Press release below:
More details to follow closer to broadcast in 2019.
Press release below:
More details to follow closer to broadcast in 2019.
* Ep 1 Wednesday 17 April 9pm BBC One
‘Earth from Space’ Satellites follow an elephant family struggling through drought, reveal previously unknown emperor penguin colonies from the colour of their poo and discover mysterious ice rings that could put seal pups in danger. Using cameras on the ground, in the air and in space Earth from Space follows nature’s greatest spectacles, weather events and dramatic seasonal changes. This is our home, as we’ve never seen it before.
* Ep 2 Wednesday 24 April 9pm BBC One
‘Patterned Planet’ Earth’s surface is covered in weird and wonderful patterns. The Australian outback is covered in pale spots, the work of wombats; a clearing in the endless green canopy of the Congo rainforest has been created by an incredible elephant gathering; and the twists and turns of the Amazon make a home for rehabilitated manatees.
* Ep 3 Wednesday 01 May 9pm BBC One
‘Colourful Planet’ We think of earth as a blue planet but satellite cameras reveal a kaleidoscope. The astonishing colours of the aurora are towering vertical streaks hundreds of kilometres high; phytoplankton blooms turn the ocean into works of art triggering a feeding frenzy; and for a few weeks a year China's Yunnan province is carpeted in yellow as millions of rapeseed flowers bloom.
* Ep 4 Wednesday 08 May 9pm BBC One
‘Changing Planet’ At a time when the earth’s surface is changing faster than ever in human history watch cities grow, forest disappear and glaciers melt. In the ever growing grey of cities one man is feeding thousands of parakeets; in Sumatra a female orang-utan and her daughter face life in a forest under threat; while in Tanzania local people use satellites to re-plant a forest, securing the future for a family of Chimpanzees. This is our home as we’ve never seen it before.
Click here for episode details and clips
Click here for The Guardian review
Uncover the variety of activity, both human and natural that occurs on the slopes of active volcanoes.
Behind the scenes of ‘Living Volcanoes’ - Ambrym Island, Vanuatu: Join the team of researchers and filmmakers as they share some behind the scenes details from the edge of the Marum volcano:
How Carnivorous Caterpillars Attack Their Prey: Nearly all caterpillars are herbivores, but not this one. Caterpillars on the islands of Hawaii have evolved with claws that are more suited to catching live prey. Watch the clever way they attack their meals. See Mark’s featured macro sequence below:
Mark also shot lava tube caves, underwater manta rays and sync whilst out in Hawaii (August 2018).
Other featured sequences within the programme include:
Volcanic Theory of Water: The origins of water on earth have long been debated. Recent evidence suggests that water was always here, trapped beneath the crust. Volcanoes acted like a tear in the surface of our planet allowing the water to slowly escape as vapor. This condensed in our atmosphere and fell as rain, which eventually turned the planet from barren to blue.
Can Goats Predict Volcanic Eruptions? The unusual behaviour of a herd of goats seems to suggest they may be able to sense when the nearby Mt. Etna volcano will erupt and new research corroborates this suspicion.
Meet One of the Rarest Frogs on Earth: The Quito Rocket frog has been pushed to the edge of extinction. With only around 100 left in the wild, and all confined to a single stream near the Cotopaxi volcano, its survival depends on the help of a team of scientists.
The RSPB was formed in 1889 to counter the trade of bird feathers for women's hats in the late Victorian era - 130 years on, the organisation is still working tirelessly through research, partnerships, landscape conservation and policy work to help species recovery.
Read more about RSPB’s history here
Read more about RSPB’s mission here
Formed in 1953, the RSPB Film Unit is the oldest professional wildlife filmmaking organisation in the UK. Since this time the unit has collaborated with many well known camera operators including Hugh Miles, Mike Richards, Ian McCarthy and John Aitchison.
Mark got his first wildlife camera break with the Film Unit based at RSPB HQ in Sandy, Bedfordshire - he shares more details below:
Question: What is your connection to the RSPB Film Unit?
