Joy on the streets of Khartoum as Sudanese men and women come together to celebrate the end of 30 years of dictatorship, which, for many, has lasted their entire lifetime. The mood on the streets of Khartoum was ecstatic – a sense of excitement, release and freedom – in a country that has suffered so much violence, division and oppression – we hope and pray that the transition is peaceful, open and positive.
On location in Egypt, filming the chaos of Cairo and the calm of Aswan and Luxor.
A great day out in Oman today, exploring the site of the Oman Botanic Garden and meeting the people who are responsible for guiding the project to completion. The garden is being built in a massive desert bowl at the Southern end of Muscat, which will eventually become a beautiful green oasis, as it is transformed into one of the largest Botanic Gardens in the world, covering 420 hectares. The aim is to conserve and celebrate Oman’s rich, botanic diversity within two huge biomes and a series of surrounding gardens, which will contain the country’s most endangered and endemic flora. It will also be home to a visitor centre and educational and research facilities, nestled within the natural ravines and ridges that traverse the site. We spent the day with the team, looking at their growing plant collection and discussing ways in which digital media will contribute to the exhibition. A fantastic opportunity and a truly visionary project.
We’re just back from 3 weeks of location filming in Kuwait, really getting to know the country filming in pretty much every corner of the country……
We’re back in Saudi Arabia this week, working with the Riyadh Development Authority, a government department that is responsible for developing the infrastructure of the capital. Their projects include transport, parks, libraries, and roads. We’re making a documentary about the river network that runs through the city, feeding into Wadi Hanifa. Over the past 15 years the city has been working hard to restore and renovate the rivers, which had become neglected and polluted during the development of the city. Today the entire river network is being reborn as a beautiful public resource, forming one the longest, continuous urban parks in the world.
Mustafa the Mountain Lion (Cougar) was rescued from a miserable life in the Peruvian Circus by Animal Defenders International. He had lived in chains, kept in the back of a pickup truck, but thanks to ADI he was given a new home in the forest. His story has captured the imagination of people around the world, reaching over twelve million view on Youtube.
We’ve been lucky enough to work with Animal Defenders International since 2008, documenting their campaign to end animal suffering in circuses. We’ve followed their every move as they’ve uncovered the suffering, campaigned for change and worked tirelessly to save and re-house the animals, moving them to new homes at sanctuaries in South America, South Africa and the US. As the events unfold we produce a stream of video and stills content, working as part of an international team to helps ADI promote their cause. The viral success of Mustafa’s story is a tribute to the amazing work done by Animal Defenders International, but also to the power of simple, honest storytelling, supported by active online networks. ADI’s Youtube Channel has 10,000 subscribers and their Facebook Page 230,000 likes, but the story has clearly reached way beyond this, driven by the power and presence of the animal rights movement online.
Our work following ADI’S work in Bolivia was made into the award-winning feature length documentary Lion Ark which is distributed by ITV Studios.
Mustafa was rescued from a circus in the badlands of Northern Peru, near the town of Piura. The rescue was the result of a long, tense day of negotiations between the Peruvian legal authorities and the circus owners. Piura’s public prosecutor faced-up to an angry crowd, reading out the letter of the law – that’s the Peruvian penal code in her left hand. Both sides pulled in reinforcements; the circus owners using local radio stations to call in extra muscle and the authorities responding with a contingent of riot police.
The world’s shortest scheduled flight, from Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands is shorter than the runway at Heathrow, with a duration of less than 2 minutes. We made a short film about the flight as part of a package of documentary films for the renovated galleries at the National Museum of Flight, which opened earlier this year. Today the film has been picked up by media outlets around the world, including CNN in the US and Sky News in the UK. It goes to show that in a world hungry for content it’s so often museums that are telling the best stories. It also demonstrates the way in which digital media assets (videos, stills and even stories) that are designed so use in galleries, can have a real reach and enable museums to tell their stories beyond their physical limits.