Category: Client Work

I Filmed the Foreign Secretary

I Filmed the Foreign Secretary

I filmed the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announce his candidacy for Prime Minister.

As the Publicity and Marketing Videographer for Haslemere Festival I was the only ‘member of the press’ and ‘media-type person’ allowed into the venue to watch and record his political speech.
It was a great opportunity to film a Member of Parliament and an experience I doubt many other media graduates or videographers in general will ever get, especially with what was announced during his speech, so politics aside I am incredibly grateful and proud of what I achieved.

On Friday 24th May 2019, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, gave a talk about the state of Brexit and the current political scene in Westminster. In the morning, just hours before Hunt would be in Haslemere, Theresa May announced she would be stepping down as Prime Minister. So this talk would suddenly be that more topical as the nation wanted to hear his thoughts on the matter as Foreign Secretary and whether he would take her place.

This was a localised event and had not been advertised outside of Haslemere however it generated a packed venue with tickets selling out the previous day. For security reasons though, the location of the event was not revealed until the night before, and kept secret during the event.

An hour ahead of Hunt’s arrival to the venue, two of his security team had come to assess the location and make sure everything was in order. I’ve never been in this type of situation before and didn’t quite know what to expect, so to make things easy for them I was super polite and open about what I was doing. I assumed they wanted to search my bags too so I took them to my set up and showed them everything I had brought with me, along with detailing how the talk was being filmed and why. They were cool with everything and let me get on which was great! Naturally I don’t want to cause any grief (especially when they’re armed guards) so if I build a rapport and be open and polite about what I do then everything can continue to run smoothly. I even got to ask them questions about being security guards and get a couple of jokes in. However, there was one issue which we had to deal with…

To get usable audio from Jeremy Hunt I needed to get a lapel mic on him, however these two security guards would not allow it. Their reason (which is fair) was that if a security threat were to happen and they needed to get the Foreign Secretary out of the building in a hurry, they don’t want to waste any time taking off a microphone pack and return it – they would just up and go.

I was in a bit of a dilemma, without a lapel mic how would I get clean and clear audio?! I did have my Zoom H4n and Rode NTG2 with me that I had been using as a reference mic through the whole festival, and I could easily fashion a mic stand from things around me, but as to how close I could get it to Hunt would be another question as I did not have a long enough cable to have the mic directly in-front of him while connected to my setup at the back of the venue to easily monitor sound levels.

I even thought of using this ‘reference mic’ as my main source of sound (keeping it on my setup so I could monitor the levels) but I knew no matter how high I could push the input level, the physical distance from microphone to Hunt would be too far to guarantee good, clear audio.

Thankfully, when Hunt and his entourage arrived, I introduced myself to them and explained my situation and they were happy for me to attach a lapel mic to him. And that’s when I actually got to meet Jeremy Hunt. We shook hands, exchanged pleasantries, and I attached a microphone to his tie. And I am so grateful I was given the okay to attach a lapel mic to him – The difference in audio quality is palpable!

ISO set to Auto due to constantly changing lighting

I was set up at the back of the venue out of the way of the audience and was using my Canon EOS 650D powered though mains adaptor, with my 80-200 f/4 zoomed in to make a mid-shot, Rode NTG2 phantom powered from my Zoom H4n as a reference mic, and a Tascam DR-08 with Lapel Mic on Jeremy Hunt.

Jeremy spoke for half an hour on Brexit and the current political situation and then went on to answer questions from the audience – and it was here that he announced that he would be throwing his hat into the ring and run for Prime Minister – and I got it on film! The audience in that venue were the first to hear of his bid to become Prime Minister and somehow I was the only person in that room to have it recorded – A tiny piece of political history as it would later be him and Boris Johnson as the two main candidates for Prime Minister.

This was big news and I knew my footage would be highly desirable by the media, so as soon as the event was over and Hunt returned my lapel mic I packed up and immediately began editing to have it uploaded by the afternoon. Obviously it was used by our town’s local newspapers, but also BBC, Channel 5, and ITV.

