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Film is Dead: Long Live Film!

While shooting a documentary film about the Blasket Islands in South West Ireland I had an opportunity to shoot on film, for the first time in 2 decades. The film focuses on life on the Blasket Islands in the first half of the twentieth century and I wanted to create some imagery that felt it belonged in that era, so chose to shoot stills on Kodak negative film with a Rolleiflex. In the past I was a huge film enthusiast, but as the quality of digital stills and video has improved I’ve become sceptical about the ‘magic’ of film and convinced that just about any ‘look’ can be effectively reproduced through digital capture. Going back to film I was reminded just what a tough medium it is; eeking out 12 precious shots from a roll. In the end I was surprised to find myself seduced by film. Compared to a digital still the film image seems to have a distinctive texture, contrast range and colour response, giving it a ‘painterly’ quality – well worth the effort.

Medium format portrait. Dunquin, Ireland. Photo credit: Yoho Media.

Shot with a Rolleiflex T on Kodak Portra 400. Click here to see the full size image.

Medium format portrait. Dunquin, Ireland. Photo credit: Yoho Media.

Shot on a Canon 5D Mk II with a 50mm F1.2

An actor playing the part of a photographer from the 1950s for a film about the history of the Blasket Islands.
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Shooting medium format in Ireland

Very excited to be shooting film for the first time in a decade, and on a spectacularly beautiful day in South West Ireland. We’re shooting stills and re-enactment scenes for a film about the Blasket Islands for Ireland’s Office of Public Works. In order to produce images that have a strong period feel we’re using 6 x 6 medium format film and a vintage Rolleiflex camera. You can see the results here.

Two planes heading West, which is the direction chosen by the inhabitants when they abandoned the islands in 1953.
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Masters of Vertigo: 360 degree video on the Severn Bridge

A new film for Scruffs Workwear, produced in partnership with Lobster Pictures and Halo. Great to spend a couple of days on the spectacular Severn Bridge with the fantastic team that work so hard maintain the structure.

Maintenance workers climbing the Severn Bridge
Filming maintenance workers climbing the Severn Bridge
Severn Bridge
Severn Bridge

Filming the Stones; Standing, not Rolling!

A spectacular day of filming at Stonehenge today – great skies over the Wiltshire landscape.

Stonehenge
Tourists at Stonehenge
Stonehenge
Tourists at Stonehenge
Stonehenge
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The beautiful Blaskets

A spectacular week of filming on the Blasket Islands in the far South West of Ireland, for a short documentary for the Blasket Island Visitor Centre.

Blasket Islands
Aerial of the Great Blasket
Tearaght seen from the Great Blasket
Ruins on the Blasket Islands
The ruined village, Great Blasket.
Grey Seals on the beach of The Great Blasket Island, South West Ireland.
Seals on the beach of The Great Blasket Island, South West Ireland
A seal off the beach of The Great Blasket Island, South West Ireland
A seal takes a breath
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Way Out West

Filming in the spectacular far South West of Ireland today on the Dingle Peninsula – amazing landscapes; pure green and blue beauty!

The spectacular landscape of the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland.
Filming sunset over the Blasket Islands on the West Coast of Ireland.

The Video Production Process

Our new guide to the production process can be seen here. Hopefully it can help to cut through the jargon and show that commissioning a video can be a fairly straightforward process. This is the first in our series of production guides, up next will be a guide to commissioning and making videos for museums and exhibitions.

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Video from a time before Video

Our latest video installation for the National Museum of Scotland’s ‘Discoveries’ Gallery is a projection that explores two centuries of Scottish discovery, invention and innovation around the world. The challenge was to bring these stories to life using a range of static archive material, including documents, maps, portraits, letters and illustrations, creating moving imagery from a time before images moved. The project’s success is a testament to the skill and creativity of designer and animator Luke Spurgeon.

David Livingstone. An image from the Discoveries projection for the National Musem of Scotland.
An image of Alexander Fleming, the inventor of penicilin.
An image from Yoho Media's video projection for the National Museum of Scotland.
Isobel Wylie Hutchison. An image from Yoho Media's video projection for the National Museum of Scotland.
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Local crew…..

We’re back in Iquitos, Peru, filming another episode of the ‘Spirit of Freedom’ series, which follows the work of Animal Defenders International, a UK-based animal rights charity which has worked with the Peruvian government to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. The series, which we’ve been filming since April 2014, follows the team as they seize animals from circuses and find new homes for them. The numbers are rising all the time as lions, monkeys, bears and even tortoises come to light. Some of the monkeys seem keen on following a career in the media.

DigitalMonkey

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Mako-Mere: making friends in Uganda

Mako-Mere (making friends) is a modern Ugandan soap opera designed to carry key development messages. Shot on location in the Eastern province of Tororo, the series follows the lives of a group of Ugandans, including a family, a drinker, a priest and a corrupt village elder, as they struggle to get ahead. We provided camera equipment and training to local crews during the shoot. The project was conceived and run by the charity Mifumi, which has offices in Bristol and Uganda.

 

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