CINEMATOGRAPHY NEWS

Tough but awesome job covering the creation of a huge ad for Nokia’s secretive forthcomming product. The ad will evetually screen worldwide but is all hush-hush at the moment. I will reveal a little more once it has been released.


Great to finally get to watch Animal Planet’s Mermaids: The Body Found and see my footage open the film! The film was controversial, but garnered massive attention for the channel, becomming its second most watched show ever. See excerpts from a Making Of feature that I made for the DVD here


Making a film for Gaudi Clothing’s latest line. Lots of smouldering going on!


A facinating job shooting for National Geographic, deep underground in the Cradle of Humankind. As the ‘underground’ DOP I spent my days in a cavern 200 meters into the earth as a team of excavators chosen for their scientific skills as well as their nimble physiques recovered early hominid remains from the tiny recesses of the Rising Star cave system.

The image below, pulled from the underground stuff I shot for the National Geographic Special, leads to a video introducting the excavators, and got over 100 000 views in its first 4 days! I shot all the underground stuff.

A highlight for me was shooting the ‘cavers discover fossils’ sequence that will most likely open the doccumentary. Working with just the two cavers in the super-constricted underground environment was extremely challenging, but the footage looked great!

More info on the expedition can be found here. Also, read this article by team leader and world renouned paleoanthropologist, physical anthropologist and archeologist Lee Berger, or this news summary.

Here I am in a little opening whilst decending the super-squeezy chimney that leads to the final fossil chamber.


What a wild past few weeks! I’ve been shooting a climbing documentary on some of Southern Africa’s most awesome cliffs. Big thanks to Alex Honnold and Hazel Findlay, two of the worlds foremost rock climbers, for their patience as we got our stuff.

Read an article on Alex’s next big adventure - soloing the worlds second tallest building, the Taipei 101 tower, live on TV - here. Read an article Hazel wrote about the experience for a UK climbing mag here.

Below, Alex re-opens ‘Green Peace’ by hanging from a one-finger lock and a terrrible hand jam as I hold him in frame. My facial gymnastics are because I thought he was going to pop at any moment… but he calmly got his feet back on and sent the route!
(pic by Jono Joseph)


Some of our crew near the end of the shoot: (l-r) Clinton Martinengo, Alex Honnold, Hazel findlay and myself. (Pic by Jaques van Zyl)


Very cool experience working as director of a splinter unit on a short for Inspired Minority’s new feature film project. Simon Hansen keeps raking in the plaudits after wide praise for his work overseeing the digital effects on last years worldwide hit Chronicle. I can’t wait to see how this project develops.


Been shooting with Fresh Air Crewon this short of Jimbo Smith opening a new route on Table Mountain.

An unusual view of the top of Table Mountain, taken from a glider whilst shooting on the above project:


Some incredible times on a climbing trip to Namibia.


Some close encounters during the shooting of the latest Swatch commercial! See the full ad here


Covering the latest campaign for Mudo clothing.


Records tumbled as I covered the running of the demanding 3 Peaks Challenge 2012. See the film here. The race includes nearly 3000 meters of altitude gain over the 50 km course and sees participants summit Devils Peak, Table Mountain and Lions Head.


Editing a film for UNAIDS to be released for World Aids Day on 1 December. Brilliant to finally be hearing positive news comming from those fighting HIV/AIDS in our country.


An image of mine in the Argus newspaper


Joe peels off Victims of Comfort, a new grade 29 rock climb on Magnetic Wall, Table Mountain, while shooting for The Mountain in the Sea


I am hard at work on the script for a longish short film called AFTER THE ACT. It is a crime-suspense film that takes on social and political hot potatoes in the guise of a riveting identity theft mystery…something like what might happen if MULHOLLAND DRIVE took over the persona of THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY, and then hid out in South Africa as things came apart. Cant wait to get it to a point where I can start showing it around.


There has been some confusion created by the documentary format of the Animal Planet film MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND after its screenings. The mischievous blend of fact and fiction lead many to take the production at face value. I made a ‘Making Of’ film for Animal Planet explaining how it was done. See excerpts here.

Related articles: US federal boffins insist that mermaids DON’T exist


A teaser for THE MOUNTAIN IN THE SEA, a documentary about rock climbing and its history on Table Mountain, recently declared a ‘Natural Wonder of the World’, that I have begun shooting on.


