You don’t get one for a while and then three come at once. Last year one of the trails I shot for the BBC, ‘Life and Death’, won a silver Promax which was nice as the Director, Andrea Pavarotti, really went out on a limb and made a more conceptual trail than is usual. You can see it on my commercials page if you fancy a gander. It was shot on an Alexa with Cooke S4 primes. We hung monitors in the space and fed them with video feeds from a vision mixer. The colour tubes were hung in huge mirror boxes which give them this endless feel. It was designed by Al Saunders and gaffered by Tim O Connell. The idea was to create a world that bears no real relationship to a formal space that our actor could walk through. We then shot this using multiple reflections in monitors, ipads and specially made broken mirrors.
So this year we have managed to improve by getting another silver Promax, but also winning a silver World Award for Camerawork (promotion/open & ids) in the New York Festivals. These are for two separate trails but by the same director, Gemma Baukham. Both were designed by Al Saunders. The first, Come Dine with me South Africa won the Promax in London 2014. It was a light-hearted piece showing the aftermath of the mother of all parties.
Again shot on Alexa and Cooke S4’s and again gaffered by Tim O Connell. We shot on location in South London and were looking for a hot feel as it was meant to be based in South Africa – sadly the BBC choose to not fly us all to SA! I really wanted to get hot spots with the light flaring in whenever possible and looking back now, should have gone further. Anyway, judge for yourself, here it is;
The New York Festivals award was nice as it was specific to the photography. This trail was again designed by Al saunders but gaffered by Robin Brigham this time. Same camera and lenses as before, it sounds like I always use S4’s but actually I tend to only use them for comedy or for when I’m looking for attractive gentle flares and by coincidence that was the look for all 3 of these.
We designed this trail to happen all in one shot, a long steadicam trawl through a party where awkward moments happen. Simon Wood was the very talented steadicam op who captured this for us. So the whole space was lit for the one long shot, we hid small lighting units wherever we could and Al helped fill any areas that were going too dark with streams of fairy lights. The BBC wanted the feel to be bright, both to stay away from the seady side and also to fit into the comedy style. Sadly, although we managed to film it in one go and managed to get it to time the powers that be decided to put a couple of inserts in. I was surprised that we managed to get people to agree in the first place as it’s always more of a risk but both myself and Gemma championed it passionately. Here it is;