Operating in Kenya, with associated colleagues in neighbouring countries, we facilitate for documentary film crews from all over the world, specialising in natural history.
Our service includes the ‘normal’ fixer things – obtaining all permits, licences and permissions, as well as arranging temporary importation of equipment, transport, hotel, lodge or private camp accommodation, internal flights and air charters, aerial filming and much more.
We go the extra mile. Logistical challenges are our speciality.
Nothing is impossible and we never take ‘no’ for an answer.
Over thirty years we have had several thousand separate crews from forty countries, resulting in one thousand three hundred and sixty finished films or series – and rising by the day.
MEET THE TEAM
Born and bred in Kenya, Sajid studied tour guiding and management followed by wildlife management before working as a camp manager in the Masai Mara.
He wanted to play a part in conservation and chose media as the means to do so. He believes that the best way to get the word out there is through film.
After he teamed up with Jean Hartley she groomed him to continue her legacy at Viewfinders which he now runs. He is also a trained professional wildlife guide.
Jean Hartley (1943-2017)
Founder and director to 2017
Jean put her heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into Viewfinders for over thirty years. Some of the major productions which she supervised in Kenya include Ivory Wars, Warlords of Ivory and Big Cat Diaries.
Viewfinders is her baby and she was credited with being the first person to formalise fixing as a sector in film making in East Africa.
Her legacy and business will be carried on by Sajid and the team who intend to go the full distance maintaining this legacy in
Production Manager 2007 to 2013
Mia Collis was born in Kenya and educated in Britain with a major in Anthropology. After working for 7 years with Viewfinders founder Jean Hartley, Mia was tapped as production manager on two 3D IMAX features, Born To Be Wild and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. As a prominent professional photographer based out of Nairobi, Mia's latest body of work includes a celebrated coffee table book, The Unsung Heroes with Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Camera car driver, camera assistant
Sammy has been a part of the viewfinders team since the very beginning.
Over the years he has worked as an assistant camera man not only in Kenya but also in Congo and other countries across the continent.
He is an excellent camera car driver with years of experience including night filming and driving with a cineflex rigged to the car, amongst other contraptions.
Alan Root (1937-2017)
Alan was a true pioneer in the world of wildlife documentary film making and a close friend to Jean. They worked together on many productions over the years and Alan was on the Viewfinders board.
He was best known for his contributions to Anglia Television’s long-running series Survival.
His 1978 film Mysterious Castles of Clay, about the hidden life of a termite mound – was nominated for an Academy Award.
In 2008 he was appointed OBE, and during his career he picked up more than 60 other awards, including two Emmys and a Bafta.
Benta ochieng is an actress and a fixer with a background in film production. She loves to travel for scenic and wildlife admiration and meeting different people from different cultures and backgrounds. As an actress and presenter, she has been involved in both local and international productions. As a fixer she has over ten years of experience on both local and international films and documentaries.
Leon is a biologist born in Kenya and now resident in UK. An eminent ornithologist he was a great friend of Jean’s and is a director on the board of Viewfinders.
Local Shooting Producer Director
Originally from the UK and now resident in Kenya, Jimmy first arrived in Africa to work in wildlife conservation in 1994.
He began film-making in 2002 whilst running Greystoke Mahale, Tanzania and guiding guests to experience the resident habituated chimpanzee population.
Having worked at various wildlife reserves and sanctuaries in East Africa, he settled on the slopes of Mount Kenya filming and producing promotional films for eco-tourism and wildlife conservation.
He now lives in Nairobi working as a freelance shooting PD whilst managing his film production studio and voice over facility in Nanyuki.
Jamie is a camera operator experienced in long lens wildlife behaviour, ronin/gimbal, drone (CAA license), motion-controlled time-lapse, custom equipment and presenter led.
Jamie's passion for filming is fuelled by his dedication to conservation, his conservation projects have received awards from the Scientific Exploration Society, the Explorers Club and National Geographic Society.