Extremely personal mini doc on why Movember is so important to me and why if affects us all…Now subtitled in various languages

Movember Video Blog 1 from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

As I am sure you are aware, since the beginning of October I have been pushing hard on the Prostate Cancer/ Testicular cancer awareness/ fundraising effort called “Movember“. Technically it starts on the 1st of the November, when men (and women!) all over the world grow moustaches in an effort to do just that: Raise money and make people realise the seriousness and importance of getting tested.

I tweeted a week or so ago that I wanted to do a case study on someone, some family who has been deeply affected by prostate cancer. I had a great response, but then I realised if I was prepared to put these people through this tough story, I should just do my own story. There is nothing more personal than that, as I am running this campaign here.

It was always going to be tough, talking about how cancer has affected me and interviewing my mum about how it has affected her. So I have made this very emotional mini doc/portrait of how prostate cancer has affected  my family. Please bear with it. I’s important and the message is so important. It may be uncomfortable viewing if you don’t like displays of emotion. I did my piece to cameras after speaking to my mum which really affected me, coupled with some very challenging personal things going on in my life, and also remembering my family and friends stolen from this life by the evil that is cancer… I was surprised how upset I got. I am incredibly close to my family, and when I see anyone of them in pain or upset, I will do anything I can to help, but it does affect me deeply. That is who I am and that is who I will always be.

I always thought 17 years of hard news would toughen me up, but it didn’t. Quite the opposite. I remember once filming in Istanbul after their massive earthquake. It was a block of flats that had collapsed, and these people were desperately trying to rescue a child trapped in there. We spent 3 hours with them. I put the camera down and joined in, but they stopped me and said they appreciated what I was doing, but they needed the world to see what was happening here and I was more useful behind the camera. My reporter said look through the viewfinder, don’t look through your eyes – it will keep you detached. It worked to a point until they eventually pulled the child from the rubble, dead, wrapped in his Lion King duvet. That moment affected me so deeply and I realised I was never going to be able to master the cold detached observer skill that was needed in news. It didn’t stop me wanting to cover the stories that needed to be told, but they took their toll on me each night and probably to this day…

Anyway, back to the point at hand. Movember, so important and it has had an immense impact over the years and it’s just getting bigger. Each year I strive to make our contribution, the indie filmmakers’ contribution bigger and bigger. This year I am certain we can do wonders and show the big banks and other corporations who take part (don’t get me wrong I applaud them enormously for doing so) that the little people, us with our cameras, can raise awareness even more than they can! That is part of the reason why I have split this year into two separate parts. But it is films like this, personal stories, that remind you WHY you are donating!

The fundraiser I am running is via a film competition and a MASSIVE gear giveaway which you can enter by simply donating $20 to my campaign. It truly is a win win situation. You are helping a great cause and the odds of you winning something, and some of the prizes are worth thousands, are pretty damn good!!!

I would like to raise £20,000 or even double if possible! It IS possible with your help, so please make it happen! There are so many incredible prizes on offer, this is the best gear/ software giveaway in years! Don’t miss out!!

Technically this was shot by myself on my Canon C300. Lit by two Litepanel 1x1s. Sound straight into the camera with a Sanken COS 11. All the photos I took with my iPhone 5 from the originals. It was the simplest and easiest way to do as I have no DSLR on me. Canon 17-55mm F2.8 IS.

Click below to see more about the amazing prize giveaway and to enter. In the meantime, please watch this mini doc. It’s so important to me.


You can watch it in English language on Vimeo below, and though I am not a Youtube fan their subtitle system is awesome, so I am getting this translated into as many languages as I possibly can, as it is so important! Thanks to everyone who has helped with this!


  1. Thanks for sharing. It’s a very powerful, and touching piece. My wife has lost her brother and sister to cancer, so this is very personal for us too. Thanks for doing what you do, thanks for giving back.

  2. Just wondering if you have any issues with the 17-55 mm on the C300 ?
    Does it work properly in terms of vignetting ? Can it be controlled by the peripheral illumination feature ?
    You wrote in another blog about the mechanical limitations of this lens ?
    I personally like the idee having a “cropless” lens with IS on my C300.
    Would appreciate your opinion on that.

    Thank You

  3. Really great job on all of this — the video, the charity work, all of it.

    And, the video is wonderful. It’s tougher producing these kinds of things when it’s you and family involved — and you did an outstanding job.

    Your Mother is an absolutely beautiful lady. Her story about her Father was extremely powerful.

  4. You achieved both of your goals with me. I will donate again this year and will check with my physician if I should start to get checked since I’m 38 and my uncle had it. (He’s fine now). Thanks Phil for sharing you family story and personal experience for a good cause.

  5. I’ve admired your work on many occasions but I’ve never posted any comments. Not because I didn’t have anything to say but because you are bombarded with comments and questions all the time. I really like that you have found a simple yet compelling story in your own family. I think many of our families are full of interesting stories but we often neglect to look for them. We are always looking outside for that perfect story and sometimes it’s right in front of us. Nice job on an important topic.

