Area Guides

A Film Maker’s Guide to the New Forest

Founder & Creative Director of RCM Agency, Robin Waldman, shares an insight into filming and photography in the awe-inspiring New Forest

1. Welcome to the Careys Manor blog! Can we start off by saying how lovely your content is… How did your filmmaking and photography career kick off?

I’ve always had a love of film and telling a story through visuals, so I followed the natural education route of doing what I love, media production at Eastleigh College, then a bachelors degree in film production at Bournemouth University, studying on the Salisbury College campus, so stayed nice and local.

Slightly different route after graduating though, I went solo travelling taking the longest railway journey in the world, the epic transiberian from Russia, through Mongolia and into China, then down China and ended up in Cambodia. I loved the vibrancy, people and vibe of Cambodia so much I decided to live out there after graduating and spent 3 years there where I worked as Production Manager for a leading film and tv servicing company called Hanuman Films supporting international crews with their shoots in the country and all the prep and logistics that surround it which I loved. I also filmed and edited travel content for the sister company, Hanuman Travel so lots of experience shooting destination films and hotel content.

After returning to the UK I then spent two years working as the video producer for University of Southampton before setting up self employed as a freelancer and then growing the business.


2. What do you love most about your job?

I have always loved visiting amazing places and meeting amazing people, so getting to do this as a job even better. As you can tell from my back story I have a big love of travel. With the variety of industries that RCM work in, it’s fascinating to delve into the worlds of so many sectors, learning how they tick, seeing what goes on behind the scenes and then creatively capturing content to tell the story of it all, explain or sell what they do and more. I love taking briefs from concept to completion, from teasing out what the client’s want to say in the content, and scouting locations and understanding their business and audience, then bringing it to life on the shoot and in post production. Of course the end deliverables and distribution of the content is always rewarding too seeing the content visually online succeeding and clients feeding back how easy we made it for them. Whether that a small local Hampshire business or start through to one of the global recognised brands we work with.

3. Being based in the New Forest, we of course understand and adore the beauty of this place, but what do you love most about working in Hampshire/ the New Forest?

Hampshire has it all, from beautiful countryside, forests and chalk streams through to stretching coastlines and the beaches, easy to get to London and the major Cities as well as our own bustling cities. There’s always so much going on, and it’s very easy to escape to the middle of nowhere to find some peace and quiet.

I grew up in Curdridge in the Countryside of Hampshire and have a big love of walks and open spaces, therefore the New Forest is always up there with one of my favourites for a top family weekend. Whether it’s the charming cobbled streets of Lymington and walking along the seawall with some fish and chips or ice cream, exploring the witch shops of Burley, on a paddleboard down the Beaulieu river of visiting one of the many attractions. One of my hidden gem spots in the old railway line in Holmsley which is flat and wide therefore perfect for family bike rides particularly kids just starting to learn to ride.


4. When you’re planning a shoot in the New Forest, what are the top 3 things you pack or plan ahead?

Our high quality camera kit of course, to capture crisp 4k visuals of all the things that we will be shooting, this include high spec sony cameras like the FX3 through to action cameras like the insta360 or gopro.

Another thing which we love to plan ahead is the structure of the day, the storyboard or shot list for the visuals to ensure everything we want is captured in the best way possible, so a scout before the shoot helps too, planning makes perfect!

If we are doing drone shoots, we contact Forestry commission and we check on their map of the land they look after to ensure we are not flying over as they only permit flying for conservation purposes etc. A large area of the land is Forestry England whereas the other parts are privately owned so if you have landowners permission you can fly.


5. Do you have a favourite spot in the New Forest to film or photograph, that you’d recommend to travellers as a must-see when visiting?

There are way to many to choose and each with it’s own charms. For travellers visiting, some must visit spots for me are Lymington with it’s old world charm and cobbled streets, the open heathland in the north like nomans land, a traditional ploughmans at the Royal Oak pub in Fritham and Exbury Gardens with it’s amazing colours.

6. What’s been your most memorable experience filming in the New Forest? (good, bad or funny!)

We were attending an event near blackwater arboretum during pig pannage season, and ecided to go to the forest for a walk beforehand early. To our surprise, we came across the scene of some large horses getting very frustrated at some small pigs out and about and chasing after them around in circles. The funny thing is that the pigs come out for pannage to actually eat the acorns which are poisonous for the horses, so bit harsh the scene haha!


7. What’s the best time of day to capture the New Forest?

Golden hour is best for filming anywhere, the time just after the sun comes up or just before it goes down. Simply marvellous golden rays, particularly scenes at Barton on sea beach for example looking over to the Isle of Wight or the purple heather towards the end of summer on the open heathland with animals grazing.

8. Would you say creativity is important for mental health? And getting outside in nature?

Yes I’m all for it and this is one of the reasons why we based our studio for RCM in Hursley which is in the Winchester countryside, we go for regular walks, play basketball during breaks and lunches and also go on runs and do circuits on the grounds. Some of my best ideas and concepts for projects have come from when I’m in the pool on a swim or on a run in the evening.


9. What’s your favourite activity to do outside in the New Forest (other than filming/ photography)

Anything involving exercise, but can’t beat a good old family walk followed by a nice lunch or coffee break somewhere and there are so many of all of these things to choose from. We regularly use the free new forest walks apps for ideas on routes.


10. Is there somewhere you haven’t worked yet that you’re longing to get to and capture the beauty of?

There’s always somewhere new to discover in the New Forest so no danger of that, and with the changing seasons and colours, even more so.