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Shooting the Stars

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Mark Gee Xpress

Camera Operator Matty Warmington, Director Vanessa Patea and Astrophotographer Mark Gee on location at Carter Observatory during the filming of the documentary.

Working with globally recognized Astrophotographer Mark Gee was a highlight of my year.

I have always had a fascination with the stars in the night sky; I spent some of my childhood in Coromandel away from the light pollution of the cities. I would sleep outside on the balcony, count shooting stars, watch satellites and will my eyes to stretch deeper into space to see the faintest stars in the sky.

My combined interest in stars and photography led me to attend an overnight Astro-photography class in Tekapo; famous for its dark sky reserve. Mark Gee was one of the tutors of this class and I knew of him from his viral video, 'Full Moon Silhouettes'.

Months later, I was charged with finding a photographer to create a video learning resource for the students at the art school I work at – The Learning Connexion, a school of creativity and art. I approached Mark to see if he would be interested. I knew Mark had a busy schedule with his day job with the Weta Digital visual effects team and all of his creative side projects. Mark said he was keen, I was thrilled!

I really admire Mark's approach to his work; he is ready to share his whole process and he has a big online following with fans all over the world watching. It was fascinating to hear the background story and the aftermath of his viral video 'Full Moon Silhouettes'. His passion for what he does really comes across in this video. When he won the Royal Observatory Greenwich and BBC’s Sky at Night magazine Astro- Photographer of the year awards there was another flurry of online excitement; it was a real achievement after years of hard work and late nights pursuing his passion.

Enjoy this behind the scenes look at the humble and talented Astrophotographer – Mark Gee!