RSPB are still tracking white-tailed sea eagles in Scotland - click here to read more
Question: How did RSPB’s emphasis on conservation help shape your attitude towards the environment and wildlife?
Question: Which RSPB reserves do you feel especially passionate about and why?
Gates Underwater Products and Esprit Film and Television will be hosting this Set up, Test, and Operation (STO) course:
Alongside industry experts Doug Allan and Mike Pitts, Mark will be part of the team hosting a Gates underwater camera workshop in Gloucestershire in the New Year.
Contact Katie-Marie Goodwright (details at the bottom of the page) for more information and costs.
* Monday 21 & Tuesday 22 January 2019
* Day 1: WWT Slimbridge, Newgrounds Lane, Gloucester GL2 7BT
* Day 2: Thornbury Leisure Centre, Alveston Hill, Thornbury, South Gloucester, BS35 3JB
* Various Gates housing and lens set ups (theory and practical)
* Talks: shooting underwater and dome port / optics
* Practical pool session (dive pit)
* Michael Pitts
* Doug Allan
* Mark Sharman
On the course you will learn:
Proficiency in the setup of Gates underwater cinema housings: Deep Weapon, Pro Explore, and Alexa
Familiarity with on-location test tools and techniques for establishing housing seal integrity
Basic operation of Gates underwater housings
Camera specific considerations for the underwater medium: colour, light, filtration and more
Tips / tricks to assist the underwater Camera Operator/DP
Practical understanding of underwater optics: Port types, optical materials, selection and application
Day 1 (0930 – 1630)
This will be a theory and dry practical session at the WWT Wetland Centre. There will be a presentation introducing you to Gates Underwater Products and the theory of working underwater, and the rest of the day will be hands on setting up the housings. We will have a range of housing set ups with different lenses, ports and domes. There will also be two presentations from our special guests with Q&A. Lunch provided.
Day 2 (0900 - 1700)
Wet practical day where you will set up the housings again, and then take them in to the dive pit at Thornbury Pool. There will also be a presentation from one of our special guests with a Q&A. Lunch provided.
Esprit will provide all of the diving equipment you will need for the wet session, as this makes it much easier to comply with the diving regulations. However, if you wish to bring your own short wetsuit and mask, please do so. To comply with UK diving regulations and for your health and safety Esprit need you to fill in the Sport Diving Medical Form - this will be sent to you upon confirmation that you would like to attend the course.
Please email email@example.com for more information and to reserve a place on this course.
Images (below) © Mark Sharman for Blue Ant Media/Love Nature
This photo montage of seahorses has been created from screenshots of film footage taken in the Dimaniyat Islands, Oman. Together they show various characteristics of this mysterious marine creature - fascinating body armour detail up close in macro as well as cryptic coloration seen in the wider frames where, amongst the sea fans, this Great Seahorse blends perfectly into its reef environment and can remain hidden in plain sight for hours at a time.
Seahorses are elusive, so it was no surprise that during this five-week shoot in the Gulf of Oman I only found myself in a position to film them twice. I’d previously captured these graceful aquatic animals on film in Barbados and Singapore but regardless of location it is always an exciting challenge to see them in their natural habitat. The scientific classification of a seahorse is Hippocampus, which comes from a combination of the Ancient Greek words ‘hippos’ meaning horse and ‘kampos’ meaning sea monster. For me, despite their size, this tiny fish carries mesmerising power and mythical appeal. It’s always considered a special dive when seahorses are spotted, and every encounter is a pleasure and a privilege.
They swim upright, propelling themselves using the dorsal fin which moves at a rate of 70 beats/second, the same frequency as a hummingbird’s wing. Manoeuvring by using just pectoral fins located either side of their head, seahorses make surprisingly poor swimmers, with the slowest species travelling at just five feet/hour. Because of this, you mostly find them anchored to their surroundings by their prehensile tail, swaying in the current whilst keeping a close lookout for predators and food, using eyes which can move independently facilitating almost 360 degree vision. Seahorses are generally considered tricky subjects to film, as they have a habit of being very camera shy, constantly turning their backs and swimming away as soon as you get close. However, for this sequence I was blessed with a relaxed individual who was very comfortable and at peace with my camera and quadpod set up - he didn’t seem to mind my being in his world at all and carried on with his natural behaviour allowing me to get a strong sequence.
