North Sea Adventure
Broadcast production company: NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk), Hamburg
Synopsis: A journey around the coast and under the surface of the North Sea, from the south of England to the fjords of Norway.
My role: Director, camera, sound
Comments: This programme was a project of underwater cameraman and programme maker Florian Graner, building on an earlier documentary about the fjords (Norway’s Hidden Secrets) on which I also worked. As before, my role was to take care of business on the surface while Florian filmed underwater.
That meant being director, cameraman, and sound recordist for all the shots featuring Florian and Natali Tesche-Ricciardi, his co-presenter, walking, talking, travelling in a variety of boats, preparing to dive, and returning from a dive. Plus some scenic shots along the way. I also acted as boat driver — often at the same time as filming — which was a challenge!
The filming schedule took us from Dover to Scarborough, Cornwall (for the basking sharks), the Farne Islands, Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth, Orkney, and Shetland, then via assorted North Sea oil rigs to Bergen, Sognefjord, and finally Preikestolen (see the picture on my home page) in Norway. They were among the most physically gruelling, and most enjoyable, five weeks of my working life!
The finished documentary, a three-part series, was edited by Florian at the NDR studios in Hamburg, and broadcast in Germany. There is now an English version (we filmed all the pieces to camera in German and in English), but I have yet to see it. This is one of the problems of being a hired hand on a television documentary: by the time it is finished for broadcast you’ve likely been off the project for a year or more, and are no longer involved.
As a result, just to show something of the job, I have put together a few minutes of shots to a music track to give a flavour of the project.