Wildeye was born in the 1990s when founder Piers Warren realised the need for independent education and information for wildlife and conservation film-makers, whether professional, amateur or newcomers. An early project was the development of www.wildlife-film.com, and its associated monthly e-zine Wildlife Film News, which remains today the world’s leading source of information about the wildlife film-making industry, Google’s no. 1 ranking website for ‘wildlife film’ and many other related searches.

Wildeye’s core activity, however, soon became the educational opportunities in the form of short specialist courses in Norfolk, UK, and longer overseas opportunites. We have now had many hundreds of students on our courses from all over the world and are thrilled to hear of those that are now accomplished in the industry, award-winners, or simply making better wildlife films for their own enjoyment. We have always had a strong focus on conservation and the desire to use film as a tool to help conserve our natural world.

You can view group photos from previous courses and trips by clicking here.

Wildeye Tutors

We have had numerous tutors over the years, all experienced professionals with an enthusiasm for sharing their knowledge, often gained through many years of dedicated work in the wildlife film-making industry. Many of our tutors are multi-award winners who continue to work in production. We take on new specialists all the time, our current team of tutors is as follows:

Piers Warren – Principal of Wildeye

Piers is well known throughout the wildlife film-making industry as the founder of Wildlife Film News and former producer of wildlife-film.com, which he created in the 1990s. With a strong background in biology, education and conservation, he has had a lifelong passion for wildlife films and has a wide knowledge of natural history. He cut his teeth in the industry as a sound engineer and multi-media producer, running a studio for many years before creating Wildeye – International School of Wildlife Film-making – in 1999. He is also one of the founders of the international organisation Filmmakers for Conservation and was Vice President for the first three years. Piers is the author of many magazine features and numerous books including Careers in Wildlife Film-making and Conservation Film-making: How to make films that make a difference.

Mike Linley – Camera and Production Tutor

Mike was a producer and scientific advisor to Survival the Internationally acclaimed wildlife programme making company from 1980 until its demise in 2001. During this time he filmed and produced over 60 documentaries, many of which won major International awards. Mike also researched, wrote and produced over 200 wildlife programmes for children including the series Animals in Action. He then formed Hairy Frog Productions, an independent wildlife production company.Since then he has worked on productions for Granada, National Geographic and Discovery/Animal Planet.

Richard Brock – Conservation Film Tutor

Richard worked in the BBC Natural History Unit for 35 years producing, among others, the highly successful Life on Earth and Living Planet series with David Attenborough. Concerned by the lack of willingness to address the real current state of the environment he left the BBC and started his own independent production company Living Planet Productions which has made over 100 films on a wide range of environmental topics, shown all over the world. As his archive of films and footage mounted up, Richard felt that there was something more, better, that could be done with this resource, so he set up the Brock Initiative, to use this footage and to ask others to do the same, to create new programs, not made for a general TV audience, but made for those who are really connected to the situation in hand: local communities, decision makers, even that one fisherman who uses dynamite fishing over that one coral reef. It’s about reaching those who have a direct impact; reaching those who can make the difference.

Madelaine Westwood – Gorilla Tour Leader – Conservation Film Tutor

Madelaine is the Founder of GAFI and the Pedal Powered Cinema Project. As a wildlife filmmaker for over twenty years, Madelaine has learned that moving images can have a powerful effect upon the people who view them. With a background in documentaries working with broadcasters such as National Geographic, BBC, Discovery, Channel 4, plus five years in commercials and corporate films, Madelaine decided to use this experience to try and reach the people who needed to see the films the most – those who live and work in the areas most affected by environmental damage, climate change, habitat loss and species extinction. Initially this meant getting permission to screen films to local communities, decision-makers, armies, rangers, schools and local politicians – all those groups who contribute to changing their own environment. There have been constant challenges but the rewards have been extraordinary. To date over 300 million people have seen wildlife and conservation films – people who had never even seen a film have walked up to twenty miles to be in the audience. Many projects are flourishing, tree planting, bee-keeping, cane rat farming, organic farming, regular radio presentations, wildlife clubs set up, teachers promoting sustainability, but there is always more to do. Most of the areas GAFI works in do not have electricity but the Pedal Powered Cinema has been our answer. We can now screen films on sheets, on walls or in the open air – no buildings or electricity required but a bit of energy and willing legs.

