Brian Leith: Creative Director – ‘Creative Director’ of a film company sounds grand and impressive… the reality is a bit more mundane. Most days I’m found scratching my head, wondering where our next film or series will come from, and will the current one work! Maybe the idea will come from a weekend newspaper, or a concept I’ve had for years, but never got round to figuring it into a story. Sometimes it’s an idea that a broadcaster suggests to us, believing that we have the skills necessary to make it… (that’s a nice feeling, but scarey!) Or a clever idea from one of our talented team. And when you work in the industry for many years (as I do) the next film often evolves from the last one, in a clumsy sort of evolution. There are cynics who say you only have one film in you–and you keep on re-making it until (hopefully) you get it right… The only thing I can say with authority is that the buck stops somewhere very near me, and I’m constantly pondering fresh ideas, and working out how to convince commissioners young enough to be one of my sons, or old enough to remember my last good film…!

IMDB LINK: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1139731/

 

Mandy Leith: Managing Director - I manage the company - the money and business affairs stuff, supervise production and development, and the people side of things.   But my most important role is ensuring that our team are happy and supported.  My career in film and television began more than thirty years ago, but early on I latched onto hugely talented and creative professionals, and I’ve held on tight ever since!  Surrounding oneself with really lovely folk, passionate and committed to producing work they believe in, in whatever circumstances, makes my job so much easier and enjoyable!  It’s about the people, and oh … the wildlife too, of course!!!!

Phil Chapman: Producer - During almost 30 years in the wildlife film business, I have shared countless amazing adventures with colleagues in many parts of the world, seeking out and filming remarkable animals in wonderful locations. I retain a passion for putting wildlife and wild places on the screen to inspire people to care about and to protect nature.

Ben Wallis: Director – I have been with BLP since 2012. And adventures have been had! I have filmed under the Arctic Ice with mussel gatherers, have sailed through the North West Passage in search of Orcas and have filmed Snow Leopards high up on the Tibetan plateau. I have come far too close to a moose, had a polar bear trying to climb onto our boat, and have been higher than anyone else in a helicopter over the remote mountains of China. It’s been a brilliant, funny, inspiring journey with hopefully more adventures ahead.

Jess Tombs:  Producer/Director - My career in natural history TV began with a letter I sent to David Attenborough… to cut a long story short he came to the Congo to film for ‘The Life of Mammals’ at the chimpanzee project I was managing at the time. I loved the experience and knew I wanted to work in the industry. So a couple of years later, in 2003, I moved to Bristol and I’ve never looked back, working my way from researcher, to assistant producer to where I am today. I have an eclectic CV and have worked for many broadcasters - BBC1, BBC2, BBC Earth, Discovery, Animal Planet, National Geographic, C5, ITV, Smithsonian, WNET, Sky and Disneynature.

I worked with BLP for 18 months on the Disneynature film ‘Born in China’. It was an amazing project and I’m looking forward to some more visits to China on my current production. My interests span human and animal behaviour, conservation and the pressing issues that face our planet and species – the need for renewable energy, plastic reduction, wildlife protection and reduced-consumption of animals for food. Having spent much of my early 20’s living in the wilderness in Africa, I have a great affinity for the outdoors and wild places. I love an adrenaline rush and have been known to jump out of planes, white-water raft the Nile and Zambezi, swim with sharks and be charged by mountain gorillas!

Dani Godwin: Natural History Researcher - I have now been a researcher for over three years and so far, it has been a great adventure! It’s taken me to some amazing places and along the way I have met some of the most interesting and inspiring people and communities. From the wilds of the African plains and having a tense moment with an elephant; to the mountains of China filming baby panda and spending two weeks on a river filming huge swarms of mayfly hatching – an amazing spectacle. I enjoy being part of a wonderful team and getting stuck in any way I can. I am looking forward to what amazing new adventures and wildlife stories the future holds.

When I’m not away on location with the wild animals, you will find me at home on the sofa cuddling my cats!

Richard Lanciault: Post Production and Workflow Supervisor My career in TV and Film started in the post houses of Soho in the late 1990s. Since then, I've had the good fortune to work around the world on a wide range of projects, from commercials and music videos to children's TV and feature films. I have a passion for technology and love getting my hands dirty across all technical areas of production and post, finding creative solutions to complicated workflows.

I've now been based in Bristol for the past eight years in various roles at the BBC, BBC Earth and Independent companies. I first joined BLP in Feb 2014 to work on the 'Born in China' feature film for Disneynature and am pleased to have re-joined in Sept 2017 after a short time away'.

 

Anna Kington: Senior Production Co-ordinator - I have just recently joined the team at BLP, as Senior Production co-ordinator and am really looking forward to working as part of the team on some challenging and exciting projects. 

My career started over 25 years ago, when I travelled with film crews all over the globe.  This love of the Natural World and production work led me to BBC Bristol and the Natural History Unit where I have been proud to have worked for the past twenty years on a huge number of amazing projects, within caring, creative and collaborative teams, from the Natural World Strand, Frozen Planet, New Zealand, Enchanted Kingdom & Mountains being a few of the titles and most recently Earth Live for Plimsoll Productions.

The sense of achievement of finding solutions to even the most difficult conundrums can be so gratifying, “a faulty cable in the Falklands needs to be urgently replaced, we’re off to a remote penguin colony and sorry it’s Christmas Eve”, makes me smile, roll up my sleeves and get on with it…

Clare Doherty: Production Accountant - I have just recently joined BLP as Production Accountant. I have worked in accounts all my life but wanted to combine my skills with my interest in the Film and TV industry and my love of animals and nature.

I moved to Bristol last year from North Wales, where I enjoyed the outdoor life experiencing; climbing, cycling and lots of walking, to enter the industry working on a short contract at the BBC.

I’m enjoying working with an incredibly inspiring team and being a part of the amazing projects, I look forward to being a part of many more.