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Aug 29 2017

Alan Root

Leading African natural history film-maker Alan Root died on 26th August

Inspirational cameraman and film-maker Alan Root died of a brain tumour on Saturday, aged 80. Of all the ground-breaking wildlife cinematographers who made films for ITV’s Survival series, Alan in my view was the most influential.

Alan’s films showed us a complete African natural history and not just the big cats. His films about hammerhead storks and ground hornbills brought us into their nests before technology made those techniques easy. His balloon and Cessna gave us aerials that contemporary drone work can only dream of 30 years later. A lot has changed in the Africa that Alan Root championed.

I wonder what Alan would make of the risk assessments of modern productions. Still I’m glad I haven’t had a hippo tusk go through my leg or my wife’s snorkel mask. He did all that so we don’t have to.

When I met him I was impressed by his witty delivery as well as an alarmingly good elephant impression. Above all, his films inspired countless people all over the world including my generation of wildlife camera people. I hope those films are safe and available for future generations.

A more thorough and beautiful obituary by his former proteges Vicky Stone and Mark Deeble is attached below.

Graham Hatherley, Chairman, IAWF

Click for obituary by Mark Stone and Victoria Deeble