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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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World’s Shortest Scheduled Flight

The world’s shortest scheduled flight, from Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands is shorter than the runway at Heathrow, with a duration of less than 2 minutes. We made a short film about the flight as part of a package of documentary films for the renovated galleries at the National Museum of Flight, which opened earlier this year. Today the film has been picked up by media outlets around the world, including CNN in the US and Sky News in the UK. It goes to show that in a world hungry for content it’s so often museums that are telling the best stories. It also demonstrates the way in which digital media assets (videos, stills and even stories) that are designed so use in galleries, can have a real reach and enable museums to tell their stories beyond their physical limits.

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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
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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.
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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.

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