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A Cameraman’s View

 by Toby Strong, Freelance Cameraman with Deserts/Grasslands Team

Mongolians, Bushmen, Dorobo and Tubu.

Minus fifty degrees to plus fifty degrees.

Hunters,  dancers,  herders and traders.

Helicopters, hot air balloons, horses and dug outs.

The last couple of years have given me a breadth and depth of experience that as a young boy I couldn’t have dreamed of.

Filming with camels in Mongolia

Thanks to the faith of the grasslands and deserts team I have hunted  kudu in the Kalahari; soared over camel trains crossing the Sahara; run on foot towards feeding lions; chased wolves on camel back and caught snakes in a canoe.   I’ve danced through the night with the Wodaabe, followed a bird to raid a honey comb and rounded up 2,000 cattle by chopper.

With director Tuppence Stone and Namibian hunters

To film all this all this I’ve had toys, lots of toys! (of the highly technical variety)…

Macro lenses, long lenses, time lapse, underwater cameras, infra-red cameras, cameras in helicopters, cameras on rafts, cameras on quad bike, horse back and camel back.   Cranes, tracks,  jibs,  steadicams and hot air balloons.

Soaring over the Sahara

I’ve travelled to some of the most remote corners of the planet and returned with amazing memories and a few  exotic diseases.   We managed to knock down a teensy weensy part of a sixth century fort, discovered a carpet viper up my shorts, crashed our balloon and got chased out a hide by a leopard.

Compared to some of the Human Planet shoots,  a walk in the park.

Enjoying a break with some talented honey hunters in Kenya

So what will I take away from filming on this unique series?  Apart from the obvious amazing experiences it will be the shared sense of trying to do something very special with the incredible Human Planet team.

While every tribe I’ve worked with has their own unique and special way of life ,  I have found two common links between everyone  -   humour and kindness.

I feel humbled and honoured to have worked on this series and with such wonderful people.

Dale Templar, Series Producer

What Toby is talking about here is common humanity.  While making this series we have tried to celebrate the similarities and differences in all of us and I really hope this is played out when people watch the series.

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