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In the Summer of 2020 I was asked by the BSC to talk about my work on projects ranging from "Black Sails" to "The Witcher".
An informal chat hosted by Laurie Rose BSC. Below in the recorded session.
I was introduced to photography at an early age by my late father. I became a keen amateur and by the age of nine, I was developing and printing my own photographs in the family bathroom. It was my father’s love of cinema that led to my discovery of Cinematography in film. We watched a wide range of movies together and I remember being fascinated by the lighting and framing used to forge the visual storytelling.
This use of framing, camera movement, light and tone to tell stories started to influence my photographic work. I learnt to light for Black and White and played with a range of coloured filters, solarisation and push/pull processing. This experimentation progressed into colour photography and I learnt to master both Bleach Bypass and Cross Processing techniques.
At the age of 18, I studied Graphics, Fine Art & Photography at the prestigious UCA (University of Creative Arts), followed by a Bachelors Degree in Film & Video Production. I then took a two year break from education and sought to increase my experience in Cinematography by shooting numerous short films for free. I started to utilise the techniques I had learnt in stills photography when one particular script led me to adopt a Bleach Bypass process on the negative, coupled with a Varicon system to lift the blacks. During this period I also researched, developed and shot a two- part documentary for the award winning “Cutting Edge” Series at Channel 4.
One of the short films gained me a place at the National Film & Television School, where I was mentored by Freddie Francis BSC. This was an invaluable experience and Freddie was generous with his time and knowledge, imparting lighting techniques he used in films such as The Innocents and Cape Fear.
After graduation from the NFTS, I began my early career as a Cinematographer. Initially I became a documentary cameraman for the BBC before deciding to make a permanent move into drama and commercial Cinematography, shooting on both Film and High Definition cameras. I was the DOP on the BBC's first ever 3D HD broadcast, shot on Panavision's Genesis Camera system.
In 2012 I had the honour of being invited to speak at Masterclasses in Cinematography in both London, U.K (for Arri) and Olso, Norway (for the Norwegian Society of Cinematographers).
I have a passion for visual storytelling. I enjoy the challenge inherent in “painting” images imagined from reading a script, partnering with a director, visiting a location or witnessing an actors performance, as all of these experiences mould my creative decisions on set.