This 10 minute documentary was commissioned by Citizen Zoo, a conservation charity focussed on rewilding people and places. The brief was to produce a film that highlighted urban wildlife, the importance of river habitat and, most importantly, would inspire people.
The film was entirely based around a single urban river in Kingston-upon-Thames: The Hogsmill. It is one of just 200 chalk streams globally. We showcase the amazing diversity of wildlife that thrives along the river and highlight the work of dedicated volunteers conserving and enhancing the surrounding habitat. It aims to inspire, educate and raise awareness of the wildlife that thrives in urban areas. By featuring volunteer activities, we also hope the film will encourage many more people to get involved with local conservation and make a difference in their own town.
During the course of filming we employed a variety of techniques and filming methods. Underwater cameras, Gimbal systems, slow motion, macro and long lens photography were all necessary to bring visual interest to the film.
As well as featuring some incredible wildlife, the film also features leading experts including Joe Peccorelli from The Zoological Society of London and Tony Wileman of the London Wildlife Trust. The relationship between wildlife and passionate people brings a lot to the film and highlights the mutual benefit of conserving and enhancing these precious and diminishing habitats. Whilst there is growing pressure on urban rivers, the film focusses on the positive stories and the wildlife that is most certainly thriving.
The tone and delivery of the script was vitally important and from the outset, we wanted a light uplifting feel. We were delighted that Griff Rhys Jones agreed to record for us.
The film premiered to 800 local people in June 2019 at ‘WILD Kingston’, an event held at Kingston’s Rose Theatre. Shortly afterwards it was promoted online by Citizen Zoo through their social media channels and is now available on You Tube. We hope the film will spread far and wide and inspire and engage even more people with the wildlife that thrives on our doorstep.