Chris Watson – Sound Recording Tutor

Chris is a composer who specialises in recording the sounds of wildlife and the natural world. His freelance career in film, radio and TV has taken him to some of the worlds’ remotest places. Watson worked on David Attenborough’s Life and Frozen Planet productions for the BBC, which both went on to receive BAFTA Awards in the Best Factual Sound.
Chris’s compositions are based on the voices of animals and habitats in the natural world and the built environment such as heather moorlands, tropical forests, deserts, steelworks and the arctic ocean. As well as creating soundtracks for broadcast, Watson produces multi channel sound installations, live performances, public lectures and workshops. His music career stems back to the early 1970s when he was a founder member of the experimental group Cabaret Voltaire. In 2000 he received an Award of Distinction for his Touch CD ‘Outside the Circle of Fire’ in the Digital Music section of the Prix Ars Electronica. The University of the West of England awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Technology degree in 2006, and in 2011 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Arts, London. He has undertaken commissions from Aldeburgh Music, FORMA Arts & Media, the British Film Institute, The Louvre and Museums Sheffield. See www.chriswatson.net

Jez riley French – Sound Recording Tutor

Jez is a composer, artist & audio specialist whose output involves elements of intuitive composition, field recording (using conventional & extended methods) photographic images (including their use in photographic scores) and improvisation. He has performed, exhibited and had his work published widely across the world and also lectures in both field recording and the act & art of listening. Recently his work has been exhibited at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Artisphere (USA) & at festivals and galleries in Italy, Japan, Czech Republic, Australia, Iceland etc. He also curates the ‘a quiet position’ project / facebook group on aspects of field recording / listening.
Jez also makes & sells his own hydrophones and contact mics (http://hydrophones.blogspot.com). In recent years Jez has been working closely on a number or projects that seek to capture a sense of place and moment that is both highly personal and yet offers a fascinating opportunity to look and listen anew to the environments in which we spend our time. http://jezrileyfrench.co.uk

Pip Norton – Audio Post Production Tutor

Pip started her mixing career at the BBC, mixing such classics as Blue Peter, Casualty and Songs of Praise. She left to join George Martin’s Air Studios, where she continued mixing many series for BBC including Silent Witness and Desperate Romantics. While she was at Air she won the Best Dubbing Mixer Conch and started mixing for film as well as television. In 2009 she left Air to become freelance and mix a greater variety of projects. www.pipnorton.com

Simon Beer – Camera Tutor

Simon is a camera specialist and blogger who has worked with cutting edge imaging technology since 1993. He is a multiskilled camera operator who has worked on a wide spectrum of jobs over the years in varying capacities.  Previous work has seen him filming hedgehogs in infrared, rigging robotic heads and cranes in TV studios and working with satellite uplinks at the Monaco Grand Prix, World Cup and the funeral of Princess Diana.
In 2005 Simon co-founded the well known equipment retailer Production Gear.  He has an encyclopedic knowledge of video camera technology. www.simonbeer.com

Elliott Corke – Aerial Filming Specialist

Elliott is an aerial photographer and videographer specialising in the use of drones. He started HexCam in 2012, initially working mainly in the production side. As the UK civil drone industry has developed, Elliott has begun to specialise in flight training, providing basic and advanced flight training as well as supplying and maintaining drone equipment. Recent trainees include scientists from The Deep aquarium in Hull who will be using drones to monitor manta ray populations in the Red Sea. Use of drones in wildlife filming is becoming increasingly widespread, particularly for scene-setting and inaccessible shots and Elliott enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in drones and associated cameras and helping people to deal with issues such as compromises between image quality, flight time and portability.

Gavin Thurston – Camera Tutor

Gavin is a BAFTA and EMMY award winning wildlife cameraman and presenter. He started work for Oxford Scientific Films back in 1981 specialising in mainly macro filmmaking. He then joined the BBC where his experience grew before going freelance in 1989. He has worked on nine of Sir David Attenboroughs series and four of the Big Cat Diary series. His more recent contributions include sequences for Planet Earth.
Check www.gavinthurston.com for more antics………

Simon Lewis – Camera Tutor

Simon has been a cameraman for over a decade and is currently working for BBC Earth, capturing wildlife and the natural world in high speed and time-lapse predominantly. He loves being able to capture what the eye cannot usually see. He is a huge technology geek, and is passionate about cameras and photography, both emerging and vintage. Simon teaches the slow motion module of our wildlife camera operators course using high speed photron cameras.

