There are so many small items of advice that could help someone who is intent on a career in wildlife film making and television. I know that if I were to sit down and attempt to write the definitive careers advice article I would never finish it. Worse, it would not be definitive. The whole television industry changes day by day rendering most advice obsolete quite quickly. Better to offer short ‘advice bites’ from time to time, so here is the first.
I was reading ‘Y Barcud’ today, the Wales supplement of the RSPB magazine. Well there’s one tip: if you’re really interested in wildlife you will be a member of at least one active wildlife conservation organization. The RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts are a good place to start, or you could try the Marine Conservation Society or Hawk and Owl Trust. I’m a member of all of these and others, and one day I’ll run out of organisations to join! If you’re young ask your parents for membership as a gift, if they’re not already interested in wildlife themselves hopefully they soon will be.
Anyway, I digress. There was an article in ‘Y Barcud’ about getting involved, and this is something that a person young or old can do nowadays with wildlife filming. Digital ‘movie’ cameras are relatively cheap and accessible, and even phones can be used for some types of wildlife filming so there aren’t any excuses for not having a go.
Is there something that you could film close to home without having to spend a fortune in travel? How about right in the garden, even if it is tiny. I think more unique behaviour and natural history events are filmed by non professionals just being in the right place at the right time than are filmed by professional camera people working on programmes. Reading the magazines from conservation organisations will give you lots of ideas too. You might consider getting involved with the work of your local wildlife trust, which will bring you into contact with very knowledgeable people who will also have ideas, and they’ll be enthusiastic about wildlife and what you’re trying to achieve. You will also be able to visit nature reserves near your home the best that your area has to offer. Sometimes these reserves have comfortable (well, relatively comfortable) hides where you can sit to see what wildlife comes along. If you can sit there for several hours, see next to nothing and come away sane then you are half way there 🙂