BBC One – Inside Out Southwest – Wildlife at Emsworthy Mire, Dartmoor, Devon Wildlife story for BBC Inside Out (South West) filmed in May 2018 bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0c20mtr/inside-out-south-west-04022019 Executive Producer – Simon Willis Series Editor – Samantha Smith Production Coordinator – Penni Western
I’ve worked as a documentary cameraman for over seven years, making a living telling stories and capturing unique images from the hottest coldest and remotest places on the planet. I’ve worked in places such as the icy cathedrals of Antarctica and South Georgia, to the rich reefs of the Indian Ocean, to the wonderful bird colonies of Ascension Island. Previously I worked as a motion graphic designer and was a senior editor in a corporate video production with some very big clients, where I learnt key skills in film-making and technology.
The highlights of my career include filming across the British Isles, and sat just off the coast of North Devon is Lundy Island, one of my local favourite places to film & experience the local seal and bird life. But the icing on the cake was filming in Antarctica for over a month and across almost all the UK Overseas Territories including the Falkland Islands, Ascension, St. Helena, Pitcairn, Chagos (Indian Ocean), Gibraltar, and all six of the Caribbean island’s which are administered by the UK, a series we filmed over the course of nearly four years. It then evolved into a four part BBC documentary about the biodiverse UK Overseas Territories, presented by Stewart McPherson called ‘Britain’s Treasure Islands’ which first aired in 2016 on BBC Four, then National Geographic, closely followed by Choice TV in New Zealand, as well as a very attractive and fascinating book written by Stewart himself.
When I’m not shooting documentaries, I continue to film advertising content for large brands in major sectors such as sport, fashion, toy, drinks and the agricultural sector. I’m also proficient with video editing, colouring & shooting to grade with understanding of MLUT’s (CineGamma and SLog), modern video codecs and compression technologies. Naturally this goes hand in hand with software experience, and over my career I’ve used a range of editing and post-production suites, the entire Adobe CC range including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe AfterEffects CC, and previously Final Cut Pro 7.0.
I enjoy every stage of production, taking pride and professionalism in what I do. I regularly produce short films, working closely with a series producer or director from shoot to delivery, generally as a solo or two strong team. Some of these short films have been DCP packaged for screening at local cinemas, and most proudly I have broadcast credits across the globe in 60′ natural history and travel documentary format.
The operational knowledge I have gained ranges with a wide variety of cameras, from 1/3″ – 1/2″ sensor broadcast cameras such as Canon XF305 & the Sony range (PDW-700 & PMW-200), to Super 35 Sony PXW-FS7 and the Sony F5/F55. I also have experience with lighting for interviews and data wrangling on location, sometimes in challenging conditions such as at sea.
Locally where I live I volunteer as a lifeboat crew member, which has taught me many skills for life including first aid and dealing with very stressful situations which can happen all to often out at sea. I enjoy many outdoor activities and exploration, ranging from estuarial and open sea kayaking, surfing, flatland and mountain paragliding, downhill skiing, adventure motorcycling and studying wildlife. I also absolutely love working with people, and it is exactly that cross-over between the great outdoors and people that gets me fired up.
- NEARLY TEN YEARS TV EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE FILMING IN THE REMOTEST PLACES ON THE PLANET
- HEALTH & SAFETY AT WORK QUALIFIED (FAAW), DBS CLEARED
- RYA POWERBOAT 2, PWC AND MARINE VHF QUALIFIED & ACTIVE LIFEBOAT CREW MEMBER
- SONY FS7 OWNER/OPERATOR WITH ENG LENS SETUP
- CAA PfCO ACCREDITED DRONE/RPAS/UAV PILOT
- QUALIFIED PARAGLIDING (P) RATED
“I’m very happy to recommend Simon as a director of photography and documentary cameraman. I have worked with him on three short films now in the Boat Stories series and we plan to work on more together. He is very willing, easygoing, happy to work in challenging environments, talented and creative as a cameraman, eager to find the best solution to get the best shot and will research tech problems & queries but also takes direction well. Although filming is his passion he is also a good editor and prepared to work to a quick turnaround. To see his talents take a look at the boat stories films www.boatstories.co.uk It is my pleasure to write this letter of recommendation to strongly advocate Simon Vacher’s ability, skill and enthusiasm as a wildlife cameraman and photographer of the highest standard.”