Most seahorse species form monogamous bonds which last the annual breeding season and, during this time, elaborate courtship behaviour takes place in which the female deposits her eggs into the male’s brood pouch. Unusually, up to one month later it is the male that gives birth to hundreds of miniature seahorses - a phenomenon first captured on film by French cinematographer Jean Painlevé in his piece ‘The Seahorse’ 1934.
Globally, almost a third of the world’s 44 seahorse species are classified as either endangered (EN) or vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Closer to home, the Short-snouted and Long-snouted Seahorse species have been protected by English law since 2008 and can be found in UK seagrass meadows which grow in shallow, sheltered areas along our coastline. Like coral reefs, these underwater habitats are full of life and form an important nursery for juvenile fish including seahorses. However, this fragile ecosystem is under threat from trawling, dredging, pollution and mooring activity.
Despite many UK dives over the last twenty years I am yet to encounter a seahorse in British waters. Either way, seagrass condition can be used as an indicator of the overall health of coastal habitats and I strongly believe that an awareness needs to be raised to protect this valuable ecosystem. In turn, this will allow our own beautiful seahorse species to thrive and continue their legacy as they have done for millions of years.
Click here to read the full cover story 'Capturing the Deep - Conservation Heroes' featured within the Marine Conservation Society Magazine Winter ‘18 Edition
Mark and Emily have now been working together for nine months so we thought it was about time we wrote a blog piece about our experiences so far…
Question: When (and why) did you start working together?
Emily: Up until February of this year I was working for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in their Marketing Team based at their Global HQ in Goodwood. I’d built my career over a decade and had worked agency side in London for five years before relocating to the coast in 2013. Mark would be away for five weeks at a time on shoots and I’d be working and travelling too - we were like ships in the night! It was over Christmas that we decided to activate our own ‘Plan A’ which would bring our lives closer together - it required some bold decision making on my part but once we’d talked over all the options it felt like the right time to strike!
Mark: Emily is now a co-director of my business and is working part-time in a Marketing and Business Development capacity. This covers all the behind the scenes activity; shoot logistics, public speaking, press interviews, sponsorship, research / creative development and financial administration. It means that whilst I'm away on shoots these elements can pro-actively be moved forward which is great as it frees up both my capacity to think about my own cinematography and gives me time back to read up on all the latest camera, lens and kit technology.
Question: For you, how does ‘team work’ manifest itself in your day to day?
Emily: The two of us are now striving for the same common goal and our life has an renewed flexibility that allows us to spend quality time together when Mark is home between shoots - that change feels like a vital readjustment in order for the two of us to succeed in our married life together.
Mark: I've been striving solo with my career since 2000 and it's now a great feeling to have Emily on-board helping behind the scenes and supporting our shared aims for the future.
Question: How do you separate work life and personal life?
Emily: It's hard! Simple things like having a different whatsapp thread for 'work' and 'personal' chat is one way to create some separation. When we’re in the same place, going to the pool for a swim or for a walk by the sea can help mark the beginning and / or end of a working day and that's also a chance to mentally 'down tools' and have some quality time together.
Mark: We're still getting to grips with this element - it's really difficult to strike that perfect balance! You both want to move your business forward and you also want to give your relationship all the time it needs to thrive and ultimately succeed. Sometimes you wish you could be in two places at once but….that’s not possible so, you have to find new ways to make things work both in the present and also on the road ahead.
Friday 19 October 2018
09:00 – 11:00
The Master Classroom Rosalind Franklin Room, Anchor Road, Bristol, BS1 5DB
Have you always wanted to be a wildlife television presenter? Here's your chance to learn what it takes from the professionals. Get the lowdown and top tips from the people involved across the whole life cycle of a production who have worked on some of the most acclaimed wildlife films on our screens.
