BFI London Film Festival 2019

Production

It was a real pleasure to make videos for the BFI London Film Festival 2019. I had a surreal Sunday when I filmed interviews with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino & Harvey Keitel for the closing night Gala for Martin Scorsese’s new film “The Irishman”.

Working for the excellent Formidable media. Please watch the videos below of which I am really proud of:

The Irishman

The Plot:

Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran is a man with a lot on his mind. The former labor union high official and hitman, learned to kill serving in Italy during the Second World War. He now looks back on his life and the hits that defined his mob career, maintaining connections with the Bufalino crime family. In particular, the part he claims to have played in the disappearance of his life-long friend, Jimmy Hoffa, the former president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, who mysteriously vanished in late July 1975 at the age of 62.

Knives Out

Here is another example of my work on the Red Carpet during the film festival. Another interesting film you might not have heard baout yet. Check out the video I made:

The Plot:

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death.

The Personal History of David Copperfield

This was the opening night Gala video for the BFI London Film Festival 2019. A great way to open the festival and an interesting film with some great British talent. Check out the video I made here:

The Personal History of David Copperfield is a 2019 British-American comedy-drama film written and directed by Armando Iannucci, based on the Victorian era novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. It stars Dev Patel as the title character, alongside Peter Capaldi, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, and Ben Whishaw.

Stormzy EE 5G Launch

LIVE STREAMING

Just looking back to a very cool Live event that I had the opportunity to be a part of and wanted to share on this Blog. My good friends at Formidable Media Live streamed the launch of 5G for EE and I got the opportunity to film Stormzy from a boat on the Thames infront of Tower Bridge in London. The video was originally Live streamed and a complete surprise to the passing public, below is a highlights video edited later. Check it out:

Fans in attendance and those tuning in online saw history in the making as the Glastonbury 2019 headliner’s performance became the first event of its kind to be live streamed over EE’s new 5G network, which was hosted by Radio DJ, Clara Amfo.

Using the latest 5G and remote production technology, EE broadcast the event on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube to thousands of fans across the UK.

To accompany the show, a 5G-powered performance was created in collaboration with Stormzy to celebrate the six cities that EE has connected with 5G. Over 200 state-of-the-art LED lights were affixed to the stage, with beams of light projected 1,000ft in front of the Tower Bridge. The 5G-powered display, which was connected via EE’s 5G network, supported the powerful lyrics and music of Stomzy’s bespoke set.

Fans in each of the other five launch cities were treated to the best seat in the house via a 360-degree VR experience at stores in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester. Guests attending the in-store events were invited to use VR headsets to watch the performance in 360 degrees from the front row, just metres away from where Stormzy was performing on the floating stage in London.

Stormzy kept the crowd rapt with this one-off show, set against the iconic backdrop of London’s Tower Bridge. First things first he set the evening’s tone, rising up on stage as night fell to an overwhelming ovation from the buoyant crowd, which included competition winners from across the UK.

I was also brought in on the event to film the after-party on the boat which was a great experience and a really exciting atmosphere. Looking forward to doing more live streaming events in future.

A fun job filming Spitfires.

Work

I had a great time filming these Spitfire planes for Formidable Media. As always with video production, no two days are the same and sometime you get to film a subject matter that really interests you. The Silver Spitfire in the pictures below is flying around the world. An original plane from WW2 could fly a maximum of 1 & 1/2 hours before running out of fuel but this specially modified SIlver one can fly for 4 hours.

The Spitfire was designed as a fighter plane for the Royal Air Force. It wrote history during the Battle of Britain. But thanks to its characteristic, elliptically shaped wings, it is also a genuine design icon.

The shoot was a big crew with 6 cameras on the ground and one helicopter for aerial photography. All the pictures were lived streamed via social media.

This event was filmed for IWC watches. They are taking the “Silver Spitfire” on its longest flight ever. The aircraft has been painstakingly restored over a period of 2 years by 14 specialists. An unusual polishing process has given it a high-gloss finish whilst preserving the patina that history has left behind on the metal fuselage of the plane, built-in 1943.

The big adventure gets started at Goodwood, in the south of England where I was filming. To cover the more than 43,000 kilometres around the world, they will need to divide the flight into about 150 legs. In the course of its journey, the Spitfire will have to cope with a gamut of extreme conditions.

The flight route has not yet been finalised. The details will depend on the weather conditions. However, it will definitely fly from Goodwood in the south of England over Iceland to Canada and then into the USA to allow the crew to take advantage of the comparatively mild weather conditions of the Arctic. It will then fly over Alaska and Russia to Japan and South East Asia before the pilots head towards India. The “Silver Spitfire” will then return to Europe via the Middle East.

You can see a video of the Live Stream of this very cool event below:

More information about this incredible journey can be found if you click here.

My latest Showreel for 2019

Videography

I’m pleased to share my latest Showreel of work. I hope it shows the diversity of videos I have had the pleasure of making.

Advice for Editing a Showreel

Editing your own Showreel is no easy task as many freelancers will tell you. First of all finding the actual time to work on it when you’re really busy and then when you finally sit down to edit, you have to scrutinise your own work.

My advice to anyone wanting to make their own showreel is to just get out a pen and paper and scribble lots of notes first. Begin by writing down just from memory which jobs you’re most proud of and even jot down specific shots that come to mind. Once you have done that, you can then trawl through your hard drives to see what other work you might have forgotten and add that to the list.

If you’ve done a showreel before in the past but it needs updating, your old reel is a good starting off point. I would suggest itemising everything that is in your current reel no matter how old it is; perhaps even put this list into a spreadsheet if you are keen on Excel? Then go through it systematically and mark up what you want to keep and what you want to lose. I find having these notes makes it a lot easier to come back at a later date as you will be stopping and starting work on this a lot.

In terms of the editing process, I would get as much footage on a timeline as possible and watch through everything, just looking for common themes within the footage. In Adobe Premiere I used markers on the timeline to help show the length of each section when editing. If you want to learn exactly how to do that there is a useful article here.

Once you have a basic assembly of the edit, start looking for some music before you begin heavily cutting bits out. I would personally avoid music with vocals but there are no rules, if it works for you and your style, go for it.

After you have your first edit I would ask friends and colleagues to view your work and ask for some constructive criticism. Even ask for some outside opinions from strangers on online forums if you think you can handle it. Try not to be too precious over things which is hard to say about your own work; just really listen to what other people are saying and make amendments accordingly. If something just really isn’t working don’t be afriad to let it go.

I also don’t think there is an ideal length. Perhaps at 2mins 30sec mine is slightly on the longer side but there really aren’t any hard fast rules. A drama director or actor will need a longer reel than perhaps an animator or colourist, just go with what feels right for your type of work.

Finally, a Showreel is never finished. It is an evolving phenomenon, so there is nothing stopping you from making additions and cutting things out again at anytime.

Providing you make the time 🙂