Natural Causes by Stephen Mills

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Recently I was asked to read a new book by Stephen Mills. Stephen is and has been a wildlife filmmaker, among other things. He was also for a time the Chairman of IAWF, the International Association of Wildlife Filmmakers. During his tenure the IAWF formed close bonds with BECTU, a UK based union representing the rights of freelance people working in the creative industries. Some of the challenges that IAWF members faced then still exist. Stephen writes, for example, about the expectation that freelance cinematographers should throw in their kit as part of the deal for next to nothing, or even for free. It seems that is an issue that is rearing its head again. But I digress.

‘Natural Causes’ is a thoroughly enjoyable read, but it’s more than that. This summary describes the spirit of the book perfetly.

“… if you have a dream, a mission, a wish to change the world, you can do it. You can do it as long as you accept that the dream may shrink, the mission may creep a little and the change you make may be very small and that all those little bites out of your ambitions in no way render them pointless.”

Natural Causes cover

For any young person planning to enter the wildlife filmmaking industry the book is inspirational. For those of us a little further down the road it is a reminder our own journey in the mad business of making wildlife films.

‘Natural Causes’ is an adventure, charmingly written with wit and honesty. It’s written with genuine passion and care for this wonderful planet that we’re privileged to inhabit. For anyone who has worked in wildlife film the stories, incidents and mishaps will resonate from the page. But I wouldn’t want to restrict the readership of this book to just those of us who have been fortunate to work in wildlife film making. This is a book for everyone. It’s about life, hope, and making a difference. It’s certainly about a life well lived.

I’d encourage anyone to read Stephen’s book. I certainly enjoyed it.