I grew up with a passion for nature and wildlife. My father taught me how to recognize birds from a young age and took me out in the field to watch wildlife. As I grew older, I developed interest in filmmaking. I was amazed by BBC documentaries and David Attenborough was my idol. Soon enough I knew I had to become a wildlife filmmaker. I bought a cheap camera, two lenses and a tripod.
At the age of 16 I started my bachelor in Biology, soon followed by a masters in ecology and nature conservation. During my studies, I have constantly been happily delayed by filming projects. To get comfortable with high-end camera equipment, I also worked at a camera rental for three months (Maloney).
Mees Swinkels | Wildlife Cameraman
I am currently 24 years old and have assisted and filmed for various prestigious wildlife documentaries:
- Holland natuur in de Delta: as a camera assistant for a wildlife film that screened in cinemas in the Netherlands
- Markerwadden: as a camera operator for a 50-minute wildlife documentary, broadcasted on NPO1 (Dutch TV channel) in 2021
- Onze Natuur: as a camera assistant for 18 months for 7 episodes of 50-minute wildlife documentary that will broadcast on Canvas (Belgian TV channel) in 2022.
- Waves Beneath the Water (Nederland Onder Water): as a camera operator for four months for a 50-minute wildlife documentary that will broadcast on Dutch TV in 2022.
- The Grand Carnaval of Chameleons (Le Grand Carnaval des Caméléons): as a camera assistant and second camera unit for two and a half months for a 50-minute wildlife documentary about Chameleons in Madagascar. It will be broadcasted in 2023 on ARTE in France and Germany.
Equipment I have filmed with: Phantom 4k Flex, ARRI Alexa mini, Sony Venice, Sony F55, Canon C300 mark III, Sony A7S3, Canon 50x1000mm (CN20), DJI Inspire 2, Z-cam e2 (also underwater), various motorized sliders, jibs and more.
Languages I speak: Dutch (native), English (Academic), Spanish (B1), French (A1)