James - Documentary Production
Studied: MA Documentary Production
James is a wildlife filmmaker who spends his days documenting the secret lives of wild creatures. It’s a long way from civil engineering, the career he started out in…
“My journey so far has certainly been eventful! I actually grew up in Australia, then moved to the UK and fell into a career in Civil Engineering. I really enjoyed the travel and the challenges, but by my late twenties, I was thinking “Is this it?”
“That’s when I decided to make a change. When I was 29, I landed a job working as a zookeeper in Canada. It was an amazing experience, and opened my eyes to the possibility of a career in wildlife filmmaking. I returned to the UK with a clear plan: first to study animal biology, then to make the jump and gain the practical skills to become a filmmaker. Following my undergrad studies, UWE Bristol was the clear choice for me because of the connections with industry.
“The course was great, I graduated feeling really confident about my practical skills and my network."
There were so many opportunities to connect with Bristol’s natural history and wildlife filmmaking scene.
"My mentor was the series producer for Countryfile, which really helped, and there were great guest speakers from both the BBC and the independents. My MA helped me get my first work experience placement, working for a month on the One Show wildlife segment."
"If you choose UWE Bristol for filmmaking, you’re getting a great name on your CV. As students, we know about the BBC – and now I know that the BBC knows as much about the degree.”