Alfie


Just wanted to post the latest commercial that I shot with possibly the nicest bloke in show business… Mr Alfie Boe! We shot it on my Sony F3 with onboard Ki Pro Mini Recorder  and using Angenieux Optimo DP Zooms. We had a 5D MkII as a small cutaway camera as well. I was a bit apprehensive about using the F3 wide open on a Jimmy Jib but our Focus Puller Fran did us all proud and held focus even though the jib was always constantly moving and never resting.

Here are two links to have a look at. I felt that the ‘Blue Streak’ Flare effect filter was a bit too heavy even on the lightest grade but we shot with and without the filter in case but the Directors Ed & Ross and the client preferred with so that’s what you see in the commercial!  Thanks to the Lemmon man for great Ac’ing and of course to all the help we got from Sean and Robert blacking out a very white studio!

Here’s a shot of my F3 on the JimmJib (excuse the iPhone grab!):

 


 

Here also is the other Alfie Boe commercial that was the first thing I shot on with the F3 with a bunch of stills Nikon primes:

Bring Him Home:

 

Virtual Beard stroking with Alfie at the end of the shoot

 

 

AlfieBoe

‘Wonderful’


This is the upcoming debut release of Jo Birchall’s pop promo that we shot in the middle of July on a very hot sunny day. The location was an old Coast guards cottage overlooking the Seven Sisters. We had great fun working with Jo and her team and had an amazing short but sweet lunch overlooking the cliffs with waves crashing in methodically. On the drive down in the morning, it poured with rain the whole way down but luckily the location Gods looked down and smiled upon us and it sunned up pretty soon after we arrived with our very smelly generator as the house had no power! Once again the ‘Late Misters’ were directing this one having pushed for a great location there wasn’t much for me to do except point and shoot! I think Dave T has done a great job on the edit as well so I hope you enjoy it.
The other number ‘Don’t let it get to your heart’ shown above was shot in a warehouse in Hackney and was more straightforward but equally fun incorporating a small story of the photographer into the usual mix of guitars and lights!

Kit wise I used the trusty 5D MkII to give it that softness of image, first time with a new Zacuto EVF, my own shoulder rig and a LOT of ND filters as it was a very very bright day and I was shooting most of it at wide open with my 35/50/85 Primes so you work that one out how much ND I had stacked up!
Here is the Video for’Wonderful’ below and I love the 85mm shot of just her backlight face falling in and out of focus and the location of course…

 

 

Tenor after Tenor!


The title is not some cheap ploy for charitable donations I assure you! This June I have filmed two commercials for both the tenor Alfie Boe (Les Miserables) and the Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon.  Alfie was an extraordinarily humble and kind person and it struck me at the end of the shoot I noticed that I was the only crew member not sporting a beard hence my excuse for the silly expression of mine on to photo with Alfie. On several of the takes the Directors Ross & Ed (‘The Late Misters’) asked Alfie to perform at real working volume and the experience of standing next to a tenor at full intensity was incredible and you could really feel the low frequencies running up through the tripod!

Many thanks to the ‘Late misters’ for their great concepts and themes from the bright high clean key feel for Alfie Boe and Low key High contrast faded textural shoot for Rolando.
Both shoots were shot with my Sony PMW-F3 with MTF adapter, Nikon prime lenses and recording to ProRes HQ on an onboard Ki Pro Mini (Supplied by VMI) Pee Wee Dolly supplied by Filmscape media.
Produced for Decca Records by STEAM Motion and Sound. Produced by Clayton Jacobsen.

Here is the Vimeo link for the Alfie Boe commercial ‘Bring him Home’







Secret of the Pop Song


Just started a documentary for BBC2 with a working title of ‘The Secret of Song’ about the processes involved with songwriting. These are photos of Ceelo Green who was over here on the back of the Brits awards and Jessie J also for interviewed for the ‘Pop’ program. I hope to grab some more photos whilst working. We have Interviewed more contributors now including Boy George, Neil Tennant, Brian May and Sting to add some celeb background to the main content of the documentary. Today we interviewed Maxi Jazz and Sister Bliss from Faithless for the Anthems program shortly after they have announced to ‘close the book and return to the library’ on their 15 year and six album collective…..

This program is now due for Broadcast on conecutive Saturdays starting with ‘Ballads’ on the 2nd July…

Director of Ballads: Clare Beavan

Director of Anthems: Matt Tucker

Director of Pop/R&B: Linda Brusasco

 







 

Here is a grab from the Neil Tennant section of the program:

 

 

 

Rumer ‘Slow’


This is a shoot we did a couple of weeks back in Paris for Rumers single ‘Slow’. We shot the Main house sequence at a Castle Gibson site in Dalston. Shooting on an Arri Alexa and all the second unit stuff on Canon 5D Mk II and the location shoot in Paris in a ‘run & gun’ style. The footage has been graded in ‘Colour’ with a faded aged film look to the whole piece. There is another version coming out with a bit more Paris in it for the American market I believe. I will post a few photos of the shoot once I can source some. We had a vintage Citroen DS car to film in which was fun and an owner who didn’t mind me sticking suction cups and K- Clamps all over it! I loved the way the car exterior footage worked out considering it was left to it’s own devices while we were shooting the sync interior footage. Thanks to Clayton and Brett for indulging me!

