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Making Waves – My Experience With Big Wave TV

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019

After finishing my undergrad in Zoology from Trinity College Dublin I was extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to work as a researcher for a British production company that came over to Ireland to make a series of wildlife documentaries. This project finished up in January of this year, and following that I did some short term research jobs remotely for different companies. In April, Big Wave contacted me, letting me know they were looking for a researcher, and after working for them for a few weeks from Dublin they asked me to move over to Chichester.

I arrived at the company during a whirlwind of production. Big Wave had two National Geographic documentaries and a Discovery Shark Week special nearing completion, so I hit the ground running and quickly learned the ins and outs of the company. I was immediately given responsibility for fact-checking and helped with the archive and post-production; duties I was well used in my line of work, but never to the degree National Geographic expects them!

Following the successful delivery of these shows, the company moved onto more local projects. These include a series of short films for both the New Forest National Park and the South Downs National Park, and a locally-funded short film on the regeneration of the Sussex Kelp Forests. The Sussex Kelp project in particular I have been working closely on, liaising with the key players and setting up shoots. It is a wonderful project to help educate the local community on new proposals from the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority of Sussex to create a trawler-exclusion zone up to 4 km off the Sussex coast, and to reseed the historically dense kelp forests that have been decimated in the last 30 years. The project has been a great opportunity to work with the local talent in the area, such as Mark Sharman, an underwater cameraman that filmed what’s left of the kelp for us.

Since arriving at Big Wave I have been pushed to test my limits and skills, and with these local projects I have been given chances to write a script, edit a cut and will be directing my first shoot in a few weeks. These tests of skill have been a common theme during my time with the company, and I have learned more in four months here than I thought possible in such a short time. Big Wave are great for fostering new talent and joining at the same time as me was Patricia, who came for work experience after being highly commended by the University of Chichester, and after one week was taken on as an assistant editor to put her amazing skills to use.

Underlying all of this production, I have also worked closely with Big Wave’s Head of Development, Emma Ross, coming up with new ideas and concepts for shows to pitch to the major commissioners. This is an exciting chance to work in a new area, and get the creative juices flowing, learning valuable skills in proposal writing which will stand with me moving forward in my career.

Eoin Dillon, Researcher