Introduction To Wildlife Film Making

Because there’s more to DSLR filming than switching your camera to video mode!


Saturday 01 February 2020

This workshop is also available on request: min 1 - max 4 film makers 


Inspired by watching wildlife programs on TV?  

Want to create your own film, but not sure where to start?  

This workshop is for you!


BBC film maker and natural history presenter Trai Anfield developed the Video Pioneers wildlife film making workshops to increase your confidence in planning what to film, which shots to get, how to shoot them on your dslr, and how to edit your footage into an engaging and impressive film.  Let us take you and your DSLR on a journey into the next dimension!

Kingfisher - a short film shot on a recent recce trip for our Video Pioneers workshops. 

Next Scheduled Date


Saturday 01 February 2020

This workshop is also available on request: min 1 - max 4 film makers 


1 day introductory workshop on producing natural history films with your DSLR, video camera or even your iPhone

Workshop Min 2, Max 4 film makers

Tutors: Trai Anfield 


On this introduction to natural history videography workshop we explore all aspects of the production process that make for great DSLR film making: from camera settings to storyboarding, filming your subject with the final edit in mind, and even how to direct a multi camera wildlife shoot.


We explore a range of cutting edge filming techniques, and - if the north east weather plays fair, we will also offer an introduction to Aerial Videography, using our incredible dual controlled drone.  Both Peter and Trai have full permissions for commercial aerial work from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).


So when you next head out into the wild you'll be ready to produce something special to show the folks back home - a wildlife documentary with your name on the credits.

We start this introductory level workshop with a session exploring story development, shot selection, camera settings and filming techniques at our favourite Bird of Prey and Reptile centre.  Then we set up a bespoke filming habitat suitable and authentic for the animals and birds we will be working with on each day.  We have exclusive access to a fantastic range of native British raptors and owls, both static and in flight, in a variety of gorgeous natural settings.  The birds, and our collection of reptiles and insects, are all perfect subjects for learning the craft of film making....even if it rains!


  • Birds of Prey - native Britsh raptors and owls in glorious seasonal settings - our birds are full of character and a joy to work with!

  • Macro subjects - exotic reptiles and insects in purpose built habitats for videography

  • Small mammals including the increasingly rare harvest mouse

  • Beginner friendly - come and learn new skills



The workshop gives you step by step insights into all aspects of planning and shooting a short wildlife documentary.  

  • DSLR videography settings and techniques

  • practical filming techniques

  • building natural sets and use of studio props

  • use of tripods and other stabilisers

  • external sound and lighting

  • developing your storyline: planning and storyboarding

  • shot selection and shooting for the edit

  • directing a multi camera shoot

  • aerial shots where appropriate

  • bringing it all together - hints for the final edit


2019 Dates and Rates


Saturday 01 February 2020

Also available On Request All Year Round For

1-2-1 or Small Group Tuition

Min 1 - Max 4 film makers


£245 as part of a group of 2-4 people

£550 individual tuition

£750 private 2 person workshop


Includes all photography and videography tuition,falconry, mammals and reptiles


Please bring a packed lunch


please click on the date you require and then follow the secure payment instructions through the checkout


Combine Video Pioneers with one or more of our brilliant photography workshops & receive discounted rates!


Available to book back-to-back with:

Wildlife: Fast Action & Creative Portraiture

Farne Islands Summer Seabirds

Diving Gannets of Bass Rock

Small Animals Studio Photography - Macro, Mini & Exotic

A sample film produced by our students on a week long Video Pioneers workshop in Scotland

Please note, for teaching purposes the tawny owl featured in this film is a captive bird; all other wildlife featured was shot in the wild.

Kit List


All you need is: 

  • a camera that has a video record mode - we teach on DSLR, Video Camera, Compact, bridge or even smartphone

  • wide/telephoto lens

  • tripod

  • spare memory cards and batteries.

But do feel free to bring along any other equipment you would like to use that may enhance the end product, such as a macro lens, slider, daylight balanced light, external microphone, filters, GoPro etc.  


Charging facilities will be available during throughout the session.  


After the workshop, you will be invited to send us a link to your short nature documentaries - we are in the process of setting up a dedicated forum for our film making graduates -  yours might even win our film competition! 


Please contact us if you have any questions. 


What our film making students and clients say...

'' I've been working in TV production for 15 years and learned so much from you in an hour and half!  You have an amazing gift of communicating with an audience. You covered so much material with such great enthusiasm.'' 


Lisa A. Jackson, Producer/Editor, Broadcast Center, Princeton University, USA

"I truly feel you got the best out of us, and that it would have been a lesser experience with another person leading."


Kathy F

Video Pioneers Scotland Workshop Client

''After 40 years of analogue street photography I needed a change, but found myself out of my depth, switching to wildlife, digital and video – talk about a challenge! Trai  was more than equal to the task, and thanks to her constructive feedback and inspiring expert tuition I’m now confident and creative again''


Helen E
Video Pioneers Northumberland Workshop Client 

About Your Tutor

Trai Anfield

Your lead tutor is Trai Anfield, award-winning wildlife photographer, former BBC film maker and natural history presenter of BBC Radio 4's Living World, and TV production trainer for Channel 4 Talent. 


Trai is a hugely experienced trainer who mentored and trained during her 13 years at the BBC. She now designs and delivers Creative Factual TV Production workshops for Channel 4 tv network in the UK and has guest lectured at Princeton University on the undergraduate Digital Bootcamp. 


So on our safaris and workshops you not only get the benefit of Trai's photographic experience, but the unique option to learn wildlife videography from a BBC trained film maker as well.  

Trai's photography regularly graces international magazines and she has held several solo exhibitions in the UK.  She is Photographer In Residence at Alex Walker's Serian safari camps in Kenya's Maasai Mara and regularly designs and leads photographic safaris on five continents.


Trai is committed to supporting a range of conservation & community charities in the UK and Africa by donating time, resources and profits from her work.  These include Gorilla Doctors, Mara Predator Conservation Programme and Friends of Red Kites NE.