John Waters

I graduated from Southampton University with a BSc Hons in Biology, having specialised in Ecology and Animal Behaviour. I then spent the next four years working with English Nature on ecological survey work and writing management plans for various National Nature Reserves in southern England. Next I travelled extensively in Central and South America which I funded through various part-time jobs, including writing articles for 'The Living Countryside' magazine. In 1983 I joined Partridge Films as a researcher on their award-winning 'Fragile Earth' series. It was while working on one of them 'Alyeska - Arctic Wilderness' on location, and then in the editing room, that I became seriously hooked on the whole process of film-making. Over the next few years I was lucky enough to work with some of the best film editors around, learning a huge amount about the ways that pictures can be put together to tell a story. But before reaching the editing room, the other vital way that a film can be shaped is behind the camera. So in 1987 I bought a second-hand Bolex 16mm camera and made my first film. 'Secret Lake' was set at an idyllic English lake one summer's day. From dawn to dusk all the activities of the wildlife in and beside the lake are woven around a lone fisherman who is trying to catch one of the big elusive carp that lurk among the lillies. It was half an hour long and there was no spoken narration - music and sound was used to enhance mood and underline drama. Many people warned me that a one-off half hour with no narration would be impossible to sell, however Channel 4 did buy it - and screened it to an audience of 2.25 million. Since then I've worked on over 60 productions, mostly on the camerawork side, but some as producer/director as well. Either directly or through independent companies, the majority of my work has been for the BBC, including the David Attenborough series, Wildlife on One, and BBC 2's 'The Natural World'. Recently, more has been commissioned by North American broadcasters such as National Geographic, Discovery and Animal Planet.
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John Waters - wildlife cinematographer

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contact - John Waters
cell: +44 (0)7980 915933