I want to rock and roll all night…

I want to rock and roll all night…

… And film everyday!

After completing my three week internship for the Chalke Valley History Festival, I still needed one more week of media related work to finish my overall placement. Those three weeks were pretty intense, so I was after something easygoing this time around, and luckily I found just that! Advertised on the placement noticeboard was a one week internship with Rock Recruitment and to film nominations for their upcoming award ceremony. This sounded like the perfect opportunity for me – it was in Bournemouth so no need for me to travel extensively, it would require me to use my own equipment so no problem there, and it would only last a week! I applied to the post and sent off links to videos I thought would be similar to the work I would be doing with them and within no time at all I was working for Rock.

The original advert for the Rock placement:

“We are looking for a keen and experienced videographer to help us with one of our biggest projects of the year The Rock Star Awards. An awards show celebrating talented young people aged 16-26 around Dorset and Hampshire. As part of the awards process we hold judging days at the sponsors offices where nominated young people come along and take part in an interview panel so they can be whittled down to just three from five.

We need someone to help us film five of these interview panel days on the dates below:

• August 1st – Bournemouth University
• August 2nd – Bournemouth University
• August 3rd – Greendale Construction
• August 4th – Streetwise HR
• August 7th – Breeze VW

You will be briefed on what you need to do specifically from Justin Smith who is the owner of Orbital Bournemouth a local graphic designer and creative agency. After filming on these five days you will have the opportunity to edit these videos with Justin, so you will see the full circle of project.”

I had my interview on the 13th of July and it was the scariest but nicest interview I have ever had. How? When I arrived at Orbital to meet Fleur and Justin, who would be conducting the interview, I was told to play a game of pool whilst I wait. I suck at pool and rarely play it. And to play a game in front of my prospective employers as they finished up work is quite nerve racking. In fact, I sneakily messaged my friends who were still on their placement the predicament I was in and this was their response…

I didn’t pot a single ball.

The actual job that I would be doing would be filming the nominees for each category of the Rock Star Award over the one week period. These films would be simple one minute interviews of the candidates saying why and how they are worthy for the award. Such a simple task too, that all I would need to do is compose a nice shot, lock it off, and make sure the audio is clear. I showed Fleur and Justin the videos I had made for European Maritime Day and they said they’d be exactly the same as that (but making sure this time that the audio was clean). The interview ended and Justin and I got to know each other by nerding out over kit.

Day 1

The first set of nomination videos were for the Company Star Award and held at Street Wise HR.

I didn’t know what the location would be like, nor did I know how quite I was going to film these interviews, so I travelled heavy and took with me most of my filmmaking equipment so I would be ready for any outcome. We were given a cosy meeting room to conduct the videos but by moving the chairs and table close to the wall gave us enough space to work with.

The setup for this category was interesting for me. I used a lens I hardly touch – the 28mm f2.8 – this was because my lens of choice – the 50mm f1.9 – produced a too tight shot even with the camera as far back to the wall I could get it. At a whole stop slower compared to the 50, I needed more light in the room, but this only gave me more opportunity to mess with lighting to produce an interesting image. Using Fleur as my stand-in I adjusted the lighting. I placed one LED panel behind where the subject would stand, one on the table, and kept the house lights on.

Street Wise HR - Lighting Set Up

Having one LED panel shine behind the subject acted as the back light of my three point lighting system and illuminated the backdrop, giving the subject a ‘ready brek glow’ and defining them from the grey wall. I positioned the other LED facing the ceiling where the light would bounce off and fill the room. A reflector was secured to a light stand to further bounce the table LED to the subjects face. Tape was placed where the subjects would stand so the shots would remain consistent, and the microphone was a foot or two away on a mic stand.

Company Star Nomination Composition

Like any film set or shooting location, one must respect the workplace they’re in. Tidy up after filming has finished, collect and dispose of all rubbish, and restore the location to the sate it was found – a good crew will go the extra mile to make it better than how they found it. In the boardroom we were filming, Fleur and I had to move their lovely wood table – naturally we took care in the rearrangement, and manoeuvred it back when we wrapped. But when it comes to respecting the location one is working in, I used coasters under each foot of my tripod and light stand that was on the table surface so they would not scratch or dent the finish.

