All work and no play makes Jack and dull boy.

Category: Photography

Out of the comfort zone

Every year or so my good friends at the South Yorkshire Filmmaker’s Network run a competition called 2 Weeks 2 Make It in which various film-makers compete to create a winning music video for a local band or artist. Rob Speranza, from the SYFN, called me up this year and urged me to give it a go but in all honesty music videos just aren’t my bag (with the singular exception of the very simple music vid I did for Chris Baum way back in 2006).
I’ve never really thought what it is that’s turned me off from creating them to be honest. They offer an opportunity to be ultra-creative and inventive with both content and style; and they can inversely (if you wish) follow a pretty formulaeic style. They are something you can be pretty free with. When I think about it, it’s unusual that I’ve not ventured down this road previously, especially given the importance I place to the soundtrack in my short films and documentaries. You only have to watch the beginning to Waterfall or the A Shot In Time documentary to see how I feel about a particular track fitting visuals to help tell a story.
So this week I’m taking myself out of my comfort zone and shooting a music video for singer-song-writer, Phil Sinclair. I’ve known Phil for years – too many years he would say – and his style of melancholic folk music I do quite like. He’s a very talented musician and needs the support a video can give to get himself to that next level of achievement. I’m quite looking forwards to it. We have a Continue reading

Seeing the Future I

The whole visualisation process – and the different and developing techniques – are an important part of film-making for me. They commit me to putting my ideas down onto paper, and they give me a degree of control over various aspects of the film such as colour, composition and staging, structure, sequence and so on.
Often when analysing a script and breaking it down into visuals I will annotate the side with sketches and notes. It’s about getting a visual feel for the upcoming film at this point – setting out little flashes, individual shots or parts of shots, locations, characters or references to other visual ideas that may have nothing to do with that particular story or scene.
There are several good examples of this in some recent work I’ve done. Re-reading Strawberry Spring I was instantly Continue reading

A new hobby

Photos and pictures

For almost all of the narrative film work I’ve done I’ve been content to hand control of the camera to a cinematographer, director of photography, call them what you will. While knowing what I wanted a particular shot to look like it was a world away to know exactly how to get the brightest and best look from the camera, moreso once a DoF adaptor had been attached adding another dynamic into the picture creation. Liam Sanderson worked with me on The Secret and Georgia’s Angel, making the best use of the Red Rock M35 adaptor; and when I was CEO at Eye Productions we had Fred Higson on the team, who had an incredibly good eye for cinematography and was able to shoot some pretty impressive stuff.
I’ve become more interested in photography in recent months though, probably since Continue reading

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