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, as well as our goals for the new year. 2016 for me has been full of surprises (in contrast to the above - most have been nice!) and I have been very fortunate to have worked on such a wide array of interesting projects with some amazing people.
So, here are some of my personal highlights from the past twelve months in no particular order:
I worked at a wide range of events
2016 saw me working closely with numerous clients and brands but the majority were based around events large and small. Some highlights include attending Farnborough International Airshow for Aerospace Manufacturing magazine, filming Jeremy Hunt at the HSJ Summit, interviewing famous faces at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and supporting Cats Protection at the Royal Parks Half Marathon. It really has been a cracking year for events.
I started collaborating with 23 and a half films
After months of emails going back and forth last year I was finally able to convince Brighton filmmaker Daniel Harding that we should collaborate, with me as his DOP. 2016 saw us working on 2 of his short films, the first one called 'Toast', a 1 minute, 1 shot, 1 take (OK the last one is a lie!) film about a man who ponders his existence and what it all means, if only he had a sign to tell him. With the lead played by my good friend Neil James, you can view the short below:
We also shot another project called 'Punch Bag' which is now in post production. This fllm was much larger in scale than 'Toast' and involved working with a small crew; a nice step up for a film maker who has up until now produced most of his films almost entirely by himself. A few stills from the set below:
Daniel's plans for 2017 revolve around the production of his first feature film (scary, but exciting stuff). You can find out more about his work here.
Initial success for Twenty Twenty-Four on the international festival circuit
I've mentioned before about a very special project that I was involved in for a few years. Twenty Twenty-Four is a psychological horror that I operated camera on over numerous weekends between 2013 and 2015. A home grown feature from first time feature director Richard Mundy, years of graft has resulted in a terrifying and beautiful film about a man - played by Andrew Kinsler - left alone in a bunker with nothing but himself and a talking computer for company.
2016 saw the film's world premiere at the Empire, Leicester Square as part of the British Independent Film Festival. In addition it picked up Best Production Design at the Southampton International Film Festival and Best Cinematography & Sci Fi at the LA Film Awards, and I've only begun to touch the surface. Described by UK Film Review as '88 minutes of pure and absorbing psychological terror' and by Movie Blogger as 'An intense and thrilling roller coaster from beginning to end' this is a film you certainly don't want to miss.
Here is the latest trailer for the film:
Feature no.3 with the Substantial Films crew
2016 also saw me reunited with the Substantial Films team for 'Three Acts', a dark comedy about a struggling actor with multiple personality disorder. With Tom Sands Directing and Haydn West as Director of Photography, the film had me once again focus pulling but this time on the Black Magic Production Camera, rather than the previous outing with the Arri Amira.
A lot was learned on this shoot, but with much fewer locations to deal with than previous efforts, a comical yet tragic story and gorgeous cinematography this is certainly going to be their strongest feature yet. Unfortunately there is no trailer currently as the film is deep in post production but here are a few production stills taken on the job:
Additionally 2016 saw some successes for the team's previous release 'The Holly Kane Experiment' as it was screened in St. Louis International Film Festival, Anchorage Film Festival and the Wicked Film Festival (Australia). 2017 is set be an exciting year for these guys.
Editing for Jamie Oliver
Last, but certainly not least, a little referral lead me onto an exciting new client. Jamie Oliver. You may have heard of him? Well, Jamie has a production company called Fresh One Productions and in October I was blessed with the opportunity to go into their Shoreditch offices to edit some of their online content for Foodtube and Drinkstube. It was a bit of a surreal moment to begin with as these channels have hundreds of thousands of subscribers and I had never edited content that had those kinds of viewing figures before. Nevertheless, I learned how to make a French 75 and Prawn Linguini, how a video production team works on a larger scale and got to work with some lovely people in the process.
As the festive period isn't quite over yet why don't you learn how to make a festive Bois Vanille from one of the videos I worked on:
So, that's just some of my highlights. There were so many others, far too many to mention in one post! 2016 was an incredible year; not without its ups and downs, but this was the year where I started to notice a lot of the hard work and risk taking in previous years starting to pay off. The next 12 months are certainly looking very inspiring with more exciting projects and developments in the pipeline and I'll certainly be keeping the momentum going from here.
To my collaborators, clients, friends, family and everyone who has helped me somewhere along the way of my fruitful freelance journey so far, thank you for the continued support. Freelancing isn't always easy but without this support I wouldn't be in such a great place today.
Enjoy the last few days of the festive break and Happy New Year!