The day at Street Wise HR went really well overall. They provided us with lunch and snacks, and it was great getting to know Fleur and the people behind Rock. Even though I was happy with the results of the filming, I was and still am scared as to whether or not they would approve of the footage.

Day 2 & 3

The next set of filming would be for the Shooting Star Award hosted at Breeze Volkswagen. Here our day would revolve around young and upcoming candidates and their work they’ve done in their careers. For this shoot we were given another office-type room to conduct the interviews. Locked off and out of sight, this room was similar to Street Wise HR, however did not have any contrasting colours or textures for candidates to stand in front. As a white walled room, it was sufficiently bright to film in – the only adjustments to do was to place a reflector under the subjects to remove shadows cast downwards by the office room’s skylight. Filming went well and again it was interesting listening to the stories of how the candidates came to being nominated.

Breeze Volkswagen was the nicest location we filmed in during the week – it was well lit, spacious, and modern. This sadly proved difficult in the composition of the interviews – being separated from the employees was nice as it provided clean and uninterrupted audio, however at a cost of the shot being boring. When filming the sponsor, we chose to shoot on the balcony which overlooked the entire showroom giving tremendous depth to the shot but sadly adding background noise to the audio. In retrospect, I wish all the interviews had been filmed there, though the contrast between the sponsor and nominations did work out nicely.

In comparison, here are the compositions of the nominations and the sponsor video.

Respect to the filming location was talked about for the previous day, health and safety for this location shall be talked about this day. Health and safety is no laughing matter and must always be taken seriously – and film sets are no exception! Whether it be a small filming session like these Rock interviews, or a Hollywood blockbuster, the health and of safety of cast, crew, and public must have the utmost importance.

Filming the sponsor on the balcony at Breeze Volkswagen required careful consideration – it was an active walkway in a working environment. Everything that was not necessary for the video was packed away and put on top of the filing cabinets which lined the office space – this made sure the walkway remained clear. The equipment that was necessary was the camera and tripod, mic and mic stand, sponsor banner, and talent. Fleur and I warned employees we would be filming on the balcony and made sure people were aware of our presence when they passed.

One of the major hazards when we were filming on this active walkway were trip hazards (which is why bags and equipment not in use were off the floor). For the audio setup, a cable had to travel from the microphone to the the recorder and the only way it could do that was over the floor which poses serious risk to passers by. Thankfully my cables I use are brightly coloured and stand out so people can see them (most filmmaking equipment and cables are black which blend in with their surroundings). Further, I removed any slack and taped down the cable with fluorescent yellow tape. At uni, and really a standard for any motion picture, a risk assessment must be completed before filming where risks for a shoot are assessed on their severity. For risk assessments at BU, one of the sections is on cable management and requiring students to tie up and tape down loose cables. I have never seen another student actually do that – as far as I know, I am the only student who tapes down cables.

Day 4

Greendale Construction would be our next filming location for the Inspirational Star Award where we would be humbled with the stories of perseverance and adversary the nominees had faced. This shoot I would be shadowing Justin and learning how he goes about filming these types of projects. Taking a step back into being an observer, I was writing in my notebook for most of the day. It was reassuring seeing Justin use the same or similar pieces of equipment I have and his methods of using them.

It was also enjoyable sitting with him between takes and asking questions about his photography work and how such shots are achieved, with one quote in particular sticking in my mind “pressing the trigger at the right time to capture that smile at its most natural state” – meaning timing it right to release the shutter before the smile becomes a staged smile and loses its candour.

NTSC 30fps, Shutter 1/100, ISO 200, f2.2

Though there was one thing that puzzled me about Justin’s method of filming which I had to question him on… His reasoning behind filming NTSC 30fps. In Europe and the UK, the standard is PAL 25fps and is the “dominant format in the World for analogue television broadcasting and analogue video display”. NTSC (National Television System Committee) is the American standard and based on their AC power supply of 60hz and their equation for interlaced video.

