Clare Birks has spent her career working in the production, co-production and distribution business. She has been running Oxford Scientific Films since 2004 transforming the business into a company with a reputation for creative excellence and innovation combined with commercial acumen. OSF’s output has increased considerably and the range of programme has expanded beyond natural history to include science, history, archaeology, arts and culture, and most recently documentaries. Her experience of the international market has enabled OSF to produce award-winning high-end series such as Richard Hammond’s Miracles of Nature and Wild Weather in co-production with Terra Mater Factual Studios.
Prior to this she worked extensively in drama for Southern Star, co-funding development for shows for BBC and ITV and brokering international co-production deals for series such as Second Sight (Twenty Twenty) written by Paula Milne (BBC and WGBH) The Secret Life of Us (Southern Star John Edwards) for Channel 4 and Do or Die (Southern Star John Edwards) for Sky One.
She has worked for a number of leading entertainment companies including RKO, Viacom and London Weekend Television. She graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in History.
Caroline Hawkins is an award-winning filmmaker who joined OSF in 2004. She is the creator of the international hit Meerkat Manor. Her other credits include Fatal Attractions, There’s A Rhino in My House, Lemur Street, Jessica the Hippo, Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem for BBC and PBS, Carol Klein’s Plant Odysseys for BBC2, Secret Life of Twins for ITV and Dogs Might Fly for Sky One. More recently she produced Wild Korea for BBC and Terra Mater Factual Studios.
Caroline started her career as a floor manager at LWT before moving to BBC Wales to direct live news. A 13-year freelance career as a director followed with credits including Delia Smith’s Summer Collection, The Clothes Show, The Good Sex Guide, Natural World and the award-winning documentary Last Voyage of the Thistlegorm.
She produced her first feature film in 2008, Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins for Discovery Studios and The Weinstein Company. In 2012 she led OSF’s move into 3D with Meerkats 3D followed by Pandas 3D -The Journey Home, the IMAX version of which is on release in North America and Europe.
She has just delivered The Magical Land of Oz (3 x 1hrs) to BBC, ABC and PBS, Secret Life of Farm Animals (3 x 1hrs) to BBC and Driven: The Billy Monger Story (1 x 1 hr) to BBC.
Executive Director, Development
David joined OSF in July 2018 as Executive Director of Development, arriving from DSP where as Director of Development he was responsible for the Endemol Shine label’s full UK and US slate and development team.
Prior to DSP, David was Head of Development at October Films, and before that he was Head of Development at 5Production (now Elephant House Studios) – having co-founded Channel 5’s in-house department. In over 15 years in development he has also worked at ITN, BBC, Granada, Nine Lives Media, Blakeway and Unique Factuals. David has originated, developed and had commissioned a huge range and volume of programming across multiple genres and for all the major broadcasters, as well as acting as Executive Producer on several of his own shows. Highlights include Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty; Britain’s Bloody Crown; Cleopatra: Mother, Mistress, Murderer, Queen; Tribal Teens, and award-winning shows such as Cruising with Jane McDonald; Climbing Great Buildings; Mud Men; and The Limbless Mountaineer.
Lucinda Axelsson is a multi-award winning executive producer and former BBC Commissioning Editor and BBC NHU producer, specialising in highly popular and innovative specialist factual shows, documentaries and wildlife series from high end Blue Chip to presenter led shows. She recently exec produced ‘Serengeti’ a pioneering ‘wildlife meets drama’ hybrid series for the BBC, with XIX entertainment and John Downer Productions.
As a series producer Lucinda was responsible for helping create several long running series including the Emmy Award winning Meerkat Manor with OSF, where for the first time the dramatic narrative techniques of the soap opera were used to reveal the complex social lives of animals, and Natures Weirdest Events where she innovated new ways of explaining the science behind the strange and wonderful events from the natural world by using User Generated Content alongside blue chip footage.
Strong storytelling is at the heart of everything Lucinda does. As a producer and then as a Commissioning Editor she breathed new life in the Blue Chip landmark space with highly rated series on Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Patagonia, Mexico, Thailand and Alaska, with a focus on creating surprising and exciting narratives. As a Commissioning Editor she worked closely with the producers on highly rated and innovative shows including Spy in the Wild, Snow Chick and Pets Wild at Heart for JDP, the Bafta Nominated, multi-award winning, Attenborough’s Life that Glows with Ammonite Films and Tribes, Predators and Me and Elephant Family and Me featuring Gordon Buchanan with the NHU. Beyond Wildlife films, she was also responsible for the hit BBC shows The World’s Most Amazing Hotels and James May: The Reassembler.