Camera man sets up company

AN AWARD-winning cameraman from Wedmore has set up his own company after documenting his own family history with surprising results.

AN AWARD-winning cameraman from Wedmore has set up his own company after documenting his own family history with surprising results.

John Podpadec has spent his working life filming people from all walks of life for broadcast television programmes such as Secret History, Horizon, Grand Designs and Trouble at the Top.

The 50-year-old has specialised in lighting and camerawork for broadcast television for 20 years and has worked with some of the country's best directors in producing documentaries and drama.

In 2004 he received the Royal Television Society award for best camerawork in South West England, a craft award only given every three years.


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John recently turned his camera onto his father in an attempt to document his own family history.

His father, Marjan Podpadec, aged 84, was born in Slovenia and came to the UK after World War Two.

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John said: "Whilst interviewing my dad I found out many things that I hadn't realised before.

"I discovered that my grandfather had been the gamekeeper for the Prince Michael of Kent's family in Australia, that his family had to leave their farm in Slovenia when the Nazis invaded and that he was the last person to work with horses underground in the South Wales coalfield in 1983.

"My biggest regret is that I didn't go through the same process with my now-deceased mother.

"I think the true value of the video biography is that it will allow future generations to learn firsthand about their family history.

"The fact that my children and their children will be able to listen to their ancestors is great."

The experience inspired the father-of-four to set up the company, VideoHeritage.co.uk, which provides a service for people who want to document family members in this way or to provide training for those who want to do it themselves.

The company runs workshops in video and interview technique or you can use their expertise to produce a video biography DVD for your family.

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