Press Releases & Editorials

06Dec2016

Nat Geo Brings Back Primal Survivor

US cablenet National Geographic has greenlit a third season of globe-trotting series Primal Survivor.

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26Aug2016

Sky Vision Acquires Rights to Savage Kingdom

Sky Vision acquires international distribution rights to Icon Films and Natural History Film Unit Botswana’s ground breaking natural history series ‘Savage Kingdom’ 

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05Dec2016

Alphie's Thoughts...

An update from our favourite four-legged friend.

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06Oct2016

Icon are gearing up for an exciting Wildscreen

See what Icon are up to at 2016's Wildscreen Festival 

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16Dec2015

Top 10 Techie Tips from ICB, Amsterdam

To celebrate the company’s silver anniversary, Icon Films has commissioned a brand-new piece of artwork to showcase its 25 years of film and TV production.

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16Aug2016

Educating Rita screening.

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15Aug2016

Savage Kingdom: TV by Natural Selection

by Harry Marshall, Creative Director.

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23Jun2016

Did Somebody Say Timelapse?

What We See – Showcasing our office space.

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27May2016

Taxi to Yeti-land

Around the really touristy part of the Himalayas the legend of the yeti is so interwoven with the western reports of the creature that it’s not always easy to separate the honest belief from the tourist tale...

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26Feb2016

College Green - Summer to Winter Timelapse

What We See – Summer into Winter

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21Dec2015

Iconic Art Commissioned for 25th Anniversary

To celebrate the company’s silver anniversary, Icon Films has commissioned a brand-new piece of artwork to showcase its 25 years of film and TV production.

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14Sep2015

Icon Films sink their teeth into vampire lore for Channel 4 and WNET

Icon Films, has been commissioned by Channel 4 to produce a 1 x 60 England’s Vampires in association with THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.

Icon Films is to produce ‘England’s Vampires’ a one hour documentary that brings together medieval manuscripts, new archaeological finds and a shocking interview with a real-life vampire slayer shedding light on disturbing rituals from Europe’s past and to show that Dracula’s roots lie in fact not fiction.

In 2004 Professor John Blair from Oxford University, made the connection between folktales from Medieval manuscripts describing rituals to dispatch the walking dead and archaeological finds of disturbed Anglo Saxon graves.  There was a striking similarity between the violent actions performed on the skeletons in the grave and what was described by the texts. Could this be proof that the folktales were real?  Then Professor Blair came across a case of a vampire slaying in modern Romania.  The ritual that the vampire slayer described bore striking similarities to those described by the medieval text. The three pieces of evidence stack up to suggest that in Medieval England there was indeed a belief in Vampires.

The documentary goes on to explore why this belief in vampires may have existed and why people were motivated to perform such gruesome acts on a corpse. 

Channel 4 and THIRTEEN commissioned the documentary, which will be distributed by PBS Distribution

‘Commissioned for Channel 4’s Secret History strand and PBS’s Secrets of the Dead strand, it is exciting to bring together historical and archaeological evidence to shed new light on a part of our history that until now has been little known about and even less understood.  The results make chilling Television’ said Owen Gay, Executive Producer, Icon Films

 

 

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29Jul2015

Icon Films in association with Natural History Film Unit Botswana produce Wildlife Epic for Nat Geo WILD

NAT GEO WILD GREENLIGHTS BIG GAME OF THRONES wt,

A WILDLIFE EPIC STARRING RIVAL ANIMAL CLANS

 BATTLING FOR SUPREMACY

 

Years in the Making, Miniseries Event Will Uncover the

Characters and Storylines in the Live-or-Die Life of Remote Africa

 

Big Game of Thrones Premieres in 2016

 

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 29, 2015) HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones” is renowned for its fascinating characters and plot twists that tell a fantastical story in a magical world. Nat Geo WILD’s Big Game of Throneswt needs no magic to tell its real-life story of ruthless predators and powerful prey whose interconnected lives expose rivalries, betrayals, battles, struggles and triumphs. It is a never-ending crusade for survival with characters so wild and conflict so cutthroat that no fiction can do it justice. Big Game of Thrones wt, the epic miniseries event produced by Icon Films in association with Natural History Unit Botswana, will premiere on Nat Geo WILD globally in 2016.

 

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05Aug2015

New features launch on River Monsters Fish On! App

‘River Monsters Fish On!’ – the essential digital logbook for River Monsters fans and anglers of all ages launches exclusive River Monsters video content  and classic clips from the hit TV show River Monsters for the first time as well as all new features and functionality.

The latest version of River Monsters Fish On!, available on iOS and Android, features:

  • Home page re-design with improved navigation
  • Comment feature – comment on fellow users catches
  • Follow feature – follow a user or geographical area and receive notifications when new catches are logged

Plus, new ‘River Monsters Extra’ subscription (£2.99 per annum) gives access to additional features and original content:

  • Weekly River Monsters video content including exclusive ‘Kit On’ webisodes featuring Jeremy Wade plus classic River Monsters clips
  • Enhanced follow feature – follow up to 50 users and locations to stay up to date with fellow anglers and your essential fishing spots

And coming soon to ‘Extra’ subscribers:

  • Tide and Biometric pressure forecasting – check ahead for the forecast of your fishing trip
  • More exclusive River Monsters content

Technical specifications:
Platform availability: iOS7 and above (iPhone and iPad) & Android worldwide excluding the US.

