I primarily consider myself a filmmaker. My educational background is a BSc (first-class) honours in Film and Television Production from the University of Greenwich in London. My film career started with filming and editing educational videos at various universities around Europe, covering topics such as ecological restoration, sustainability and aquaponics.
Following this I relocated to Gobabeb, a Namib Desert research station in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia. I lived in the central Namib Desert for two years, cultivating my interest and knowledge of the natural history of the area. My intentions were to make a natural history documentary. I would merge current scientific research with adaptation and behaviour. During my time at Gobabeb I also made several promotional videos for projects undertaken by the research station and published several natural history articles and photographs for a nationwide magazine and assisted several television film crews in obtaining wildlife and general footage. In 2018 I published a new observational note on termites in the Namib with the Ecological Society of America.
My documentary project, Namib: Surviving the Sand Sea, was completed in 2017 (click here). The film is currently being distributed across Namibia, being shown in schools as part of a capacity building initiative for environmental education and is being used as part of training programs for the thousands of students who visit Gobabeb each year.
I am currently working on a new film, following a researcher at Gobabeb who is determining rangeland utilisation and foraging behaviour of Topnaar cattle. The Topnaar are a small indigenous community living in the central Namib Desert. They are pastoralists but also gatherers of the economically and culturally significant !nara. Can scientists teach anything to traditional communities? Can traditional communities teach anything to scientists? This film aims to show how the two can work together to overcome problems and learn from each other.
© Oliver Halsey 2018