WHO WE ARE
// CREATIVE CONSULTANCY
Secret Compass provides creative consultancy and location management to production companies heading into the world’s wildest places. We strive to understand your artistic vision and editorial brief, thinking laterally to bring it to life safely and imaginatively.
// PROTECTING YOUR PEOPLE & PROJECT
Our expert teams get your crew into the world’s most inaccessible corners to capture the extraordinary. The specialist skills, equipment and staff we provide help put your story first, and your mind at ease.
// EXPERTS IN THE FIELD
We specialise in remote, high-risk and hostile environments. Our pedigree running pioneering, world first expeditions into the wildest corners of the world is complemented by our background in the British Military. This means we focus on rigorous planning and intuitively understand risk, allowing you to push creative boundaries while protecting your crew.
// THE TEAM
Secret Compass employs a wide number of specialists depending on the project. Key people are:
// Tom Bodkin - Managing Director
Tom has extensive experience providing innovative and creative risk and location management solutions to TV and Film in remote and hostile environments. He has provided risk management solutions, including designing and developing safety protocols and procedures, for large BBC, CH4, Discovery and Nat Geo productions shooting in places as diverse as Afghanistan, Republic of Congo, Norway, South Sudan, Nicaragua and British Colombia.
Tom spent six years as an Officer in the Parachute Regiment. On specialist operations in Afghanistan he commanded teams of up to 90 people on high intensity counter insurgency operations.
Tom has lead commercial expeditions that include pioneering tourism into South Sudan, leading a team into the Imatong Mountains. He was central to Secret Compass's ground-breaking expeditions into Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, leading the first ever mountain bike expedition in the region. He has explored southern DRC, pioneering a route through Upemba National Park, and has led trips in the Darien Gap, mountain biking in Ethiopia's Simien Mountains and ski touring in Lebanon.
Tom has experience of large scale project management and bringing large, diverse teams together to deliver results on time and in budget. His Military and business experience combine to provide a unique insight into what you are trying to achieve and how we can best add value to the project. Tom's qualifications include Security Risk Management (Level V), Mountain Leader, MTB Leader, Swift Water Rescue, Medicine in Remote Areas and Wilderness First Responder. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is passionate about ski-touring, snowboarding, kite-surfing and mountain biking.
// BEN MAJOR - PROJECTS DIRECTOR
Ben is an adventurer, explorer and survival expert who has led over 40 expeditions and projects throughout the world in all environments.
Ben presented the multi-BAFTA winning Serious Series for the BBC, leading groups of teenagers on expeditions to remote and far-flung corners of the globe to achieve world firsts. He has consulted on series such as Mutiny, Planet Earth 1&2, Gold Rush, Human Planet, Oceans, Tribe, Frozen Planet, Last Man Standing, Around the World in 80 Days, Extreme Dreams, Adrenaline Junkie and various Sport Relief Challenges.
Serving in the British Army for 9 years, he spent time in the Middle East, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. An accomplished mountaineer and polar adventurer, Ben has led expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic, Himalayas, Rockies and Andes including ascents of two 8000m peaks and a running high level traverse of the Pyrenees in 14 days.
Ben has led security operations to protect wildlife against professional poachers in Central and East Africa developing his love for camels; built eco-lodges and safari camps in Africa and led remote jungle conservation projects where he honed his survival skills amongst the native peoples of Asia, Central and South America. He is also an experienced yachtsman with over 50000 sea miles completing several Fastnet races, trans-Atlantics and building a traditional Arabian Dhow with a friend.
// Tom McShane - Operations Director
Tom has served in both the regular and reserve Armed Forces and was responsible for leading Combat Camera Teams to areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan and getting stories concerning the British Army into the international news.
Tom has led many expeditions around the world, has travelled to 80 countries and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. This, combined with his knowledge of the media industry and filming in remote locations, makes him well suited to look after many of the Secret Compass Film and TV projects.
Tom has taken a crew to film undercover in Uzbekistan and led and directed the first ever gig on an iceberg for Jägermeister in Greenland. He was also responsible for Levison Wood's Walking the Nile Expedition for Channel 4.
Along with working on many of the Secret Compass group, bespoke and specialist film and TV projects, Tom is a professional photographer. He was the official photographer for Walking the Nile and Jägermeister's Ice Gold Gig. In 2014 he was awarded a prize in the Wanderlust Travel Photographer of the Year and shortlisted in the finals on the International Travel Photographer of the Year.
// ROSS HEMINGWAY - MEDICAL DIRECTOR
In 1998 Ross joined the Royal Navy and deployed extensively on Operations and Exercises around the globe with the Royal Marines providing medical support in a wide variety of extreme and hostile environments.
After leaving HM Forces in 2014 he now works at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines. He has particular interests in exercise-associated collapse, and is currently involved in research studies on the role of vitamin D supplementation to prevent stress fractures and skin infections in military recruits.
He examines and teaches on medicine, trauma and prolonged field care courses for the UK military. He is an experienced pre-hospital practitioner, has completed the LAA HEMS course and is a BASICS responder in the South West.