Click here for Android Download Link

Click here for iOS download Link

For more information on the app and more please visit the ‘RiverMonsters.TV ’ website 

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03Aug2015

Ahoy! Icon Films to explore the Big Business of Big Boats for Channel 4

Channel 4 Factual Entertainment docks a commission for ‘Multi Million Pound Mega-Yachts’ (w/t)

Channel 4 has commissioned Bristol based production company, Icon Films to produce a 1x60’ behind the scenes look at the super-exclusive world of the South of France’s yachting community.

At least 60m in length, the mega-yachts docked along the affluent ports and harbours on the Mediterranean coast are pinnacles of wealth, luxury and opulence. This film will be meeting the super-wealthy owners, the crew, cutting-edge designers, builders and brokers of these incredible yachts.

The film will follow the big business of big boats across one summer season as they gear up for the The Monaco Yacht Show in September. Taking place in Monaco’s Port Herculé, it is the centre of the yachting universe and moors some of the largest, most expensive and most glamorous mega-yachts in the Mediterranean.

Speaking on the commission, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor, Lucy Leveugle said:

"This insight into mega-yachts is remarkable access to the experiences of the global elite. It will follow the stories of people who all contribute to this very contemporary symbol of wealth."

TCB Media Rights will distribute the programme.

Multi Million Pound Mega-yachts (w/t) will air later this year on Channel 4 

 

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29May2015

Bristol 24/7 If I Knew Then: Laura Marshall

Icon Films, based in offices overlooking College Green, makes a vast range of programmes for television channels across the world, including Animal Planet US, River Monsters, Sandhurst and The One Show.

Managing director Laura Marshall is responsible for the overall strategy of the company, personnel development and marketing. Laura is also heavily involved with media organisations in the city.  She was chair of Bristol Old Vic Trust from 2010 to 2013 and continues to sit on the board, is a member of the Society of the Merchant Venturers, and a governor of the Merchants’ Academy in Withywood.

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13May2015

'It Goes Up Like a Lead Balloon' for Icon Films, University of Bristol & BBC One Show

Icon Films and University of Bristol Engineering Department Build The UK’s First Successful Lead Balloon, for BBC’s One Show

Bristol based independent TV production company, Icon Films, teams up with Engineering Design Students from University of Bristol to design and construct the UK’s First Lead Balloon, for The One Show.

Following their successful challenge in 2014 building a functional chocolate teapot, Icon Films and Marty Jopson enlist the expertise of University of Bristol’s Engineering Design Students to dispel the idiom and prove it is possible to fly a Lead Balloon.

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06May2015

BBC & Animal Planet team up for 'Return of the Giant Killers; Africa's Lion Kings'

Icon Films, in association with Natural History Film Unit Botswana have been commissioned by the BBC and Animal Planet US to produce a follow up to their award winning ‘Africa’s Giant Killers’ documentary ‘The Return of the Giant Killers; Africa’s Lion Kings’.

This one hour documentary film reunites director cinematographer Brad Bestelink and film photographer Richard Uren to capture more extraordinary wildlife footage in the Savute Game Reserve in Botswana. The film will again form part of the BBC’s Natural World strand.

Published in 
Broadcast
Televisual
C21
Realscreen
Worldscreen

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05May2015

River Monsters Returns to Monster Week on Animal Planet

Consider this an official warning – MONSTER WEEK returns to Animal Planet from Sunday May 17th, and it’s jam-packed with some of the most terrifying beasts to ever have inhabited Earth. That’s why this year’s MONSTER WEEK needs nine nights to investigate these horrifying creatures, whose teeth and claws strike fear into viewers watching from the comfort of their living rooms. 

MONSTER WEEK wraps with an epic two-hour extended Director's Cut  RIVER MONSTERS:  Jurassic-Sized Prehistoric Terror, as freshwater detective Jeremy Wade embarks on a mission to uncover horrifying killers from the depths of time. Featuring never-before-seen footage, monster-sized catches and one of the most horrifying creatures Jeremy ever has laid hands on, this special episode of Animal Planet’s most-watched series explores fearsome, prehistoric beasts that are brought back to life by combining Jeremy’s unique understanding of modern-day monsters with state-of-the-art CGI. Super-sized piranhas, fanged swamp sharks and the nightmarish ‘buzz-saw killer’ are but a few of the real-life predators from long-lost worlds that Jeremy encounters on his quest to unveil the most terrifying RIVER MONSTERS that ever have lived.

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28Apr2015

Icon Films launch River Monsters YouTube Channel

Icon Films has today launched the first official YouTube channel dedicated to its global hit ‘River Monsters’ brand.

The company is collaborating with YouTube specialist Little Dot Studios to create the dedicated channel devoted to the TV programme, now in production of its 8th season. ‘River Monsters’ is sold worldwide to 109 territories to over 20 different language channels and is the biggest show on Animal Planet US.

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28Apr2015

River Monsters a whopper for Icon Films

A programme about flesh-eating fish in the remote Kali River in the Himalayas has attracted millions of viewers worldwide

By Rebecca Burn-Callander, The Telegraph  

The remote Kali River in the Himalayas is home to a flesh-eating monster that has carried out fatal attacks on Indian and Nepalese villagers over two decades.

