BLP works with film-makers who find their way to us with ideas and a passion to make films they believe in. Committed and creative; they grow, and we do our best to keep them within the family. We produce our films with the highest intellectual rigour with a democratic and people-oriented leadership style. BLP‘s management is so light touch as to be almost imperceptible. We give support and direction when required, and encourage feedback from all the team whether editorial, creative, or where we should hold the Christmas party! We believe in our work ethos, and it shows in our films.
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 scary!) 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.
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!!!!
Patrick Morris: Producer/Director, Executive Producer
Storytelling, film craft and teamwork are what I enjoy most as a documentary film-maker. Over the past 25 years I’ve produced, directed and series produced the BBC landmark series Wild Africa, Galapagos, Mexico: Earths Festival of Life, Wild West, Europe: A Natural History and British Isles: A Natural History as well as making the Birds and Primates episodes for Life and one off specials for the Natural World such as Islands in the African Sky, Wings over the Serengeti, Hokkaido: Garden of the Gods, People of the Sea and Dune. I also co-directed the BBC Earth 3D theatrical film Enchanted Kingdom and the giant screen Wild Africa 3D, which is currently on cinema release.
I have long admired Brian and Mandy’s films, as well as their work ethos. I’m delighted to be working with them and the team on China’s Hidden Kingdoms.
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. I’m now producing two episodes of BLP’s latest series for Nat Geo Wild, China’s Hidden Kingdoms. It’s all been a brilliant, funny, inspiring journey with hopefully more adventures ahead.
Pete Lown: Producer/Director
As a self-shooting Director and development producer, I come to Brian Leith Productions with a diverse background, with credits that include Comic Relief, Nigel Slater in the Middle East, Ed Stafford: Left for Dead, Animal Reunions and The Choir: Military Wives.
Inspired by Brian’s ambition to tell big stories - especially those that reveal truths about our complex relationship with nature - I’ve brought several big ambitious projects to the table and am looking forward to making them.
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 our current production China’s Hidden Kingdoms. 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!
Cath Tudor: Production Manager
I joined BLP as Production Manager in 2016 and am currently managing a five-part wildlife series based in China for Nat Geo Wild.
Having spent 9 years in London, as Unit Manager/PM at Shine & Endemol and Production Executive at Granada Features. I’ve been extremely lucky to have worked on a whole range of productions from wildlife, one off documentaries, live studio shows; cookery series; daytime, sporting events, factual ent series, the list goes on …
The best thing I love about my job, is just how varied it is, I’ve had celebrities flinging themselves off the highest diving boards in the name of entertainment and now I’m sending crews to the highest Tibetan mountains to track down and film snow leopards.
Every job is very different but one thing is definitely guaranteed…..there’s always plenty of drama and absolutely ALWAYS a budget conversation to be had with a Producer!!
Worst part of my job – Petty Cash and Per Diems!
Anna Kington: Senior Production Co-ordinator
I joined the BLP in 2017 as Senior Production Co-ordinator on the latest series China’s Hidden Kingdoms, 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…
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.
Clare Doherty: Production Accountant
I joined BLP last year 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.