Dave Banks is a highly experienced and award-winning photojournalist, cinematographer, documentary filmmaker, camera operator and published author. He has over 30 years experience in international news and documentary production, primetime television specials and series, late night, non-fiction and reality television series and specials. Discovery Channel, History Channel, Bravo, ABC Television Network, Cosmos Studios (legacy of Carl Sagan), Oprah Winfrey (Grand Canyon Trek),
Dave’s videography and cinematography work has been recognized with thirteen Emmy Award nominations—resulting in three Emmy Awards, two International Monitor Awards and one ADDY Award for commercial writing. Dave specializes in producing and creating images in remote and hostile locations throughout the Middle East, Russia, North Africa and Asia. His client list includes ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News & Sports, Warner Brothers, Mark Burnett Productions, Jay Leno (personal projects), Capitol Records, Discovery Channel, Cosmos Studios, Networks, The History Channel, PBS, MPH Entertainment, Channel Nine Australia, London Weekend Television-UK, BBC 1 & 2, NHK Japan, German Television, and Canal Television-France.
Some of Dave’s highlighted credits include:
Profiles from the Front Line. With the beginning of the War on Terrorism in 2001, Dave served as a solo journalist-reporter-camera operator in Afghanistan for Jerry Bruckheimer’s primetime network series. Profiles Television produced this 13-hour non-fiction series in association with Warner Bros. Later, Dave expanded his responsibilities through being contracted by the United States Department of Defense to cover the war on location in Afghanistan through 2002.
Discovery Channel Eco-Challenge Australia. Mark Burnett Productions and the Discovery Channel contracted Dave to direct the six million dollar, five-hour prime time epic mini-series. Dave led a staff and crew of over 300, including fifteen camera crews and countless helicopters, aircraft, boats, and all-terrain vehicles. 200 competitors from fifteen countries participated in a 335-mile race over the most hostile terrain imaginable. Months in the preparation, the staff and crew were deployed for two weeks from the Australian Outback interior to the Great Barrier Reef. This immense project was brought in on time and on budget, and became the highest-rated Discover Channel mini-series of a five-year period.
Discovery Channel Adventure Race. With the success of the Eco-Challenge-Australia, Discovery Channel contracted Dave to direct their next flagship primetime mini-series in the Southern Alps of South Island, New Zealand.
The Quest for Noah’s Ark. Notwithstanding the Turkish government’s “off-limits” status for access to Mt. Ararat, Dave, as a solo filmmaker, covered a cast of modern day “Christian cowboys” as they braved possible Turkish prison sentences on their quest for Noah’s Ark. Under cover of darkness, carrying all of his own equipment, and with the guidance of the Kurdish underground, Dave climbed the 16,984-foot summit of Mt. Ararat in twenty-six hours. After summiting, he avoided capture by the Turkish Army by hiding in the plains and valleys of Eastern Turkey. The Turkish government is now considering a scientific expedition permit, allowing Dave and his associates to do further research on Mt. Ararat. Such research would include the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar, Ice Penetrating Radar and Thermal Infrared Sensor. The planned documentary feature will cover the history of Mt. Ararat and quests of the men who climbed her.
Marathon des Sables. In the area of technology, Dave has consistently pushed the envelope to combine story telling and digital media. Quokka Sports chose Dave to produce twenty-two documentaries and twenty-five vignettes in the heart of the Moroccan Sahara Desert for the premiere of Quokka’s broadband division. Still images, video clips and audio journals were sent via satellite back to the United States during the six-day Marathon des Sables race for immediate broadband viewing. Dave is currently writing his next book, “Atlantis of the Sands,” based on his experiences covering this amazing race and the cast of characters who participate.
Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt and Solar Sails. From 2001 to 2008, Dave was contracted by MPH Entertainment and Cosmos Studios as a Senior Producer to take the then-brand new Sony HDTV equipment on location into the heart of the Sahara Desert in Egypt and to the Barents Sea above the Artic Circle in Russian territory during the production of two A&E Network documentary specials.
2006 to 2013 – Dave was repeatedly booked as a guest lecturer on documentary film production by numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States, including the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California.
February 2014: Cue the Camels book release and media tour. Dave’s book is a behind-the-scenes, first-person narrative of the mishaps and misadventures of a photographer-documentary filmmaker at large in remote and hostile locations. At present, Dave is writing his second book Atlantis of the Sands, and is researching and photographing Angelenos for his third book, Life in the City of Angels.
Further Credits List:
Roadies. Executive Producer, Documentary series based on the behind-the-scenes lives and day-to-day activities of rock & roll, pop and country musicians tour managers, road managers, road technicians, musical equipment technicians and support crews.
Through the Lens of Adventure. Producer/Shooter. A continuing series of exploration and adventure highlighting the people, places and beliefs from around the world.
Tomb Raiders. Stealing from the Dead. Producer/Shooter, Egypt and Israel, 2 hour Documentary for the History Channel. The theft of ancient antiquities.
Profiles from the Front Lines. Solo Journalist/Shooter, Afghanistan and Germany. 13 hour series for ABC Television Network. Profiles Television in association with Jerry Bruckheimer and Warner Bros. Dave’s images were used in the promotional material for the show.
The Amazing Race. Country Producer, CBS Television Network. World Race Productions in association with Jerry Bruckheimer.