Seven years ago, a fisherman set out to find the river-dwelling creature, catch it, and solve the riddle of what had been eating the swimmers. The fisherman’s name was Jeremy Wade.

He has now become the frontman for one of the most successful fishing series of all time, River Monsters, which has been broadcast in 100 countries in 20 languages.

Created by Bristol-based Icon Films, River Monsters is now the top-rated show on US cable channel Animal Planet, and attracts up to 2.8m viewers when new episodes are premiered in the UK on ITV. 

This article first appeared in The Telegraph April 28th 2015 

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14Apr2015

River Monsters Fish On! App Launches on Android April 20th 2015

River Monsters Fish On! is the essential tool for anglers and River Monsters fans of all ages, combining a simple, easy to use digital logbook, with exclusive River Monsters content and knowledge.

The app offers a digital ‘logbook’ for anglers to record, rate and compare their catches, and is will be available worldwide excluding USA, on Android from 20th April 2015.

It includes a new 'Do Not Share' option which allows users to keep their catches private. This feature will also be available on iOS.

Coming soon to both operating systems  - subscription access to additional River Monsters content and features  

14Apr2015

River Monsters is renewed by Animal Planet as Season 7 opener reels in record ratings

RIVER MONSTERS debuted on Animal Planet Sunday 12th April 2015 with a monstrous season premiere, ranking as the most-watched River Monsters opener – and most-watched season premiere ever on the network - among P25-54 in ratings (1.2) and delivery (1.15M) based on Live+3 data, which includes three days of time-shifted viewing. The season opener, “Canadian Horror,” reeled in 1.9M P2+ viewers, 1.3M HH and 1.1M P18-49 in L+3.  

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16Mar2015

Icon Films’ EP Stephen McQuillan To Lead Company’s Development Team

Icon Films has expanded Exec Producer  Stephen McQuillan role to encompass Head of Development. His strong journalistic and broad factual background will allow Icon Films to build on their reputation as Specialist Factual producers.

McQuillan joined Icon Films in 2013.  He will continue to EP and in his new role will head up the development team and spearhead the strategy to expand the company’s factual output.

Stephen said ‘It is an exciting challenge to lead the development team at Icon in a time when we are seeking growth in new areas.  I hope we can create new factual formats and continue to produce shows that we are all proud of.”

Harry Marshall, Creative Director of Icon Films, said ‘Stephen's appointment will allow us to expand into new areas. It's  fantastic to have his seasoned judgement and experience of the industry with a proven ability to not only deliver but also surprise and delight'.

 

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10Mar2015

Animal Planet's #1 Series Returns April 5th 2015

JEREMY WADE GOES TO NEW DEPTHS IN THE MOST DARING RIVER MONSTERS EXPEDITIONS YET

Animal Planet’s best-performing series returns with the most daring RIVER MONSTERS expeditions to-date. Jeremy Wade, freshwater detective, biologist and extreme angler, is breaking the surface and diving into the lairs of aquatic beasts with six brand-new episodes of the seventh season of RIVER MONSTERS, premiering Sunday, April 5, at 9 PM (ET/PT).

In the RIVER MONSTERS season finale, Wade travels back in time to uncover the greatest river monster that ever lived in the ground-breaking special RIVER MONSTERS: PREHISTORIC TERROR, premiering in late May during Animal Planet’s fourth annual MONSTER WEEK. 

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09Mar2015

Africa's Giant Killers wins Best Natural History at RTS WOE

Africa's Giant Killers Natural World filmed and directed by Brad Bestelink, Natural History Film Unit Botswana, has picked up the Best Natural History Award at the RTS West of England 2014/15 Awards.  

The judges said "the winning film engaged the viewer on a compelling emotional level, has stunning and outstanding footage that was beautifully edited -  beautiful and brutal in equal measure".

The Awards Ceremony was held at Bristol Old Vic on Sunday March 8th 2015 and hosted by Steve Backshall.

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04Mar2015

Behind the Scenes of Africa's Fishing Leopards

Of all the large predators in the African bush, leopards are by far the most secretive. Just finding them is tricky; sticking with them, and filming the intimate details of their lives, is something that required luck, determination, and a great deal of time. But it was a challenge that my friend Richard Uren and I always felt privileged to be taking on.

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02Mar2015

Life size seven foot Arapaima sculpture revealed

Bristolian artist Jamie Gillman’s latest commission has been revealed by Icon Films. The seven foot sculpture is a life size replica of the 250lb Arapaima that Jeremy Wade caught in 2013, for Season Six of River Monsters.

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18Feb2015

Groundbreaking Graffiti Panels of Bristol by Local Artist Unveiled by Mayor George Ferguson

Icon Films is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new series of groundbreaking graffiti panels of the city by local art student Sam Bristow.

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16Feb2015

Oration for Honorary Graduands Laura and Harry Marshall

HARRY & LAURA MARSHALL
Doctors of Law
Thursday 12 February 2015 at 2.30pm  – Orator:  Professor Peter Coates

Mr Deputy Vice-Chancellor

The Potala Palace, Tibet. Chernobyl, Ukraine. The Zambezi River. The Yassuni Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador.  The Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia. The Berkeley Estate, Gloucestershire. The old Biological Sciences building at this university. These are just some of the places, far and near, that feature in the productions of Icon Films.

