Second only to my love of filmmaking is my passion for sharing how I make them and what I learn from the process. This site brings together over a decade of blogging and video podcasting to provide an unparalleled resource of inspiration and information for independent filmmakers everywhere.
I directed my first feature-length film at the age of fifteen and won my first paying directing job at just nineteen. At 21 I completed my first professional feature, The Beacon. Over the next three years I co-wrote, directed, produced, photographed and edited Soul Searcher, which The Guardian described as “a fantasy action movie in the grand style” while dubbing me ”The Spielberg of Hereford“.
In spite of its microbudget, Soul Searcher includes over 250 effects shots, martial arts and a chase between a ’73 Ford Mustang and an express train to Hell, and was shot entirely at night. Press reviews called it “ground breaking” and “a remarkable achievement”, and I was named a winner of the Channel 4 Ideas Factory’s Creative Class in 2005.
In 2012 I was accepted onto the FilmWorks professional development scheme, funded by the BFI and Creative England, where I was mentored by producer Julie Lockhart from Aardman Animation.
I am currently developing my third feature film as writer-director, The Dark Side of the Earth, having recently shot a 35mm pilot for the project starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Atonement) and Kate Burdette (The Duchess). More information can be found at www.darksideoftheearth.com
As DoP I have seven feature films to my name, including See Saw – shot in Manhattan at various landmarks including Liberty Island, Tavern on the Green and the Supreme Court, and featuring an underwater night sequence – and Beyond Recognition – filmed in upstate New York and the Italian Dolomites. I have shot many, many short films including The Cleaner, written by David Schneider (I’m Alan Partridge), several dramas for Light Films in Derby and numerous participatory shorts for Catcher Media in Hereford.
My speciality is moody, cinematic lighting with lots of backlight, deep shadows and plenty of atmosphere. I own and operate a Canon 600D full HD SLR with a range of lenses, shoulder rig, matte box and follow focus, plus tripod, tracking dolly, car mount, smoke machine and basic lighting kit. Directors frequently tell me I light quickly, always a bonus on time-pressured shoots, and I often work with gaffer and camera assistant Colin Smith, who I assure you is the most useful person you will ever have on your film set.
I have given filmmaking lectures and workshops to a wide range of audiences. At the Borderlines Film Festival in 2005 I gave a talk to a theatre full of 14-year-olds about how to get into the industry. The following year I ran two advanced modules in Visual FX Applications for graduates at the SAE Institute in North London. In 2007 I ran a low budget lighting and FX workshop at Sci-Fi London, as well as a weekend course for a group of 17-year-olds embarking on a film project. In 2012 I gave two guest lectures at Hereford College of Art.
I have presented seminars on the financing, production and distribution of my feature film Soul Searcher at the SAE Institute in 2005 and at The Quad (Derby), Ort Cafe (Birmingham) and The Rob Knox Film Festival (Bexleyheath) in 2012. These have frequently been described as “inspirational” by members of the audiences.
In 2012 and 2013 I gave talks on the making of my short film Stop/Eject at the Hay Festival of British Film, the inaugural Worcestershire Film Festival, the Central & East Midlands Region of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers and the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts in Shropshire.