Who we are
The International Association of Wildlife Film-makers (IAWF) was founded in 1982 to encourage communication and co-operation between people who are often isolated in the field.
We are an association for professional camera men and women and sound recordists earning most of our income from making wildlife films. Our worldwide membership includes many of the leading names in our industry.
Types of membership available
There are three types of membership of the IAWF, Full Membership, Associate Membership and Affiliate Membership.
- Full members Only £80 per annum (£50 for International members)
Full membership is for those already making a significant part of their living from wildlife film making. Applicants must have been credited as principal camera or additional camera or assistant camera on a cumulative total of at least one hour of network broadcast film or television. Those working outside the realm of broadcast TV but working at equivalent production quality standards are also eligible. Full members must have demonstrable skills with contemporary broadcast standard cameras and equipment.
Full members have voting rights on major IAWF issues and members of BECTU may vote on issues relating to the IAWF/BECTU agreements. We encourage all UK members to join BECTU, however this is not mandatory.
- Affiliate members Only £80 per annum (£50 for International members)
This new category is available to individuals with specialist skills apart from camera and sound that are essential to successful filming. Examples include rope access specialists, dive support technicians, digital technicians etc who work extensively on wildlife filming projects. Membership is subject to a proven track record in wildlife film making, referral from at least two full members and approval by the committee.
Affiliate members have the same voting rights and benefits as Full members.
- Associate members Only £40 per annum (£30 for International members)
For those starting out as camera people in the wildlife film making industry but not yet making a full living or without sufficient credits for Full membership. Applicants must demonstrate active involvement in the industry through their resume.
Associate members are encouraged to upgrade their membership to full membership as soon as they feel they met the criteria of full membership. The committee also reserves the right to invite an associate member to upgrade their membership if they appear to meet the criteria.
Associate members do not have voting rights on IAWF or BECTU related matters.
What we do
We provide a friendly forum for sharing technical and contractual problems. The IAWF hold a meeting once a year for all members and also hold a meeting during the Wildscreen Festival week which is open to everyone. We offer guidance on the following;
- How to get work
- Basic rates of pay
- Negotiating contracts and credits
- Residual payments and royalties
- Insurance for equipment, travel, liability, health
- Equipment innovations and modifications
- Equipment purchase and hire
- Travel and expeditions
- Stills agencies, licensing, stock footage
- Ethical standards
The IAWF and BECTU
In 2004 the IAWF membership voted overwhelmingly to become a specialist freelance branch of BECTU. Since then we have forged a good negotiating relationship with the BBC Natural History Unit where we have regular meetings about a range of issues – not just rates of pay. We are not unionised and this relationship with the union does not confer any right to strike or make any demands or impositions on our members with regards to rates, contracts or anything else. What it does give us is a strong impartial voice with which to address members’ issues with production companies and especially the BBC NHU, as well as other business and employment issues.
Only IAWF members who are members of BECTU are able to vote on BECTU and BBC NHU negotiations related issues. Full members who are not in BECTU can only vote on general IAWF business when the occasion arises.
We therefore strongly recommend that all UK members of the IAWF also join BECTU so that we have a strong voice in the industry for all our members. The starting BECTU membership rate is £120 pa which includes Worldwide Public Liability Insurance to a value of £5 million. The PLI is free for the first year then subsequently £23 pa (half the price of comparable insurance elsewhere) in addition to membership fees. To see full membership & insurance details visit the BECTU website.
Meet the IAWF Secretary
We are delighted to announce that Mandy Leith has become the new IAWF secretary, taking over the role from Hilary Macewan who has been with the IAWF for twenty years.
Mandy has almost thirty years experience in TV and film production. She has worked on numerous wildlife films for most of the major broadcasters, many of which have involved IAWF members. Mandy has worked as a Director and Head of Production for an independent production company, and is now a freelance Line Producer and Production Manager based in Bristol, UK.
Mandy is very grateful for the friendly welcome she has received so far, and is looking forward to helping the IAWF going forward into the future, familiarising herself with the issues that are important to the members, and to getting to know some more of them along the way.