Her Majesty The Queen. The Dalai Lama. Henry Kissinger. Iris Murdoch.
Rod Steiger. David Attenborough. Joanna Lumley. These are just a few of the people that Icon has filmed with.

King cobras. Tigers. Great white sharks. The Loch Ness Monster. The Yeti. The bones of the Buddha. Einstein’s Brain. Darwin’s diseases. Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. These are just a handful of the subjects about which Icon has made films. Films that have landed Emmy, Grierson and Christ awards, as well as prizes at numerous film festivals. 

Icon is a leading light in the creative economy of Bristol, which houses the world’s greatest concentration of natural history filmmakers. And with us this afternoon are the creative director of Icon, Harry Marshall, and its managing director, Laura Marshall. Usually, on these occasions, there’s one honorary graduand. In view of this unusual award of degrees to a husband and wife, I’ve been granted some extra time. I’ll take them in alphabetical order, until their lives and careers combine. 

Photo Credit:  Ede and Ravenscroft 

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09Feb2015

Laura and Harry Marshall to be awarded Honorary Degrees from the University of Bristol

The University of Bristol is recognising Icon Films' co founders,  Laura and Harry Marshall with a Doctor of Laws honorary degree which will be awarded at a ceremony on 12th February in the Wills Memorial Building.

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03Feb2015

Secrets of the Dead recounts the story of the Craven Street Bones

When the skeletal remains of an estimated 28 people were discovered in the basement of the one-time London residence of Benjamin Franklin, people speculated that the Founding Father might have had a much darker side.

What had taken place in this elegant Georgian town house located in the heart of London at 36 Craven Street? Who was responsible for this hideaway of bones? Had the work of a serial killer been unearthed?

Secrets of the Dead investigates the mystery of Ben Franklin’s Bones, airing nationally Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 10-11 pm ET on PBS 

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16Feb2015

Our Friend in the West: Comment by Laura Marshall for Royal Television Society

While celebrating Bristol’s success as a creative hub, Laura wonders why some London commissioners treat her as a yokel

Icon Films is based in Bristol, and this febrile, effervescent hub out south west is a fine place to be an indie. It's a dichotomous city, considered conservative and prosperous (think tobacco, Ministry of Defence and banking), but with a long history of innovation and dissent (think Cabot, Brunel and Wesley).

Bristol is home to some of the most innovative companies and institutions in the land. Quantum physicists and playwrights mingle here, using the formal and informal networks that exist – and, through this restless connectivity and constant hubbub, comes great work.

Independence is valued and encouraged – indeed, our elected mayor is an independent – and we have a Bristol Independence Day to celebrate independent traders. We even have our own currency, the Bristol Pound. And this year, Bristol takes on the mantle of European Green Capital.

How does this spirit support the creative industries? While we may be the third-largest production centre in the UK (after Manchester), we can't ignore the fact that we are dwarfed by London and the commissioning power centred there. In Bristol, we know we have to punch above our weight.

 

 

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22Dec2014

River Monsters Fish On! App Available Now!

River Monsters Fish On! - the essential digital logbook for anglers with exclusive content from hit TV series River Monsters - is available now! 

The simple to use Fish On! app will connect you instantly to a global community of anglers, allowing you to log, compare and compete for the biggest catch. Fish On! is free to download with subscription content coming soon.

With Fish On! you can:

  • Log your catch in seconds while on the river bank – app will automatically record your location, weather conditions and air pressure at time of catch
  • Upload your catch details at a later date (for those fishing in remote locations without internet coverage!)
  • See fellow anglers’ catches appear in the directory in real time
  • Search the catch directory by species, bait, location etc. – take tips from other anglers about what has worked best for them
  • See your total and average catch weights calculated automatically as your log builds
  • Upload your catch photos directly to Facebook
  • Access the River Monsters Catches profile

 

Click here to download the app for iPad and iPhone 

 

 

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15Dec2014

River Monsters Fish On! App Launches 19th Dec 2014

River Monsters and Go-Fish partner-up to create angling app ‘River Monsters Fish On!’ launching on iOS 19th December 2014. 

River Monsters Fish On! is the essential tool for anglers and River Monsters fans of all ages, combining a simple, easy to use digital logbook, with exclusive River Monsters content and knowledge.

Building on the already established Go-Fish Angling app, River Monsters Fish On! offers a digital ‘logbook’ for anglers to record, rate and compare their catches, and introduces a fresh look and exclusive River Monsters content.  The app will be available worldwide excluding USA, from 19th December 2014

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17Nov2014

Icon Films Bolsters Training with Creative Skillset Investment Fund

Bristol based factual producer Icon Films has been awarded funding from Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Funds, which help companies invest in the development of skills and talent in the UK creative industries.

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29Sep2014

Success: Merchant Venturer Laura Marshall talks to Bristol Post about Icon Films' Expansion

Laura Marshall runs one of the most successful independent TV productions in Bristol. Laura and her husband Harry are the driving force behind Icon Films and are fast becoming serious players in the national and international media scene.

And for a woman who describes herself as “slothful” Laura is a bundle of energy who is committed to putting something back into the community.

She is on the board of trustees at the Old Vic and is also a governor at the Merchants Academy.

