Emmy Award winning cameraman & Film Maker Keith Partridge
I am so privileged to know Keith, and delighted that he is sharing some of his wisdom. What makes him tick, who and what inspires him to push himself to the limit.
1 What inspires you on a daily basis?
That’s simple – special people doing special things – things that surprise, elevate and make you wonder and looking at the changing natural world, a storm howling or a tree coming into leaf. I recall returning home after my first expedition in a very wintry arctic landscape where everything existed in tones of white, suddenly to come back to see green – fresh leaves, trees – there was a heightened sense of colour everywhere.
2 Had you always dreamed of writing a book?
I’m sure that everyone dreams of writing a book! Mine –‘ The Adventure Game, a cameraman’s tales from films at the edge’ came about through a chance meeting on a train. I slumped into the seat, flailing crutches having had surgery on my ankle. The man next to me struck up a conversation – injuries, how and what do you do? He happened to be a publisher! So it pays to talk to people and seize those opportunities.
3 Do you believe in being in the right place at the right time?
Mmmm – I believe while there might be something called luck I believe that it really is all about being ‘open’ and thinking about where you might want to go in the future and realise what it is that might actually take you there.
4 Do you desire to climb Everest again ?
I reached the summit of Everest in 2012 shooting and making films to bring closure to the 1922 British Everest Expedition – arguably the most important and influential expedition ever to have set foot on the mountain. It was a big ‘ask’ but you have to step up to the plate and while things were not entirely smooth on the expedition we ( Kenton and myself) realised that we could overcome anything, given the right mind-set and strategy. Our objective of delivering Olympic gold to the summit and fulfilling a pledge made by the 1922 team as they received their medals at the Chamonix games 2 years after their incredible achievements on the world’s highest mountain was something that I look back on with a sense of pride. To climb Everest again ? Never say never – but my wife might think differently…
5 What was the hardest part on the Everest trip?
The hardest part ? Coming down for sure. We parted company on the descent – a decision not made lightly – but we needed to get the summit shots back to the UK via our satellite link at Base Camp. That might sound crazy but for me working, like with any other business, there are those commercial pressures that place extraordinary demands – I didn’t have enough left in the tank to get down in one go. So we both did solo descents of the mountain whereby the most important thing was pulling on every tiny bit of mental strength to get home. You never think you can dig that deep until your situation really insists that much of you.
6 Do you take something like a talisman, or a certain ritual of good luck when you are on your travels.
7 Is there a mantra you say to yourself in tired difficult times?
I just remember all the times that have pushed me really hard both physically and mentally and think – you did it then you can do it now even if you’re not quite sure how you’re going to do it now !
8 What are your top 3 books?
Touching The Void
The White Spider
Am I allowed to say ‘The Adventure Game “?
9 What teacher made the most impact on you in School & why?
Mr Hill – I was taught maths by him. But in sports terms I was never any good at football or the like. I was, however, good at running long distances and he just got it ! He’d be there at the school cross-country race finish line and always speak to me afterwards. As I left school I think he could sense that spark of adventure and he gave me a book about explorers. So he was the teacher who saw his pupils as individuals and was keen to nurture their interests and talents what ever they were.
10 Do you take any essential products with you?
Duct tape – you can fix just about anything !!
11 have you always desired to be a film-maker / photographer?
I’ve always been interested in photography and was given a pretty decent but basic camera for my 13th birthday. So I learnt how to use the image creating techniques old school ! But now I primarily work with the moving image and film but still love taking pictures. It wasn’t something that I’d dreamed of doing professionally – I mean who actually really knows what they want to do ! But when hobbies and work coincide then it can become a wonderful mix.
12 what are you most afraid of?
In a word – failure. And that doesn’t mean – not achieving a particular objective – but not trying your absolute hardest at something.
13 What is a skill you would most like to learn?
To fly a helicopter. I’ve spent a lot of time flying in them to some wild places including getting winched onto the Eiger North Face in Switzerland or hanging out the side filming. But I’d love to learn to fly one.
14 Are you a leader or a follower?
Both – you lead when the time is right but in some situations there are people who have a much better skill set to take you through – then I’m happy to follow. But knowing when isn’t that the art of good leadership ?
15 When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?
Today and every day at the moment – I’m currently producing a film that is probably the biggest thing I’ve tried to pull together. I also feel a responsibility to all the people involved that are still with us and to those who are not.
16 Can you tell us a little about the next project you are filming?
The film is the life story of probably Britain’s and one of the world’s best-known mountaineers – Sir Chris Bonnington. It’s a film about love, living, loss and legacy told through a life journey on the most rewarding, epic and dangerous mountains in the world.
17 Is there a particular food you choose for energy and do you smuggle the odd packet of skips and a bottle or Irn Bru in your luggage?
Tunnocks Caramel wafers !! Just great. And pretty lightweight !
18 What fires you up and gets you motivated?
Great stories, great opportunities and big adventures – and they are in everything, everywhere. Keep your eyes wide and your mind open.
He has a fabulous coffee table book out which i highly recommend that you buy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adventure-Game-Cameramans-Tales-Films/dp/1910124311/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496930887&sr=8-1&keywords=the+adventure+game-+keith+partridge
Check out his stream of extraordinary achievements on his website http://www.adventurecamera.co.uk