Adrian Cale – Camera Tutor

Adrian is an independent wildlife filmmaker, writer and naturalist. As an accomplished producer and camera operator, he brings his own stories to life and has worked with wildlife both behind and in front of camera in a vast range of countries and capacities, his life-long passion affording him a broad knowledge and profound experience of the natural world. He set up Pupfish Productions in 2003: an umbrella group of like-minded independent filmmakers and has gone on to produce, film and write award winning content www.adriancale.co.uk

Alan Miller – Editing Tutor

Alan has been writing and editing wildlife documentaries for almost twenty years. BBC trained, Alan started editing wildlife programmes at Partridge Films and worked on many of their Wildscreen Panda award winners.He has worked for many companies, including Granada, BBC, NHK Japan, Sky Vision and Nature Conservation Films for whom he edited two wildlife feature films. He also won Best Low Budget Feature at the 2012 London Independent Film Festival. He has also written and directed many documentaries but remains passionately interested in editing. He is experienced in both Avid and Final Cut Pro systems. Alan is a recent Wildscreen Panda award-winner and has published his first novel Nigh.

Caroline Brett – Production Tutor

Caroline, known to most as Brettie, is a highly experienced and award-winning producer/director/writer. Caroline worked for twenty one years for the prestigious Survival series making programmes in numerous locations including out on the ice in Arctic Canada, in the rainforests of Sierra Leone, high on the tundra in Alaska and on a remote Vietnamese island in the South China Sea. She produced the highly successful ‘Predators with Gaby Roslin‘ and directed some of the ‘Wild about Essex with Tony Robinson’. She is now director of Shake The Tree Productions and has recently been working on a film in the Seychelles and films in the Netherlands. Caroline has written numerous articles for various publications and eight factual books. She is a still photographer and a cameraperson having filmed a production on street kids in India and a DVD on British native ponies.

Sarah Whalley – Research Tutor

Sarah is an experienced researcher in the wildlife film industry who has turned her passion for nature into her career. She has worked for Burning Gold Productions and is now working for Parthenon Entertainment, where she has made films for National Geographic and Animal Planet, with a current production on the wildlife of Alaska. Filming for these productions has taken her to New Zealand, Rome, Alaska and even the wilds of Norfolk! With a Zoology degree and a Masters in Conservation, Sarah started her media career on the bottom rung with numerous work experience placements and making endless cups of tea, so knows the pitfalls and dedication involved in working in the industry.

Jonathan Jones – Camera Tutor

Jonathan, known by many as Jip, is a specialist lighting cameraman who has worked on award winning natural history programmes. He specialises in macro and high-speed photography, this has enabled him to work on projects like ‘Swarm – Natures incredible invasions‘ and ‘Smalltalk Diaries‘ 2 x Panda winner at Wildscreen. Prior to focusing on camerawork Jip was an editor working on an array of productions. He loves a challenge and is always looking to further his knowledge of new technology and filming techniques. www.emberfilms.co.uk

Mihali Moore – Camera tutor

Mihali has many years experience as a camera operator and has worked on a variety of broadcast programmes covering a range of different genres. A biology graduate and a keen diver, Mihali has a strong passion for the natural world. He has worked for BBC NHU, Tigress Productions and has produced, shot and edited several films for Norman Carr Safaris in Zambia. Competent with most video formats and experience working abroad, Mihali is always looking for new and exciting projects to work on.

Other Staff

Jason Peters

Jason Peters – Wildeye Course Co-ordinator, Co-editor of Wild Pages: The Wildlife Film-makers’ Resource Guide, Editor of Wildlife Film News, Producer of www.wildlife-film.com

Jason has been fascinated by wildlife ever since growing up on a farm in Sussex. Very early on he developed a deep respect for all that was around him but soon discovered that the natural world was in deep trouble. He studied biological sciences at university in London and then became involved in various conservation projects around the world, including working in the rain forests of Northern Vietnam and with cheetah in Southern Africa. He then went on to study wildlife film-making in Cape Town and has since worked mainly as a researcher.
Jason is passionate about finding solutions to conservation and development issues and believes visual media to be the most effective tool for prompting change. He is also the project co-ordinator on the Films That Make A Difference database and is thrilled to be involved in this initiative to catalogue films that have already made a difference in the hope of inspiring others to do the same! jason@wildeye.co.uk