And the mother-of-three is also one of the first women in the city to become a fully paid-up member of the Merchant Venturers.

 

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06Aug2014

To the ends of the Earth without a guide

‘Place our presenter at the heart of a tribe to learn ancient skills, before he embarks on a death-defying challenge in the bush / forest / wilderness / open ocean.’ A standard sort of a brief. Luckily, Hazen Audell is a tireless adventurer so the death-defying challenges were looking good. Finding suitable locations and tribes, however, would be a different matter.

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16Jun2014

Icon Films Bolsters Growth With New Appointments

Icon Films has hired Stephen McQuillan and Jonathan Jackson to join their Senior Management Team as part of the strategy to grow the company. McQuillan has joined as Executive Producer to work across development and production, and Jackson has been appointed to the newly created role of Financial Director.

In addition Tom Cooper has been hired as Post Production Supervisor and will be managing the existing in-house off-line edit suites and digital strategy as well as overseeing the fit out of 6 new off-line suites that are part of the office expansion.

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04Jun2014

Nat Geo Orders Survive the Tribe from Icon Films

National Geographic Channel announces Survive the Tribe, a six-part factual series exploring survival techniques of ancient tribes around the globe, produced by Icon Films.

The series tracks wilderness guide and suvival instructor Hazen Audel as he journeys to some of the world’s most inhospitable places, attempting survival skills that have kept tribal people alive against the odds for thousands of years.  

Locations being visited include the Kalahari Desert, Mongolia and Arctic Canada.

The series is scheduled to begin airing in the U.K. and the U.S. in July, and internationally later in the year.

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03Jun2014

Animal Planet Renews River Monsters for 7th Season

Animal Planet’s best-performing series in network history for six consecutive seasons, RIVER MONSTERS, has been renewed for a seventh season.  

The announcement was made at the conclusion of the penultimate epidsode from S6 “Bone Crusher,” which kicked off the network’s third annual MONSTER WEEK and drove monster ratings  for the network. 

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14Apr2014

Africa's Giant Killers - A Cameraman's Perspective

Brad Bestelink recounts some of the extraordinary scenes he witnessed filming Africa's Giant Killers for BBCTwo  Natural World 

Richard Uren and I spent two demanding (both physically and mentally) but immensely rewarding years filming in Savute, Botswana. Being able to immerse yourself fully in what was happening only happens in a few select places and only in very particular times.

This is the ultimate confrontation, where the biggest and strongest confront each other to play out the greatest battle found in the wilds of Africa. And when lions hunt elephants, it ignites an unusual sense of horror and desperation. We lived surrounded by these scenes of horror and desperation for so long that we became numb to it, just as we became immune to the smell of death that permeated everything. 

This aritcle first appeared in Broadcast 11th April 2014

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08Apr2014

River Monsters' Sixth-Season Premiere Is The Most Watched Season Debut in Animal Planet History

Via Press Relase from Animal Planet 

 First-Ever Live Aftershow, RIVER MONSTERS: LIVE WITH JEREMY WADE, Hooks 1 Million Viewers and Doubled Social-media Numbers -

(New York, April 7, 2014) - RIVER MONSTERS, Animal Planet's best-performing series ever, debuted Sunday with the most-watched-season premiere and also ranked as the most-watched network season premiere among key demos (975K P18-49, 639K M18-49, 605K P18-34 and 595K M25-54). The two-hour opener, "Amazon Apocalypse," caught 1.7M P2+ viewers, 1.2M HH and 915K P25-54. 

Following the season premiere at 11 PM ET/PT, Animal Planet's first-ever live aftershow, RIVER MONSTERS: LIVE WITH JEREMY WADE, drew in a strong 1M P2+ viewers.

Fans also were hooked on RIVER MONSTERS online and across social platforms, as the season premiere saw an 85 percent increase in Twitter activity compared to last season's premiere. RIVER MONSTERS was among the top-five social shows in cable last night, excluding sports and special events, according to Nielsen's SocialGuide. RIVER MONSTERS: LIVE WITH JEREMY WADE continued on AnimalPlanet.com, which contributed to three times the amount of unique visitors/streams to the RIVER MONSTERS fansite when compared with last season's premiere.

In the sixth-season premiere, extreme angler Jeremy Wade took viewers along as he investigated the sinking of the Sobra Santos - one of the Amazon's largest maritime disasters - with as many as 200 passengers losing their lives to something mysterious in the waters.

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17Oct2013

Has A British Scientist Finally Unlocked The Mystery of The Yeti?

New DNA research on hair samples by Professor Bryan Sykes, a leading British geneticist, may reveal the answer to the centuries-old mystery of the Yeti: it is a genetic match to an ancient polar bear.

The results feature in a new Channel 4 documentary series, Bigfoot Files (starts October 20th) presented by Mark Evans, who sets off on a global quest to unlock the real story of Bigfoot.

