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Underwater Camera Bursary

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

OCEAN – New Frontiers
7 x 60 for 2017 on BBC1

Indicative Start: approx. Jan 2015
 Finish: approx. Jan 2016

Base: BBC Bristol

OCEAN is a new and ambitious landmark series for BBC1 - the next iteration of the ‘Planet’ brand, following on from ‘One Planet – Land’ (2016) and building on series like Blue Planet and Planet Earth.  Just as Blue Planet did, OCEAN will give a generation a chance to take a global view of our seas, but this time in a current, immersive and interactive way.

OCEAN will share the extraordinary new discoveries at the edge of our known world.  It will saturate our audience with awe and wonder at all that we have learned about our underwater frontiers.

Through the untold stories of the astonishing lives of the animals, plants and humans that live within and around them, OCEAN will take us on a voyage like never before.

 The oceans are the only part of the planet where the rate of scientific discovery is actually increasing.  New science and new technology gives us new stories. 

OCEAN brings us to the frontiers where they are being uncovered, where new behaviours are being observed, where new analogies between life on land and life in the sea are being drawn and new interdependencies understood.

 OCEAN will reveal the secrets that have been hiding beneath the waves.

Role Responsibility

The BBC NHU annually runs a camera bursary scheme that aims to develop an emerging camera operator, by providing experience for them to operate alongside existing experts in their field and increasing their ability to operate at the very highest level of natural history filming.

Each year the bursary leans towards a particular specialism e.g. macro/long lens. This time, to coincide with the launch of the production of the landmark series ‘Ocean’, the bursary is geared towards underwater camerawork.

Are you the right candidate?

In our experience there is no point picking up a camera until diving is second nature. Only highly competent divers should apply, please state number of logged dives, the range of diving experience (from tropical to polar to caving etc) and technical diving abilities/qualifications. Ideally the candidate will have rebreather training and experience.

We are looking for a candidate who can demonstrate a deep understanding of marine biology. The role will include a degree of research with real scientific rigour and setting up Natural History shoots. And, when in the field and shooting, an appreciation for wildlife behavior is key- from the macro to the megafauna.

Demonstration of highly proficient camerawork, ideally illustrated by broadcast or corporate credits. We are looking for someone with a gifted eye who has the potential to compose exquisite underwater images. A link to a showreel (and underwater stills if available) must be submitted. We are also keen to hear from anyone who is already shooting underwater at 4k.

You will need to be Bristol-based and when not abroad filming, be embedded in the Ocean production team and work regular office hours.

Strong research, planning and organisational skills and experience in setting up underwater animal behavioural sequences will be of value. As will an understanding of film kit, both topside and underwater. Importantly, you must have excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to remain calm under pressure.  You will be able to demonstrate a proven ability to build strong relationships with contributors and work effectively within a team. 

In date HSE dive medical (or the country equivalent), UK visa and clean driving license are all required. Foreign languages are an advantage.

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are very important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below. You’ll be asked questions relating to them as part of your application for this role.

Package Description

12 month attachment / fixed term contract.


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