Hugh Miles is a highly successful filmmaker who has dedicated his career to making films that benefit wildlife. An award-winning cinematographer, Hugh likes to be involved in as many aspects of the filmmaking process as possible, even appearing in front of the camera to help the audience get closer to the experience of actually being out on location.
Passionate about conservation from an early age, Hugh spent most of his school holidays carrying out conservation work at RSPB reserves, and decided on a career as a wildlife filmmaker after watching Eric Ashby on television in the early 1960s. After first going to film college, Hugh got a job at the Film Unit in Ealing, enjoying it so much he stayed there for nearly nine years. However, Hugh was then able to combine his interest in filmmaking with his passion for conservation by joining the RSPB. Here, Hugh was in charge of producing one hundred minutes of film a year and would try to get stories about birds onto television as often as possible by producing press releases for the national news, which would be viewed by over 10 million people. Hugh went freelance in the mid-1970s, with his first job being to film for the seminal BBC wildlife series Life on Earth.
Much of Hugh's success has stemmed from his use of a technique, learnt from J. A. Baker's book, The Peregrine, which has allowed him to gain the trust of the animals he filmed. By wearing the same clothes and doing the same thing every day, Hugh hoped that the animals would get used to him as part of the landscape and would eventually take no notice of his presence. This enabled him to get close to wild otters and pumas and achieve shots that have proved impossible for others.
One of the films that Hugh is most proud of is People of the Sea. After they had started filming, it became clear that there was a powerful conservation story to be told about the decline of the cod stocks in Newfoundland, and they ended up making a programme that was different to the one that they had set out to make. The film went on to win awards for Best Conservation Film at Jackson Hole 1997 and Wildscreen 1998, and was also seen by the Premier of Newfoundland, who decided to put a copy in every school so that the children were brought up understanding their environment and the dangers of over exploitation of a wildlife resource.
Hugh won a BAFTA TV award for Best Photography in 2000, shared with Chip Houseman, for Wildlife Special: Tiger; and was awarded the Panda for Outstanding Achievement at Wildscreen 2002.
|The World About Us (1967 - 1987): The Year of the Ladybirds (1976)||Additional Photography|
|Animal Olympians (1980)||Photography|
|The World About Us (1967 - 1987): Osprey (1981)||Director,|
|Wildlife on One (1977 - 2005): The Impossible Bird (1981)||Director,|
|The Flight of the Condor: Ice, Wind and Fire (1982)||Camera|
|The Discovery of Animal Behaviour: In Praise of God (1982)||Camera|
|The Discovery of Animal Behaviour: Natural Mysteries (1982)||Photography|
|The World About Us (1967 - 1987): On the Tracks of the Wild Otter (1983)||Director,|
|The Discovery of Animal Behaviour: Signs & Signals (1983)||Camera|
|The Living Planet: Sweet Fresh Water (1984)||Cinematographer|
|The Living Planet: The Building of the Earth (1984)||Photography|
|Kingdom of the Ice Bear: The Frozen Ocean (1985)||Producer,|
|Birds for all Seasons: Everlasting Heat (1986)||Additional Photography|
|The Natural World (BBC 1983 - 2012): Leopard- A Darkness in the Grass (1986)||Producer,|
|The Great Wood of Caledon (1989)||Producer,|
|The Natural World (BBC 1983 - 2012): Running for their Lives (1991)||Producer,|
|Life in the Freezer: The Big Freeze (1993)||Photography|
|Life in the Freezer: The Bountiful Sea (1993)||Camera|
|The Private Life of Plants: Growing (1995)||Photography|
|The Private Life of Plants: Travelling (1995)||Additional Photography|
|People of the Sea (1997)||Photography,|
|They Said It Couldn't Be Done: Kingdom of the Ice Bear: The Frozen Ocean (1999)||Producer,|
|Hugh Miles filming moulting chinstrap penguins...|
|Left to Right: Doug Allan, Mike Richards,...|
|Hugh Miles waiting to film polar bear cubs...|
|Hugh Miles with camera while filming from...|
|Hugh Miles filming for The Discovery of Animal...|
|Nikolai Drozdov and Hugh Miles with their...|
|Hugh Miles at Wildscreen, 1982|
|Wildscreen Festival 1986 Winners|