Tom Mustill: Environmental films that can truly make an impact

August 25, 2021

I am delighted to have Tom Mustill as my guest today. He is an environmental film director, producer, writer, the founder of Gripping Films. He creates stories, connects people with the world and some of the burning issues around climate. He made films for BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, National Geographic, won many awards and worked with many pioneering environmentalists and scientists of our days and some of the legends like David Attenborough himself. 

Tom shared the story of how he became a filmmaker. He is a conservational biologist who always loved documentaries about nature. So he decided to use storytelling as a conservation tool and started making films in 2006, first as a producer and later as a director. The first film he directed was Inside Nature’s Giants for Channel 4.

We talked about challenges Tom faced during filming and how he chooses projects that move him and that can move other people as well. He shared feelings he had when his films reached millions of viewers and described their impact on decision-makers and the general public. A story can be impactful in loads of different formats, and there doesn’t have to be a call to action for people to actually take action.

As we were wrapping up for today, Tom explained how the filmmaking industry can reduce carbon and plastic waste to become more sustainable and told us what film he would make if he knew it is his last one.

Right now, Tom is finishing his book, and soon it will be available for readers.

Key Points of discussion:

  • Introduction (00:18)
  • When did it all start for you? (01:17)
  • What was the first film that you put together? (03:24)
  • What have you seen that changed you as a person? How do you choose your projects? (08:40)
  • About the starting concept and the impact of Tom’s environmental films today (13:26)
  • Have you seen any changes in people as a consequence of your work? (23:09)
  • The most impactful films (31:10)
  • Sustainable filmmaking (34:44)
  • Who would you have coffee with if you could have it with anyone? (39:07)
  • If you were going to make one last film, what would it be about? (40:33)

Additional Resources: 

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