While most of my recent time has been spent producing content, I have managed to find time to direct some of my own projects as well. Here are a handful of clips from some of my forays in directing:
Climate Countdown: my current project is a web-series delving into the UN climate change negotiation world and the important climate actions that are happening in this pivotal year of 2015.
Making of The Fold: Electric Shadow Company hired me to direct two films looking at the making of their feature The Fold, one focusing on the music and one exploring the film as a whole. I acted as a 'one-man-band' (or one-woman-band to be more accurate) documentary filmmaker: directing, interviewing, shooting, sound recording, editing, and grading all of the films myself.
A Look at Filmmaking in Bristol: the Bristol Film Office commissioned me to create a promotional film about filmmaking in Bristol to draw more London filmmakers west to shoot in Bristol. I worked with the Film Office to keep the film on message and used my own connections in the filmmaking community to gather footage and interviews.
Looking Forward to Yesterday: a short film I co-wrote and co-directed on a budget of under £100 with support from the University of Bristol. The film is about a man who experiences his life - and his love - in reverse. Each day he wakes up to the day before, while the love of his life wakes up to the day after. It premiered in 2011 at Rooftop Films in New York City and is currently distributed online by IndieFlix.
Making of 8 minutes idle: ArthurCox put me in charge of directing the Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for their first live-action feature film to fulfil the needs of their funders, Creative England. I organised extensive interviews throughout the production and post-production period and managed all of the deliverables at the end.
Behind the Scenes of A Time Traveller's Guide: I directed this short look at how this large-scale digital archive project was put together using some previously shot footage and footage of my own.
2015 is the year for the global community to solve the climate change crisis. This web-series – Climate Countdown – maps out the ecology of climate solutions. We examine different facets of this complex issue and break it down into bite-sized bits. Join us as we follow the people who are crafting paths toward a pivotal global climate change agreement this December in Paris – COP21.
I am producing, directing and editing this series in collaboration with Unreel Films and we will be releasing episodes throughout 2015 as we head towards Paris. Please follow us on Youtube and Facebook and be a part of the global attempt to tackle climate change this year!
I have been editing for almost fifteen years, using both Final Cut Pro 7 and X as well as Adobe Premiere. For four years I also taught editing to film undergraduates at the University of Bristol, teaching them the basics of Final Cut and providing technical and creative assistance during their editing sessions. It is one of my greatest joys to sit down with a pile of footage and figure out how to pull it all together to tell a story, whether it be for a short film, web-series, trailer, behind the scenes video, showreel or Kickstarter promo. Here is a sample of my editing work:
Climate Countdown: this is an ongoing web-series that I'm editing (alongside directing and producing it).
Roundtable Theatrical: I edited this Kickstarter video for Unreel Films in a few days due to a very quick turnaround (I also operated B Camera).
Gary & Jennie: Unreel Films was commissioned to do a wedding video for this lovely couple and brought me on board to edit it.
Making of The Fold: I edited and directed these two glimpses behind the scenes of Electric Shadow Company's feature film The Fold starring Catherine McCormack (Braveheart) and Dakota Blue Richards (Golden Compass).
Pro Tips: I shot and edited this series of Pro Tip videos on Light Painting for Photo Party Upload.
A Look at Filmmaking in Bristol: as well as editing this piece for the Bristol Film Office, I also directed and shot it.
365 June: this is one part of a personal project of mine. I shot one video every day for a year and then spent the following year editing the footage into monthly meditations that were finished exactly one year after the footage was shot.
Behind the Scenes of 8 minutes idle: ArthurCox asked me to direct and edit this making of video for their first feature starring Tom Hughes (Cemetery Junction), Ophelia Lovibond (Mr Popper's Penguins) and Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones).
Looking Forward to Yesterday: a short film that I co-wrote/co-directed that premiered at Rooftop Films in NYC and is currently distributed on IndieFlix. I edited both the film and the trailer.
A Pig's Tail: a short animation that I edited for the Humane Society of the United States that was produced by the Oscar-winning animation company Aardman (Wallace and Gromit). I also have a cameo - see if you can spot my voice!
ArthurCox Reel: ArthurCox asked me to edit their 2013 showreel for them.
I've been working as a producer for five years and in that time have produced everything from mixed media commercials to archive documentaries to TV pilots to sections for an animated feature film in stereoscopic 3D. Here are some examples of my producing work:
Nina Needs To Go: a BAFTA-nominated TV series of ten 2.5min episodes that I produced at ArthurCox for Disney Junior. We worked with both the LA and London Disney offices and I was responsible for cash flowing, crewing, scheduling and keeping the production on budget as well as communicating with the legal department about contracts and clearances. The series aired in January 2014.
A Time Traveller's Guide to Bristol Zoo: A digital archive project exploring the evolution of seven key locations around Bristol over the last 100 via a website and App. I produced an additional location for Bristol Zoo a year after the project launch, working with the BBC, South West Screen and Bristol Record Office and liaising with 25 different contributors of archive footage to create a new film.
