Digital Media lecturer develops new TV series for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing

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University of Gloucestershire lecturer Mitch Turnbull – an award-winning documentary film-maker – has co-developed a new TV series commissioned by the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust.

Over four episodes, Wild Visitors to my Home, provides viewers with expert hints, tips and information, communicated via British Sign Language (BSL) by the presenters, about the practical steps they can take to attract wildlife into their garden.

The majority of the team behind and in front of the cameras for the series are Deaf or hard of hearing. The series is being broadcast by Film4, Sky and The Community Channel, but is also available to watch online via the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust website.

Mitch, a Lecturer in Digital Media at the university in the School of Creative Industries, developed the initial concept for the series with executive producer Louis Neethling, who is Deaf, of Mutt & Jeff Pictures.

Mitch, founder and creative director of production company, Bramble Media, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be involved in the making of Wild Visitors to my Home for the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust.

“Louis Neethling contacted me to help him develop a TV series about British wildlife and how to encourage nature into our gardens specifically for the BSL community.

“The series provides viewers with lots of great advice in an entertaining and engaging way on how to make their homes more wildlife friendly.

“People of all ages find it immensely uplifting to get close up to nature, and the camera work and high production values featured in Wild Visitors to my Home has captured this absolutely beautifully.

“We even captured something on our camera traps that I have never seen in the 20-plus years I’ve been making wildlife films. You’ll have to watch the series to find out what!

“I’m looking forward to receiving feedback from students about their thoughts on the production methods and techniques, some of them specially tailored to a Deaf or hard-of-hearing audience, that were used to bring the initial idea to life.”

Mitch has written, produced and directed films, live shows and media content for UK and international broadcasters, studios and organisations, including BBC Studios, Disneynature, UN, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, The Smithsonian Channel and Channel 5.

In 2019, Cat Flight, a virtual reality experience Mitch produced and directed, won the Best VR Award at the Rotterdam Wildlife Film Festival.

Mitch has acted as a VR Advisory Associate for BAFTA, contributed to immersive industry reports (Immerse UK) and is a South West Creative Technology Network Immersion Fellow.

Mitch was the mentor and creative producer on The Anticipation of Rain, a virtual reality and projection mapping experience realising the work of fine artist, Naima Karim, currently being exhibited at the King King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture also known as Ithra, in Saudi Arabia.

The University’s School of Creative Industries offers a wide range of courses, with students gaining real-world experience through placement and internship opportunities and benefiting from its local and global industry links.

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