Wouldn’t Change A Thing are delighted to have awarded a grant to Oliver Hellowell to support his directorial debut as he makes his first short film, looking at his life and work photographing nature and wildlife. As part of the project Oliver has had the opportunity to film with Welsh ornithologist and presenter, Iolo Williams. Oliver’s mum, Wendy gave us an update.
Well what a perfectly wonderful time Oliver has had filming in Wales with his HERO, the lovely Iolo Williams, Welsh Nature & Wildlife presenter, Naturalist and expert Ornithologist.
With his ‘Director’s hat’ on, Oliver had lots of things planned out beforehand which he hoped to be able to do with Iolo and get into his film, but when his nervousness increased as the day drew nearer, we reminded him constantly that above all else, his priority was definitely just to enjoy being able to spend time with Iolo – who is such an important person to him. This seemed to ease his anxiety and we had all our fingers crossed, that he would be able to truly revel in Iolo’s company when the time came.
As expected we experienced all types of weather from warm sunshine to a day full of persistent heavy rain, but did our best to try and fit in all the things Oliver had wanted to do. One of the things Oliver had particularly listed beforehand was a scene where Iolo would examine three of the skulls Oliver has collected, to help identify them.
So we wrapped them carefully in tissue paper and placed them in a box to take with us, so that Iolo could do just that. We were fascinated to discover what they were and Oliver was pleased to be able to have that in his film. Apparently Iolo used to collect skulls too when he was a lad.
The working title for this film is ‘Oliver’s Nature’. This is because as well as featuring Oliver’s love of the Natural World and giving the viewer glimpses of the kind of Nature which Oliver enjoys so much, it is also very importantly, about Oliver’s ‘nature’, his personality, character and disposition. An opportunity to show people what Oliver is like as a person, and how valuable and indeed beautiful, his connections and friendships are.
Oliver’s connection with Iolo is a beautifully woven golden thread made up of strands of humour, banter and hilarity, mixed with their mutual love of birds and wildlife. I do so hope we are able to find a way to ensure that the final film showcases this in all its beauty and charm!
There was a short period of time where Oliver had to go find a public loo to answer a call of another kind of nature (!!) and while he was gone Simon was able to ‘interview’ Iolo about Oliver and their connection, and how he thinks of and ‘sees’ Oliver. He said such lovely things it gave me a very warm fuzzy feeling in my heart – and later that evening we were able to show Oliver the clips of film from that interview and he was so clearly moved and touched by it.
When Oliver was younger, he used to watch a series called ‘Iolo’s Secret Life of Birds’ which he adored. The series was available on DVD and so of course Oliver owned the whole set and watched every episode countless times. He
used to watch Iolo visiting all these different places in Wales and spotting all these interesting birds and would ask many times during the many years of watching, ‘Can I go and do that with Iolo? Can me and Iolo go and make a
programme together?’. So you can perhaps imagine, how often I watched these two together over the time we spent in Wales, thinking just how wonderful and magical it is, that all these years later – here they are, doing exactly that. It is truly, the stuff of dreams…
Our filming in Wales came to an end. Although reluctant to say goodbye, Oliver had a wonderful time with his Hero, and we all hope that we have captured some more perfect moments and scenes for Oliver’s film. Oliver was very happy with the footage, even though he wished he had been able to get over his excitement and nerves a little more
so that he could come across like a proper presenter! However, as a Director with a plan of action he certainly excelled.
To see more of Oliver’s work, keep updated or support his project head to www.oliverhellowell.com