A Liar's Autobiography: the Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman: an animated feature starring five of the Pythons (including the dead one) using 14 different animation companies and 17 different animation styles in stereoscopic 3D. I produced 5 sections for ArthurCox and the film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival.
Storeys of Thomas: three animated shorts commissioned by 20th Century Fox TV and directed by Matthew Walker to act as a pilot for an animated series. I produced all three shorts: managing a small budget and international transfers, crewing up and managing interns, organising auditions and voice records.
Jetblue: a promo video encapsulating the airline's year in 2012 using animation and live-action. I worked closely with the agency supervising the script development and storyboarding process and managed the green screen shoots, animation and compositing, with lots of room for feedback from the agency and client.
ArthurCox is a small but mighty production company located at Spike Island in Bristol where I spent four years of my life working as the main producer and studio manager. They have many awards on their shelves (including a BAFTA) and produce mainly animated work in the form of commercials and short films but also archive projects and live-action features. You can see a selection of my work on their website: worldofarthurcox.com
During my time at ArthurCox, I worked closely with the Aardman commercials department, acting as the line producer and/or production manager on projects for the BBC, DDB, Unilever, Durrell Wildlife Conservation, Anti-Slavery International, and The Humane Society. I also produced content for Made Visual Studio, The Gate, Home, and Wildseed Studios and have worked with celebrities such as Terry Jones, Stephen Fry and Alistair McGowan.
I also worked as a production manager and associate editor for Scratchmark Films on the Channel 4 documentary Kingsmeadow.
From stepping behind the camera for documentaries to acting as a boom operator on promos to filming live events, I have worn a lot of different hats out on shoots. Here is a sample of work that I have helped shoot:
Unreel Films: I often go out on shoots with the Unreel team as a boom op, camera assistant or B-camera operator.
Sustainability Media Lab: I am a part of this Columbia University group that is working to make sustainable development more accessible, relevant, and compelling across all media. Along with plans to run workshops with interested students in camera work and editing, I have been blogging for them and filming/editing some recent sustainability events held on campus at Columbia, including Resilient New York, Next Generation Nuclear Power, and a high level conference on Nuclear Energy with speakers such as Jeffrey Sachs and Jim Hansen.
In-House Media: I co-founded this student run production company at the University of Bristol when I was a final year undergrad and it's still going strong. As a student member, I filmed a number of events including academic sessions and musical productions such as MTB's Company.
Amongst all of my professional work, I keep myself sane with personal projects on the side, both large and small scale. Sometimes it's just doing a time-lapse out the window of a cross country train trip, sometimes it's filming some friends dance in the snow on a rooftop, sometimes it's writing a visual love letter to celluloid.
365 Days / 365 Videos: For one year, between September 2012 and September 2013, I filmed one moment every day to create a collection of 365 videos that represented 365 of my days. I then spent the following year editing this footage into monthly montages - each shot is equivalent to one day and all sound is original to the situation in which it was filmed. The result is a series of collages, gathering up small moments of my life into "monthly meditations". As one viewer said, "We somehow came to know this character, persona, that is you, concocted through flashes of light and sound. Yet these collage portraits/landscapes speak to something more universal. They are constellations of images, atmospheres, that force the viewer to look back at themselves and the little moments of their day it is so easy to look over."
Before I made films, I made theatre. I studied Technical Theatre in an intensive two year vocational program at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and then worked for a few years as a freelance stage manager, working on a wide range of shows from Beauty and the Beast to The Odyssey. At the University of Bristol, I branched into film but continued directing, producing, stage managing, designing and even a little bit of acting.
The Cradle Will Rock: I proposed Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock to Studiospace, the Bristol University Drama Department's student-run production company, for the mainstage slot that only opened up once a year to a final year student director. As I was entering my final year, it was my one chance at university to direct a show on that scale and from the five production ideas that were pitched, they went for mine. It was performed in the Wickham Theatre, a professional performance space that is wonderfully versatile and allowed us to stage the production in a traverse layout, with audience on two sides of the actors. I wanted to be clear in our approach to the play that we were a troupe of university students performing a play from the 1930s, so the mechanics of the theatre were not hidden and the actors never left the stage but stood on the sidelines upon exiting to watch the action onstage. This was in 2010, just as the news was telling us that the 'credit crunch' may be turning into a 'recession' and so the production weaved in these modern topics into the design and concept of the play.
I find that I am most attentive to the world around me when looking through the lens of a camera. Over the years I have won several photography competitions and even had my photographs published in an obscure Italian novel.
I am currently the Assistant Manager of LA Photo Party East in New York City and have worked as a freelance photographer for parties, events, performances, and weddings. During 2011 and 2012 I undertook a challenge with my brother to take a picture every day for a year in what we would dub the '365 days / 365 photos' project. We compiled the best of these photographs in a self-published book and I also turned them into a video project that can be seen on my Vimeo page.