Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

My first attempt at making a short film about lure fishing for bass

Please go easy on me here, because I have had my first go at putting together a short film on lure fishing for bass. Help! I “see” the world of fishing primarily as a stills photographer, and my lack of filming and indeed editing skills are painfully obvious when I think of say the skills that my two younger brothers have at this filming lark (presenting those minor TV shows I used to do was so easy compared to the actual filming, sound and editing work) - but I have given it a bit of a go and cobbled together a short lure fishing for bass film that revolves around the co-guiding work that I did with John Quinlan of Thatch Cottage Fishing Lodge over in Kerry, south west Ireland. Crumbs, talk about learning curves……...

I like to give our clients photos from these fishing trips they come on, and in October I explained to the guys that as per usual I would shoot a bunch of stills of them fishing etc., but I would also shoot a load of video if they were happy with it. It’s brilliant to work with John around our clients because the two of us have different strengths that we bring to the table - it’s John’s part of the world of course and he knows his local fishing backwards, and then I like to work with our guys to try and help them with their fishing when required. Around this I’ll shoot photos - and some video in this case, accepting of course that helping our guys with their fishing is the most important part of my job out there.

A short bass fishing film shot in Kerry, SW Ireland, from our co-guided lure fishing trips in October 2016. 

So I filmed as much as I could to try and have enough half-decent footage for putting something together for our clients as a memory of their October 2016 fishing holiday (with pollack and mullet fishing to come lads). When I am doing a bit of filming, as I said, I tend to “see” fishing as a stills photographer, and at the moment I don’t have the gear to properly do more creative (moving) shots etc. The film has no sound save for the music track because whilst most cameras will record some sort of sound, in reality it’s pants, and I am not about to try and mic up all our clients and run around trying to record sound when I also know so little about it as well.

But it’s the whole editing thing that has really opened my eyes up, and primarily because I know so little about it. For the last couple of weeks I have been up very early every morning to try and get to grips with Final Cut Pro after my few goes on iMovie and wanting more than it was doing for me. In my stills photography world I have felt entirely comfortable on Photo Mechanic, Lightroom and Photoshop for years now, but moving from still images to Libraries, Events, Projects and timelines in a piece of software like Final Cut Pro is somewhat daunting to say the least - and it became quickly apparent how many (video) shots I was missing as I got into the process of trying to cut (edit) this short bass fishing film.

Which has to be the way of course when firstly I am doing my guiding work with John and I can’t exactly be there only to film things, and secondly because now I have done this project I have learnt a whole heap of stuff. Sure, I keep thinking back to the fishing programmes I used to be involved in and how they were put together (wide shots, mid shots, tight shots, cutaways, noddies, PTCs etc.), but as with guiding and not being able to concentrate purely on filming (obviously), my job on those fishing shows was primarily to present and try to catch a few fish if possible. Of course I learnt a lot about the low-budget TV world, but it’s not until you’ve got a camera in your hand and then later on a load of basic footage to try and make editing sense of that you realise quite how daunting it is. Same with stills photography I suppose, but that is what I do and I feel entirely comfortable with it.

Anyway, I’d welcome your thoughts on my first go at making a short fishing film, but if you don’t feel inclined to give me feedback then I hope at least you might enjoy seeing a bunch of footage from a very, very special part of the world. A huge thanks to our clients for coming along on these trips and giving me the opportunity to find out how much fun it is to help people out with their fishing. Roll on 2017. Is it a given that England will thrash Fiji on Saturday afternoon? As much as I will always love watching England rugby, the game of the weekend for me is going to be Ireland v The All Blacks - could Ireland beat them twice in a row?