|Written by Kathleen Swalling|
|Sunday, 18 March 2012 08:42|
What is your name and where are you based?
Dean Miller - currently based in Cairns Australia
What kind of films do you make?
I make films that challenge and inspire people about our natural world by showing them just how incredible it is, but also what our impact is.
How would you describe what you do?
I am a Marine Scientist with a passion for cinematography. I believe that people need to see with their own eyes what is going on around them, because only then are they able to create an emotional connection with our natural world. What I do is bring that world to them through my lens and share the experiences I am so fortunate to have.
Who or what inspires you in your cinematography?
First and foremost it is life! It is just so exciting to be out on my own in wild and remote places filming animals in their natural habitat go about their daily lives and not even notice that I am there. Capturing those special moments when no one else is around is exhilarating!
However the cinematographer/photographer that inspires me most is the legendary Australian Frank Hurley who captured moving and still images alongside Sir Douglas Mawson and Sir Ernest Shackleton on some of the most incredible scientific expeditions to date in the Antarctic. He went to great lengths to get mind-blowing shots that today still capture the hearts and minds of us all.
Why cover nature and conservation issues?
As a scientist I felt I could only make a difference on a moderate scale though research, journal articles and popular press, but through film I am able to inspire and challenge people all over the world and create emotions that black and white print simply cant do. That to me is what conservation is all about. Allowing people to come to conclusions on their own once they themselves see the issues.
What has been your biggest challenge filming in the field?
Most definitely the weather! I filmed on Macquarie Island in the sub-Antarctic for 12 months in wind, rain, snow and freezing conditions to capture exactly what it was like to be there, and to be able to take the viewer on the journey with me.
Has technology hindered or enhanced your cinematography?
For me it enhanced my cinematography. I used a SONY EX1 that was capable of so many different functions and all at a very high res. It also records straight to card so no need to carry tapes or worry about moving parts getting sticky in freezing conditions. Couple that with being small and light enough to carry everywhere and you have the perfect tool for the job. 10 years ago I simply would not have been able to achieve the same results.
What is your favourite place in nature?
Even after travelling to many wild parts of our planet it is still Macquarie Island that is my favourite. Living with 4 million seals, penguins and seabirds for 12 months is very hard to beat!
From your field experience, what is your biggest concern when it comes to the environment?
Quite simply our impact. I think things are happening each and every day that most of us are unaware of and these things have the potential to cause long lasting and in some cases irreversible damage. It is time we all open our eyes to what is happening around us and take action before it is too late.
How do you think the media industry should be addressing environment and conservation issues? And if you could give one message to the world's leaders on climate change, what would it be?
Honestly. It is that simple. The media should be reporting and documenting what is happening out there on the ground each and every day and people should have the opportunity to see this for themselves. Images have an incredible power to inform.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have a few projects in the wings and all are conservation driven. Watch this space.
What advice to do have to someone wanting to break into the industry?
Just do it! I went out, bought a camera and filmed my first documentary with no budget or support. Its not about the equipment, its about the story. It can be a long hard road, but is also a very rewarding one. Don't stop until you reach your goal. A very close friend in the industry said to me when I was starting out "Other people make documentaries, why cant you?".
What would you like to remembered for?
Never being afraid to make a difference.