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Team Candiru: A Brief History

For this weeks blog post I thought I would talk about Team Candiru. Who we are, what we do and why you should totally hire us if you ever need any films made. I should also apologise for the lack of blog post last week. I had to film and edit the Communicate conference here in Bristol, so didn't have as much time to write one last week.

Team Candiru started a few years back when I was put in contact with Dave Gilles who was a friend of a friend of mine. He writes music, records audiobooks and is involved in a number of projects (too many to mention in fact so please do check out his website). I contacted him because I needed some music written for this short film about a raft spider which I was entering into the 2013 British Wildlife Photography Awards.

The film ended up getting an honorable mention in the awards - thanks in no small part to Dave's music. After that we collaborated on a few other short sequences about Harvestmen.

and Autumn Spiders.

After we had made a few of these Dave told me we needed a name for the organisation. Something he could put on a CV. I suggested we name it after the Candiru - a type of parasitic catfish that lives in the Amazon. This was kind of a joke at first, but the name stuck. This was perhaps the first in a long line of questionable decisions that we have made. But hey, the URL wasn't taken so Team Candiru it was!

The second questionable decision was definitely getting Richard Mann on board*. Richard and I went to University together. While I specialised in filming insects, he specalised in filming plants. I wanted to make a film about solitary bees, and I thought that you can't really tell the story of bees without lots of footage of flowers. Richard is very good at filming flowers, often for weeks at a time. Also Richard and I work well together. We are very different people. He is bright and happy and upbeat, and spends his spare time doing things like taking dance classes, going rock climbing or hitting the gym. Whereas I am an angry, sarcastic misanthrope who has never even set foot in a gym and spends most of his spare time in the pub. This is reflected in our footage.

We then decided to start on out first major project; The Solitary Bees. We launched a kickstarter to raise money, which failed. We launched another kickstarter, and this time it succeeded (proving persistence does pay - see my earlier blog on this very subject). Then we went ahead and made the film. Hopefully most of you have seen it by now - but for those who haven't, or those who want to give it a re-watch here it is:

This film is freely available as a non-commercial educational resource to anyone who wants it. If you would like a copy please let me know. It was recently awarded a special mention at the Kolkata International Wildlife and Environmental Film Festival, which we hope will be the first of many awards.

Initially all I wanted was to show people how many amazing species of bees there are, do what I love and make a film about them. But then the film went down really well... Now things have changed and we are technically a legal company in our own right - with offices in Bristol and Glasgow. Which makes us multinational, making me the head of a faceless multinational corporation! This will be going on my CV.

So what do we do now? We make more films. About conservation and wildlife. It's that simple. These days the demand for content has never been higher. Everyone needs an online presence. Websites need filled with photos and videos. This is where we come in.

We can generate very high quality content. Be it in the form of still images, short clips, complete sequences or full length films. We can produce very high quality footage of wildlife (particularly invertebrates), time-lapse, sych record, presenter led, steadycam, deep focus macro.

We are in a unique position where, if we think there's a story that we feel is worth being told, we would love to help and be the ones who can turn it into a cinematic reality. So please do get in touch if you're in the need for content.

Follow me on twitter @jamesadunbar What's new with Team Candiru?

We did it! We built a deep focus macro system. It's amazing. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel because we will be producing a special sequence to showcase the amazing footage from this insane camera.

For two days last week I was working at Communicate. Communicate is an event held annually in Bristol organised by the BNHC. From their website: "Communicate is the the UK's leading conference for environmental communicators, bringing together over 150 delegates each year to develop their skills, share best practice and debate the latest issues in engaging people with the natural world."

It was a blast. The talks will be available on their YouTube channel in a few weeks, so do please check them out.

*This is a joke. Getting Richard involved was not a mistake.

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