From Broadchurch to Houdini via some Russian Doctors

I promised to be better at updating my blog and I have failed miserably, but my excuse is I’ve been very busy. So here’s some of the hi-lights from the last 18+ months.  I finished the year working over in Budapest on a 2×2 hr TV drama about Houdini. It was a huge production with amazing production values. Houdini was played brilliantly by Adrien Brody with the main two other parts played equally well by Evan Jones (8 Mile) and Kristen Connolly (House of Cards). Its due to air in the US around June 2014. It was produced by Pioneer Productions for the History Channel/A+E Networks.HoudiniTitleCard-2Across May & June 2013 I worked on Mr Sloane, a Big Talk production for Sky Atlantic.  Mr Sloane stars Nick Frost & Ophelia Lovibond alongside Olivia Colman.  It was directed by Bob Weide (Curb your Enthusiasm) and produced by Clelia Mountford (A young Doctor’s Notebook). It’s due to air in 2014.

MR SloaneTitleCard

Just before Houdini I did the unit & specials on Suspects – a drama series for Newman Street Productions. It’s Channel 5’s first original drama commision for 8 years.  With dialogue improvised by the actors – and the use of filming techniques and a directorial approach usually associated with factual programming and fly-on-the-wall documentaries – Suspects takes a different approach to how crime drama is created and executed. It stars Faye Ripley, Damian Molony & Claire-Hope Ashitey. Its due to air in early 2014. You can find the Suspects trailer here:

Evidence

Here’s some book covers featuring images of mine –  all sold through a great photo library called Trevillion Images  who specialise in selling imagery for book covers – www.trevillionimages.com

the_dark_road-ma_jian-20926000-frntl  EveryBreath

Some personal work:

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A shoot for the final series of Him & Her starring Sarah Solemani & Russell Tovey – one of those rare shots where everything took place in camera! A big thanks to Rich Cain who oversaw the shoot for Ian Johnson Publicity. A Big talk production for BBC3.

Him & Her Series 4 - Specials

One of my favouries from the second series of A Young Doctor’s Notebook starring Jon Hamm & Daniel Radcliffe. A fantastic show to work with great cast and great crew. Another Big Talk production, produced by Clelia Mountford – this time for Sky Arts.

A Young Doctors Notebook II

I’ve been doing a personal project with the working title ‘Creatures’ and these are few of my favourites. Three of them were daken in Dhaka, Bangladesh – possibly one of the most crazy and amazing places I’ve ever been.

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In June 2013 I flew out to Budapest with 2 assistants (Tom Fallon & Jem Rigby) to do a specials shot for the Sky Living series, Dracula, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Katharine Ware & Rachel Tate from Sky (who commisioned me) were on hand,  and were a great help as it was a big shoot that took place over 2 days. We set up and pre-lit three different areas, two against coloramas and one on set. Here’s a few photos from the day including a pic of the main lighting set-up. Jonathan liked to listen to heavy punk music (supplied by Tom) when doing his shots. It definitely kept the energy levels up, and me on my toes when it came to focusing!

Dracula Before & afterDracula Casttext

In April 2013 I got the train up to Manchester to shoot some stills for a Channel 4 pilot show called Raised by Wolves (Big Talk again) written by Caitlin Moran & her sister Caroline. Got to meet & take Caitlin’s picture which was a hi-light (for my wife also) but to top it all Caitlin bought me a beer at Manchester station before we headed back to London.

Raised by Wolves

Between March and May 2013 I did five shoots for Sky Living’s Drama Matters – a season of female driven single films. I shot all over the country, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax & London. It was commisioned by Jakki Lewis and she oversaw the shoots along with Elena Kemp & Lesley Land. They were all a great support through what turned out to be an amazing and mammoth project. It involved a fair amount of post production and my compositing and photoshop skills were put to good use.  www.sky.com/tv/show/dramamatters

Psychopath Next Door - Reckless SeasonLawless - Reckless SeasonRubenesque - Reckless SeasonThe Last Witch - Reckless SeasonTalking to the Dead - Specials

In March 2013 I did a specials and marketing shoot for Chickens (Big Talk for Sky 1). Sarah Aspinall oversaw the publicity shoot and Liesl Ellnor the marketing side of things. Below is one of the final marketing images.

Chickens Marketing-185_f4_Kitchener new position_FLAT_PORTRAIT

Ambassadors starring David Mitchell & Robert Webb (Big Talk for BBC2) in set in the fictional Tazbekistan. The actual show shot in the UK and on location in Bursa, Turkey.  I took this image outside the embassy (a museum in real life). I asked the producer, Chris Carey if there was any way we could get a donkey or goat for the shot. This was 20 minutes before the shoot was due to take place. A quarter of an hour later a family of goats turned up in the back of a pick up! I think that little details makes the shot. Thanks Chris.

Our Men - Specials

During December 2012 & January 2013 I worked on Count Arthur Strong ( Retort for BBC2). Starring Steve Delaney (as the Count) and Rory Kinnear it follows the madcap misadventure of Count Arthur, an ageing impresario. Graham Linehan co-wrote and directed it. Sue Wilks and Nicola Wilkinson (PR at Freemantle) were shoulders to lean on throughout.

