Britains Hidden Fishes Short Film Campaign by Jack Perks
8 February 2021
Britain’s fish are often overlooked and under-appreciated and I think it is about time we put them in the spotlight!
My name is Jack Perks and I'm a professional wildlife camera-man and photographer. Over the course of my career I've filmed every freshwater fish in the UK and many of the marine species giving me a unique understanding and apprecia-tion for our fishy denizens.
We have many amazing wildlife spectacles on our doorstep all unfolding beneath the wa-terline and this film aims to showcase hidden, untold stories about British fish. It would be in the format of a 1-hour film with narration. We have an extraordinarily talented crew of editors, composers, consultants and camera operators.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a cinematic-looking film about some of the most incredible creatures we have in the British Isles, everything from tiny sticklebacks to behemoth basking sharks. We are looking to launch the project in February and start film-ing straight away. Depending how filming goes this may extend into the year after so the film won’t be finished until at least 2022.
Based in Nottingham, I spent seven years traveling across Britain to film every species of freshwater fish and have developed and refined techniques for filming them, including scuba, snorkelling, camera traps and pole cams. I successfully crowd-funded two films, one on fish called “Beneath the Waterline”, which looked at the people working with fish, and “Wildlife Exposed: Shetland Diaries”. I orchestrated the UK National Fish Vote in which the Brown Trout won, have written two books on fish and contributed to many more. I have also written columns for Angler’s Mail & Fallon’s Angler. I also routinely film for tele-vision on many BBC nature documentaries and angling programmes.
Basically I quite like fish.
Why Fund this Project?
This campaign is the only option to create a short film about fish as most see them as brown, slimy, boring things. However they are so much more than that, with the ruby reds and kingfisher blues on a grayling’s dorsal fin or the deadly patience of pike waiting for an unsuspecting shoal of rudd to pass by. This is a chance to put modern filming techniques Into practice. We’ll be using high definition underwater cameras, drones for a birds-eye view and beautiful, scenic cinematography. It’s an all or nothing project as I want to make it right so if we don’t hit the target, it simply won’t happen. If we do reach and exceed the target it will open more doors such as extra time filming, more equipment and other narra-tives we can follow.
This isn’t a solo project and I have a team behind me helping the production, from com-posers making original music to editors (Laura Turner of Fuzzfox Films), camera operators, consultants and of course Jeremy Wade who has agreed to narrate the film.
It will also involve many members of the public and people working with fish as we are on the hunt for different stories and ideas. We are hoping to film and document things rarely seen by the great British public to interest them in something they didn’t realise was on their very doorstep, perhaps in the local canal or village pond.
It’s a non-profit film and the idea is to showcase fish in a film everyone can see so it will be made available online. I’d like to have a premiere but given the current climate we’ll see how that goes! It’s all or nothing so if we don’t reach the £30,000.00 target the film won’t get made. It sounds like a lot of money but it's a tiny budget for a wildlife documentary.
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