Jo Sarsby (TV Agent)
Naomi Wilkinson (TV Presenter)
Vanessa Coates (Director/Producer)
Tim Lasseter (Film Editor)
Mark Sharman (Cameraman)
Andy Hawley (Sound Recordist)
Mark is known for filming wildlife and people both topside and underwater. He has worked extensively on presenter-led programmes such as the 'Watches' with Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Iolo Williams and Gillian Burke; Deadly 60, Wild Alaska Live and the forthcoming Expedition series with Steve Backshall; Life at the Extreme with Davina McCall; Animals with Cameras with Gordon Buchanan, plus more than 80 films for The One Show featuring Miranda Krestovnikoff, George McGavin and Mike Dilger amongst many others…
15 - 19 October 2018
See the full programme of screenings here.
Wildscreen Festival is the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife and environmental film making event which takes place in Bristol every two years. Wildscreen is a Bristol based charity with the goal to convene the best photographers, filmmakers and creative professionals with the most committed conservationists to create compelling stories about the natural world; that inspire the wider public to experience it, feel part of it and protect it.
Mark spent four happy filming days in Wales during October. The highlight was getting to know a group of red squirrels (feeding, caching, fighting, chasing, leaping and preening) in the autumn sunshine. Should you be interested in viewing some of Mark’s red squirrel archive footage, then please contact Emily on +44(0)7876 694477 regarding licensing agreements / rates.
To coincide with ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ the swimming sector has released the next chapter in the #LoveSwimming campaign encouraging adults, in particular females, to escape the stresses of busy life by making time for a swim at their local pool. Mental health is becoming an increasingly talked about issue and according to the charity Mind, one in four British adults experience a mental health problem in any one year and 80% of mental illness is related to anxiety and depression.
‘Escape’ reflects the extremes of fast-paced modern life and the impact it can have on your mental health, in stark comparison to the unique environment offered by swimming. Swimming provides the ultimate block to external stimuli. The inability to see almost anything except the line at the bottom of the pool and hear nothing but your rhythmic breathing creates the ultimate moving meditation. The film features real women who have seen the positive effects of swimming in coping with their mental health issues.
Mark spent one day with the Swim England team at Marshall Street Leisure Centre in Soho, London filming underwater, topside and with his Phantom4Pro drone for the campaign. See @swimengland on Instagram for additional content.
Meditation and swimming
Mindfulness techniques to try next time you go swimming
On front crawl you can count and say out loud your breathing pattern into the water e.g. ‘One’, ‘two’, ‘three’. As you say it out loud, you’ll actually exhale into the water.
Swim 200m front crawl, breathing every three strokes for the first 50m, breathe every four strokes to the left for 50m, breathe every five strokes for 50m and finally breathe every four to the right for 50m. Aim for a smooth continual exhalation. If breathing every five strokes is too challenging, switch to breathing everything three strokes on the third 50m.
Slow it down – focus on long stretched arm and leg movements rather than making your swim a frantic race.
Focus on one key part of your technique, e.g. a strong kick together on breaststroke. As you swim, the brain will start to switch focus to this rather what else it’s been focused on within every day life.
Try counting the number of strokes per length. What do you notice about your technique? Does it feel the same throughout the length? Does it change from the start to the end of your swim?
One car full of kit: underwater FS7, tripod and topside set up, drone and slider.
Two dives with a colony of seals and one particularly pretty, playful one.
Three 04:30 starts to catch sunrise.
Four months talking about this trip….one day to plan logistics and prepare.
Five glorious boat trips.
Six beautiful west coast sunsets.
Seven Phantom4Pro explorations early in the morning and at last light.
Eight nights at Castle Ely Mill, Whitland.
Nine filming days – meeting scientists, making friends, moving gear around and laughing.
What a trip!
Zero Otters spotted (despite our best efforts).
1,200 miles on the road.
31,000 gorgeous puffins thriving on Skomer.
Thousands of Manx Shearwaters returning to Skomer under the cover of darkness.
Too many drinks enjoying sunset over the Atlantic Ocean at Druidstone.