Count Arthur Strong - SpecialsCount Arthur Strong

Another shoot that involved the very lovely and extremely talented Adeel Aktar – this time on Doughnuts, one of 7 films from’ Coming Up’ – a season of short films that Channel 4 funds for new film-makers.  I did the unit photos on all the films bar one, and it was quite a strange job for me as in 2006 I’d directed a Coming Up film called Stir It Up. It gave me a great deal of empathy for what these new writers and directors were going through.  Coming Up was a Touchpaper production.

Coming Up - Doughnuts

In January 2013 I worked again with producer Rob Bullock on The Suspicions of Mr Whicher – Murder in Angel Lane, a one off film for ITV (made by Hattrick).  It was the first time I’d ever with Paddy Considine, but the 3rd time with Olivia Colman (after 2012 & Broadchurch).  The weather was freezing throughout and seemed right for the story and period it was set in.  It was great working with Pat Smith (ITV) on the specials shoot and this time we swapped a beach for a delapidated room in a mansion with a moat!

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher II - SpecialsThe Suspicions of Mr Whicher II

This was my first specials shoot of 2013 for the 2nd series of BBC1 show called The Syndicate (Rollem Productions) about some hospital workers who win the lottery. I shot it up in Leeds with one my regular assistants, Gideon Marshall.   I pitched Yvonne Francas (the Producer) the idea of doing a combined shot so as to get across the idea of the show in one image. I was really pleased with how it turned out.

The SyndicateIn December 2012 I shot the specials for The Job Lot, a Big Talk production for ITV.  I thought it had a great cast, Sarah Hadland, Russell Tovey, Adeel Aktar, etc. I approached it a bit like doing a bad corporate photo – it’s about the character detail and looks.  It used a lot of lights – 10 or so as it was a big space and the lighting had to look real, ie: fairly even and flat. Job Centres are not exciting places to look at, but the environment works perfectly with all the characters.

The Job Lot - Specials

This is a shoot for Firecracker Films, the documantery company behind My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. They were making a doc about a bunch of very young parents called The Baby Bomb.  The parents were all housed in the same block of flats in Lewisham and were filmed over 3 months. My brief was to tell the story in one shot. It had to feel truthful to the series yet be intriguing and different. Often the shots used for documentary series are ones grabbed during production and of low quality, but Jes Wilkins (Head of Programmes) brought me in to try something different.  Due to there being so many babies I decided to shoot from a locked of camera position so that I could composite the best images together. The final images is made up from 5 shots.

After Birth (Working Title)

I was approached about shooting the specials and unit for Broadchurch (Kudos for ITV) in July 2012. I was unable to do the unit due to a 6 week trip to Sri Lanka & Bangladesh but Chris Chibnall (the writer) and Richard Stokes (the producer) were still happy for me to shoot the specials when I returned.  Working alongside Pat Smith (ITV) and my assistant Lindsay Fallon the shoot eventually took place in late October 2012 on a very cold and windswept beach in West Bay, Dorset.   I shot a series of cast portraits throughout the day with the large cast shot arranged for the end of the day. In the pre-production meeting in London I mentioned that I thought it would be a good to try and do a shot with Olivia and David standing in the water. Initially there was some resistance, (understandably) but I explained why I thought it would make a unique shot and both Richard, Chris & Pat thought it was a worth a go, fortunately Olivia & David agreed.

We did our pre-light for the main group shot with various stand ins (taking into account the tide!) and set our 10 lights (all battery powered) and waited for our cast to assemble.  It was all running a bit late as the cast were shooting that day, but we just managed to get our shots in before darkness set in.  Everything was captured in camera, except the sky which I later replaced with a warmer sunset sky, more in keeping with the feel of the show itself.  Nobody knew then what a critical and public phenomenon the show would turn out to be.

Broadchurch - SpecialsBroadchurch - Specials

Here’s a few of my favourite shots from trip to Sri Lanka & Bangladesh. There’s a bunch more on my website.

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In June 2012 I worked on A Young Doctor’s Notebook, a Big Talk production for Sky Arts. I did the unit, specials and marketing imagery. Below are a few of my favourites. It ended being my first poster Campaign which rolled out across the country in Nov 2012. A big thanks to Clelia Mountford (the producer) and Ian Johnson (Ian Johnson Publicity) for all their support and assistance.

A Young Doctors NotebookA Young Doctors Notebook - SpecialsAYDN posterIMG_1910

I was very excited to be asked by Jane Record at BBC Picture Publicity to shoot the specials for the final series of 2012 (one of my favourite shows) and all the more appropriate as it was the year of the London Olympics.

Twenty Twelve - 18th may 2012

This is one of my favourite shots from 2012 for a BBC show called Mayday – a 5 part thriller made by Kudos Television.  I shot it in May 2012 in an amazing forest near Dorking using battery powered Elinchron Flash heads. The image features Leila Mimmack as the girl who goes missing in the series.

 Mayday - Specials

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