Who We Are
Safaris, Filmmaking, technology, & COnservation
Founded in January 2019 by the complementary duo of Brent Leo-Smith and Wium Dörnbrack, Painteddog.tv is a technology-driven wildlife film production company, and provider of life-changing safaris.
Brent and Wium’s over 30 years of combined safari, conservation, and film-making experience has helped them guide Painteddog.tv to achieving some remarkable feats in a surprisingly short time.
After having established the Painteddog.tv as wildlife documentary film-makers as the “go-to” wildlife media business in South Africa’s Lowveld during 2019, in 2020 the company developed unique live broadcast capabilities which allowed us to achieve a number of world firsts in LIVE Safaris & Conservation broadcasts.
After the dust of COVID settled and travel began to open up in 2021, Painteddog.tv began providing world-class safaris in several African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Uganda.
KEEPing PAINTEDDOG.TV ALIVE & GROWING
CEO & Co-founder
Having grown up in the KwaZulu-Natal hinterland of South Africa, Brent Leo-Smith knew that a career in the bush was inevitable. He was home schooled at Phinda Game Reserve and a result is a real “wild child”.
He then tried his hand at studying law, but the bush called him back, resulting in six months in Zambia doing crocodile and big game capture, and running game farms. Brent returned to his then home in Botswana and worked for his father at Kwando Safaris, before making the move to the Kruger National Park to take up a position as a guide at the Lebombo Concession. Later, he went to work at Londolozi Game Reserve as a guide and camp manager.
In 2010, Brent began work in film production, both behind and in-front of camera, having featured on Animal Planet and Nat Geo Wild, where he presented over fifty episodes of the #SafariLive series. In 2019, he co-founded Painteddog TV, a technology driven wildlife and conservation media company.
CTO & Co-founder
Wium grew up in Pretoria and spent his childhood holidays exploring South Africa’s wild areas with his family. Wium began his filming career as a cameraman for the South African Broadcasting Commission from 2008-14, where he filmed sport and news events.
He was also a part of the team that installed over 110km of fibre optic and coaxial cable into South Africa’s soccer stadiums for the broadcasting of the 2010 World Cup.
In 2014 Wium became a member of the world famous WildEarth production team, where not only was he an excellent cameraman, but more importantly also a broadcast engineer designing and building broadcasting systems, including outside broadcast units onboard 4×4 safari vehicles.
Charles grew up in Botswana, where weekends and holidays away with the family were often spent exploring the Makgadikgadi Basin, the Central Kalahari, and the Okavango Delta.
After moving to South Africa as a teen, Charles graduated with a bachelor’s degree in politics, philosophy and economics from the University of Cape Town.
He then went on to become a stockbroker, during which he also passed all three levels of the rigorous Chartered Financial Analyst exams. After 8 years in financial markets, Charles spent four years as an economic policy analyst at the renowned South African civil society group, the Helen Suzman Foundation. Charles joined Painteddog.tv in February 2019.
Presenter, & Private Safari Guide & Planner
Gareth is a passionate expert photographic safari guide with over 12 years’ experience at the leading safari destinations in Southern and East Africa.
Gareth’s parents worked in safari lodges in South Africa, with his love for wildlife photography also coming from his father, a former guide himself always in persuit of that perfect shot.
While Gareth enjoys photographing all of Africa’s wild animals and landscapes, leopards hold a special place in his heart. The process from tracking these beautiful yet elusive big cats to finding them and capturing that dream photograph is what excites him the most.
His passion extensive knowledge of the African wild and calm nature makes him an absolute pleasure to be on safari with, whether in-person or on a Painteddog.tv LIVE Safari.
Presenter, & Private Safari Guide & Planner
Yuka is from Japan and always dreamed of working in the wildlife conservation field.
When she came to Africa for the first time she instantly fell in love with the bush, and decided to pursue a career as field guide to try and help spread conservation awareness to Japan.
Yuka has a bachelor’s degree in tourism from Japan’s Rikkyo University, completed a full-year EcoTraining safari guide training course in 2015 and is a fully qualified lead trails guide.
Prior to joining Painteddog.tv in July 2020, Yuka worked at Forest Camp Lodge and African Impact.
Writer, Director, & Producer
A keen birder who spent her childhood holidays in the bush with family, Jana boasts a Master of Arts in English with distinction from the University of Pretoria, and in 2019 Received the Oxford University Press Award as the top student in BA HONS, English.
Jana worked as a freelance copywriter before joining Africa’s leading documentary filmmaking company, Lion Mountain Media, in January 2022, where she worked as a producer, writer, research and show developer. Despite her fantastic work for LMM, Jana could not resist the call of Africa’s wild and so joined the Painteddog.tv team in early 2023.
Born and raised in Cape Town, Matthew has tinkered with film since he was in school. He started live streaming school sport in 2015 and has grown his trade since then.
After school he worked as a gimbal tech in aerial cinematography, high-end advertising, live international sports, TV, and feature films.
Matthew joined Painteddog.tv in March 2021 and hasn’t looked back!
Bryan grew up in the suburbs of Johannesburg, but while navigating his way through the concrete jungle, an opportunity to film meerkats in the Southern Kalahari presented itself, and being immersed in nature completely captivated him.
Bryan studied 3D animation at Boston Media House, and before joining Painteddog.tv was a wildlife cameraperson at WildEarth for 5 years from 2012 to 2017. Bryan joined Painteddog.tv in June 2020.
Presenter & Camerman
Andrew grew up Johannesburg and has always had a passion for the African bush and wild, with time often spent visiting the country’s amazing nature reserves.
After finishing school, Andrew studied to become a field guide and for two years worked as a guide at Kagga Kama in the Cederberg Mountain Range and Shepherds Tree Game Lodge the Pilanesberg National Park. Keen to develop is skills and career as a wildlife photographer and cameraman, Andrew earned a higher certificate in Videography & Photography at Vega College, Johannesburg, before joining Painteddog.tv as a cameraman and presenter for LIVE Safaris in May 2023.