Darren Aronofsky, Will Smith and experienced astronauts join forces to tell the extraordinary story of why life as we know it exists on Earth.
The trailer for One Strange Rock can be viewed here
Mark returns to the Togean Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia in autumn 2017 to film for National Geographic's 'One Strange Rock'
On location image credits: © Kat Brown
I bought this smoke machine back in 2013 for some automotive work I was doing at the time. This is a great little machine for special effects - in fact, it was used at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony!
* Compact and robust
* Off power capability
* Water based, non-toxic smoke
* Quick dispersing smoke, ideal for special effects
* Controllable smoke, from a small wisp to a large plume
* Sale comes with a remote lead and a selection of smoke fluid aerosols
* Product code: PS21R
* Size (cm) (L x W x H): 36cm x 14cm x 20cm
* Weight: 6kg
* Heat exchanger wattage: 1,100W
* Power Supply: 230v, 50/60Hz
* Warm up time from cold: 5 mins
* Duration of aerosol at maximum output: 15 mins approx.
* Smoke output: 0 – 180 m3/min. (6,350 ft3/min.)
* Operation off the mains power supply: Yes
The ROCKET QD which looks and works in the same way as the ROCKET machines produces an even thicker, whiter smoke but which dissipates within a couple of minutes. This machine is mainly used for special effects for smoke that needs to disperse quickly. It's also ideal for photo shoots. By using it with a fan, a superb steam / CO2 blast effect can be created.
I am looking to sell this smoke machine for £350 plus VAT (a VAT invoice will be provided with the sale). The goods are located in West Sussex, so can either be picked up in person or sent in the post at cost. If posting, Quick Dispersing smoke fluid aerosols can be brought directly from Pea Soup (smoke machine specialists).
Please contact myself or Emily directly if you would like to purchase this item or have any questions.
Best wishes, Mark
Mark | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily | T: +44 (0)7876 694477 | E: email@example.com
Blue Planet II has received two BAFTA nominations; one in the 'Specialist Factual' category and the other for the heart-wrenching 'Mother pilot whale grieves' sequence in the 'Must-see Moment' category.
Wild Alaska Live has been nominated in the 'Live Event' category and is up against:
- ITV News Election 2017 Live: The Results
- One Love Manchester
- World War One Remembered: Passchendael
The full list of nominations which were announced in London last week can be seen here
13 May Update - Results
Congratulations to the Blue Planet II Team WINNERS of the BAFTA 'Must-see Moment' category for the 'Mother pilot whale grieves' sequence:
Question: What shoot have you recently taken the Fujinon lenses on?
Question: Tell us more about why the Fujinon lenses were a great fit for this shoot?
Question: What USPs specific to the Fujinon lenses do you find most impressive?
Question: How did you utilise the full range of the two Fujinon lenses whilst on location?
Weekly Series on Channel 5: Starting Tuesday 06 March 9pm
Episodes will cover the following:
*Mark filmed Farne Island seals off the coast of Northumberland and the otters of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland for the series.
Final Episode on BBC One: Thursday 15 February 8pm
Devil Rays in the Azores
In this three-part series, wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan collaborates with scientists in the field to attach cameras onto animals in the wild. On their journey, which takes them to all corners of the globe, they uncover unexpected findings about the lives of some of the planet's most captivating species.
Mark spent one week filming for the Devil Ray sequence (Episode 3/3) on the Princess Alice Sea Bank in the Azores during August 2017.
The team set out to discover why vast numbers of Devil Ray gather every summer near the Azores archipelago in the mid-Atlantic. The team successfully deployed specially designed cameras which towed behind the rays, these in turn witnessed wildlife spectacles seen for the first time including 'sun-bathing' ray at the surface reheating after a cold dive and unborn ray pups kicking inside their giant, four-meter-wide mothers; a sign that this congregation might be a breeding ground for these majestic ocean giants.
Devil Rays are under threat from fishing, boat traffic, habitat decline and pollution and are currently listed as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List. Although not usually targeted by fisheries, Devil Rays often become victims as bycatch. The good news is that Project AWARE have already made a positive impact to help protect Devil Rays.
