In 2014, at just 22
years of age, the Belgian wildlife photographer Michel D’Oultremont made his name on the international scene by
winning the ‘Rising Star’ award at the National History Museum’s annual ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’
London based film
director David Hayes and producer Hannah Salvanes Mclean were part of the crowd
admiring his work and subsequently decided to follow him on his next adventure.
documentary ‘The Wait’, produced with film production company Contra Agency, is a beautiful and honest insight
into the process, passion and patience of an incredible young talent.
immediately intrigued by his photos; they had such a unique style. I wanted to
document that creative process and also paint a picture of this very young guy
out in the middle of nowhere creating such stunning images. We contacted Michel
directly and he mentioned a new project following wild bison in Transylvania;
it didn’t take us long to accept that invite!
Before the shoot I spent a lot of time studying Michel’s photographs
with our Director of Photography, John Ford. We really wanted the film’s visual style to reflect Michel’s creativity and boldness, to pay
homage to his style with our own fresh approach. In a sense, we wanted to
document Michel in the same way that he documents the animals.”
says director David
‘The Wait’ takes the viewer on a journey from Michel’s hometown in Belgium to the remote
mountains of Romania. On the trail of wild bison, Michel tracks the movement of
the animals and then waits for the perfect moment; a process that can take up
to a week to capture one shot.
Michel D’Oultremont said “During the shoot luck wasn’t really on our side as the animals
were very discreet. That’s also what makes wildlife
photography so special; nothing is ever guaranteed. The final film is
incredible and I think that phrase ‘the wait’
encompasses the tough conditions we were in.”
DH: Being out in the field with Michel was so interesting. We watched
him silently roam around these phenomenal landscapes and then carefully choose
his spot. The thing that struck me most profoundly was his patience and that’s where the title of the film comes
from. I think for most of us the pace of life is overwhelmingly fast. With Michel it’s different; he is fully prepared to
stay in one spot for hours and hours until all the elements within his frame
come together for a perfect moment.
The Bison Hillock Team thanks Michel, Hannah, David, John and Contra Agency (London) for this film dedicated to wildlife photography and bison.