Niall's Video Diary, Day 1

TV Appearances


Niall McCann is a bona fide Explorer Scientist, the likes of which has rarely been seen since the great era of Victorian Exploration. He is a travel/adventurer by nature and is completely at home in the jungle and on the road. It was Niall’s father who first presented him with a large boa constrictor to handle, at the age of 15. As a result, Niall jumps at the chance to tackle any snake- from small, fast and venomous to huge giant constrictors like Anacondas.

At 31, Niall McCann is an extraordinary young man, who’s crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a row boat, crossed Greenland’s polar ice cap, traversed slack lines over 2500 ft chasms at Yosemite and ventured on jungle research expeditions around the world. Niall has just finished shooting a Gryphon Productions Wildlife/Adventure series called “Biggest & Baddest” for Discovery Networks International, Animal Planet Canada, Velocity (US).

In 2010-11, Niall made his television debut as the host of a one hour award-winning PBS Television special “Lost in the Amazon” also produced by Gryphon Productions. He’s currently completing his PhD (University of Cardiff) on Baird’s Tapir in the Honduran jungle. Niall is in the process of creating a Wildlife Preserve in Guyana and has petitioned the Honduran Government to protect and patrol his study site- the domain of the Tapir and other wildlife. In his work on Biggest & Baddest (2011-2013), pursuing large and formidable creatures worldwide, he has been promoting animal conservation and the dilemmas facing many of these species seen in the series.

Niall has his BSc. degree from Bristol in Zoology and will be graduating with his Doctorate in Zoology from Cardiff University next Spring. This year he can also add “Fellow Explorer of the Royal Geographical Society” to his list of prestigious accomplishments.

Peter von Puttkamer has been Directing and co-Producing with Sheera von Puttkamer- international award-winning films worldwide over the last 28 years. Their production company, Gryphon Productions Ltd., has created documentaries for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, BBC, PBS, TLC and more… These programs, conceived and produced by Gryphon, have won more than 75 international awards.

Peter von Puttkamer’s fascination with indigenous peoples, anthropology, mythology, music and wildlife has led to unique and imaginative projects around the world. With a MFA Degree from USC Film & Theater Dept, Sheera von Puttkamer brings her style and creativity to helping shape scripts, work with TV Networks, discover talent, field produce/manage local experts, location scout, design the looks for key talent and much more.

Whether working on heart-felt personal stories, socio-political issues or broad adventure-based entertainment documentaries, filmmaking for the von Puttkamers has always been a blend of high drama, great production value and amazing views of the world around us. Peter’s climbed through ancient caves used for human sacrifice in Mexico, filmed then eaten giant 12” tarantulas with Venezuelan blow-gun hunters, filmed encounters with Tigers, Anacondas, Crocs and Elephants, filmed sacred mask rituals and dances of North American natives, hunted demons and cryptozoological creatures, recorded soul music classics with legendary recording artists, searched for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World in South America, and much more. Peter and Sheera have produced Feature Documentaries for Hollywood studios, such as the Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis/Sony Pictures Feature Film- “Monster House”. Gryphon’s two-hour special, “The Real Lost World” aired on Animal Planet & Discovery HD Theater and “Peyote to LSD: A Psychedelic Odyssey”- a 2 Hr. award-winning History Channel Special shot in the Amazon and 5 countries, featured National Geographic Explorer in Residence and Zombie pioneer Wade Davis (author-“The Serpent and the Rainbow”); Peter and Sheera produced Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom BBC/Animal Planet specials about rare Red Uakari Monkeys and PBS “Lost in the Amazon” about explorer Col. Percy Fawcett and his search for “The Lost City of Z”. Currently the von Puttkamer’s are producing a 6 part series: Biggest and Baddest for Discovery Channel International, Animal Planet Canada and Velocity (US Discovery).

Trailer for Biggest & Baddest

Lost in the Amazon

How to Avoid a Crocodile Bite

Niall's London Interview

At Para Falls, Venezuela

About Gryphon Productions

Catch the latest episode of Biggest and Baddest on Animal Planet Canada, this Tuesday! You can also catch Biggest & Baddest on Animal Planet Latin America!

"Biggest and Baddest is Completely Riveting!"

James Bawden , Blogger and TV Critic

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