  6. Philip this is such a emotional and powerful piece. It must of been so hard to talk about this subject, especially as it involved your family. I don’t remember the last time I felt emotional, it made me feel human again. I really respect you for doing this and contributing to a great cause. I will do my best to help and raise awareness.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story Philip. I’m sure this wasn’t an easy piece to do but you braved through it. Keep up all the good work you do.

    I have also lost some family members to various forms of cancer. My Uncle Bobby on my Dad’s side is currently being treated for prostate cancer.

  8. SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL… Philip… YOU put a tear in my eye… you mum is a wonderful lady… tell her THANK YOU for sharing her heart and THANK YOU for allowing us into your family.

    Be Blessed… Cheers

  9. Hi Phil,

    thanks for sharing your feelings and your families experience. A very powerful short film that many people should watch.

    And thanks to your mum as well. It’s not easy talking about things this close to your heart.

    Not sure about growing a moustache but happy to contribute to the campaign.

  10. Hey philip I totally understand your emotion, I also lost my grandfather last year from prostate cancer, I really miss him. I will make a short documentary about it, for Movember and make my donation to this important cause. You have inspired me…

    Regards From Angola

    Ps: really enjoyed the Cape town’s master class

  11. Thank you Philip for using your talents to bring awareness to this insidious disease. My husband died of throat cancer & I’ve lost both parents to this horrible disease. Like your mother, I worry for my sons. You’ve actually inspired me to do a similar video for our local hospital’s next fundraising efforts.

  12. Thank you Philip for doing this. Your mother is an amazing woman. So many emotions bubbled up as I watched your video. My husband succumbed to throat cancer in 2006 and both parents were felled by that insidious disease. Your video and fund raising efforts are so inspirational, that I’ve decided to produce a video on the tragedy of throat cancer and smoking.

  13. Dear Phiiip

    Where do I start, I’m very moved by this piece, as you know I’ve always been a fan of your style,your reviews and of course your passion for sharing knowledge. This is different, this is very personal and also very close to home for me. my dad died of cancer way before his time, my mom passed away recently as well and I don’t know of you know this but I am a cancer survivor myself, I had an aggressive malign tumor removed and lost one kidney because of it.

    I already made a donation to your cause since it is very personal for me as well, don’t think I can grow a mustache so I will probably Photoshop one on me. I’m also making a donation on the paypal site, anything I can do to help just let me know. I will spread the message

    I admire your candor in the way you shared this story…


  14. Very moving and very important film. I lost my best friend to Cancer when he was only 30 but my Wife was successfully treated for Cancer and has made a full recovery. Both her and my Son are only here because of the amazing advances in research that Charities like Movember provide.

  15. Hi Philip,
    my dad died because of duodenum cancer when he was 37. I am just 28, but coincidentally, as a part of complex preventive screening, I have been tested yesterday. Not a very pleasant feeling, but after seeing your video today, I am happy I had it done.

  16. The most beautiful video I have seen in some time. How you got the emotions and the importance of this topic across is breathtaking. It really opened my eyes to how important something like this is, and not something to take lightly, Philip God bless you. Very beautiful and I’m terribly sorry for what you have gone through. Got my donation. 🙂 Cheers

  17. Moving. I’m new to photography/video and your name comes up in various google searches on this that and the other.
    You always struck me something of an anomaly: a humble and personable guy in a world of (IMO) over inflated egos. This honest and frank visual storytelling only serves to reinforce that view. Tell your Mother she did a good job.

  18. Great doc Philip, thanks for sharing. I started crying while I was reading your post tho. Cause I live in İstanbul, I watched my neighbour’s building collapse from my bedroom while I was trying to keep my little sister covered from things falling around. I didn’t think about that night for a long time, it just came so sudden in a post about movember. I didn’t expect that to happen.

    And watching the documentary after that made it even worse.

    But this is what we need we need to connect to other people to do something meaningful, we are too lazy otherwise.

    Again many thanks!


  19. Philip, that was absolutely brave of you and your mother! I’m fighting for my life right now with brain cancer and I commend you on what you are doing for the cause.

  20. Philip,

    Je suis touché par autant de sensibilité sans pour autant tomber dans le pathos. Le ton est tellement juste, la réalisation toute en finesse juste là pour porter les propos qui se suffisent à eux-mêmes. Magnifique.
    Merci d’avoir osé.

    Mon grand-père est décédé du cancer il y a peu et ma mère a survécu à 2 gros cancers successifs … des expériences qui aident à considérer la vie comme un cadeau et pas un dû.

    J’en profite pour vous dire que votre parcours est inspirant à bien des égards, merci de le partager avec autant de générosité et d’intégrité, notamment sur ce blog.

    Bravo et tout le meilleur pour la suite.


    PS : j’espère que vous parlez français 😉

Leave a Reply