What is my work?

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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 NT Live, 3 Seconds, The Echo, Valentine’s Day, The Trench, Siberian Portrait as well as, of course the stuff I shot and directed like Life of Crime, Eddie GibsonReligion and of course my Anorexia films amongst others. The vast majority is my personal work…

Shooting in Germany for Discovery
Shooting in Germany for Discovery

Films like Sofia’s People, Cherry Blossom Girl, My Autumn’s Done Come,  Return to Dungeness, Love from Southend, Alone in Tokyo and many more here are mostly just my personal projects. 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 have the new Redrock Encore, a glidecam 2000, glidetrack, Jag35…still, the gh1 with sigma prime lens and many others. I am desperate to go out and use them but finding the time is hard, amongst answering all the emails, keeping the site running and of course actually doing proper work!

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.

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, 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!

The Canon 5dmkII has recently given me the chance to be really spontaneous in what I can capture, much more like a stills photographer. I kept my films Cherry Blossom Girl and Sofia’s People raw and handheld to emphasize this rawness of “capturing the moment”. It won’t stop me doing more considered pieces with 35mm adaptors, tripods and my ex3. But it has opened up a new word to me…

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. To inform about my experiences with new gear that I have bought, which has now turned me into a part-time reviewer, the majority of stuff I review I have paid full price for, sometimes I am lucky enough to be given review samples, not very often, but often enough to mean I don’t go bankrupt! I would like to believe I am impartial. I was often accused of being bought up by Sony in the EX1 days, I think my work with JVC, Panasonic, Canon etc has more than shown this to be nonsense. For me if something is great I don’t care who makes it! Every camera I have paid for, I recently bougt a 5dmkII and lots of glass for it, I don’t even have a Canon contact, but that hasn’t stopped me waxing lyrical about it and putting out tutorials and films using it. I even reluctantly put a donate button on my main page as the site is costing me a lot to run recently and taking up so much of my time to keep it going and keeping it fresh. So much so that I am having to dedicate specific days to it now.

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, where I get to share my work and thoughts with people in a less virtual environment. Next week I will be running through the JVC HM 100 and workflow with the Canon 5dmkII at the first London Final Cut Pro User Group gathering. Please come if you can, be great to meet you. I always love to put a face to the name, that’s why I enjoyed this year’s NAB so much! Also don’t forget Re:Frame in San Francisco this October, it’s almost sold out so hurry. I will be doing 2 days of solid shooting workshops.

With F-Stop Academy I am hoping to do take this and expand on it in a much bigger way…nothing is going to change here though. I will still be doing what I am doing, making my films and hoping that to some they give pleasure and make you go out and do it. I will soon have a long interview up from a good friend of mine Tom Guilmette, I hope his words will inspire you too. I was lucky enough to have a mentor when I was learning and he helped me immesurably. We can’t all be as lucky as me, but with people like myself, Tom and many others hopefully we can inspire in the same way.

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 reply in the end!

Peace, and keep shooting!



Want to learn how to create the film look? Click below.


Hear me talk about Canon 5dmkII workflow and meet me at the first London FCPUG Supermeet, with special guest the legendary Walter Murch!!



  1. Beautifully put, you captured what so many of us do (or try to do). Do personal work that is for everyone else. We love your work, and we will continue to watch and think about the films you make. You inspire us.

  2. hi philip,

    really love your work and appreciate the time ur putting in to help-out people. i’m following you on twitter and am checking out any new videos u put up on vimeo.

    i’m a stills-man and only getting into vid due to the 5d2. really enjoying it. wanted to get down to london for your 5d2/fcp presentation but won’t be able to due to work commitments. hope it goes well.

    between you and chase jarvis, i find lots of inspiration re: stills and vid. pls keep it coming. i will be following fstop religiously and re-tweeting ur stuff

    ps – pls do keep hanging around the 5dcinema forum – cool to have u posting there!

  3. Hi Phil,
    Keep up the good work. As your site becomes more popular you will probably get a few people criticizing you work – but sod ’em – we all appreciate what you are doing. “The Echo” showed me that narrative short films can be really good and was very inspirational!. Are you going to have a get together in San Francisco outside of the Reframe for those of us in the area who would like to buy you a pint but aren’t going to Reframe?
    Nigel Ellis

  4. Philip, I’m a huge fan of your work, and one of many you have helped (whether you know it or not). As far as I can remember, it was you who got me interested in making films.

    Also, which Discovery channel shows did you work on? I’d love to catch them on TV and see if that artistic eye of yours has any application to network TV… which tends to be, well, poorly shot compared to your work.

    Let me know if you’re in Dallas and need an assistant. I’m free of charge!