Have a look at some more video and images on the subject here


Been shooting pre-production material for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD feature film. With a budget of over $100 million, the Warner Bros. film is unusual in that, alongside stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, the vast majority of people appearing on screen will be stunt performers who all need to be super fit and capable in a wide variety of stunt diciplines. Significant measures are being taken to safeguard the production’s secrets…hence the absence of anything I did there on this site!


Been shooting the EPK (Electronic Press Kit) for HBO and the BBC on a feature film called THE GIRL, starring Toby Jones, Sienna Miller and Imelda Staunton, about the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and one of his leading ladies Tippi Heddren, being shot around Cape Town. As often happens, finding time in the schedule to get the interviews done was a tricky business, but the cast were unanimously gracious about it. The studio was filled with an wide assortment of filmic gadgets…just amazing the stuff they were using in those days. Many layers of reality, with my camera providing me with one more even than the rest. All very undercover still of course, so unfortunately no images to post.


Been working in the rarefied air surounding Ferrero Rocher chocolates. With the Making Of I was alowed to use a great operatic track (secretly a Mike Patton cover of a 1960’s Italian love song), that makes the whole thing vibrate a little! Its kinda, well…tasty! See it here


Phew…ahem…is this thing on?…Lost signal for a while there…Sure been on some adventures!!

A camera team can be seen on the ridge where this helpicopter dropped them. I was working for friends at I-Rigging, securing camera positions for a Vodafone base jumping commercial.

See me attacking the lunch box in a Making Of (that someone else made) featuring bunches of the actual footage captured here. How close those guys come to that ridge is just phenomenal!

The ad itself can be seen here

I took some pictures while busy there, so click your way through a few at THE CLIPPERING TWIST


Been shooting a story for the Associated Press about a local operation testing the viability of breeding flys so that their larvae can be harvested and used as a replacement for fish meal when feeding chickens. The hope is that this protien rich foodsource will decrease pressure on ocean stocks whilst lowering the industries’ carbon footprint, as fly farms can be developed in the agricultural areas themselves. Not only that, but the fly larvae act as a barrier to disease, so can be fed on waste from abbatoirs. It is very difficult and costly getting rid of abbatoir waste as when burried it affects the groundwater with the microbes that break it down. So the system means increased efficiencies in multiple areas, with chicken raised on these larvae performing as well or better than their fishmeal-raised siblings in meat-on-the-bone comparisons. Seems like a future-proof idea to me.


Shot and edited the Making Of featurette for THE DINOSAUR PROJECT, a found-footage feature film set in the most remote parts of the Congo jungle. It is based on the legend of Mokele-Mbembe, Africa’s version of the Loch Ness Monster. Much adventure and many scary creatures later…everything remains under wraps!


Ecover is a cleaning product that uses only plant-based ingredients, thus providing a non-petroleum based option for the household duties…surely an idea whos time has come. The ad was inspired by the fact that a huge percentage of people apparently put loud music on and dance as they clean. Making Of here


My short film HIVE will play as part of the Shnit Short film fest at 7pm on 6 October 2011 at the Labia on Orange, along with a collection of other new local shorts. It will also play at the Shnit tent at Rocking the Daisies music fest.

Be sure to check out Shnit around Cape Town during 6-9 October…there are a stupendous amount of brilliant shorts on offer, of both local and international origin. Doenit!


Working with the Remix Dance Company, a dance group who who strive to bring together people with different body histories, body types and abilities, covering the creation of their latest production. Find out more about their trailblazing work here


Been shooting the video component of the upcomming GQ/Axe calender for 2012, with angelic models winging their sensuous way into our mental erogenous zones. Not the worst days at the office.



Managed to survive late night hyenas and -6 degree camping while shooting a pilot for a TV show in Botswana. Back home and diving with flickering scissors into the depths of an invigorating edit.


Being interviewed by One Small Seed about HIVE and On the Boil!


What an amazing turnout at ON THE BOIL! The Fugard Theatre was packed to the rafters as a wide variety of new Cape Town short films played on their fantastic projection system. Filmmakers gave a little insight into the making of their films, while an overflow crowd watched on a big screen in the bar area. Unfortunately, Health&Safety regulations meant we still had to turn a few people away… super cool to see local film demanding a bigger venue!

