In the music business it is widely known as the difficult second album, but in independent film the first venture could definitely be viewed as the greatest hurdle to overcome. It's certainly not unrealistic to describe the process of making a self funded feature film as a bit of a nightmare.
Talking of nightmares, 'Twenty Twenty-Four' (AKA 'It Lives' in the UK) tells the story of a man who may just be going through one himself.. Read More
For the self employed 'when it rains, it pours', but sooner or later we will all face a drought. How might someone considering going freelance deal with the prospect of facing indefinite periods without work? Is there a trick to surviving down time or are all the professionals constantly living in fear?
If you're thinking of going self employed or are already in the industry then these honest accounts of what it's really like to experience a lack of job security may provide you some useful insight and advice, as well as help you make informed decisions moving forward in your own career. Read More
Ooh, it's Friday 13th! Unlucky for some, they say..and Halloween is just around the corner!
I decided this month to take a break from the usual subjects and compile a list and share some links to some of my favourite scary films just for a bit of fun. Now, there are many horror film lists out there but this one has a slightly different angle. I won't just be focusing on what has scared the living daylights out of me (which of course is crucial to a good horror film) but I'll also be commenting on how tension and suspense has been created through the cinematography in these particular films. Read More
Choosing a video production professional to hire can be just as difficult as picking any other service or tradesperson. You may have done a Google search and found dozens of people to choose from and it could all seem a bit overwhelming. I know that feeling; where on earth do you start? Well, there may be a wealth of talent out there but if you go with the wrong person or company it could end up being an expensive mistake. So, assuming that you'd prefer to use a freelancer over an agency, I've listed here a few key qualities that you should look for when choosing your videographer.. Read More
As of last month I have officially been freelancing in video production for 5 years. It's quite incredible to be honest and I can't believe how quickly the years have gone. So much has happened in this time and it has been a rollercoaster of a journey.
For those of you who might be considering going freelance or have already taken the plunge - regardless of which industry you work in - you have probably stumbled upon this post because you're looking for tips and advice on how to survive or maybe even thrive (!) as a self employed person. Read More
In an earlier article I looked at why good lighting can be more important than the camera itself but when it comes to taking the next step and actually introducing some lighting into your productions it can often be difficult to know where to begin. Well, one good place to start is to get to grips with a basic concept; understanding the difference between hard and soft light. Read More
So, you've listened to the industry analysts and are embracing digital in your business. You've taken on the marketeers' advice and have invested in video. You've allocated a budget, hired a professional, made your video and it looks great! Bob's your uncle! But now what? Is that it? Read More
2016. Wow, that year flew by. And what a year it was too!
Of course, if for just a moment we exclude certain controversial political movements, the ongoing threat of climate change and the never ending conflict in the middle east, 2016 has actually been an incredible year for business.
Now that Christmas is over and we prepare ourselves for 2017 it's a good time to reflect on the year's achievements.. Read More
So you may have established that you need video content for your business but after a quick Google search have realised there are endless numbers of people offering video services out there and they come in a wide range of sizes.. Read More
It's no secret, London is the centre of pretty much everything in this country. It's not just the film, television and video production industries, but many other lines of work too.. Read More
The last 12 months have been a very exciting and fruitful time for me. Forging a career as a freelancer in a competitive and rapidly changing industry has not been an easy process but 2015 proved to be the year when it became evident that a lot of the hard work and risk taking was starting to pay off.. Read More
Lets face it, it can be a strange existence for us freelancers and the lifestyle choice does not suit everyone, but for those of us that brave it, how do we survive this insanity and achieve a good work life balance? Read More
Following on from my previous post 10 Reasons why good lighting can be more important than the camera itself I would like to focus on the point that in video and film production, as in any business, time is money. 9 out of 10 productions you'll work on will probably have some sort of budgetary restriction meaning that you will only have a set time to do the work in and/or limited resources to work with. This is a harsh reality that anyone entering this industry must come to terms with but depending on the type of project you're working on, the amount of time you will be given to light can vary greatly. I would always push for as much time to light as I can get (unless I'm filming at an event for example) because as we know, good lighting can vastly improve the production values of a shoot. However, you have to be prepared to get less time than you'd like, in which case it would be useful to know as many simple lighting solutions as possible. Read More
Anyone who has worked with me recently will know that I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to lighting. In fact, I rarely shut up about it. You might think it unusual that rather than playing with new cameras, steadicams and other gadgets I would rather be playing with bulbs, bounce and black wrap. The reason behind it is I believe that when composing an image, whether for a corporate video or a film, lighting is everything. Well, almost. You can't have a shoot without the other elements, but at least if you want your images to be memorable and perhaps even cinematic then you can't avoid the subject of lighting. Read More
I talked in an earlier post about job security and how I thought freelancing was in many ways no riskier than full time employment. One of the first video production companies I started working with after I graduated was Worthing based United Magic Studios whose founder, Jonathan Vinicombe, had recently been made redundant from his full time job. A few years later and United Magic has grown into one of the busiest corporate video production companies on the South Coast. With clients as varied as the Sealife Centre and Brighton Half Marathon the company has gone from strength to strength and now offers a range of video production services.
As one of my biggest employers I decided to catch up with Jonathan at his Portslade studio to find out how he was able to turn his brand into a success story. Read More
Have you ever had trouble answering the question 'What do you do?'
Do you occasionally find yourself dreading the subject of careers coming up in conversation at social occasions or family gatherings?
Ever felt like you live a double life? (And I'm not referring to a seedy one!)
For me, the answer to all of these questions is yes. You see, my work life is complicated. Read More
Nazi Vengeance was the first feature film I ever worked on as an AC and as of earlier this week the film has been released in the US as well as numerous other territories around the world.
With the majority of production based in Brighton and the surrounding area I decided to catch up with the film's Director Tom Sands. I was keen to find out how a man in his mid twenties was able to turn his first feature into a reality, and just on his doorstep too.. Read More
Two years ago word got out that a low budget feature film was being made in the Brighton area and that they were looking for crew. With a few shorts under my belt and looking to step up I somehow ended up one morning in a Hove coffee shop sat across from a man who didn't look very pleased to see me. This man was Haydn West and he was the Producer and Director of Photography of what was to become Nazi Vengeance. Read More
I left film school in 2011, right in the middle of the 'DSLR Video Revolution'. We had a 5Dmkii in the equipment store and like many other film students I was incredibly excited at the prospect of using the camera that supposedly rewrote the rules for indie film making. What was there not to love about this camera? With a full frame sensor for incredible low light HD video capture, cinematic depth of field, the ability to use a huge variety of lenses, a lightweight body, the ability to film covertly when required (the general public are much less interested in a DSLR than a camcorder) and a very affordable price tag, this camera was perfect for anyone starting out in film making or video production. Hell, it was even used on professional film and TV shoots. Everyone was talking about this camera. Read More
Thank God winter is nearly over. I mean really, it has felt like the longest winter in a long time. Everybody just seems so much happier when the days are longer, especially us cameramen. More time in the beer garden..ahem..I meant more light for filming!
I'm having a bit of a spring clean, metaphorically speaking (not literally - I can't really be bothered). In this digital age where nobody in the first world can survive 2 minutes without an internet connection I have realised that I should be connecting with the world a bit better. When you make the majority of your living from creating online video it seems silly not to take advantage of all the useful online platforms that previous generations never had the opportunity to use. So here we are - as part of the new me - here is my first blog (and lets hope it lasts!).. Read More