Brian Leith Productions work with film-makers with ideas and a passion to make films they believe in. Committed and creative, they grow and we do our best to keep them in the family. We produce our films with the highest intellectual rigour with a democrative and people oriented leadership style. BLP’s management is so light touch as to be almost inperceptible. We provide support and direction when required, and encourage feedback from all the team whether editorial, practical or where we should hold our Summer 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: 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: Consulting/Series Producer
I have worked in wildlife TV production for 30 years. My credits as director/producer and/or series producer include the BBC’s 6-part series "Wild China" (2008), the 3-part series "Ocean Giants" (2011) about dolphins and whales; "The Great Rift: Africa's Greatest Story" (2010); "Dragons Alive" (2004); the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's series "Wild Canada" (2014); and five films in the popular PBS series "Nature" (2003-2012). My aim is to inspire people to care about and to protect nature. Now I am delighted to be able to contribute to BLP’s TV output as a consultant – most recently on their 5-part series ‘China’s Hidden Kingdoms’ for National Geographic Channel. Brian and Mandy’s creative and collaborative company style makes for a very special working environment and has attracted a great team which I am proud to be a part of.
Ben Wallis:Development Executive/Producer
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.
Verity White: Series Producer
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.
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!
Gary Smith: Assistant Producer
Amy Young: Assistant Producer
“I joined BLP at the beginning of this year, on The Age of Nature. It is a fantastic company, very welcoming and creative. I have worked in natural history programme making since 1997 and have been fortunate to work across many genres and on many different productions over the years mainly in the BBC NHU (Wild West, Deadly Pole to Pole, Planet Earth 1 and 2, TNW: Highgrove) but also at Impossible Factual (Hive Alive) and Spark TV (WildTube). I’ve been all around the world but I am still lucky to be finding new places to go and ideas to film so I’m always lear
Emily Davies : Researcher
Emily Sleath: Senior Production Co-ordinator
I joined BLP in May 2014 to work on the feature film ‘Born in China’ for Disneynature sending crews deep into China to film baby Panda’s, Chiru and Snow Leopards. I returned last year to work on ‘China’s Hidden Kingdoms’ for Nat Geo Wild sending crews once again into the Tibetan mountains In search of snow leopards and the Hubei Province to film golden snub nose monkeys. Prior to joining BLP I was with Icon Films where I worked on the 'Survive the Tribe' series for Nat Geo and 'Spawn of Jaws' for Discovery's Shark week.
I have extensive experience working in television production, I have set up filming all over the world and. I’ve worked at the BBC Natural History Unit on a range of programmes in a variety of roles across different genres including; factual and entertainment such as Dispatches, Bake Off, Meet the Izzards, Deadly 60, Spring Watch and Human Footprint for Channel 4, BBC, ITV, National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet and Sky.
I love how varied my job is, and the opportunities that come with it and I am grateful to have met and worked with some wonderful and talented people along the way! I am currently part of the team working on BLP’s latest three-part series for PBS and BBC ‘The Age of Nature’ and looking forward to the next adventure.
Jane Shirley Production Co-ordinator
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.