There’s a lot of history surrounding the two standards, but to cut a long story short, the UK’s PAL system produces a higher quality image in comparison to America’s NTSC – “PAL may have fewer frames per second, but it also has more horizontal lines than NTSC. PAL television broadcasts have 625 lines of resolution, compared to NTSC’s 525. More lines means more visual information, which equals better picture quality and resolution”. PAL also has better control over colour stability than NTSC. It all stems from the amount of horizontal lines used in a pass of an electron beam to produce an image in relation to its broadcast frequency, power supply, and frame rate. These videos and articles give detail into the difference between PAL and NTSc – Diffen, LifeWire, StandUpMaths 

I just found it interesting why Justin would choose to film the American standard and not the Uk’s. When asked, Justin’s reasoning was down to his process for editing, and that he found it easier to cut frames and add transitions in denominations of 5 and 10 frames than to have to deal with 24fps or 25fps.

Probably the main thing I took away from working with Justin though, was how he interacted with the nominees and sponsors.

I may be shy at times but I’m only starting out, give me more time and guidance and I’m sure to be more confident and natural around people in a working environment.

Like all shoots I go on, I am always grateful for the opportunity. Working with Fleur, Justin, and Rock Recruitment was a lovely experience and thoroughly enjoyable. The stories of each candidate gave perspective to why the Rock Star Awards is a great opportunity for Dorset and I look forward to the winners being revealed. This week provided me with new contacts and a dose of confidence in filming. I gained some wonderful experience and stories to boot. Thank you.

Chalke Valley History Festival – Day I

Chalke Valley History Festival – Day I

To complete one’s second year at Bournemouth University and progress to their third, one must complete a minimum four week or maximum forty week work placement in the industry their course follows. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to undertake three weeks of work experience with the Chalke Valley History Festival and spend an unforgettable week camping on site and working with some wonderful people. In total, thirty students from BU compiled the media crew at the festival – documenting the event from voxpops and photos of visitors, to filming historical keynotes and short films. Due to the extent of work completed during the week spent at the festival, I shall divide each day into a single blog post. This shall be for the accounts of our first day arriving at the Valley and any preparation days before leaving for the festival.

For the Chalke Valley work experience to tally up to three weeks, meetings and preparation days had to be conducted well before the actual event. At such meetings, not only did we get to know each other, but also define our roles we would be doing at the event. Producing, filming, editing, photographing, and audio recording would be the roles available to us – although come the event, everyone got a chance to work in a different department when the opportunity came up. I went for the filming role as it would allow me to get the most hands on experience from the event and hone my filming skills. It’s also the role I am most familiar with and want to develop in future years. There was a shortage on equipment and concerns from the uni on how their equipment would be treated so it also helped that I would be bringing my own equipment to the event, including some DIY gear.

On the 25th June 2017 we arrived at the Chalke Valley History Festival and began our one week stay working at the event. For this event I travelled medium and used my brand new CineBag. I wouldn’t have any lights or sliders with me, but I would be bringing all of my lenses, GoPro accessories, tripod, and trinkets thought necessary for the week long event. Thankfully any equipment that we would bring would be locked in the storage container on site so we wouldn’t have to risk leaving it in our tents while we’re working.

Prior to the event, travel and sleeping arrangements were made and it was decided that Chris, George, Jordan, Dan, and I would be sharing a tent together. Thank goodness George’s family go camping because this was the largest and nicest tent in the whole field! It even came with a door mat! As such, our tent became the hub for camp socials and an example of how the other half live on site. There was ample room for all of our belongings and to have our own space – although thanks to it being pitched on a gentle slope, most nights my inflatable mattress would slide into the other compartments.

Nerve Crew at the Summer Ball

Nerve Crew at the Summer Ball

On Saturday 3rd June 2017, I helped with the Nerve Crew at Bournemouth Uni’s Summer Ball.

It was a fun and different experience to what I’m used to, but a welcome one. The Nerve Crew were a lovely bunch of people – professional, organised, and chill to be around. And the work we did was both enjoyable and challenging, but produced good results.

