Leanne Gater | Documentary cinematographer and shooting producer/director
Documentary cinematographer Leanne Gater
Documentary Cinematographer Leanne Gater

Favourite animal: Puffins

Favourite places: Norway and Scotland

Where I'd love to visit and/or work: New Zealand and Svalbard

Most amazing places I've visited/worked so far: Sierra Leone and Peru

Stories that catch my interest: Little known species or communities, topics which deserve far more attention than they currently receive

Occupation: Cinematographer, shooting producer/director and drone pilot

Specialisms: Low light and non-visible wavelengths (ultra violet, infrared, thermal), extreme macro filming

Genres I work in: Documentary and specialist factual

Sub-genres I work in: Wildlife, natural history, science, adventure travel - basically anything outdoors!

Hi there! I'm Leanne, a camera nerd who loves being outdoors and filming wildlife.

I worked for a while as a photographer, mostly in commercial and events, but decided it wasn't for me and started making short wildlife documentaries in my spare time. I've had my photographs exhibited in some truly incredible places all around the world - from the Louvre, Paris to the LED billboards of Times Square, New York - and even won a competition or two. In 2017 I decided to focus entirely on filmmaking and haven't looked back since!

After making a few short documentaries, I became taken with the Scottish Wildcat as a subject and - given the complexities of its conservation needs - decided to embark on producing my first feature. The Tigers Of Scotland (an affectionate nickname for wildcats) became my feature directorial debut and launched on Netflix in November 2018. I'm incredibly humbled by the wonderful response I've received from viewers, especially as many have been generous enough to donate to the charities and organisations trying to save the species, directly having an impact on wildcat conservation.

I really enjoy telling stories that are rarely told but deserve far more attention - these could be about a virtually unknown creature in need or some amazing people undertaking incredible work to help save our planet and communities. Of course, like most wildlife cinematographers, the dream is to work with Sir David Attenborough - but until then, I have lots of ideas waiting to be developed and I enjoy freelancing on all sorts of productions.

In addition to ground filming, I am also a CAA licensed drone pilot with a DJI Mavic 2 Pro. What I really like about this little drone is that it's small and easy to transport (my entire kit fits into a backpack), yet produces extremely high quality footage. Filming in 10bit 4:2:2 and D-log, it can easily be cut with a range of other cameras used in a production and is capable of filming in DCI 4K - making it perfect for blue chip productions and feature documentaries.

Becoming a wildlife cinematographer seemed a natural fit for me as I've always been very interested in both cameras and animals, but it hasn't all been wildlife and natural history. I've worked on a plethora of different productions over the years and continue to do so - from corporate live streams and events to promotional and branded content, plus I work occasionally on other genres of documentary and factual television. Alongside freelancing, I run a small production company with my partner Alex called Wild Films. We specialise in producing documentaries and branded content for outdoor and adventure organisations, plus we hire our specialist kit out to other productions.

I live in Manchester and have bases in both Bristol and Scotland, so can work right across the UK - and indeed regularly do! With my own car and a full, clean driving license, I'm more than happy to travel wherever the story may be. I also hold a valid passport and have worked on productions around the world - so if you've got a shoot (in the UK or further afield) and need a cinematographer, shooting PD or drone pilot, drop me a line.