Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Flying Dustbin- A Portrait of the Fulmar

My second post today includes a missive from Raymond Besant, the film maker behind Saturday's special film night at the High School. I asked Raymond to send us a bit of information about his work and what drew him to film Fulmars:
"I grew up in the Orkney Islands where I developed an interest in the natural world and photography, particularly birds and the marine environment. On graduating from Aberdeen in Bioscience I became a freelance photographer before working for the Press & Journal newspaper as a press photographer. But my passion is wildlife and in 2005 I embarked on a project to make my first wildlife film with a view to becoming a wildlife cameraman. Practicing filming on the cliffs coincided with the failures of a subject familiar to me, seabird colonies. Shot over two years on days off and holidays I called it 'The Flying Dustbin' and it tells the story of the Fulmar and the challenges it faces from marine pollution and climate change. Because of monetary constraints I shot, edited, narrated and produced the film. Filmed in Aberdeenshire and the Orkney Islands the story also took me to St Kilda and the Netherlands. My previous photojournalism projects have included a strong environmental message and this theme continues in The Flying Dustbin."

The Flying Dustbin Premiered at Orkney International Science Festival and since then it has screened at the Scottish Wildlife photography fair and aired on tv in the US last year as well as touring local RSPB groups in Scotland. The RSPB use it as an educational tool for schools in Orkney. Clips have also appeared on a BBC Panorama documentary in 2008 and a Dutch tv programme this year.

The film went on to win Best of Category - Amateur, and a Merit Award for Scientific Content at the 31st International Wildlife Film Festival in the US in 2008 and was shortlisted in the Best Film on a Limited Budget category at the Durban Wild Talk Africa festival in 2009.

You may have seen other work from Raymond- On the back of the IWFF awards he worked on the BBC Natural World film 'A Highland Haven' filming Black Throated Divers on Loch Maree which aired on BBC2 last November. His latest project is as a cameraman for the 2020Vision wildlife project. (Interestingly, Fergus Gill- the young photographer whose work is on display at the Auchrannie Spa this week, is also involved with the 2020Vision project!)

Raymond will present his film "The Flying Dustbin-A Portrait of the Fulmar" at Lamlash Highschool at 7pm. Entry is free, but donations to the Arran Wildlife Festival and RSPB Scotland are very welcome!

Image credit: Fulmar by Andy Hay (

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