Back to top

Danny Spencer – Cameraman

Madeleine chats with Danny Spencer about his journey to becoming a cameraman, and how life might have panned out if he hadn’t gone down that path.  They talk the best and toughest filming locations, including that time when Danny camped with reindeer in Siberia…  Also read on to find out what happened when he got the chance to play cricket with Hugh Jackman!

So Danny, What made you pick the cameraman path?
Initially I wanted to get into special effects and 3D modelling and got a job as a runner in a top post production company in Soho. I soon realised that I would not be satisfied sat in a dark room in front of a computer for the rest of my career. I realised that filming some of the amazing footage we were seeing in the post house looked like much more fun!
If you hadn’t become a cameraman what would your second option be?
If not a cameraman I would have to be a stand-up comedian! Really!
You have filmed in different locations around the world, what has been the best? Worst? Hardest?
The best and hardest place I have filmed is in South Georgia for a David Attenborough film about Penguins. Beautifully remote and inhospitable, we spent almost four months either in tents or sleeping on the support boat. At night large elephant seals would try and snuggle up to us and roll onto our tents! They smelt a bit strong too!
Another which might be the worst was for the BBC ‘Worlds Most Dangerous Roads’ show Ed Byrne and Andy Parsons drove the Siberian ‘Road of Bones’ we had to camp with some reindeer herders and it got down to -55c so cold all the equipment froze, we saw the northern lights but just had to watch it! Nothing we could do!

Who have you been most star stuck with?
I have had the privilege of meeting and filming lots of famous people so don’t get star struck easily, but to work with Sir David Attenborough was a wonderful experience that I have been lucky enough to experience more than once.
What has been your funniest moment on set?
When filming the Behind the scenes on the movie ‘Les Miserables’ I was playing ‘cricket’ in between takes with Hugh Jackman (who is a total legend) we were using props and some gaffer tape made into a ball and he hit me squarely in the privates! Was funny for him and painful for me!
What was the first camera you owned?
My first camera was a Zenit, it’s a Russian 35mm film camera and I loved it! Was very late in changing to digital and I still have it somewhere.
You’re currently in South Africa, what project is it you’re working on? Or is it top secret?
I am currently in South Africa working on a Cultural Dance project that I am documenting for an arts council funded project for State of Emergency productions, which is a joint project with London, Johannesburg and LA.
I am spending glorious days filming the most talented and wonderful dancers, musicians and choreographers in a beautiful sun drenched studio! Its fantastic doesn’t feel like work!
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
At the moment I wouldn’t mind inviting my fiancé to a dinner party, feels like I haven’t seen her for a while! Maybe I would invite Ringo and Paul too!!
Danny has so far had an amazingly exciting career and there is still so much to come!
If you are interested in booking Danny for a job, please call The Crewing Company on 0205254844.