Our brief was to document the event and capture the liveliness of the students attending. A really simple brief and one fit for any filmmaker.

Nerve Summer Ball - Stage ConstructionWe arrive on site a day early to conduct a recce, familiarise ourselves with the environment, learn which stages will host set performances, and have a basic rundown of our plan for the main event. It also allowed us to mingle and be informed of the sites health and safety procedure. It was very exciting to see the site in all its glory – empty and in the daylight, ready to welcome the thousands of students for their end of year festival.

We were limited on equipment, and those who had their own were encouraged to brig it. In fact, there was a slight worry when it was revealed that the night before there had been a possible break in with Nerve’s inventory stolen.

To prepare for the Summer Ball, I had to think how I would film such an event. I knew I wanted to be sleek and agile, moving between crowds of people easily without getting in their way or hurting them with equipment. It also meant that I didn’t want to be lumbered down with excess of kit, for I needed to be fast enough to move and set up from one location to the other. And lastly, if I were to be filming at any one time, I didn’t want to leave anything unattended – I didn’t want to have to leave a kit bag in a corner (or even at the base tent) if I were to film something. Everything I wanted had to be on my person, and therefore, everything I brought with me had to be absolutely necessary. So how did I accomplish this? I would travel light – This is when I decant most of my equipment into one or two small bags (mainly my Lowepro shoulder bag) for fast and agile filming. This is a standard procedure I undertake when going on a film shoot – knowing and deciding what equipment to bring. You can read more about this process in another blog post here.

What did I bring for this event?


For this event I took my camera, spare SD cards, spare battery, battery charger (which was left in the Nerve tent), tripod, 18-55mm lens, 50mm lens, 14mm lens, and 70-200mm lens. The camera, cards, 18-55, 50, and 14 mm lenses all fit in my shoulder bag, while the tripod slung around my neck and I carried the 70-200 in a lens pouch on my hip. The other piece of equipment I brought with me which I thought would help was a modified shoulder rig. I had a feeling that the majority of filming would be done handheld. Previous event videos were shot hand held, and in my mind I knew there would be a lot of time walking around the site, getting stuck-in with the crowds, and little time for faff setting up shots. Though this was not as successful as I had thought.

I was right, that the majority of filming would be hand held, and that the shoulder rig would aid in hand held shooting; however, it caused more problems than solutions. It’s understandable why held held filming was chosen over static set ups for the Summer Ball – the videos were to capture the liveliness of the event, and shaky cam in the middle of a mosh pit is exactly that. The camera and audience become a member of the crowd and it mimics the energy of the Ball. But too much shake, and the footage could become unusable or look amateurish. I thought a shoulder rig would work amazingly for the event; still getting a hand held look and the ability to move into the crowds, but smoothing the amount of shake and stabilising the footage. But what caused the problems was when I looked back at the rushes. I was too critical of my own footage!

I came back to the Nerve tent to dump my clips onto the computer and annoyingly criticised each shot – saying they were too shaky or not good enough for the edit.

Did I ruin a good opportunity?

Did I ruin a good opportunity?

On the 18th May 2017 I filmed interviews of delegates and representatives for the Poole Maritime Conference. These esteemed guests were key figures in maritime affairs and hosted keynote speeches prior to the interviews. European Maritime Festival itself is the third largest conference in Europe and was the first time to ever come to the UK so was such a privilege to have the chance to be involved with filming the interviews.

Weirdly, it was still only Thomas Nicholas and I that put ourselves forward for this experience. It was advertised many times at Bournemouth University but I got a call back saying we were the only ones.

The event was good, but it could have been better. And that is where my concern over ruining any business relationships stems from. Thomas and I arrived early to the event, and we brought all the right kit for the day. But setting up for the first two interviews is where the trouble began. When I had a meeting the day before to discuss the procedure for the interviews, I was under the impression that they would be conducted in a separate room to get the best quality out of the videos. Moreover, that guests of the events would be in the workshops while the interviews are conducted – thus insuring a quite building to film in. This was not the case, however, and throughout the entire day of interviewing, the background noise was prevalent.

