A WILDLIFE cameraman from Coventry is using his own unique style to bring some of the UK’s most elegant, picturesque and tranquil views, sights and sounds to the city.
Simon Watts packed up his long time job as a district nurse to pursue the life of the great outdoors and now presents to hundreds of people on a regular basis.
His work has proved so popular, BBC’s Springwatch programme even sent a film crew to Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve to capture Simon producing his work before presenting it to a group of residents in Princethorpe.
Using a two metre screen with full surround sound, Simon shoots, edits and voices his own films and aims to produce eight each year – two for each season.
Branded as Wild Presentions, Simon is hoping his appearance on Springwatch will catapult his career into the next level and described receiving a request to appear on the show as his Hollywood.
He told The Observer: “A producer from BBC Bristol called me and asked if I’d be interested in being filmed – for me it was going to Hollywood, I was very excited.
“The film crews came to Coventry and observed me doing my work before taking in an actual session where I broadcasted my film to the public while narrating and answering questions.
“I love natural history and talking to people so combining my passion for wildlife, presenting and talking makes it a dream job for me.
“It was quite a gamble to pack everything up I’d previously worked for and buy some high end gear to make visual films but I have no regrets and my job is quite stunning.
“I want to give people the best possible experience of the great outdoors whether it be at the scene at a local park, the beauty of the Scottish highlands or elegance of the Cornish coast.
“I produce eight films a year and want to keep spreading the word about my work – generally the response has been superb.”
Despite filming in some of Britain’s most inspiring landscapes, Simon admits presenting his work is the most rewarding part of the job – some presentations even prove to be an emotional occasion.
He added: “Sometimes the most rewarding part of the job can be witnessing dementia patients feel absorbed among the wildlife, they get taken back to places that hold great memories for them.
“From the north to the south and even here in the Midlands, there are some beautiful places to admire and if the people can’t make it to the country then my aim is to bring the country to the people.
“It might be hard for older people to get outdoors later on in life, however I don’t see why people shouldn’t have the chance to be taken to the great outdoors.
“My shows are the nearest they can get to being there and I narrate my way through the film so people can ask questions about what’s going on and feel a part of it – it’s very interactive which makes it better for everyone.”
However Simon doesn’t just have a demand for the land’s national parks, he also films locally and is in the middle of producing a project on Earlsdon and has previously shot in the city’s War Memorial Park.
He added: “I’m amazed by the demand for a film from the area I live in.
“Normally you’d expect people to want a film featuring the sounds of the early bird, waves crashing against the shore – but that’s not always the case.”
If you’d like to follow Simon’s progress, you can follow him on Twitter @WildPresent.