  5. love your work and it does inspire me although I can barely afford half the products you buy I am interested in seeing footage right off of the stalk lense and how quality holds up in comparison

    I really want to see how the Canon 5DmkII stock looks like without any assistance 🙂

    1. what is the 5d stock lens? didn’t know there was one, i know there are package lenses you can buy but they are generally slow. If you want one stock lens for the 5d then i would go with the 24-70mm f2.8. it’s not super long, but it’s as fast a zoom as you can buy!

  6. Philip,

    This blog was clearly from the heart. I discovered your work about a year ago (along with Tom Guilmette’s). When I first saw your work I was blown away. I had posted a tweet a little while back that you and Tom were revolutionizing the video world. You replied asking if you hinted a sense of sarcasim and I quickly said no, I was dead serious.

    You have lit the creative flame in so many people due to your work, your site, your blogs..etc. You have shown people like me a whole new world and you didn’t just show it to us, you invited us into that world. I am not in the video profession, my videos do not make me money and most likely they never will, I make videos because I enjoy it. Six months ago I didn’t know what an fstop was and when I shot video it was 99% rubbish. Thanks to you and Tom I no longer shoot that way.

    While I most likely will never own a camera as nice as an EX1 or EX3 I will do my best with what I have and try to capture the world around me in an artistic and pleasing way. Thank you for awakening the creative side of me and thank you for sharing your world with us.

    Matt Stapleton

  7. Philip,

    Not much to add to Matt’s superb reply below. (Very nice Matt.) I believe I speak for many people, when I say that if there is anything I can ever do for you, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Scott Karlins

  8. I met you in Tokyo.

    You; with Kublawsky and a Sony EX-sumink.

    Me; ruining your shot to drool on said camera.

    Been following your work since then mate and its a joy.

    Don’t let the trolls get under your bridge.

  9. Great post, I always assumed that’s why you do what you do. You’re obviously someone who is obsessed with beautiful images and loves talking tech and reviewing new technology. The social networking community recognizes all of the time and effort you put into interacting with filmmakers, festivals, beginners, etc. You always manage to take the time to get back to me, and I know I’m not the only one who asks you questions. cheers, keep it up – we love it!

  10. Great words, Philip!

    As many others have stated, your great work and passion is a definite inspiration! I know since viewing yours and several others work, I have been infinitely more inspired to be creative.

    Though my current fav past-time is stills, I do plan on breaking out my HV20 or borrow the SDX-900 from work, and finally doing some video projects… Eventually you might see something on Vimeo 😉

    Your love of new gadgetry is very similar to mine (though you can actually AFFORD all that stuff!), and I learn a lot from people like you, or the Zacuto podcasts and various others, that I wouldn’t necessarily learn if you all weren’t so willing to share your expertise.

    And similar to Parker’s comment, if you’re ever in Toronto, Canada, I’d be more than happy to be on your crew!

    Cheers Philip!

    Keep up the passion, the amazing work, Ruz’s line is by far the BEST advice I’ve ever heard for dealing with negative blog posters!

  11. Mr Bloom,

    Thank you for exemplifying both boundless talent and the spirit of creation. As a recently awakened admirer of your work, I feel very fortunate to be afforded such insight into your creative pursuits as you provide on various websites. Whether through the stunning visuals of your personal and professional work or your on-camera appearances as a tutor or spokesperson, I am given a palpable sense of your passion to create beauty. Regardless of the specific context or purpose of any given Phil Bloom sequence (be it an explanation of a sponsor’s product or your tender interpretations of humanity’s many facets), it is invariably obvious that I am witnessing the developing story of a gifted time/light alchemist who also possesses an enormous and generous spirit.

    I have until now worked exclusively in still photography. But two things have piqued my interest in developing some video chops; the advent of equipment/technology to enable the creation of beautiful footage, and the lovely and expert work of people like Philip Bloom (and, of course, Tom Guilmette at http://www.tomguilmette.com).

    Just a “thank you” from the ethers.

  12. Youre a stunning and inspirational cinematographer Phil, I love your stuff. Its about time you came to Australia through!

    Tim Barrett

  13. Hi Phillip,

    You mention that you are not able to show some of your professional work because you don’t have the necessary rights to do so.

    Could you share with us how you obtain rights to music for your personal work?

    I really like what you are doing, and the choice of music that accompanies your work is always spot on. How do you go about obtaining rights to use such high-profile work?



    1. its a very good point Ambrose. I am working on a blog about music rights. To be blunt, I have no right to use most of the music I use. But none of it is officially used for “commercial” purposes. All my personal projects. Anything that is a paid job has licensed music. It’s a minefield and one I will go into further soon…

    2. Excellent. I look forward to your take on this issue.

      I, like much of your audience, come from a stills photography background and am currently learning filmmaking skills as we undergo this technological convergence. Because copyright is the lifeblood of my stills work, I am reluctant to use another artist’s work without their authorization. However, I must say that one of the most frustrating aspects of working in a sound-based medium is how to legally and affordably obtain rights to music.

      Thanks again for your reply, and again I look forward to your thoughts.


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