti, wildlife enthusiast, producer and filmmaker, is the creative driving force behind Aquavision TV Productions, the largest wildlife filmmaking production company in South Africa. Founded in 1990, Peter’s passion for filming extraordinary animal behaviour both underwater and in the wild African bush, has led Aquavision TV Productions from making local dive programmes to producing award winning internationally recognized wildlife documentaries. Watch his work in the Shark Swarm episode.
Charles Maxwell is an experienced underwater cinematographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Charles has been a keen diver and lover of the marine environment for over 40 years. He began a career in underwater cinematography in 1987 when he assisted French Television in filming Le Souffle du Dragon, a story about the discovery and exploration of a huge underground lake in Namibia. Since then he has worked with many production companies worldwide. Charles was a 2002 Primetime Emmy Award winner in the category Outstanding Cinematography for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Cam) for his work done on the Natal Sardine Run. Watch his work in the Shark Swarm episode.
Mark has filmed deadly predators for over 20 years and specializes in underwater videography. Mark has the ability to hold his breath for over 5 minutes and has spent hundreds of hours under the water filming. This incredible talent allows him to get “close up and personal” all his subjects. His work has been seen on multiple broadcasters including National Geographic Channel and MTV. Watch his work in the Shark Swarm episode.
John Varty (JV) is a South African conservationist and filmmaker who specializes in big cats. JV established Tiger Canyons near the town of Philippolis on the Van der Kloof Lake in the Karoo of South Africa as an experiment to create a free-ranging, self-sustaining tiger population outside Asia. From this population, third and fourth generations of tigers can be returned to Asia into parks that meet a set of criteria which give the tigers a chance of surviving in Asia. He successfully introduced a lion cub into a tiger litter to test if a tigress would adopt a cub which is not their own. This way genetic diversity can be increased in populations of wild tigers where inbreeding is occurring. Watch his work in the Shark Swarm episode.