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10Mar2014

Animal Planet Announce TX Dates for River Monsters Season 6

Extreme Angler Jeremy Wade travels to the Amazon to embark on his longest journey yet in New Season of 'River Monsters'

-- Animal Planet's #1 Series Returns with an all South American Adventure --

-- And in a Rate Encounter, Jeremy Tangles with a Freshwater Foe That Isn't a Fish! --

Animal Planet's best-performing series ever for five years is back, and freshwater detective, biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade is taking viewers along on the mysterious adventure of a lifetime.  Six brand-new episdoes of the sixth season of RIVER MONSTERS return on Sunday April 6 at 9pm (ET/PT) with a special two-hour long premiere called 'Amazon Apolcalypse'.  Re-told by witnesses and passengers who survived the sinking of the Sobra Santos, it's a horrid and poignant story of one of the Amazon's largest martitime disasters.  That night, as many as 200 passengers lost their lives, and something in the water is being blamed for many of the deaths.  Wade is hell bent on finding out what it was ... or is. 

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10Feb2014

Icon Films scores 12 nominations at RTS West of England Awards

After weeks of intensive viewing and a day of enthusiastic debate, the experienced and distinguished judges have delivered their verdict in the fields of network television, on-screen talent, craft, digital media and regional television news for the RTS West Of England Awards

The BBC’s Natural History Unit leads the way with a total of 20 nominations for a wide range of programmes it has made and commissioned. Stand-out shows include Africa, Wild Arabia, Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero and The Natural World Series. 

Production company Icon Films has scored 12 nominations spanning categories from best specialist factual to best newcomer, for shows such as River Monsters, BigFoot Files and Hustling America. 

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03Feb2014

Viewpoint: The Importance of Being Indie

 

 

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18Oct2013

How big boots led to Bigfoot

How do you turn a pair of hiking boots into a film about the yeti?  Well, it’s a long story – so, here goes.

In 1997 I was in the kingdom of Bhutan making a natural history film called The Last Shangri-La. We had a local nomad as a guide called Nado (which means Black) who carried all our equipment on his surly yaks from camp to camp. Nado wore an old pair of holey plimsolls – through which his toes poked -  but every morning,  when I woke, he’d be making the fire and feeding the yaks and have on my excellent Gore-Tex trekking boots, which I’d leave the night before to dry out by the fire. 

As we came to the end of the expedition Nado suggested that if I gave him my boots I could sleep with his wife back at his village. I made a counter offer. If he told me where I could film a Migyur – the name the local give to the yeti - he could have my boots.

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30Sep2013

Landing an ob-doc at Animal Airport

Nicholoas Head on Juggling airport -security checks with flamingos and tigers

Observational shooting these days, more often than not, means a one-man, multi-skilled cam-op/soundie/producer/director/AP/researcher /runner doing all jobs simultaneously while carrying all their own kit, collecting release forms and logging as they go.

Now add to that going through full airport-security checks roughly ten times per day, which include removing belts, boots and bags and any metal - and trying not to get run over by a jumbo jet.

It’s all in an average day for the Animal Airport directors as we document the lives of the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre staff who check animals in and out of the country.

This aritcle first appeared in Broadcast 24th September 2013

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24Sep2013

The man who hustled Al Capone

By Alexis Conran

I’ve always been interested in the world of gambling and proposition bets – outlandish tales of men who would bet huge amounts of money on anything and everything. Sometimes it would be as simple as guessing how many watermelons were in a truck but at other times it would require tremendous skill. Their physical dedication rivalled that of Olympic athletes and their mental abilities were up there with maths geniuses.

I read all the stories of famous hustlers who lived by their wits, and fell in love with that world, which has found its way into Hollywood movies from Ocean’s 11 to The Sting. And, after makinThe Real Hustle for BBC Three, when the opportunity arose to follow in the footsteps of my idols for Channel 5 in the three-part series Hustling America, I knew it was going to be a very personal journey. The question was would I be good enough to emulate the greatest gamblers of all time?

This article first appeared in The Telegraph Monday 9th September 2013

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16Sep2013

Place your bets on how well we hustled the US

By Martin Turner 

We wanted to follow in the footsteps of famous con men, says Martin Turner

Once, sharp-suited, fast-talking con men travelled across the US from town to town, offering outlandish ‘proposition bets’ to anyone with a dollar to their name.

These wagers were, of course, skewed in the hustler’s favour, usually involving some obscure skill they’d practised for years or a trick that only they knew.

In sending Alex Conran in their footsteps, we wanted to combine the most devious historic bets with new ones. For inspiration, we turned to the very best: legendary hustlers such as Titanic Thompson and Amarillo Slim.

This article first appeared in Broadcast September 12th 2013 

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11Sep2013

Desert Seas

By Jamsheed Din

Published in Dimensions International

The raw footage was breath-taking. On Bob Pollock’s TV screen, an under-water world that only a few had ever seen was revealing itself. Weeks of hard work had paid off.

“I saw spectacular scenes that nobody has ever seen before — this is what the people of Saudi Arabia don’t know exists right outside their door,” said Pollock. Pollock, of Saudi Aramco’s Media Productions Division (MPD), had been working with award winning U.K. film makers to capture the subsurface worlds of the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf. The uncut footage had justified all the time and effort — the film crew had struck gold. A global audience would now have the chance to see the hidden treasures that lie beneath the two seas that flank the East and West Coasts of Saudi Arabia. The Arabian Gulf was formed at the end of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago, and the Red Sea’s history goes back even further. This story, however, begins back in 2008

 

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30Jul2013

Sky Goes Fishing In 3D With River Monsters

River Monsters Pack of Teeth in 3D, An Icon Films Production for Discovery Communications LLC in association with itv Global Entertainment, airs on Sky 3D Channel Wednesday 31st July 2013

River Monsters Pack of Teeth sees intrepid biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade venture deep into exotic back waters in search of a flesh-eating river monster but this time, there’s an added dimension.

