Dynasties; Chimpanzee, BBC1

A 1hr film following the fortunes of key individuals within the Fongoli Group of chimpanzees living in the mixed savannah and forest of eastern Senegal. This is a remarkable group of chimps, living right at the edge of chimpanzee range. They exhibit some wonderful behaviours such as digging for water and making spears to hunt galagos. I filmed this group a couple of years ago for BBC1’s Life Story series, now we are back to make a much more detailed film about the ever changing fortunes of certain key characters within the group.

The filming will take place over the course of two years. It’s a very challenging place to work; typically getting up at 3.30am to follow the group for 12 hours or so in temperatures that can reach 50C in the shade – all while carrying 50lbs of camera kit. But they are such incredible creatures, in such an unexpected habitat (I keep getting reminded of the opening sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey), that every day in the field has the potential for magic.