Most films about climate change in the Arctic look at environmental and wildlife impacts. But the most immediate and dangerous impact is political.
The fast retreating ice is exposing vast reserves of valuable resources such as sea-bed minerals, natural gas, oil and fish. Because no one thought the ice would ever melt, there are few international agreements on who owns what.
Diplomatic tensions are rising, and Russia, the USA, and China are all deploying major new military forces in the Arctic
New Arctic sea routes are also opening up with different nations claiming conflicting jurisdiction.
Senior defence analysts believe armed conflict is highly likely within the next 5 years.
For the past year or so, I've been making "Melting Ice - Cold War" as a self funded documentary to highlight this untold story on climate change.
In February I was near to a completion deal with a US broadcaster and had shot about 70% of the documentary. But then the pandemic struck. A planned shoot with the US Navy was called off, and the deal collapsed. At the same time income from my freelance camera work dried up.
Covid restrictions mean TV companies are currently reluctant to provide completion finance, but they are keen to acquire completed films. I'm already in talks about an acquisition deal but first I need to finish the film. So that's why I've set up this project to crowdfund the last of the filming and editing and ensure a global audience for this vital story.
The aim of completing this film is simple. The greater public awareness of the issue of conflicting claims to natural resources in the Arctic, the more chance of a diplomatic resolution, rather than a military one.
Any funds you pledge will only be used for these essential external costs (i.e. not a penny for my time or camera equipment).
- Travel/subsistence costs of filming remaining interviews
- Travel/subsistence costs of filming remaining sequences
- Buying in stock footage for sequences I may not be able to film myself because of travel/Covid restrictions
- An actor/voice-over artist to narrate the programme
- External production of any graphics such as maps
- Production insurance
- Copyright licences for background music
- A small contribution to my unavoidable office costs such as rent etc.
I need £14k as the absolute minimum to achieve this. Given the average BBC documentary costs between £180k and £250k an hour, this is real value for money!
I've been passionate about telling environmental stories from the polar regions for over 30 years. My company, Wildcat Films, made Channel 4's first documentary investigating the range of environmental threats to the Arctic, and since then I've covered issues such as Arctic ozone depletion, ice thinning, and the toxic contamination of polar bears and Inuit mothers' milk. I've also filmed for various David Attenborough films in both Antarctica and the Arctic.
The polar regions are in my blood and I know that "Melting Ice - Cold War" is probably the most urgent story I will ever tell.
Click this blue link for a copy of my c.v.
This link will open a copy of what in the business is called a ‘pitch deck’ - it’s basically a series of A4 PDF's that summarises the film.
I've always been irritated at the "film and forget" attitude of most big broadcasters. Film crews crash into other peoples lives and workplaces, hoover up shots, and then disappear out of the door, never to be heard from again.
So when an organisation is generous enough to allow me to film, I always show my thanks by cutting a short clip reel of shots for their friends and family. These aren't intended to tell a story, but are just a few of shots that mean something to them. Here are a couple as they help give an idea of some of footage I've shot so far.
Norwegian Coastguard ice breaker KV Svalbard (includes images of an inspection boarding of a Russian trawler)
A USAF KC135 tanker, refuelling a US spy-plane over the Arctic.