I originally wrote this last year as what you see online is not necessarily a reflection of what I actually do day in day out. It was hidden away on my personal blog and it felt like the right time to amend it and include a look back at some of my older stuff…
Most of my work you don’t see online. I don’t have the rights to show them on the internet or can’t get copies (like my Discovery HD work). What I do post on my website is some of the paid work I am allowed to show, like the two commercials below…as well as the stuff I shot and directed like Life of Crime, Eddie Gibson, Religion and of course my Anorexia films amongst others. The vast majority is my personal work…You can see example of some of these pieces down the bottom of this post. Sometimes people ask me to do what I do with my personal work for them and create something like that, like I did with Legends which you can see later on in the post too.
The personal films that you see mostly on my site are my passion, what I do that fulfils me on a personal level. You see, my passion is filming, it’s the biggest thing in my life, for better or worse. I am lucky enough to be doing what I love, so when I get the chance…whether it is to test a new piece of gear or just to capture something that I want to capture I go out and do it. I can be prolific at times when I feel really motivated. I have new bits of gear I really need to try out and the best way I find to try out stuff is to film with them and make something out of it. I adore natural light and try to harness it in the best way I can, I see beauty in everything and try my best to capture that. Much like a photographer does, I simply do it in a moving images way.
So how do I classify my personal work? Do I call them films, videos? To me they are films, as film to me doesn’t necessarily have to be narrative, have a storyline or deep concept. It can just convey an emotion, a feeling and that is what I like doing the most, as often this emotion or feeling conveys a message in itself. What that message is can be up to you, it can be open to interpretation. But I hope my work can sometimes bring a feeling of positivity to a world filled with a lot of negativity. They are often refer to as mood pieces, but I try to capture a moment, a feeling, a place in a series of images.
Stills photographers like Martin Parr, someone I only discovered a year ago (not that I am comparing his genius work to mine) captures people beautifully and naturally, something I love doing. Like him, I find richness in people’s faces, something that I believe works in moving video not just stills. I love to capture the world around me, people, places, objects, from my perspective. Not necessarily one that you share. But it’s how I see it, very often influenced by my mood at the time or inspired by something or someone I meet. It’s hard to put into words. That’s why I do it with my films! Another indirect influence is Ron Fricke, of Baraka fame. I shamefully admit I only discovered his work around 18 months ago after someone said my stuff reminded me of Koyaanisqatsi. A flattering and undeserved comparison, but very flattering all the same.
The Canon DSLRs have recently given me the chance to be really spontaneous in what I can capture, much more like a stills photographer. I kept my films Venice’s People and Miles Away handheld to emphasize this rawness of “capturing the moment”. It won’t stop me doing more considered classical pieces. I love nature and landscapes as much as I love people. The feeling I get when I make something that I really feel captures what I set out to achieve is a high no drug can replicate and when I saw some of my work on the 44 foot Stag screen at Skywalker Ranch I was dumbstruck. I never thought I would have this moment. After all these are personal “works of art” that I share but never expected to be embraced by some people so fully.
My goal with this website originally was purely to showcase my work and get work. Somehow, it has evolved into something much more. A place to share information. More importantly to me, my site has now become a place that inspires people to go out and film. To pick up their cameras and capture life as it is, go and make narrative films, film a documentary about something important to them, to push themselves more. This is what I am proud of the most.
I have started doing more and more speaking engagements and workshops, where I get to share my work and thoughts with people in a less virtual environment. I will be doing a number of these over the comings months. Already lined up are workshops in Boston, Oslo, Toronto and Tampa.
Oh and if I don’t reply to your email or question on my site or vimeo (email me rather than send using vimeo, it’s easier for me to reply), send it again. I get a lot and sometimes miss them but i always try to reply in the end! I try my hardest to help as many people as possible, even if it does take up a huge amount of time.
Peace, and keep shooting!
Oh and do read my website ethics statement here if you get a chance…
Examples of commercials
NT LIVE: Shot on EX3 and Letus Ultimate
[xr_video id=”0d867833e4d04986a1bd2dbffacf7da3″ size=”lrm”]
Greenpeace: Voices of change. Shot on Canon 5DmkII
[vimeo 6695584 600 338]
Examples of my raw handheld work
Venice’s People: Canon 7D
[vimeo 7412515 600 338]
Monarch’s “Miles away”: Canon 5DmkII
[vimeo 10180051 640 272]
Examples of more classical personal work
The Echo: Sony Ex1 and Letus Extreme
[xr_video id=”0451316f95fc4595811b777177dc544c” size=”lrm”]
Alone in Tokyo: EX1 and Letus Extreme/ Ultimate
Sky: Canon 5DmkII, 7D, GF1
[vimeo 8951807 640 360]
A day at the races: Canon 7D
[vimeo 9978341 640 360]
3 Seconds: Sony Ex1 and Letus Extreme
Salton Sea Beach: Canon T2i/ 550D
[vimeo 10314280 640 248]
Love from Southend: Sony EX1/ Letus Ultimate
Prague: Canon 1DmkIV
[vimeo 8324034 747 420]
Legends: Sony EX1 and Letus Extreme
[xr_video id=”d9466e4eeaa845e69129bd83de92730f” size=”lrm”]
Jimmy Nicholson: Sony F350, JVC HD201/ Brevis 35
[xr_video id=”357cd431a75044f9bfb35d140982324a” size=”lrm”]
Bruce Reynolds: Sony F350, JVC HD201/ Brevis 35
[xr_video id=”62e5a27f59d44b0c9a11e0c5d9660bda” size=”lrm”]
Buddhists: Sony F350
[xr_video id=”21f6c68a786545a5be92da1136ffe533″ size=”lrm”]
Anorexia Part 2: JVC HD 201/ Brevis 35
[xr_video id=”1b0d6d99321942af900d2f8d6a4e9209″ size=”lrm”]
If I were Prime Minister…Sir Andrew Green: Betacam SX