DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
© Ian Watts 2020. All rights reserved.
This is my showreel compiled from a variety of films, documentaries, and music programmes I have photographed over the years.
I have been fortunate to travel extensively around the world and worked on many award-winning programmes in all corners of the globe. These have ranged from high profile landmark projects through to smaller intimate projects
I try to bring a certain amount of sympathy and understanding of the subjects I am filming whoever they are. At the same time I am quite passionate and thorough in my work and enjoy capturing people's lives, thoughts and experiences. I am equally adept at creating 'beautiful' images in difficult situations, as well as getting the once only shot in tricky circumstances. But I like to keep all my work in perspective and remember that the story is more important than a series of great shots.
Ian Watts is a BAFTA award-winning film and TV director of photography (Lighting Cameraman), and works on TV films, specialising in factual, entertainment, documentaries, music and current affairs. His creative visual input is highly valued by directors and producers alike, together with presenters and screen talent who value his warm demeanour and artistic eye.
He has more than 25 years wide-ranging experience of filming in 50 countries around the world, ranging from Ghana to Greenland, on many critically acclaimed and award-winning films. He transfers his strong visual aesthetic and resourceful energy through the various films he works on. Whether it’s a glossy National Geographic film in the USA, a highly technical BBC science programme like Horizon, or a musical film in Africa, they all show off his creative flair and inventiveness.
Ian is passionate about sport, and was the main cameraman on the BBC’s major 4 part documentary Olympic series; ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger: Stories of the Olympic Games’. And one favourite assignment was shooting a feature length documentary on Usain Bolt in Jamaica presented by former American athlete Michael Johnson.
His other passion is music and he has shot many music films, particularly for the BBC, over the years. But it all began way back, when he shot his first music video on 16mm film, which was the classic hit song ‘Keep On Movin’ by Soul II Soul, (11 million views on YouTube).
Closer to home, he shot ‘Election’ for Diverse Productions in the UK, which won a Children's BAFTA Entertainment Award. He also worked on the ground-breaking documentary ‘The Plane Crash’ for Channel 4, which was nominated for a BAFTA Specialist Factual TV Award, and 'Reggae Britannia' which won a UNESCO Award.
Ian is a British citizen, and has an American (I) work Visa for the USA, and can get by in conversational French. He is Disclosure and Barring Service, (DBS) approved. He is an owner/operator of professional broadcast camera equipment and lenses, plus other ancillary equipment including lights. He has a full driving licence, and a custom-made fully equipped crew van.
Ian is a proficient photographer and has a vast library of images, some of which were exhibited in two shows in 2017 and 2018. A major retrospective of his work is being curated for exhibition in 2021/22.
In terms of specialised skills, he says probably his best one is being able to talk and communicate with people, even when they don’t speak the same language, which can sometimes begin with a simple smile.
“I worked with Ian Watts and he can make anything look beautiful, anything…”
Stephen Lyle BBC Senior Executive for TV coverage and IPlayer Commissioning
‘Ian’s a fantastic cameraman with an amazing eye – he’s always offering me lots of options which is great when you’re working under pressure’
Mark Soldinger, Firecracker Films founder
“As well as being a great photographer you are always a pleasure to deal with for the PMs here and that goes a long way!”
Stephanie Minici, Production Executive, BBC Music Television
"I’ve had the pleasure of working with many cameramen over my long career.
But Ian’s lighting angles was just exceptional!
It is so great when you can relax when filming knowing you can trust the cameraman.
Thank you Ian Watts".
Mica Paris, singer and presenter
‘The Basie film is looking great, and such a lovely project to work on. I can’t wait to see it fully finished…your pictures look great and you are a pleasure to work with’.
Melissa Morton-Hicks, Producer, Eagle Rock Films
“Thanks again for everything out on the shoot - I’m really pleased with everything we got and looking forward to getting into the edit. I talked to the series producer, Pete, who started editing episode two last week and he said that the Utah footage all looked fantastic.”
Gwyn Williams, Director ‘Making North America’, Windfall Films
“Just watched the rushes from last week. All looks really nice (even as raw footage). Well done and many thanks”
Chris Durlacher, Director
“Ian shot my first documentary on Usain Bolt. A talented cameraman!”
Leon Mann Director and Co-owner at Refresh Films
"Ian’s professionalism and expertise was invaluable in creating highly polished and great looking corporate videos. Since our film days began two years ago, we now have 823,625 video views to our YouTube Channel and 263,712 video views to our videos on our website and now have over 3,000 subscribers to our YouTube Channel. An unequivocal success!"
Antonia Carew, Corporate Video Manager IHS, premier provider of global market, industry and technical expertise
‘Thank you so much for all your efforts working on this project, especially at Air studios over the weekend, which I am sure for you like myself was a privilege and one of those lifetime memorable experiences’
Sonia Caller, Production Manager, Band Aid 20
Thank you for all your hard work on the Indonesian shoot. The pictures are great and the programme is looking good. It was a pleasure to work with you and your support was greatly appreciated.
Maire Devine, Producer, Pilot Films
‘Its been great working with you – thanks so much for everything you’ve done on the series’
Ceri Smith, Production Manager, Renegade Pictures
Mobile: +44 (0)7956 262 808