Paul Olding

Paul is an Emmy and RTS award-winning, BAFTA nominated Writer/Director and Senior Producer with 20 years' experience. Building on a successful career making documentaries and specialist factual tv programmes , he has made the transition to scripted drama-doc and television serial drama, directing, scripting and producing films for ongoing series and original commissions.

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Paul's wide range of highly-acclaimed long-form and feature-length single films and series have been watched on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, Channel 4, Channel 5, Discovery, Animal Planet, National Geographic, PBS, Reelz, ABC and ZDF. 

Paul is a passionate and ambitious filmmaker with a wide knowledge of filming styles and technologies and a drive for creating elaborate visuals onscreen while working effectively within time and budgetary constraints. He manages large production teams and crews, and works creatively with actors, from old hands to rising stars. Paul sets a creative vision, crafting narratives and storyboarding, working closely with Line Producers and 1st ADs in scheduling and budgeting. Forming strong creative partnerships with his HODs, he effectively runs the edit including incorporating graphics and overseeing final post and delivery.

Dr Paul Olding has a DPhil in Zoology from Oxford University, and published a book 'The Urban Vineyard' about his ongoing work in his small vineyard, producing wine in the South of England.

Paul's own website

Some of Paul's work below:

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Writer/Director – Albert: The Power Behind Victoria – Elephant House Studios for Channel 5 – 2018

Starring Gareth David-Lloyd (Torchwood) and Olivia Hallinan (Larkrise), this 1 x 94’ scripted dramadoc explores the Prince Consort’s rise to power and Queen Victoria’s dependence on her husband. With 60’ of scripted period drama (shot in 6½ days) including a shooting, fierce arguments and green screen. Narrated by Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey)

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Writer/Director – Wallis: The Queen that Never Was – Elephant House Studios for Channel 5 – 2017

Rebooted C5’s dramadoc output with this 1 x 94’ scripted period piece exploring the life of Wallis Simpson from her point of view, carefully weaving 60’ of scripted factual drama with documentary interviews. Running a full drama crew of 30 people with lavish drama shot in 6 days. Starring Georgina Rich (Black Mirror), narrated by Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans)

Writer/Director – Cleopatra’s Lost Tomb – Dragonfly Film & TV for Channel 4 & PBS – 2015

Conducted complex access negotiations with authorities and contributors for this 1 x 60’ presenter-led documentary, following Dr. Kathleen Martinez searching for Cleopatra’s lost tomb. Used experimental visuals and stylized drama motifs to see the dig site through the eyes of the archaeologist

Writer/Director/Producer – Monsters Behind the Iron Curtain – Pioneer Productions for Animal Planet & NGCI – 2014

Combined documentary filming with elaborate drama reconstruction for this 1 x 90’ dramadoc, investigating strange creatures (such as two headed dogs and the infamous Mongolian Death Worm) and mysterious occurrences (including the Dyatlov Pass deaths) all hidden behind the Iron Curtain (narrated by Iain Glen)

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Director – Doctors – BBC Productions for BBC One – 2012 / 2013

Worked across this award-winning, long-running serial drama, directing 6 x 30’ episodes telling standalone stories alongside ongoing series narratives, covering medical conditions, diversity issues, aging and family fallouts. Shot at speed but maintaining high production values, directing series regulars and guest artistes and running a large crew

Series Producer/Director – Life of a Universe: Creation & The End of Days – ABC Studios for ABC – 2017

Developed and pitched this 2 x 60’ documentary series, following Prof Brian Cox as he explores the start and end of the universe.

Series Producer/Writer – What on Earth (S.4) – WAG TV for Science Channel (Discovery) – 2016

Managed production of this 10 x 60’ series investigating unusual structures seen on earth captured by satellite imagery, rebooting the creative vision and on screen aesthetic, scriptwriting multiple narratives and supervising a team of 20

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Director/Producer – How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson – * EMMY Winner * - Nutopia for BBC Two & PBS – 2014

Helped devise the series concept, narrative landscape and graphical design for this brand new series presented by author Steven Johnson. Took on 2 x 60’ films of the 6-part series, exploring the invention and impact of glass and the electric light

Writer/Director/Producer – The Mystery of Rome’s X Tombs – BBC Productions for BBC Two & PBS – 2013

Secured access to the Vatican to make this 1 x 60’ film presented by Dr Michael Scott, combining documentary with innovative CGI to examine an ancient mass grave through scientific analyses. Engineered a real time translation system to follow foreign language interviewees filmed on location

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Writer/Director/Producer – Wonders of Life: Size Matters – * SCINEMA & EuroPAWS Winner * – BBC Productions for BBC Two & Science Channel (Discovery) – 2013

Working with Prof Brian Cox for this multi-layered 5 part series, making 1 x 60’ film investigating the physics of life at the very small and the very large scales. With innovative macro CGI and fun in-vision demonstrations

Writer/Director/Producer – City Beneath the Waves: Pavlopetri – BBC Productions for BBC Two & Discovery – 2011

This 1 x 60’ archeological documentary (narrated by Philip Glenister) used cutting-edge scanning technology and embedded CGI into underwater filming to reveal the secrets of a submerged Bronze Age city.

Director/Producer – Origins of Us: Brains – BBC Productions for BBC Two – 2011

In this 3 part series presented by Prof Alice Roberts, my 1 x 60’ film examined the evolution of the human brain using both modern science and moments where Alice connected with the past through direct contact at sites across the world

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Writer/Director/Producer – Wonders of the Solar System: Dead or Alive – * BAFTA Nominee / Peabody & RTS & SCINEMA Winner * – BBC Productions for BBC Two & Science Channel (Discovery) – 2010

Raised the bar in science programming with this ambitious 5 part series presented by Prof Brian Cox. Helped to shape and develop the series and made 1 x 60’ film, shooting at sites across Earth to explore the alien worlds of the planets and moons of our solar system, including a lake of molten lava in Ethiopia and a total eclipse over the Ganges

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Director/Producer – Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Life and Death – BBC Productions for BBC Two – 2009

Andrew Marr fronted 3 part series looking at Darwin’s theory of evolution. Made 1 x 60’ film seeing how death and extinction are key to evolution, filming at places Darwin visited himself, turning a complex topic into an engaging narrative

Director/Producer – Horizon: Do You Know What Time It Is? – * Athens Intl Science Film Winner / SCINEMA Winner * - BBC Productions for BBC Two – 2008

Ambitious 1 x 60’ film presented by Prof Brian Cox, examining the concept of time. Using innovative filming techniques to expand and compress time. Filmed around the world gaining access to high-profile interviewees

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Writer/Director/Producer – Earth The Power of the Planet: Volcano  – * BAFTA nominee / Televisual Winner * - BBC Productions for BBC Two, National Geographic & ZDF – 2007

Managed complex global logistics when making this award-winning documentary series with Prof Iain Stewart, exploring the Earth’s geology and the heat engine that powers it. First BBC Specialist Factual series to use high speed slow-motion cameras, heli-gymbals and Hi Def cameras outside of the Natural History Unit.