Monthly Talk 7th February 2019

CONFLICT IN THE PACIFIC: THE AFTERMATH

SPEAKER: Michael Pitts

Michael Pitts' talk, 'Conflict in the Pacific: The aftermath' illustrates the aftermath of the fiercest conflict ever fought in the Pacific theatre, between the might of the US military and Japan's seemingly undefeatable Imperial forces.

Coral encrusted shipwrecks lie forgotten on the seabed; aircraft and tanks lay enveloped in the jungles of the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Chuuk Lagoon, the graveyard of over fifty Japanese ships and a seemingly impregnable Japanese stronghold, features in this presentation.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Michael Pitts is a renowned cinematographer and film producer. His work has appeared in numerous BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic television productions. He was principal cameraman on the underwater filming for Sir David Attenborough's 'Great Barrier Reef' and 'Mission Galapagos' a recent three part BBC1 series, transmitted in April 2017.

Michael has been awarded EMMY's for cinematography on two landmark BBC productions, Sir David Attenborough's, 'The Private Life of Plants' and for his work on the first 'Blue Planet' series. In addition he has received the Kodak award for cinematographic excellence and the New York Festivals Gold award for cinematography for his filming on 'Dragons of Komodo'.

He recently produced a major six part series filmed in Hong Kong and main land China. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, each 30-minute episode looks at the challenges faced and gives a behind the scenes view of the work of Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, whose key aims are conservation, the environment and sustainability. The series will be distributed throughout South East Asia and beyond. The films messages know no frontier - they affect us all.

In addition he was the Director of Photography on, 'A Plastic Ocean', the film made for cinema gives a glimpse at the proliferation of plastic and the damage it causes to the environment and wildlife across the world's oceans. Released in January 2017 and now on general release across the globe it is already having an impact on people's perceptions on the health of our seas.

In January 2018, he completed filming a one-hour documentary for Discovery Channel. The film looks at Dubai's surprisingly diverse wildlife living within its deserts, along its coastline and close to the city.

An ardent shipwreck enthusiast Michael is currently filming, the excavation and recovery of artefacts on the, 'Invincible' a 3rd Rate, 74 gun, warship wrecked in 1758 on the Horsetail Sands in the Eastern Solent Channel. Built by the French but captured by the English at the First Battle of Cape Finisterre, this ship was to revolutionize warship design for Lord Nelsons Navy.