Tigress Productions Rising Star - Gemma Greene

After a degree in Marine Biology, several years of travelling the world and some fairly random jobs I found my way to TV land, which I’ve now been working in for about 10 years. I started off at the bottom of the ladder in the best place possible – the BBC’s Natural History Unit – working on brilliant shows such as Nature’s Great Events, The Natural World, Springwatch and Secrets of our Living Planet. I’ve been lucky enough to work with two of the greatest natural history presenters, Chris Packham and Sir David Attenborough, as well as a raft of fabulous cameramen, soundmen, editors and production teams. 

I joined Tigress Productions 5 years ago and have never looked back, it’s such a welcoming, wonderful place to work and I really feel like I have been looked after and nurtured here as well been part of some great documentary making.

Tigress Productions - has a worldwide reputation for outstanding and innovative programmes. The Company makes a wide range of adventure, science, and wildlife documentaries, from the extraordinary series following climbers on Everest for Discovery to rigging remote control cameras around a dead hippo to see what comes to eat the two million calorie feast.

"Gemma is passionate about finding new ways to communicate stories about wildlife, conservation and the environment. She's a key member of our development team, writes beautiful proposals and is always a lively member of any ideas meeting."
Fiona Marsh, Head of Development Tigress Productions

We ask our Rising Star a few key questions.

What was your childhood ambition?

To be a marine biologist! I didn’t quite achieve the reality but at least I studied it for 3 years at university and I’m using that knowledge now in, what for me, is an even better outcome.

Second choice was a dancer and I still do that in my spare time …

What was your best career move?

Getting the job at Tigress! I initially took a 2 week contract in the hope it would turn into something more and I’m still here 5 years later. I’ve had some brilliant mentors here and learnt a lot, not just about making good programs but about how to create a great team atmosphere and encourage people, which in turn leads to making great programs!

What’s a good bit of advice you’d like to share?

My top three would be:

  1. There’s no such thing as a bad idea and never be embarrassed to raise one – it can often be tweaked or turned into something amazing
  2. On location you can never get enough GVs, sunrises and sunsets – your editor will thank you.
  3. I’m often the only woman on location but never be embarrassed to take decent clothes or beauty products (if there’s room!) – whatever helps you feel good and stay sane ...

What’s your funniest work related experience?

It’s a toss-up between; unwittingly filming a rescued baboon dry-humping an overweight and resigned sausage dog or on the same shoot a vervet monkey sat on my bosses lap and farted leaving a bad smell and an oily stain behind … tears of laughter on both occasions (probably says a lot about my sense of humour!)

What kinds of natural history films would you like to see commissioned/ see more of? And why?

I’m sure this a common refrain within the industry but I’d love to make and watch more films tackling the big conservation issues of today, whether that’s people on the frontline risking their lives for causes they believe in oinvestigative pieces uncovering illegal wildlife practices. These are stories that need to be told. I’d also love to see more ecology within wildlife programs it’s the basis of how everything works and so often it’s glossed over…

What is your proudest achievement?

That my grandparents got to see my name on screen before they died.

What are you working on now?

I’m in the Tigress development team - the life blood of any TV company and a part of the job that I really enjoy. Ask me again in a few months and hopefully i’ll be working on something I’ve just got commissioned!