But the real problem comes from my attitude towards the interviewer, and ultimately, our boss for the day. We had disagreements about how the interviews should be conducted and how the shot should look. Firstly, I had to set up shooting the interviewees against a wall. A bland, uninspiring, flat wall. I was not impressed with the composition of the shot. We could do so much better! Thomas and I were brought on to film these because we are media practitioners. We’re filmmakers who knows whats best for a shot to look nice.

The second grievance was with the way the interviews were conducted. When we were briefed earlier, the interviews were to last around five minutes. The interviewer could barely keep them for one. Asking robotically the same three questions with no followup questions or interest to what they say. After the second interview were were to break for lunch. That’s when I said something. I had a conversation with the interviewer on how to conduct interviews and get the best responses from the delegates. I was saying how you should ask around the questions and pick up on what they say and develop from that. She was too concerned with thinking how the edit would be, but you don’t think of the edit before the interview. Thomas and I could edit something wonderful if you let us do what we were brought here to do. Additionally, the more of an interview we could film, the better the edit could be for we would be able to cherry-pick the best bits rather than (what was originally wanted) all six interviews with the same questions and responses played in succession. Things got heated. There was miscommunication between the briefs and what she envisioned. And yes, I got flustered. The interviewer agreed to change the way the questions were asked and I cooled down over the lunch break.

When I had calmed, I said “right, lets change up this shot and make it look nicer than just a wall”. So I completely flipped the cameras around a shot down this wonderful corridor. Here we had depth! It was an interesting backdrop to look at – there were people walking in the background visiting the conference, I had set the aperture just right to get the lines of ceiling lights to blur into tiny circles of bokeh, and I had set up a side light to help boost the definition on the interviewee. It was a much nicer shot now, and the interviewer returned and agreed.

Improved shot for Maritime Conference Interview

I felt tremendously guilty for how I had acted, but now things were in order the day got better. The new interviewing technique worked wonders and we got some amazing emotional responses from the delegates.

In retrospect I shouldn’t have acted so rudely and let my emotions take control. This was a rare opportunity to work with these people and learn what the delegates had to say, and I should have remained grateful for having the opportunity to film and have access at the event. Only when packing up, did I find out the interviewer had worked ten years in the BBC. You never know who you are talking to, and what opportunities there may be. My behaviour may have cost me a working relationship with someone with a decade worth of experience in television.

English Heritage Promo Video

English Heritage Promo Video

On Wednesday 10th May 2017, we filmed a promotional video for English Heritage on the Isle of Wight.

This shoot is now one of the best shoots I have ever worked on. We were organised, on time, professional, imaginative, and fun to be around. Everyone was on point and worked so hard to achieve their goals on this project.

The day started with a 06:00 call time which would allow us sufficient time stop in Lansdowne to collect Jon, our male actor I had procured, and proceed to Lymington for our ferry across. The drive is short of an hour but we needed to be ready to board the ferry at least thirty minutes prior to departure.

We arrive at Lymington port around 07:20 and we’re the first car in the loading bay. We depart for the Isle of Wight at 07:40 and gently cross the seas. It’s a beautiful and calm journey across the Solent.

08:30 we disembark the ferry and drive to our first shooting location, Carisbrook Castle. Carisbrook Castle is an amazing place to visit. The fortifications are virtually still intact and the view from the lookout is phenomenal! We would start the shoot by introducing ourselves to the onsite staff and setting up for our first shot. Due to how early we were, the gate and castle were still closed to the public, so our first intended shot (a mundane carpark) was devoid of cars. So instead, we just set up for the establishing shots of the castle entrance.

From the castle entrance we just carried through to the church, maze, lookout, wall, stable, and car park. Incredibly easy to set up and super efficient. We knew what we wanted going in and had devised a shot list to aid us in locations and scheduling.

Once finished at the castle, Jon’s role was complete until he was needed again at Osborne House for his final scene with Mimi. We packed up, and drove to a little town for lunch where we dined at The Wheatsheaf. It was so nice to have a proper meal for lunch. I’m used to snacks and sandwiches on film shoots, but this was ace!

