Brian Leith: Creative Director – ‘Creative Director’ of a film company sounds grand and impressive… the reality is a bit more mundane. Most days I’m found scratching my head, wondering where our next film or series will come from, and will the current one work! Maybe the idea will come from a weekend newspaper, or a concept I’ve had for years, but never got round to figuring it into a story. Sometimes it’s an idea that a broadcaster suggests to us, believing that we have the skills necessary to make it… (that’s a nice feeling, but scarey!) Or a clever idea from one of our talented team. And when you work in the industry for many years (as I do) the next film often evolves from the last one, in a clumsy sort of evolution. There are cynics who say you only have one film in you–and you keep on re-making it until (hopefully) you get it right… The only thing I can say with authority is that the buck stops somewhere very near me, and I’m constantly pondering fresh ideas, and working out how to convince commissioners young enough to be one of my sons, or old enough to remember my last good film…!

IMDB LINK: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1139731/

 

Mandy Leith: Managing Director - I manage the company - the money and business affairs stuff, supervise production and development, and the people side of things.   But my most important role is ensuring that our team are happy and supported.  My career in film and television began more than thirty years ago, but early on I latched onto hugely talented and creative professionals, and I’ve held on tight ever since!  Surrounding oneself with really lovely folk, passionate and committed to producing work they believe in, in whatever circumstances, makes my job so much easier and enjoyable!  It’s about the people, and oh … the wildlife too, of course!!!!

Phil Chapman: Producer - During almost 30 years in the wildlife film business, I have shared countless amazing adventures with colleagues in many parts of the world, seeking out and filming remarkable animals in wonderful locations. I retain a passion for putting wildlife and wild places on the screen to inspire people to care about and to protect nature.

Ben Wallis: Director – I have been with BLP since 2012. And adventures have been had! I have filmed under the Arctic Ice with mussel gatherers, have sailed through the North West Passage in search of Orcas and have filmed Snow Leopards high up on the Tibetan plateau. I have come far too close to a moose, had a polar bear trying to climb onto our boat, and have been higher than anyone else in a helicopter over the remote mountains of China. It’s been a brilliant, funny, inspiring journey with hopefully more adventures ahead.

Linda Stephens: Production Manager – I’m looking after our Disneynature film Born in China.  In the past I’ve worked on a diverse range of productions from children’s programming, interior design, gardening, history and arts documentaries, adventure and wildlife documentaries.  I began my career in Production on the BBC’s 999 rescue series, and have since managed a variety of programmes such as Austin Stevens' Adventures, ITV’S Monarchy, and Everest. Before joining BLP in January 2014, I was managing a 3D wildlife feature film for BBC Earth, Enchanted Kingdom.

Lisa Connaire: Production Co-ordinator - I have been working exclusively on natural history programmes since joining the BBC Natural History Unit in 1986.  Highlights have included working on the ‘Private Life of Plants’ and ‘Life of Mammals’ when I travelled extensively on location with Sir David Attenborough.  After starting a family I worked at Jo Sarsby Management and Films at 59 before returning to TV production work in 2011, initially for BBC Earth on the 3D feature film ‘Enchanted Kingdom’ and  ‘North America’  for Silverback Films.  I joined BLP in February 2014 on their Disney Nature project ‘Born in China.

Ryan Evans: Production Co-ordinator – I joined BLP a year ago to work on the Disneynature Born in China project. Being a member of the production management team usually entails spending long hours in darkened rooms crunching numbers and complaining that no-one reads the call sheet… seldom do we get to visit the mythical land of “Location.” Not so at BLP. I said “I’d like to go to China” and they said “great!”  When I awoke from the shock I found myself in distant corners of China that I didn’t know existed and couldn’t pronounce, helping to film the magnificent and rare Red Crowned Crane. Better still I got to make sure everyone read the call sheet! So far it’s been a pretty incredible experience which will result in an incredible film of which I’ve been proud to play a part.

Sean Pearce: Media Assistant – I’m Sean. I joined the company in December 2014; some say it was a Christmas miracle. There is nothing more exciting than waiting for a loading bar to finish and bang! The footage is in! Ready to be viewed… well unless the Avid crashes but don’t worry I can fix that! It is great to be able to watch the astonishing footage we capture here be constructed into an amazing story, and it is such fun to be a part of it!

Richard Lanciault: Post Production and Workflow Supervisor  I'm Richard, Post Production and Workflow Supervisor at BLP.  I'm also Sean's boss.  Whatever he can do, I can do better.  I often regale him with tales of the heady days before file-based workflows and High Definition.  He hates me.  I joined BLP in Feb 2014 and have never been happier, getting my hands dirty across all technical areas of Production and Post.

Emma Fraser: Assistant Producer/Field Director – I have an inexhaustible passion for exploration, study of the natural world and wildlife. I’ve worked on productions for National Geographic Wild, BBC and Channel 5 and has been part of the BLP team since April 2012.  For the last eighteen months I’ve been having extraordinary adventures whilst directing the cranes sequences in China on our Disneynature film, Born in China.  I also contribute actively to the development of our new projects.

Alex Davies–Walsh: Production/Office Assistant – I’ve been looking after this bunch since Christmas 2013.  My role involves helping across all areas of production, from office printers to setting up recces and researching Tibetan parasites as well as helping with development! My time at BLP has been invaluable in learning about all aspects of production and is a huge learning curve.

Sarah Rossiter: Finance Assistant - I’m the Finance Assistant at BLP, joining the team in October 2014.  My role is extremely varied and, some might be surprised to learn, interesting!  Having worked with primary school children for more than 20 years, I have all the qualities required for looking after a TV production team’s finances - patience, perseverance and a sense of humour!  And my most important job of all; I pay the wages!