Other wildlife events captured within this three-part series include fascinating insights into penguins catching their prey 200 miles off the coast of Argentina and fur seals avoiding attacks from great white shark off Australia. Further details and clips are available at BBC online.
Episodes 1, 2 and 3 are available on BBC iPlayer until February 2018.
The crew Mark worked with on the shoot:
Matthew Andrews, Field Director; Mark Roberts, Sound Recordist; Nuno Sá, Underwater Cameraman.
As champions of men, SCRUBD are passionate about helping men to be masters in every area of their life. Every month we interview a true master, who is making a difference in the world around him.
Usually found behind the camera, this month the spotlight is on wildlife and underwater cameraman Mark Sharman who has worked on some of the most exciting wildlife documentaries of our time including the award-winning Jago a Life Underwater and Blue Planet II which has recently aired on BBC One.
How did you get involved in underwater filming and how did it feel filming underwater for the first time?
What are the most important skills needed to master underwater filming?
Natural History programmes have evolved with advances in technology – what new skills have you had to develop to maintain your craft?
‘Jago a Life Underwater’ is an award-winning film about the life story of an old Bajau man. What was it like to work with these underwater masters and film them in their element?
Capturing the natural world on camera can be time consuming. How long would you spend filming in order to get all the footage required for a sequence?
What is your most memorable moment and have you had any scary encounters filming in the wild?
What advice would you give to aspiring documentary makers?
How do you master your day?
If you could have dinner with three male masters, who would they be and why?
The best piece of advice you have ever received?
Link to Pro Movie Maker Magazine Autumn 2017 Article - Fujifilm 'Game Changers
Mark is currently on location working on the recently commissioned BBC/PBS co-production "Wild Alaska Live", which is due to be broadcast simultaneously in the UK and USA at the end of July 2017.
Here is the press release from the BBC, with more information about this exciting commission.
Here is the press release from PBS, describing the series as a "Not-to-be-missed television event."
Mark will spend five weeks in various locations across Alaska from 2nd June until 8th July, gathering material and filming pre-recorded wildlife stories, which will slot into the live broadcasts in July. The programme will follow a similar format to the hugely successful award-winning production Big Blue Live, broadcast from California's Monterey Bay in 2015. Wild Alaska Live will be produced with key personnel from this series as well as being presented by the same team (for the UK): Steve Backshall, Matt Baker and Liz Bonnin. The US/PBS broadcasts will feature as hosts brothers Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt.
Moving around different locations across the 49th state of the USA, Mark will be joined by presenter Steve Backshall for a couple of the films, as well as filming with Alaskan guides, fishermen and wildlife experts in some extraordinary locations. Mark will be filming at locations including Prince William Sound, Bristol Bay and Katmai National Park. The live programmes will concentrate on the mass rush of wildlife and people attracted to the annual salmon run, an event which sees millions of salmon across the state swim up river systems to their spawning grounds.
The resulting wildlife spectacle provides huge feeding opportunities to a range of predators including bears, bald eagles, sea otters, sea lions and porpoise to name just a few. Mark will be filming pieces to show this mass wildlife event, as well as the influx of fishermen and nature tourists to profit from and witness the annual mass migration and feeding frenzy.
Mark and the team will be concentrating on filming the pre-salmon run behaviour, to show what the wildlife are up to and feeding on before the salmon season begins, so when the live programmes air, the presenters can compare and contrast what they are seeing.
Mark will be filming on his Sony FS7 camera and will be one of the first in the world to be using a pair of new cine lenses, the Fujinon MK18-55mm and MK50-135mm. The MK18-55mm has only recently come to market and the MK50-135mm is due for wide release in July 2017.
These lenses will hopefully prove to be excellent tools for documentary and sync (presenter and contributor-led) work, and to capture the stunning scenery on show. Watch this space for a review of the lenses following this job. Mark will also be scuba diving to film an underwater piece using his FS7 Sealux housing and Keldan LED light.