Shot in glorious 3D, you’re right there with him like never before as he navigates the Okavango delta of Botswana investigating sinister stories of a deadly fish, rumoured to lurk unseen in these eerie waters. A killer with shark-like teeth, there are tales of it hunting in packs, feeding in frenzies on schooling fish and even human bodies. It sounds like the work of giant piranhas but there’s nothing like that here. Or is there? Monstrous fish may be the least of his worries though as Jeremy takes on scorching heat, irritable hippos and man eating crocodile on his mission to identify and catch this ravenous river monster.

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29Jul2013

The power of YouTube in influencing public opinions & Slow Loris conservation

Millions of people watching YouTube videos of slow lorises may not have realised that they are indirectly responsible for the demise of one of the world’s rarest primates and since 2007 have been listed on Appendix 1 of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The illegal trade in slow lorises, fuelled by their demand as pets in Asia and elsewhere, appears to be enhanced by people watching the cuddly primates on numerous YouTube videos.

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03Jun2013

Academy Award winning star to promote Bristol in online film series

 

A series of online films featuring one of the world’s best-loved animated characters, Gromit, will be unveiled from Thursday 30 May, as part of a campaign to promote Bristol as a fabulous summer destination for a short break.

Commissioned by Destination Bristol, the film stars a five-foot sculpture of Gromit, one of 80 making up a major new public art trail called Gromit Unleashed, organised by Aardman Animations with charity partner The Grand Appeal. Each Gromit on the trail, set to hit the streets of Bristol this summer, is being designed by celebrities and artists including illustrator Raymond Briggs, comedian Harry Hill and designer Sir Paul Smith.

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03Jun2013

River Monsters Season 5 Finale Grabs 2.2 Million Record-Breaking Viewers

 

The season finale of Animal Planet’s best-performing series ever, RIVER MONSTERS, netted a series high 2.2 million P2+ viewers on Monday night.  The Memorial Day, two-hour finale showcased extreme angler and biologist Jeremy Wade unlocking some of the mysteries of the Loch Ness Monster and capping off the network’s second annual Monster Week.  “Legend of Loch Ness” is the most-watched RIVER MONSTERS episode across all demos, including HH (1.4M); P18-49 (1.3M); P25-54 (1.2M); M18-49 (750K); M25-54 (711K); P18-34 (621K); W18-49 (505K); and W25-54 (482K).  The season five finale helped Animal Planet rank among the top two ad-supported cable networks of the night among M18-49, excluding sports. Animal Planet has officially greenlit a sixth season to debut in 2014.

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29May2013

Icon Films is Proud to Support the Whitley Awards

Icon Films is proud to support the Whitley Awards and make another film that celebrates the extraordinary work of the individuals and the initiatives that the fund has supported over the last 20 years. As  committed conservation film makers it was a delight and privilege.  

 

12Apr2012

SUPERFISH: Bluefin Tuna

A film produced by our friends at Wild Logic, Premieres National Geographic Channel on April 12th, 2012 at 9 pm.

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10Apr2013

River Monsters Season 5 Premiere Reels in Big Ratings ...

The network's best-performing series, RIVER MONSTERS, baited viewers with a two-hour, monster-sized season opener, "Face Ripper," in which host, biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade took viewers along as he investigated a horrific death in a Bolivian river where a man's face was ripped to shreds. The season premiere, which aired on Sunday, reeled in gigantic viewers with 1.8M P2+, making it the most-watched season debut in Animal Planet history and the second most watched episode of River Monsters ever.


Read more about Season Premiere of RIVER MONSTERS Reels in Big Ratings for Animal Planet - BWWTVWorld by tv.broadwayworld.com

18Mar2013

NGCI Announces Bones of The Buddha


(WASHINGTON, DC – March 14, 2013)  National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) today announced the co-production of Bones of The Buddha (1x60) from Icon Films, which will premiere internationally on National Geographic Channel in early summer.    

Retracing the steps of an unexpected find in Northern India in 1898, Bones of The Buddha explores one of the most amazing discoveries in Buddhist history: a huge stone coffer containing five ancient soapstone jars, over 1000 separate jewels – as well as ash and bone. One of the jars has an inscription indicating that these were the remains of the Buddha himself. But, the most extraordinary find in Indian archaeology has been marred in doubt and scandal for over 100 years. For some, the whole thing is an elaborate hoax. For others, it is the final resting place of the messiah of one of the world’s great religions. Renowned historian of India, Charles Allen, sets out to solve this extraordinary mystery once and for all.

04Mar2013

It's official - River Monsters Season 5 coming to the US on 7th April 2013

There are monsters still out there ... 'River Monsters' and angler Jeremy Wade Plunge into the most dramtic season yet of Animal Planet's best performing series as he goes in serach for murky man killers ...

There may come a time when the question of what lurks below is answered. But that time isn’t now. For four successful seasons of Animal Planet’s RIVER MONSTERS, host, biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade has searched for answers, taking viewers along as he unravels fish tales of giant killers – where sometimes the fact is stranger than the fiction!  

