The freedom to roam on unfenced land, this is the joy of the Hebrides and Highlands of Scotland. A place to slow down, feed your soul and be at one with nature, the landscape, and the ever-changing elements.

 

This is a film of the Isle of Skye, made by my friend Peter Keith, who makes aerial films all over the world. We spent many childhood holidays on remote Scottish Islands.

 

As many of us are stuck in cities just now and not able to travel, we are bringing some wilderness to you.

About Peter Keith:

"My interest in photography really started at school when I was 15. I was extremely fortunate that my school's art department just happened to setup a new dark room and began offering after school photography lessons in the basics of shooting, developing and printing black and white. I'd always loved watching films and going to the cinema as any kid does but our photography tutor really inspired me to look at films with a more critical eye. Around the same time, during a visit with close family friends, (the Gordons!), Jo's father Cameron very kindly offered me the use of his old VHS camcorder. I then went about filming anything and everything without too much care for the technical side of things (this would come later!) but more just an enjoyment of documenting my surroundings. Alongside a developing interest in photography, all our family holidays growing up involved a visit to one of the many scottish islands on the west coast. This certainly formed a subconscious love of exploring the wilds and making the most of the day whatever the weather. 

Near the end of my first year at art college I was very fortunate to get a job as the art department trainee on a feature film called 'The Little Vampire', being shot in Edinburgh. I loved every minute of it but decided where I really wanted to be was in the camera department. A couple of months after finishing my degree I got involved in a low budget horror film as the camera trainee. This meant long days and some night shoots down a filthy subway but allowed me to form a good working relationship with the rest of the camera team. After that I was kindly taken onto the next shoot where I made more contacts which led to further shoots. Scotland has a very nice size of a film industry whereby you quickly get to know everyone and if you do a good job there's more often than not someone in need of assistance on projects. 


During my time assisting I worked on a wide range of projects and with many inspiring people such as Werner Herzog on one shoot up in the highlands. I'd seen a large amount of his documentaries whilst working as a volunteer at the Edinburgh Film Festival the year prior so to then have the opportunity to work with him was unbelievable. He still remains one of my favourite filmmakers to date! After working my way up through the ranks for 13 years doing TV Drama and feature work, as a film loader, focus puller and additional camera operator I decided to take a side step and start trying to make my way as a cinematographer in my own right. I started picking up a good volume of corporate and commercial gigs which was really rewarding having spent so long as an assistant to other people.


Near the end of my first year at art college I was very fortunate to get a job as the art department trainee on a feature film called 'The Little Vampire', being shot in Edinburgh. I loved every minute of it but decided where I really wanted to be was in the camera department. A couple of months after finishing my degree I got involved in a low budget horror film as the camera trainee. This meant long days and some night shoots down a filthy subway but allowed me to form a good working relationship with the rest of the camera team. After that I was kindly taken onto the next shoot where I made more contacts which led to further shoots. Scotland has a very nice size of a film industry whereby you quickly get to know everyone and if you do a good job there's more often than not someone in need of assistance on projects. 


During my time assisting I worked on a wide range of projects and with many inspiring people such as Werner Herzog on one shoot up in the highlands. I'd seen a large amount of his documentaries whilst working as a volunteer at the Edinburgh Film Festival the year prior so to then have the opportunity to work with him was unbelievable. He still remains one of my favourite filmmakers to date! After working my way up through the ranks for 13 years doing TV Drama and feature work, as a film loader, focus puller and additional camera operator I decided to take a side step and start trying to make my way as a cinematographer in my own right. I started picking up a good volume of corporate and commercial gigs which was really rewarding having spent so long as an assistant to other people.


Late in 2013 I discovered drone technology and was instantly hooked to this affordable new method of capturing really unique angles, so decided to get licensed to operate them commercially. Having a solid existing network in the industry allowed me to pick up a good volume of clients looking for aerial shots in a very short space of time. I realised that I hadn't spent a lot of time working in the field of documentary until this point but really loved getting to visit fascinating locations and work in small teams whereas before working in drama you're always part of a huge crew of people. Working as a one man setup, I suddenly started to travel extensively doing the drone work for clients like the BBC and National Geographic. This is when I really knew how lucky I was to be making a living doing what I love! In the last few years it's taken me to some absolutely incredible places that I'd never hope to have visited normally. Highlights include filming giant herds of reindeer in the far North of Norway, rock climbers above the ice on Lake Baikal, Russia, a baby's baptism high up in the middle of a cliff face in Ethiopia, a land speed record attempt on the vast salt flats in Bolivia, flying down the canyons of Petra, Jordan to reveal the magnificent Treasury and spending time with an Innuit community at Kangiqsujuaq, on the top of Canada. 


Each of these trips usually lasts around 10 days or so. Which means the one aspect that suffers in this line of work is being away from home quite a bit. So it goes without saying that I couldn't do any of this if I didn't have such a supportive wife and family that hold the fort while I'm away. And certainly one of the plus sides to 2020 means I've been able to spend a lot more time with them than I have in the previous few years!"

 

Peter Keith is a Cinematographer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Specialising in Aerial Cinematography using drones and collaborates with a wide range of clients on feature films, documentary, drama and commercial work.

He gained a BA Honours in Time Based Art at the School of Television and Imaging at The Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Scotland. 

https://www.peterkeithfilms.co.uk/

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