SANDRA SKIBSTED // The 8th Company
Independent Director and Producer of documentaries

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Filmography

2011 The Flying Doctors Australia
4-part documentary series
[Director]

2011 Air Transport Auxiliary
Documentary
[Second Unit Director]
UKTV

2010 Spitfire Sisters
Documentary
[Co-directing team]
DISCOVERY NETWORK UK
BYU, USA
High Five, Canada

2010 Angel Without Wings
Documentary
[Second Unit Director]

2010 Little Victorian Secrets
Documentary
[Director]

2009 31 North 62 East
Feature film
[Assistant Producer]

2007 Arctic Diamond
Documentary
[Director/Producer]

 

   

It was the summer of 1989 when I first put a roll of black and white film into my mother’s Ricoh SLR camera (which later got stolen in France) and started experimenting with light and composition. That the images came out was sheer luck, as I had no knowledge of exposure and the connection between aperture and shutter speed.

Some years later I had the great fortune of meeting one of the great Danish fashion and advertising photographer, Leif Schiller, who took my under his wing and started mentoring me. I photographed everyone I knew. I was continuously scouting new locations and setting up ‘studio’ in derelict buildings and natural environments I found inspiring. I was lucky to have many friends who were adventurous and somewhat ‘free-spirited’ and my portfolio of black and white portraits grew substantially.

This was the days before Photoshop and digital photography (I hate to admit). Any desired effects had to be produced with light and filters and in the dark room. As a matter of fact, my kitchen was my dark room. Small with only one little window to black out and hardly ever used for cooking – perfect. For extra darkness I sat on the floor under my tablecloth-covered dining table in the kitchen un-rolling the films for processing. It was a lot of effort but the thrill I had from the whole process I will never forget.

I spent many years learning from some of the best Danish photographers in many different genres of photography; from fashion to reportage to advertising – even food photography.

I came to London in 1995 to start my degree in film, video and photographic arts.

Fast-forward 12 years and I find myself in Alaska’s -40°C freeze filming my debut documentary Arctic Diamond and having an absolute blast. Not that the 12 years from 1995 meant nothing. On the contrary. They were extremely significant. I graduated from university, and during some of those years (9 of them) I worked as a crime scene photographer/videographer for the Met police in London. Bit of a different background but one I have found not only shaped me as a person but also gave me some valuable life experience.

Back in Alaska, there was no doubt in my mind that this was what I had been working towards all those years: lots of interesting people, creativity in imagery, storytelling, travelling… definitely my calling. Then I came back from Alaska and had to start postproduction. It is fair to say that I felt a little bit differently then – especially when I spent two days trying to work out why on earth my FCP would not import my footage. It was almost like full circle: just as I had been unfamiliar with photographic exposure in my early days of photography I was similarly unfamiliar with analogue television systems.

As my photographic career, I learnt filmmaking the hard way - by trial and error. However, the lessons learnt the hard way stays with you.

I now have a few documentary films under my belt and have been broadcast. As a filmmaker I find that my many years of photography have served me greatly. In making documentaries everything is important. The photography is as important as the content. Great stories must be told with interesting, beautiful and captivating footage. It must be accompanied by excellent sound and music. A documentary film can be spellbinding and can grab the viewer with intensity – that should be the aim no matter what the subject, no matter what the story. It’s a great medium.

 

 

sandra skibsted filmmaker

Companyinfo

The 8th Company is an independent factual and documentary film and production company based in London, United Kingdom, founded by filmmaker Sandra Skibsted.

Registered in England & Wales
Company No: 06780527
Registered address:
311 Shoreham Street, Sheffield S2 4FA