Friday, 3 January 2014

And so it Begins...

I hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Sky the husky-collie cross in the festive spirit!

Filming for Fall for Nature has begun. I have thought about making films for years, and what better place to start than by filming myself looking for native wildlife around the UK. It has been a flying start, getting footage for my little intro film that I hope to finish in the New Year, interviewing with the Shark Trust, filming at Plymouth Natural History Museum, and heading to Norfolk to film the Grey Seal pups and anything else we came across.

Taking to the River Ivel to get some footage of the river, traffic and wildlife above and below the water, I used my old fish tank as an effective (once cleaned up!) underwater housing. Waterproof to the mind-boggling depths of 10 inches...

Fish tank
I am over the moon with the footage, and cannot wait to get the ideas and shots I envisage edited into the film.
Above and below the Ivel
Shoal of fish! 

Filming in Norfolk was the first time I properly set-out on a shoot to get enough footage to make my first short film. Tim, my good friend, joined me to help with the filming. The trip was incredible, witnessing the pink-footed geese as hundreds of thousands of them took to the skies from their overnight roost on The Wash, births of beautiful grey seal pups, and some spectacular sunsets. As I have never been one for enjoying being in front of the camera much, my presenting skills were put to the test, and I have to say once myself and Tim got going, I actually found myself enjoying it a lot! Although I am no Steve Backshall yet...

On the way to the seal colony
Many thanks to Tim for his help! 

Up at the crack of dawn, we witnessed the pink footed geese leaving roost in the wind and the rain. We were cold, and wet, but we managed to get some dim footage of the birds. If you can, have a quick gander at this short clip I have thrown together of the event:

If you cannot see the video here, follow this link over to youtube to have a quick peek: Pink Footed Geese

The Christmas period has been extremely busy. In between festivities, family and friends, I have almost finished editing the interview for the Shark Trust with Cat Gordon, their conservation officer, about shark and ray eggcases found around Britain. The interview is packed with lots of great information, and the Shark Trust have kindly provided supporting images. Many thanks go out to all the contributing photographers, with special thanks to Cat Gordon and Lauren Smith for their contributions. Lauren is a marine biologist, and runs her own diving and marine conservation business. It is definitely worth checking it out here: Saltwater Life.

Rescuing the eggcases as they got blown away in the wind!

Screenshot at Wembury Beach, Devon as Sam and I eggcase hunted!

I have decided each episode will be no more than 5-6 minutes long, focusing on individual species and themes. The films will be filmed in the same spirit as the message I am trying to put across: cost effective ways of connecting to wildlife. Wildlife you see regularly, as well as wildlife that you might believe to be more exotic and that may surprise you at the possibility to enjoy them here in Britain. Admittedly some of the species and some of the themes may involve a bit of travel and a bit of effort, but I do hope that it is worth it. Most of the time, it is a matter of just being more aware whilst doing ordinary things. Whether you are walking on the beach, out with the kids down the park, driving to work or washing up by the kitchen window.

I look forward to being able to share them, and hope updates become far more regular as things get going this year. I already have some shooting lined up for the summer and cannot wait! I am excited to be working on these projects, along with a healthy dose of nerves as I hope to share them with everyone to see.

Any thoughts, feedback, advice and help would be much appreciated, so please feel free to get in touch!

Thank you for reading,


Beyond the Riverbank Movies


  1. Great post Tom :) Love the pink footed goose spectacular!! Must get up to Norfolk sometime to see it for myself! Sky looks about as impressed with her festive attire as Bracken did with his! I'll send you a pic at some point! Excited for the shark interview episode! :)

    Lou x

    1. Thanks Lou! :) Look forward to seeing Brackens christmas outfit! Back from Poland now, so hopefully will have this interview complete soon. And a Poland blog to write! Don't know where to find the time...

  2. Sky definitely looks like a real pro at having a picture taken. Have read Poland part 1. I hope this is a great year for you.

    1. She is a bit of a poser! Thankyou Seagull :)