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DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY & FREELANCE TELEVISION CAMERAMAN
'BRINGING THE WILD INSIDE'

DOCUMENTARY, ADVENTURE, WILDLIFE & CURRENT AFFAIRS

Filming black-browed albatross on the Falkland Islands (Simon Vacher 2013)
51.7963° S, 59.5236° W

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FILMING EXPERIENCE ACROSS A WIDE RANGE OF REMOTE NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS
INCLUDING TROPICAL, SOUTH FRIGID ZONE & NORTH TEMPERATE ZONES

I’ve directed and shot epic sequences in some of the remotest, inhospitable and most challenging environments around the globe.

From icy dry Antarctic tundras to humid sandy and salty environments of the Indian Ocean and Caribbean, I’ve also filmed in other challenging environments such as at sea in boiling oceans and deep inside bat caves.

Over the years I’ve had the joy of standing with 500,000 King Penguins overlooking the mountainous ranges of South Georgia. I’ve been dangled from boat cranes over icebergs in the Antarctic, had my toes almost nibbled by Leopard Seas and endured the most horrendous sea-crossing of the Drake Passage. I’ve hung over the edge of fishing trawlers in the Bristol Channel whilst being sea-sick until it hurt, meanwhile shooting opening sequences. I’ve been a passenger in many tiny aircraft, including flights across remote Northern China, in cabins barely big enough to raise a camera, while getting epic shots that help shape the visuals of a story. More recently, I’ve chased prominent figures down the street for investigative news programmes with a camera that have won entire news nights for two nights running.

Each environments brings a unique set of challenges, from understanding what camera kit is required and how camera equipment performs, to the needs of the human body in each environment to maintain peak performance.

Coupled with great cinematography, at the heart of all my shooting work is the ability to craft image sequences into a story that form the narrative of a documentary, despite sometimes being a bit uncomfortable. Only then can I say to the director, ‘We’ve got the shot’.

My camera-work has recently featured presenter-led documentary programmes for National Geographic, BBC 2 and BBC 4 and I regularly shoot for independent production companies commissioned by independent channels such as Channel 4. I have a track record for filming and producing contributor led stories for television, online, short-film and cinema.

I have real-world field experience filming on a range of cameras including the Sony F5/F55, Sony FS7, Sony PDW-700, Sony PMW-500 Sony PMW-200, Sony EX1, Sony EX3, Canon C300, Canon XF305 with extensive remote field experience in data wrangling, clip review and backup.

I’ve also undertaken professional payload training with Airborne Image Solutions for drone based photography, and over the years I’ve deployed, rigged and operated camera cranes and sliders in some of the harshest environments on the planet. Back home, I’m a crew member on the local independent lifeboat service, and have undertaken VHF Radio Communications, Sea-survival, Capsize drills at the RNLI College and First Aid training which are also skills that can rolled out across any production.

Why not have a look at the places around the world I’ve filmed on my World Map

Latest film

Working the Sea

‘Working the Sea’ follows the fortunes of the Bagwells, a Sidmouth fishing family from the forties when young Stan was fishing with his father in a borrowed boat, to the nineties when they have two fish shops, two trawlers fishing out of Brixham, and three boats working off the beach at Sidmouth. Then, tragedy strikes and the women of the family pick up the pieces. The film also weaves the contemporary users of the coast, from the sailing club to the lifeboat, into the narrative. So this is ultimately a film about community spirit and how a mutual love of and respect for the sea draws people together. ‘This stunning film: fascinating and inspiring, funny and humbling is a powerful reminder how lucky we are on the coast’. Louise Cole Director Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub CIC

sidmouthcoastalcommunityhub.org
butterflyeffectfilms.com

Director of Photography Simon Vacher, Narrator Tara Griefenberg, Editor Simon Vacher, Written, Directed & Produced by Jo Stewart-Smith

A Butterfly Effects Film for Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub CIC

Testimonials

"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."

Cathy Newman, Presenter - Channel 4 News

"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."

Stewart McPherson, Writer/Director - Redfern Natural History Productions Ltd.

"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."

Jo Stewart-Smith, Producer - Boat Stories

"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, www.tympani.co.uk

"First class guy. Great cameraman, enthusiastic and willing to go the extra mile. Good fun to be with. No hesitation in using Simon time and time again."

Freddie Rostand, Director/Producer - Rostand 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!"

Aimee Macleod, Digital Project Manager - Smart Cookie

"Simon is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. He is also a talented self shooter and motion graphics artist. Having worked with him on several occasions over the last few years, I can highly recommend him"

Joel Mishcon, Founder

"I have worked with Simon on a number of complex projects. The technical and creative challenges posed by them never daunt Simon, he dives in with full enthusiasm and possess a rare knack for transforming potentially dry and dusty topics into veritable gardens of inspiration"

Sam Kerr-Smiley, Marketing Consultant & Copywriter

"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."

Brigitte Jaquillard, Executive Producer - ROLin

"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.” “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."

Kerry Small, Careers Online Media Developer

"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."

Laurence Tisi, CEO at ERBA Mannheim Molecular

"Simon is a top chap with great creative ability and eye for detail. He is a pleasure to work with and is very willing to offer a helping hand no matter the project!"

James Kearsley, Managing Director - JK Studios Ltd

"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!"

Derek Wallace, Web design

"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."

Sam McClure, Owner - EXE ADVENTURES

"Simon has worked for me on several occasions and I have always found him to be pleasant, professional and with a great work-ethic. He is willing to go the extra mile to achieve the objective. Especially if there's a beer waiting at the end of the day!"

Steve Davis, Head of Production - Grosvenor House

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