The Essence of Islam. Director/Shooter, Middle East. Primetime documentary. History Channel.
Under One Roof. Senior Producer, Koro Island, Fiji. Reality program series. Endemol USA, UPN.
The Solar Sail Project. Sr. Producer/Shooter, Barents Sea, Arctic Circle, Russia. Two-hour primetime documentary. Cosmo Studios.
The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt. Sr. Producer/Shooter, Sahara Desert, El Bahariya Oasis, Egypt. Two-hour primetime documentary. Cosmo Studios.
Digging for the Truth. Sr. Producer/Shooter, Golan Heights, Israel. Two-hour documentary. History Channel.
Discovery Channel’s Adventure Race. Director, New Zealand, South Island. Four-hour primetime miniseries. Six-day expedition race across the Southern Alps.
Marathon Des Sables. Producer/Writer/Director, 25+ mini documentaries for broadband webcasting. Six-day foot race in the Western Sahara Desert, Morocco. Quokka Sports, Intel, Alta Vista,
The Quest for Noah’s Ark. Director/Shooter, Mt. Ararat, Dogubayazit, Eastern Turkey. Two-hour syndicated documentary.
The Discovery Channel Eco-Challenge. Director, Australia. Queensland, Australia. Five-hour primetime miniseries for The Discovery Channel. Mark Burnett Productions.
The Discovery Channel Eco-Challenge. Director, Morocco. Atlas Mountains, Morocco. Pre-event video for The Discovery Channel. Mark Burnett Productions.
World Afoot. Producer/Director, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Total Entertainment Productions
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Dedication, Production Coordinator, for Georgetown Productions.
Beirut L.A. Journalist, One-hour video journal of the 1992 LA riots. Independent, Dave Banks Media.
The Ultimate Challenge. Director, Five one-hour primetime reality and stunt specials for Fox Network. Trans-World International.
American Detective. Producer/Shooter, ABC-TV primetime reality series. Lorimar Television
Women of Valor. One-hour ABC-TV primetime special. Lorimar Television.
Oprah Winfrey Show. Producer/Shooter, Hiking the Grand Canyon. One-hour syndicated special for series. Harpo Productions.
Light the Darkness. Production Coordinator, World broadcast benefit for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent. BBC.
The Late Show. Production Coordinator, John Lee Hooker and Friends In Concert., Ninety-minute special. BBC, UK and the A&E Television Networks.
The Sea Shepard. Production Coordinator, One-hour documentary for the BBC.
The Cesar Chavez Funeral March. Journalist. Chavez Family independent production.
In Search of Tarzan. Shooter, One-hour documentary. London Weekend Television, UK
In Search of James Bond. Production Coordinator, One-hour documentary. London Weekend Television.
In Search of Dracula. Production Coordinator, One-hour documentary. London Weekend Television.
Eye Spy. Production Coordinator, Half-hour documentary. London Weekend Television.
ABC Wide World of Sports. Director of Photography, Technical Director. Live broadcast and tape segments, Expeditions, rock climbing, iron man marathon and Olympic events.
Afghanistan: Kabul, Kandahar, and Bagram.
Australia: Sydney, Cairns, Mareeba, Atherton, Gordonvale, Undara, Chillagoe, Mt. Bartle Frere, and Queensland Outback.
Egypt: Saqqare, Giza, Red Sea, The Nile River, Cairo, Valley of Kings, Hatshepsut, Abu Simbel, Armant, Aswan, Luxor, White Desert, Thebes, Safaga, Marsa al Alam, Karnak, Al Harrah and Baharia Oasis
Fiji: Suva and Koro Island
France: Paris, Le Mans, Nice, Cannes, Toulon, Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier and Corsica
Greece: Athens, Thessalonique and Island of Patmos.
Israel: Jerusalem, Golan Heights, Ramallah, Bethany, Jericho, Temple Mount, Nazareth, Gethsemane, Kasr el Yahud, Allenby Bridge, Caphernaum, Sepphoris, West Wall Tunnels and Judea.
Italy: Rome, Naples, Florence, Solerno and Island of Ischia.
Jordan, Mount Nebo, Tell Mar Elias, Mukawer and Amman Citadel.
Morocco: Quarzazate, Sahara Desert, Oued Amsailikh, Tagounite and Atlas Mountains.
Mexico: Chihuahua, Sierra Madre Occidental and Barrancas Del Cobre
New Zealand: North Island, South Island, Southern Alps, Mt. Cockayne, Lake Catherine, Lake Coleridge, Black Hill, Glenfalloch, Potts River. Mt. Peel, Forest Creek and Lake Tekapo.
Russia: Moscow, Murmansk, Severmorsk and Barrents Sea Artic Circle.
Scotland: Edinburgh, Inverness, Orkney Islands, St. Andrews Highlands.
Turkey: Istanbul, Van, Doğubayazıt, Tabriz, and Erzurum.
Additional information can be seen at:
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/davidnbanks Demo Reel: https://davebanks.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/daves-demo-reel/On Camera Interview: http://youtu.be/oGjuTAvQRms Vroman’s Bookstore: Book Reading and Signing Cue The Camels, https://davebanks.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/cue-the-camels-book-signing-at-vromans-bookstore-pasadena-california/
This interview was absolutely FANTASTIC! Love it!