Director Brett Sullivan
Second Unit Director Clayton Jacobsen

Here is the American edit that I prefer with a bit more of the romance of Paris.

 

 

The Bridge


Here is a short film about a small bridge in The Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew that I have been shooting on weekends during late 2010. I was trying to capture the special light at the end of the day. All shot on the Canon 5D MkII with many differing lenses depending on my mood! This is also a demonstration of the narrow DOF that the 5D mkII can give that makes you forgive all of its ergonomic failures (well almost!) This hasn’t been graded at all and all images are as captured originallly.

The Classic music is composed by Gorecki and the Aria is sung by Dawn Upshaw.

Thanks to Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew for indulging me on my late exits from the gardens!





The Search for Atlantis and Minotaurs!


Just before Christmas I was asked to film a documentary for National Geographic called the ‘The Truth behind Atlantis’ This was shot over a relatively short time of three weeks including over 14 flights and with an Assistant Producer who didn’t like flying and a genius of a one handed soundman called Kiff McManus! We filmed on the Island of Bimini in the Bahamas, Miami, Crete and ended up on the beautiful island of Santorini.

We looked at the Frescos of Minoans in Knossos, the ruins of Palakaestro in Crete and the Rock strata clues at Santorini, of the duration of the huge volcanic eruption resulting in blowing out the Caldera and speculating on the Tidal wave that might have resulted from this. We filmed the ‘Bimini Road’ often cited as being a possible site for Atlantis and finished up in a wave tank in Southampton trying to reconstruct the effect of such a tidal wave on a reproduction of a Minoan Village.







Mountains of the Moon


A little while back I visited my friend James Ewen and his wife Maja in Kampala,Uganda. James mentioned that he wanted to make a “filming recce and a light trek up some mountains with a few bogs in the way!” What James meant was a full on 2 week hike in one of the wettest places in the world. The climb was up Point Magherita in the Rwenzoris at around 5,109 metres high. It has the unusual distinction of having a glacier on the top which being near the equator  and is subject to close srutiny as the glacier is receding due to global warming. Although not the highest point in Africa it is considered by climbing guides as one of the more difficult ascents and was notorious as one of the sources of the nile. Many Explorers sought out these mountains in the 19th Century hearing from folklore and legend as they were coined ‘The Mountains of the Moon’

We climbed with our resourceful Bakonzo guide ‘Kesar-John’  and several porters up to Elena Hut at around 4,580 meters and stayed one of the coldest nights to wake at 5.00am in a total white-out for the ascent day. I have never climbed with ropes before and even with crampons. James convinced me it was all very easy. Later that day when all the safety ropes were frozen to the rock face and scree was falling on my head from James’s boots, I was less impressed! I’m sure on a blue sky day the climb is very straight forward but when you can’t see more than a metre in front of you it’s less easy! We did summit and once I had placed my foot into Congo as we did a few times later accidentally it all seemed to make better sense!

The visibility improved once we had descended down to more civilised camps at Lake Kitandra and we could see the path that we climbed and very satisfyingly picked our way back through the ‘Bigo bog’ down to Rwenzori mountaineering services headquarters.

Thanks to James Ewen for an incredible adventure and take a look at his website . This last photo shows the state of me when after the climb!







Duffy


I had the privilege of meeting the iconic photographer of the Sixties called ‘Duffy’. He was one of the ‘Black Trinity’ or ‘Terrible Trio’ of photographers from that era: David Bailey,Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy. The documentary was for BBC4 and contributors included the likes of Lord Putnam, Joanna Lumley and David Bailey. Many Thanks to Chris Duffy for his endless help in this project. ‘Duffy’ unfortunately died soon after the completion of this documentary of a degenerative lung disease but may his cheeky, non-conformist soul live on in the spirit of his photographs!

in Matt Butson words (Vice president of Hulton Archive at Getty Images)

“I had the distinct pleasure of knowing Duffy and can honestly say in the brief time I knew him, he left a lasting impression – his wit, his cantankerous nature, his great intelligence and the ability to hold one spellbound, was a joy to behold – a one hour meeting would easily turn into six,” said Butson. “As one of the Black Trinity or Terrible Three as others called them, Duffy is the sole member who has yet to be honoured by the photographic establishment, which is curious to say the least.”

I encourage you to look at some of his work by clicking here



Deborah 13 : Servant of God


Deborah Drapper aged 13 and her family is the subject of a BBC3 documentary. I filmed some parts of this documentary on DigiBeta and also some B-Roll on a Super 8mm camera (Beaulieu 4008 MZII) to give some more emotive footage to evoke her fading childhood. We spent about two weeks with the family in West Dorset trying to catch the family at their most relaxed and unguarded to give the viewer a true portrayal of their ideals and routine. Linda Brusasco the Director also filmed more intimate interviews with the family on a Z1 to try and get more relaxed and uninhibited responses to her questions. I also used a Steadicam (an old MkIV!) for the portrait of Deborah and her family rather than the more standard Jimmy Jib intro shot to give it a different feel.