Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share

David Baillie: Documenting Halley VI

News Image
Antarctica. Known as the coldest, windiest and driest place on the planet, and where, in the Winter, the sun doesn't rise for over three months. But this didn't stop Director of Photography David Baillie from documenting the work of the British Antarctic Survey's Halley VI Research Station, positioned on the Brunt Ice Shelf.

The part of the ice shelf that is home to Halley has a growing chasm that could eventually leave the research station adrift on a massive floating iceberg. Documenting the scientific monitoring of the crack, and the plans to move the whole station to a safer location, was a key part of the documentary. Halley VI plays a vital international role in earth science and space weather observation, and this work was also featured in the BBC Horizon documentary.

Having visited over 90 countries throughout his career, The Crewing Company's Emmy and BAFTA-Award winning freelancer, David Baillie is a DoP who has worked in extreme environments. Nowadays it is usually climatic extremes but he has previous experience in many of the world's war zones including Sudan and Kashmir. But David is swift to admit he is no adrenaline junkie, and says his attraction to these stories was mainly the experience of witnessing history and telling those stories, rather than being shot at.

His industry qualifications are extensive, including certifications in Marine Personal Survival, Helicopter Underwater Escape, and Mountain First Aid. David also holds a Private Pilots Licence for both microlight and fixed wing aircraft. He even has a Gold Blue Peter badge for shooting the 60th anniversary episode.

On his work with drones, David said: "I've done a fair bit of drone work on dramas but I think they're vastly overused and overrated. I was not exactly enthusiastic about my producer, Simon, taking one to Halley. I'm probably just a grumpy old cameraman but I feel that too often they provide a viewpoint that doesn't add to, or even relate to the story. To me, drone shots often just say: 'Hey, we've got a drone; aren't we cool?' When taking top shots of the base at Halley, I shot from a crane platform. I didn't want to lose the sense of stillness with a shot from a moving drone. Whilst I can and do shoot with drones quite often, I prefer to do so when there is a good editorial and creative reason for it.

"In Antarctica, I gave Simon a hard time about him flying the drone and said I hoped it crashed. (Cheerful, I know!) Anyway, the first time Simon did fly it (with me operating the gimbal) it crash-landed on the other side of a crevasse field. To retrieve it, I had to rope up with another climber and cross the crevassed area. I knew that Simon and the others were watching through binoculars from the ship, so when we reached the drone I pretended to smash it up with my ice axe. Needless to say, I did retrieve it in one piece and it was used several times throughout the project. Simon very kindly excused me from operating it again and shot some great stuff himself."

Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

Rotolight AEOS – Changing The Way Photographers & Filmmakers Work
Technology has been driving the creative industries forward for decades – and nowhere is this clearer than when it comes to the art of photography, fi
Production News : Significant Productions Starts Work On 'Passing'
Significant Productions have started production on their next feature film, Passing, in New York. In addition, Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies) j
Work Complete On New ASC ARRI Education Centre
The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has completed construction of its new ASC ARRI Education Centre. Located behind the historic ASC Clubho
AIMS, NABA To Work Together On IP Interoperability
The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) has entered into a formal liaison agreement with the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA). The co
WORK PRO Launches LightShark Range
WORK PRO has launched LightShark, a new range of hardware lighting consoles, at Live Design International (LDI) in Las Vegas. The DMX-based hardware l
Making Light Work Since 1882
At Photon Beard (originally R.R. Beard), we like to think that we take a very practical, and where necessary an innovative approach to what we do; tak
Anatomy Of A Shot
I have just return from one of the most challenging shoots I have been involved in. The shoot took place over 5 days in and around Tromso in Norway. T
Building Work Starts On Gazprom's Spacecraft AIT Facility
Construction work has started on Gazprom's spacecraft Assembly Integration and Test Facility (AIT Facility) in Shchelkovo, Moscow Region. The first ev
So You Want To Be An Editor, And Work On Drama?
Often, I have been asked my advice on how to become a professional editor. Strangely, even though the technology used to create edited content has rad
David Antoine Joins Lawo Radio Technical Support
Lawo has announced the hiring of David Antoine, CBRE, CBNT as the latest member of our Radio Technical Support team. A distinguished radio chief who's
Production News : ITV Confirms Interview With David Cameron
Former Prime Minister David Cameron is to be interviewed by Tom Bradby for an ITV special programme. It has been three years since Mr Cameron stepped
Production News : Bear Grylls To Take David Walliams Into The Wild
Adventurer Bear Grylls, will take actor, author and comedian David Walliams into the wild, for an ITV special, Bear’s Mission with David Walliams. Dav
Drones – The New Tool For Roof Surveys
Roofs need to be surveyed. That much is certain, either because the rain's getting in, or because there is a change of owner and someone needs a recor
Production News : Sir David Attenborough To Present The Green Planet
BBC One has announced that Sir David Attenborough is to present The Green Planet, a new five part landmark series from BBC Studios Natural History Uni
Production News : Shooting Starts On Film4's David Copperfield Adaptation
Shooting is underway on Film4's 'The Personal History of David Copperfield', an adaptation of Charles Dickens classic novel. The film will be directed