“I worked with Simon on one of the biggest investigations Channel 4 News has done, into the alleged abuse carried out by John Smyth, the British barrister and former colleague of the Archbishop of Canterbury. At the heart of the investigation was a doorstep confrontation with Smyth in Bristol. Simon was our sole camera. It was a lengthy doorstep – maybe five minutes in total – conducted at speedy walking pace throughout. Simon filmed the whole thing brilliantly, walking backwards, navigating obstacles and light issues. He captured every word and the doorstep featured prominently in both our films, and has been viewed many times online.”
“Over the last two years (2012 and 2013), Simon joined my team to travel to thirteen remote international locations to spend a cumulative total of seven months working as primary camera operator. During these trips, Simon succeeded in all filming objectives and captured footage that truly surpassed all expectations. In addition to the outstanding quality of the material that he captured, I would like to specifically emphasise the impressive diversity of his work, ranging from high speed macro close-up shots to underwater sequences filmed during scuba dives, to multi-hour time-lapse sequences, complex crane shots and aerial filming from light aircraft. Several of the filming trips involved difficult travel and working conditions, for example, long flights, lengthy sea journeys, prolonged poor weather and basic living conditions. In all cases, Simon was extremely enthusiastic to film in spite of all hardships, and demonstrated excellent ability in developing and refining new and innovative filming techniques which added greatly to the quality of the footage captured. One of many examples that comes to mind was Simon’s novel impromptu suggestion of filming icebergs and wildlife in Antarctic waters by him being suspended 15m in the air off the deck of a boat, hanging from a boson’s chair on a winch arm. In this case, he applied his rope-skills from his extensive paragliding abilities to enable the filming of spectacular sequences which otherwise could not have been captured. I believe this demonstrated exemplary determination and a true eagerness to use a variety of skills to achieve the best possible results. Simon would be an extremely valuable asset to any filming project, and I recommend him in the strongest possible terms for any endeavour that he chooses to pursue.”
“Simon is very resourceful, talented and overall pleasant to work with. I have known Simon for many years and he has worked with us on multiple projects in a variety of capacities. Simon keeps a level head and great personality in sometimes challenging client environments with a desire to get the job done.”
TIM HORE – TYMPANI PRODUCTIONS,
Smart Cookie (formally Mediastation) have hired Simon as lead camera man on several large profile projects working face to face on set with the Client. He is a keen professional with a wealth of broad corporate and creative experience. In the projects we have hired his skills for, we have found he works well both as a lead director managing a small crew as well as he does working collaboratively within a hired crew. He is a cheery pleasure to work with and always conducts the job to the highest standards. I would personally recommend him for his ‘can do’ efforts, creative expertise and trustworthiness. I know if i give a job to Simon, small or large he will give it his all and take care of all the details making my job less stressful! He also makes a great brother!”
“Simon is always a pleasure to work with, he has a can do attitude, an eye for the perfect shot and clear communication. I believe that work should be enjoyable and rewarding, and it always is when Simon is on the team. He has filmed and edited Induction training, presentation skills and performance management videos for us. He is 100% reliable and delivers real quality at an affordable rate. He is my first choice for cameraman and editing work, and I look forward to our next project.”
“Simon is a highly professional graphic designer, editor and camera/assistant operator with a keen eye for detail. His compositing and editing skills are second to none and he works very hard to ensure his work is of the highest standard. Very personable and people friendly I found working for Simon very easy. He provided clear guidance and knew exactly what he needed and how to achieve this. I would not hesitate to recommend Simon. A very professional young man who is excellent at what he does.”
“Simon made our first attempt at producing a corporate video not only highly productive but great fun. Our investors loved the video, customers have found is extremely useful and our team enjoyed being involved in the process. Simon explained everything we needed to do, was extremely patience and tool great care to make sure he had a variety of shots for us to choose from. His expertise in editing the film made a huge difference. I’ll look forward to working with him again.”
“Simon is a highly creative video producer who is always thinking on his feet. He is skilled at turning often mundane subjects into compelling and dynamic results. Simon is also an excellent 3D animator and I would highly recommend him to anyone that wants to combine video and animation to get their message across!”
“Special Thanks to Simon Vacher for making me a summer 2013 promotional video, it helped me draw in a vast amount of customers. As he is a keen outdoor activity enthusiast, he comes in his boat to take pictures of my launch events. Local Businesses and customers who have come and joined could see from the video a real unique angle that I was really bringing to the area. I will definitely be using him again for the next activity offered.”