15Jan2013

Jeremy Wade's 10 Best Rivers For Catching Monster Fish

By Laura Morrison for CNN 

Landing rows of razor teeth with fish attached is all in a day's work for the host of TV's most extreme fishing show.

As host of TV documentary series “River Monsters,” Wade travels the globe to seek out things that populate fishermen’s tales and non-fishermen's nightmares...

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17Dec2012

Treasure Trove Of Gremlins Found In Borneo

By Professor Anna Nekaris

For many years, slow lorises were considered just two distinct species, despite having overlapping ranges with a wide variety of small apes and monkeys, lorises, which cannot even leap or swim, were still lumped together, whereas their day-living cousins were divided into more and more species. We now know that nocturnal species use more subtle clues to differentiate themselves, and face masks, in the case of slow lorises are one of them.

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12Dec2012

Icon Films is proud to launch the River Monsters Global Facebook Page

Brought to you by the team that makes River Monsters and where you can expect behind the scenes stories and exlusive clips.

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18Sep2012

Documentary Highlights at Encounters Short Film Festival 2012, supported by Icon Films

The Encounters experience doesn’t end with its generous offer of screenings: the film programmes are complemented by a full schedule of industry events including panel discussions, masterclasses, workshops and on stage events providing an important platform to hear some of the industry key players sharing their knowledge and insight as well as outlining the opportunities existing for short filmmakers.

Don't miss out on the Documentary Highlights that help make up this year's exciting programme ... 

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20Jul2012

Round The World By Fish

Don't miss  live talk by Jeremy Wade @RiverMonstersUK Saturday July 21st at the Cheese and Grain in Frome. 

Doors open 6.30pm.  Event starts 7pm. 

Buy your tickets on line here  or call the Box Office 01375 455 420

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07Jun2012

Don't miss GOOD GREEN FUN

6 to 8pm on Thursday 14th June at Watershed, Bristol.

Come along to a FREE event organized by Think Future Now, the sustainability networking organization for Bristol’s Creative Industries.  It’s a different take on sustainability and entertainment, including comedy, music, bicycles, TV productions, festivals and commercials...

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10May2012

Behind the Scenes of 'Million Dollar Moon Rock Heist'

... the biggest heist in NASA’s history.

Hi-tech espionage and claims of sex on the moon: this heist story had it all. But we needed both Nasa and the FBI to separate fact from fiction, says Cris Warren researcher/assistant producer

TX National Geographic, 10 May 2012, 9pm

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30Apr2012

Icon Films contributes to Earth Day 2012

When Icon was approached to help stalwart Icon freelancer Director/Editor James Reed, to create a one-off video for Skype to promote Earth Day 2012, we jumped at the chance... 

 

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25Apr2012

River Monsters in 3D 'Pack of Teeth' is getting some great reviews ...

By Mel Martin  - First appeared in 3DTV.com  24th April, 2012

I didn’t have super high hopes for River Monsters on 3Net, one of the 3D Channels from DirecTV. It was, I thought, likely to be yet another nature show set in Africa with lots of hype and little content ...  Wrong ... 

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04Apr2012

Again, River Monsters is the Most Watched Season Debut in Animal Planet History

Fourth Season Premiere Of River Monsters Is Most-Watched Season Debut in Animal Planet History

1.8 Million Viewers Were Hooked on Season Premiere Episode with 10.5 Million Viewers Tuning in During the All-day RIVER MONSTERS Marathon

Fish on, indeed! Animal Planet snared its biggest fish yet with the season four premiere of RIVER MONSTERS, which aired Sunday with record highs. The episode, “American Killers,” delivered 1.8M P2+ viewers (1.77M), making it the most-watched season debut in Animal Planet history.RIVERS MONSTERS also saw its biggest audience yet among P25-54 with season-four debut.   

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23Mar2012

Sandhurst DVD's coming soon

The series, a warts and all immersion into the elite and sometimes brutal world of the British Army’s legendry officer training course, coming soon on DVD

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05Mar2012

Working with local crews can take a production to the next level

Harry Marshall talk to Broadcast about filming with local crew ahead of Wild India, airing on Nat Geo Wild UK Feb 13th 2012 at 8pm

This article first appeared in Broadcast (http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/5037983.article

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05Mar2012

River Monsters Series 2 now on DVD ...

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25Jan2012

Dr Anna Nekaris: Saving the world’s cutest animal…

Ahead of the  Jungle Gremlins of Java, ariing on BBC2 Jan 25th at 8pm, Dr Anna Nekaris talks to Wanderlust about her work with the cudly and cute and only poisonous primate in the world

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26Jan2012

Jeremy Wade’s Book Launch…

Last night Icon celebrated the launch of River Monsters presenter Jeremy Wade’s new book ‘The Ones that didn’t get away’.

You can buy it here and follow us on twitter @IconBristol for book tour updates. 

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What's on…

The One Show: The Plane Truth: Poultry in Motion

BBC1 Wednesday 22nd March 7pm

The One Show: The Plane Truth: Poultry in Motion

BBC1 Wednesday 22nd March 7:00PM

The One Show: Day of the Tropids

BBC1 Wednesday 15th March 7pm

Archive