So here it is. Our latest film. It’s called The Last Turtles? Check out this promo clip…

Locations

Fionn and I have filmed this over the last 12 months in some incredible locations around the planet. And had some incredible experiences. Sharing a beach with tens of thousands of turtles in Central America. Watching tiny hatchlings emerging from the nest. Living on the beach of one of Africa’s most remote and uninhabited islands for a week. Seeing the planet’s hugest turtle – the weight of a small car – laying its eggs on a beach shared with jungle elephants and hippos.

Remote African Island

Poilao Island, Guinea Bissau

The Initial Concept

The original film concept was brought to us by a young film maker Dan Marsh. Dan had learnt of the story while working in Raratonga, deep in the South Pacific. And we used some of Dan’s footage in the film.

True Wildlife Mystery

Researchers have discovered that in recent years less and less turtle hatchlings are males – in some locations the ratio is over 100 females to every male hatched. If this trend continues there will be no males to fertilise the females. And turtles will disappear forever from our oceans. What is the cause? And is there hope for the species?

Scientific Adviser

We also had the good fortune to work with Professor Brendan Godley  Brendan is based on Exeter University’s Penryn Campus, just a few miles from our studio. Brendan opened many doors for us. He introduced us to many researchers working in the field in different countries. And his involvement as our scientific adviser ensured access to strictly controlled locations where we would otherwise never have been able to travel and film. Plus he ensured that we got our facts right!

Distributor

Andrew Jackson of Plimsoll Productions provided invaluable help and advice in structuring the film. Plimsoll own Magnify Media who will be selling the film for us. Hopefully to television broadcasters worldwide…

On Location Help And Support

And the film couldn’t have been made without the amazing support we received from so many people in the countries where we filmed. Thanks to every single one of you…

Baby Loggerheads

Baby Loggerheads

How we sell our films

I was recently asked how we sell our films. I have to admit that it’s not the greatest business model!

When I have an idea I approach my agents with it. If they think that the film will sell then we enter into a distribution agreement for the finished film. I have nothing to do with the marketing side of things. A little like a midwife, I hand over the film as soon as it is born. From then on I get updates every 3 months in the shape of royalty reports.

How well do they do?

Some films do well – others not quite so well. I think our most successful financially was Castro’s Secret Reef which was acquired as a presale by Smithsonian for North America and Nat Geo for the rest of the world. That film was also put forward for an EMMY .

Other films don’t do that well.

Films also have a long shelf life – quality underwater documentaries do not date quickly and are just as valid many years later as on the day that they are released.

And who buys them?

I’ve listed below where there has been one major sale to a prestigious international broadcaster. They will acquire rights to various territories for fixed terms, and then there will be sales to other broadcasters for residual territories.  However most films incomes are made up through a number of smaller sales to individual broadcasters. Just one – small – example. Global Whale Shark Mystery sold to individual broadcasters in China, Switzerland, Portugal, Thailand, Sweden, Malaysia, Latvia, UAE, Denmark, Algeria – and Turkish Airlines – before being picked up by French Television.

And Sea’s Strangest Square Mile sold to a total of 33 different broadcasters in different countries – often small sales individually but all adding up! This is when the agents really earn their commissions… A 5 minute contest version of that film was picked up by Washington Post and the last time I checked had over 1.5 million hits.

TITLE                                                                 YEAR OF PRODUCTION                   PRINCIPAL SALE

 

CAYMANIA                                                                          1991                                             National Geographic   

TREASURES OF COCOS ISLAND                                        1992                                             Discovery USA       

THE ROCK ISLANDS OF PALAU                                         1993                                             Various   

EXPEDITION ALDABRA                                                      1994                                             Various   

SHARK FEEDERS                                                                1997                                              National Geographic

OCEAN OASES – SIX PART SERIES                                    1998                                             National Geographic

CRITTERS TRILOGY    3 x 26 mins                                                         

Critters                                                                                 2000                                          National Geographic

Night Critters                                                                       2000                                         National Geographic

Coral Critters                                                                        2001                                         National Geographic                   

There is also a one hour version of critters

E-MAIL FROM A SHARK                                                         2002                                            Various                                     

UNDERSEA HOMES

2 x 26 minutes and 1 x 1 hour                                            2003                                          Canal Plus France / RAI Italy 

SECRETS OF SOUTHERN AUSTRALIA                                   2004                                           Australian Broadcasting                       

JUNGLE BLUE                                                                         2005                                            Various                      

OCEAN WEIRDOS                                                                   2005                                            Various                      

SECRETS OF THE GIANT SHARKS                                          2008                                            RAI Italy

 KLIN WARA                                                                            2008                                            Various   

 FREAKS OF THE SEA                                                             2009                                            National Geographic              

FILMSTAR FISH                                                                      2010                                            National  Geographic Asia                   

PIRATES IN PARADISE                                                         2012                                              Swedish TV / SBC Seychelles

 SEA’S STRANGEST SQUARE MILE                                      2013                                              NGC International worldwide

THE GLOBAL WHALE SHARK MYSTERY                              2013                                            Canal Plus

CASTRO’S SECRET REEF                                                       2015                                            NGC International / Smithsonian

ISLANDS IN A DESERT SEA                                                  2017                                            France TV

TRUK LAGOON – JAPAN’S PEARL HARBOUR                      2018                                            RAI Italy / Foxtel Australia & NZ

THE LAST TURTLES?                                                             2020                                             Not yet released