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WildFilmHistory » Home » People » Gerald Thompson

Gerald Thompson 

Gerald Thompson with camera

One of the founding members of Oxford Scientific Films (OSF), Gerald first became interested in wildlife film-making whilst working as a lecturer for the Forestry Department at the University of Oxford. After several years of taking stills of his study species, he realised that moving images would be much better at showing other people how these insects behaved. Along with Eric Skinner, his skilled technical assistant, he developed novel techniques in filming insects without over-heating the subjects and overcoming the problems of vibration when using close-up photographic techniques. After the success of their first film - The Alder Woodwasp and its Insect Enemies, Gerald and Eric went on to produce many more educational films.

In 1967 Gerald joined forces with Peter Parks, who had developed similar techniques for filming minute subjects; and together with John Paling, Sean Morris, John Cooke and his son, David, set up Oxford Scientific Films. Since then OSF has become world famous for its wide range of specialist cinematography. Gerald Thompson was awarded an OBE for Services to the Film Industry in 1981 and received the Panda Award for Outstanding Achievement at Wildscreen 1998.

Gerald Thompson died at the age of 85 in 2002.

Oral History

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WildFilmHistory Films

film-smallLook: The Alder Woodwasp and its Insect Enemies (1960)Director 
film-smallUnarmed Hunters (1963)Appearance 
film-smallWalk into the Parlour: The Spiders of Britain (1966)Director,
film-smallWild Jamaica: Cays, crabs and cucumbers (1968)Presenter,
film-smallWild Jamaica: Trapdoors, Tyrants and Tadpoles (1968)Photography,
Additional Commentary 
film-smallThe Insect Man (1972)Photography 
film-smallCamera Magic: Images of Nature (1989)Photography 
Gerald and David Thompson filming driver ants
Gerald and David Thompson filming driver...
Gerald Thompson with camera
Gerald Thompson with camera
Gerald Thompson filming
Gerald Thompson filming
Eric Skinner and Gerald Thompson during filming for The Alder Woodwasp and its Insect Enemies
Eric Skinner and Gerald Thompson during filming...