Working with wildlife presenters Sir David Attenbourough & Nigel Marven


Filming with Nigel Marven. UK's intrepid presenter and David Attenborough UK's natural history Ambassador
I've had the honour of working with Sir David Attenborough on a number of occasions. He is a remarkable man. When on location David doesn't read from a script as he's extremely knowledgeable and will have already carefully worked out what he's going to say. Very rarely do we need to film the shot twice. If we do then maybe the subject we were filming didn't perform or appear in shot at the right moment.
David is also a very considerate man who likes people. I'd been in Costa Rica filming Capuchin in the mangroves for about three weeks prior to due David arrival. (Capuchin are small primates that have learned how to open cockles) On David's 75th birthday he insisted that I and my assistant should be booked in to the hotel so that we could celebrate his birthday with a nice meal, a few drinks and a chance to discuss how the filming was going.

Nigel Marven is a very energetic presenter with a very different style. Nigel likes to be in amongst the action, the more dangerous the better yet will never ask his cameraman to do something he wouldn't do. Nigel was once a senior Producer at the BBC and has a vast wealth of knowledge and understanding of nature which is why he can do what he does.
You come back from a shoot with Nigel absolutely exhausted but always the end program is worth the effort.
I was filming these habituated lion in South Africa. We had two rangers with us, one looking after Nigel and the other looking after me. We were on-foot filming Nigel's 'Big Cats' documentary and wanted to get in amongst the pride with close-ups & high filming of the lions feeding. We learned after our filming that the same pride had killed a tourist the previous month, who had foolishly got out of his car thinking that the lions were tame. I worked on Nigel's "Giants" series, "Nature Detectives" amongst others.
In comparison I worked for a freelance Producer who as I got in to the boat said "Neil, you look a bit nervous, is every thing alright down there" I had been filming Hammerhead Sharks in Hawaii feeding whilst the freelance Producer was on the boat chumming the water to get a feeding frenzy.
Nigel in contrast would be in the water with the Cameraman. I like Nigel's style as his programmes get the youngsters attention and we need them to take an interest in nature to ensure wildlife is protected for future generations

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