Cameraman's jet-setting adventures with Bear Grylls and Freddie Flintoff

When Media Technology graduate, Daniel Bowring, left the University of Lincoln in 2009, he never expected to land a job within two weeks.

Four years later, he’s now flown all over the world acting as a camera operator and assistant for productions that have ranged from pop videos in London to documentaries in the Amazon.

Daniel’s work has recently been featured on the ‘Mountains’ episode of Bear Grylls’ Escape From Hell, where he filmed the survival expert perform stunts and survival techniques across the Dolomites mountain range in north-eastern Italy.

He said: “It was great filming. Bear’s a really nice guy. It’s a lot of pressure though, he wouldn’t particularly want to jump down a Mountain into icy water more than once so, you really had to try to get everything perfect on the first take.”

In September, Daniel went to the Amazon with Freddie Flintoff to help film a documentary. Flintoff's Road Through the Rainforest, which followed Freddie on a 500mile bike ride across the Trans-Amazonian Highway and will be aired this year on Sky 1.

Rather than being nervous about the expedition Daniel was excited of the prospect of exploring somewhere new.

He said: “I’ve got quite a worldy instinct, I’m used to travelling and I can speak a little bit of a few languages, which means I can get by quite well. It’s something you’ve got to do before you have kids so I really want to do these things now.”

It didn’t stop him missing a few creature comforts though— “Most of the time we were sleeping in hammocks in the middle of the rainforest, it was such a relief whenever we went to towns and cities and you could get a nice bed.”

Daniel decided to come to the University of Lincoln as a mature student after spending 10 years travelling the world. It was a sound recordist friend who spurred him on to find out more about getting a job in the media industry and Daniel eventually decided to study at Lincoln.

 “I thought I’d better settle down and think about a career. I had been to university before. After I finished school, I studied Travel and Tourism at Aberdeen but I don’t think I was ready, I only lasted a couple of terms. When I came to Lincoln I knew it was time to focus.”

After Daniel graduated in 2009, he didn’t have particularly high hopes of getting a job straight away—“I moved to London after I left University to be with my girlfriend and I just walked into lots camera facilities houses and asked for jobs. I ended up talking to one of the directors of The Cruet Company and he told me that there wasn’t any work for me at the time but if I wasn’t having any luck, to get back in touch and he’d see what he could do.”

That weekend, whilst attending a wedding, he received a phone call. Cruet liked him so much, they had decided to create a job for him.

“I was really lucky. I started off in a Driver/runner position but they gave me training over the three years I was with them. The first year of training had me in the kit rooms repairing things and really getting to grips with the cameras, but by my third year I’d say I was on location about 80% of the time.”

Daniel is now a freelance camera operator and assistant but, he feels that working as a runner really prepared him for what lay ahead.

“You really have to be prepared to start at the bottom in this industry, I would definitely recommend anyone who wants to be a cameraman to start off working in a camera facilities company. You’ll learn a lot and they’ll still keep hiring you freelance after you’ve left.

“One thing you have to remember when you’re going into a low-paid apprenticeship or internship, is that it doesn’t last long. In three-to-four years you will have the job you’ve always wanted and will have met everyone in the industry.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2014

 

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