Meet James

James Brickell: Keynote Talks, After Dinner, Educational Talks, Awards

#Wildlife   #Nature   #Creativity  #Teamwork   #Risk   #Schools

James Brickell is an award-winning wildlife film director and producer. 

EMMY and Three-time BAFTA award winning director and show runner, James has worked at the highest level of wildlife filmmaking for over twenty years, most of them at the world famous BBC Natural History Unit. Throughout his career James has developed a passion for capturing the wonders of underwater world, leading the BBC Natural History Unit’s dive team for 7 years and marrying creativity with technical innovation to film behaviours in ways never seen before.  He has directed numerous underwater sequences ranging from the cold waters of Canada to the reefs of the tropics, filming sharks, giant octopus and just about everything in between including the intricate and complex behaviour of reef creatures the award winning BBC Series Great Barrier Reef – a series recognised as the definitive overview of the world largest and greatest natural wonder before its recent destruction.  

For his last two years at the BBC, James lead the digital team responsible for all the additional content that accompanied the groundbreaking underwater series Blue Planet II. This included state of the art VR projects and targeted films on the BBC Earth social media platforms – FacebookYoutube and Snapchat – reaching a global audience orders of many millions  – a key role helping the ambition bringing the underwater world to a billion people world wide.

'James Brickell was the snake expert on the team. No one, he told me in dramatically lowered tones, had ever filmed a venomous snake actually catch it's prey in the wild.... However, he had worked out a way in which, for the first time, without transgressing any of the BBC's very proper rules, we would be able to get a completely genuine un-manipulated sequence of a rattlesnake hunting in the wild.

'With a rattlesnake kill in the can we already had a spectacular success.  But it was not enough for James....'

David Attenborough’s autobiography Life In Air

James has a wide variety of experiences and stunning film footage to draw upon when he tailors his talks and he has travelled extensively to make ground-breaking wildlife films. 

James Brickell has a passion for wild animals and has directed some of the most highly regarded UK presenters in wildlife filming.  His TV filming career to date has included the Really Wild Show, Wildlife on One, Big Cat Diary, the ground-breaking series with Sir David Attenborough: Life in Cold Blood (2008) and the highly acclaimed BBC series for younger viewers deadly 60 with wildlife presenter Steve Backshall.  Life in Cold Blood won the prestigious best of festival award ‘The Golden Panda’ at Wildscreen (the wildlife film equivalent of the Oscars) in 2008 and a BAFTA in 2009.  James produced Great Barrier Reef with TV presenter Monty Halls for the BBC (2012) following a year of living and filming on location in Australia.  James was the Series Producer for the highly acclaimed BBC1 TV series The Great British Year (2013) which celebrates the natural world in Britain during the four seasons.  He continues to work on exciting wildlife projects using innovative filming techniques to capture extraordinary footage.

As series director on the all-action adrenalin-filled production of deadly60 James and his crew filmed all over the world with star presenter Steve Backshall on the hunt for deadly animals. Their adventures have taken them from Great White Sharks off the Cape Coast, to abandoned caves in Australia on the hunt for Ghost Bats, to the Bahamas to dive with Tiger Sharks.  He’s had some close calls - none more scary than a surprise run in with a stroppy hippo in South Africa.

‘James was an excellent speaker and received an extremely warm reception from both talks. Long applause and cheering! The talk was interesting, lively and full of great film footage. The QA session at the end had the students buzzing. He also found time to answer some quick fire questions from a year 6 class after one of the talks. James was a pleasure to work with and both students and staff enjoyed his company and his contribution to our event. Several students sought him out afterwards to ask questions about careers for which he gave great advice. ‘

Wakefield Girls High School

James offers after dinner talks, university and school presentations, Awards ceremonies and conference keynotes.  With numerous entertaining anecdotes and some simply stunning film footage to share, James shares his story of life behind the camera.  He gives an insight into how his teams are able to deal with the pressures of time and budget as well as working alongside dangerous animals in the wild (where risk management is not an optional extra).  James explains how creativity, patience and the latest technology can help Directors capture extraordinary animal behaviour.  He reveals a fascinating perspective on what goes on behind the scenes, and how they manage to capture extraordinary footage in the most ethical way possible.  

James Brickell entertains and engages the non-specialist audience and his passion for wildlife is contagious.

How to book James?

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to check James's availability and to discuss the ways that he can tailor his talks for corporate and educational audiences.  James is based in Bristol, UK.