During his filming exploits, Paul Berriff has survived a major helicopter crash, leapt from a sinking ship and escaped death when a volcano erupted around him in Nicaragua. On September 11 Berriff was filming with the FDNY's Assistant Chief Fire Commissioner at the base of the World Trade Center when both the twin towers collapsed on him. Berriff was knocked to the ground and lay unconscious for 25 minutes before crawling out of the debris. His camera was smashed but his footage showing the iconic sequences of the South Tower collapsing survived.
Paul Berriff began his career at the age
of 16 as a press photographer with the Yorkshire Evening Post in Leeds. Four years later he became the youngest film cameraman for BBC Television News. During his first year in TV he took a four week break to film the first kayak expedition down the Colorado River - this film won Paul the Documentary of the Year Award. Paul then moved to BBC current affairs before setting up his own BAFTA award-winning independent production company. He was then asked to be a director at Granada Television's prestigious documentaries department. Following a successful three years at Granada Paul joined the United Productions elite documentary team.
Paul has created, produced and directed over 180 prime time network documentary films and series. In 2017 he received the Guild of Television Cameramen's top award (TICA) for outstanding cinematography. He has also received 19 international awards for production and cinematography including two BAFTAs (Scotland) for Best Documentary and a BAFTA nomination for cinematography.
Between filming assignments Paul founded the independent lifeboat service - Humber Rescue. For this he was awarded an OBE in the Queen's 90th Birthday Honours.
Paul is currently developing his first cinema movie and writing a book featuring his dramatic and exciting life behind the camera.