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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » Look: Private Life of the Kingfisher

Look: Private Life of the Kingfisher  (1966)

Also known as: Programme 144
Ceremony must be observed

Broadcast as part of the BBC's Look strand, Private Life of the Kingfisher is a detailed, intriguing portrayal of these fast and vibrant fishers. The first BBC production to be transmitted in colour, it was originally submitted to their Natural History Unit as an amateur study. Quickly recognising the talents of Ronald and Rosemary Eastman the documentary was re-shot and became the couple's first step towards a full time career in wildlife filmmaking.

Chronicling various aspects of kingfisher behaviour, the Eastmans provide an extraordinary glimpse into the world of this efficient hunter. Filmed over a year on their local River Test, stunning cinematography captures these compact birds as they mate, mother and perform spectacular dives.

Widely acclaimed, the production won the Silver Medal at the Moscow Film Festival in 1967. Back home its immense popularity saw it repeated an unprecedented eight times and due to its huge success BBC producer Jeffery Boswall commissioned a whole series of single species studies known as Private Lives.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: Ronald Eastman
Copyright Holder: BBC - Natural History Unit
Address: c/o BBC Motion Gallery
Room E251
80 Wood Lane
W12 0TT
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8433 2861 / 2

Film credits

Director: Ronald Eastman
Director: Rosemary Eastman
Film Editor: Tom Poore
Narrator: Peter Markham Scott
Photography: Ronald Eastman
Photography: Rosemary Eastman
Producer: Jeffery Hugh Richard Boswall
Production Organisation: BBC - Natural History Unit
Writer: Jeffery Hugh Richard Boswall

Related links

Look: Foxes (1955)
Look: The Best of Walter Higham (1961)
Look: The Fulmar (1958)
He's got it!
He's got it!
The world of the kingfisher
The world of the kingfisher
Ceremony must be observed
Ceremony must be observed
Desmond Hawkins presenting Ronald Eastman with replica of the diploma and silver medal awarded to his film The Private Life of the Kingfisher
Desmond Hawkins presenting Ronald Eastman...