Between organising, managing the oversubscription and leading the discussions on the stage I had my hands full, but the evening was a success, and HIVE made its intergalactic debut along with two other films. After the screenings the party kicked off, with Karlind making us proud doing his famous leprechaun in a laundromat impression. Noice!

A newspaper article about me, HIVE and ON THE BOIL!

Patrons queue as the evening gets going.

The ground tier during a discussion.

Jon Day, Pieter Hugo and Michael Cleary. Their film Control won them the Young Directors award at Cannes recently.

Dale Yudelman, recent reipient of the Ernest Cole award, Ronnie Belcher and Thomas Doorman from BlackMilk, Garrreth Bird and Karlind Govender.

Sean Drummond and Michael Mathews from Be Phat Motel.

Fugard photos by Neil Burton


Some framegrabs from various jobs

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site content © garrreth bird

OTHER WORK

A trip report and images of my recent adventure up A Private Universe now viewable at WENNREDDY


Intimately reaquainted with low-budget filmmaking whilst helping my friend Mark Jackson get Girl From Nowhere, his debut feature film in the can. I was the Assistant Director as well as in charge of lighting as we sweated through 40 degree heat to finish on schedule. Awesome to see people going out there and just doing it in a challenging marketplace. Join the film’s group on Facebook to find out more and keep track of its progress.


Shooting stills for Glint’s work on the Nokia 1020’s digital campaign involved hanging out of a helicopter high above sun kissed Cape Town beaches, and then off of the side of Table Mountain in the last light of a spectacular summers day. Now THAT’S what I call quality time in the office! The phone packs a ridiculous 41 million pixels into its camera, and the campaign will involve zooming into images to find a tiny hidden person.

Can you spot the bright yellow person somewhere in this frame? (Sorry, no zoom possible on this site!)


Rigging on the TV show SAF3 involved some interesting scenarios…swinging actors over flames, smashing hellicopter parts into the ‘ocean’, lifting firemen off from the tops of ‘buildings’…!


Catching a climber, shooting from a helmet-mounted camera, as he jumps off the cliff at the surprise of arriving on top only to come face to face with the nether regions of a grazing goat. I kid you not. That was what qualified as gainful employment for the day! Do not miss that cubical job at all. Thank you Mastercard!


Almost 15 000 views of my teaser for The Mountain in the Sea. Watch it below. You can find more of my rock climbing material here

A teaser for a proposed documentary about rock climbing and its history on Table Mountain, recently declared a ‘Natural Wonder of the World’, in Cape Town, South Africa.


Me getting up close and personal with Dolph Lundgren whilst working as a stunt performer on the upcomming American TV series SAF3.

In what will be the opening scene of the series I helped get Dolph into place on the side of a car rigged to fall off the edge of a cliff, then performed as the rescued driver as a ‘chopper’ swung us out over the ocean to saftey. Most entertaining! Stunts were overseen by Leander Lacy at Stunt Network (a wild jump of his off Chapmans Peak here!). I make a quick appearence in the trailer.
(Pic by Damien)


As our election season approaches, why not find out a bit more about the force behind Agang? A new article of mine on Dr Mamphela Ramphele’s Smuts Hall Lecture up at Present Particulars


A travel article of mine about climbing on Namibia’s Spitzkoppe up at Present Particulars A version of it was published here


An image of mine in June’s Men’s Health Magazine


Covering the Flamjangled Tea Party for MB life Magazine, the Mercedes-Benz lifestyle site.


Interviewing Sienna Miller about the making of the HBO/BBC feature film ‘The Girl’. See the promo it was used in Part 1 here and Part 2 here. A review of the film here


My ‘making of’ featurette ‘The Evolution of the Dinosaur Project’ made for Studio Canal has recently been released on DVD alongside ‘The Dinosaur Project’ feature film. See excerpts of it here


Shooting on a story for Associated Press on the efficacy of ‘Shark Shield’, an electronic shark-repelant being employed in Fish Hoek to protect those swimming there. The opinion of the Lifesaving club is that the device works (shark spotters on the hill have repeatedly seen it turn away incomming sharks)…but if the shark has already lined up prey and is on attack there seems to be very little on earth that will put it off its goal, and the devices then offer no protection at all!


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