We finally rock up at Osborne House and it’s like travelling to another country. The architecture is beautiful and has a great view of Portsmouth. We were given maps and a brief history of the site, and then given free reign to make our video. But just like Carisbrooke Castle, we followed a shot list and schedule, and were efficient in making the most of our time there.

I really was a fun day and I am so glad I had the chance to film on The Isle of Wight with such a lovely crew. Thank you.

Account Manager and good friend Ollie Tunmore edited a lovely behind the scenes video for you to enjoy 😀

Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It

Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It

This was a real step up from previous work I had done. Finally, I had gone out there, found a client, and provided them my services.

Most of the jobs I get are through friends or my reputation. Someone would come over to me and ask “Hey Will would you like this job” or “Hey Will come work with me for a day”. But this one I saw advertised and I immediately responded to it. This was a huge accomplishment for me – I was not nudged into this, nor was it hinted to me, I just scrolled through the ads until I saw something I liked and went for it. It is impressive because it made me feel professional – a leap from learning student to active freelancer.


You’ve Done A Man’s Job, Sir. I Guess You’re Through, Huh?

You’ve Done A Man’s Job, Sir. I Guess You’re Through, Huh?


J.P. Morgan’s recruitment video had finally come to an end. We had spent months planning and filming this corporate video; and now it was finally over.

It was tough. A real challenge. But where to begin…

I was getting more and more stressed the days leading up to the big shoot. Complications arose with changes in camera management, ideas, shot lists, contributors, and with other work piling on top. But also because a film I was destined to see would be stricken from me.

Star Wars means so much to me. It is more than a collection of films, toys, and music. There is an emotional connection between Star Wars and me – the relatability I have with the conflict within Luke and Vader, the memories I have had as a child watching, playing, or talking about the saga, the experiences I have had through events. I had booked my tickets to see Star Wars Rogue One at the BFI in London for their midnight premier on the night ticket sales were released. I was at home when they were released and I had no laptop or computer with me, so I used my father’s laptop, waiting in the study for midnight for Odeon to release the tickets and purchase them. At the time I did not know we would be filming on the day of Star Wars. To me, because my university calendar was blank for that week, I was free to do what I wanted.

But then came the big day. The group had described it as “All hands on deck” with a nine hour shooting day. I was distraught. The one thing that was keeping me going through that entire ordeal was being taken from me. Hundreds of pounds wasted as I would not be able to travel or return from London for the film. I would not be able to see my best friend who I had not seen since September. And I would not be able to see Star Wars and be part of the phenomenon by attending a midnight premier in a sold out IMAX.

I was upset. So much to the point I had finally broken. I was in tears. My parents phoned me to wish me luck travelling up to London for this event not knowing I would not be able to see it. For all they knew, they were excited I had purchased midnight premier tickets. And I just broke. Shouted at them over the phone how I could not see something that I had raised so high as my saviour from a spiralling mess of depression and stress.

Though, the force is strong in my family. They too were upset that I would not be able to see it in London, but were still encouraging me to see the film anyway. My brother, who phoned after wondering if I were to stay at his when I would potentially arrive in London, made it imperative that I see the film. He is not a Star Wars fan, but knew how much those nerdy sci-fi movies mean to me. Lastly, I needed further advice. My friends at uni. Now I do not know if I called them or they called me, but I remember my friend Thomas saying I should see it whatever the consequences. Likewise, Chris, was also encouraging.

So I did it. I went to go see Star Wars at the Odeon in Bournemouth. THey still had tickets. They do not reserve seats like the IMAX or other cinemas. So there was a chance I could still purchase a ticket and get a seat. I quickly booked a ticket online, whipped on my limited edition Star Wars shirt, and sprayed most of a can of deodorant on my body.

I had not washed in three days or changed my shirt in a week. I doubt I had eaten the previous day and I know I went out without dinner. My hear was greasy, my pits smelly, and my face beardy. But I had finally broken. So nothing would now stop me from seeing this film. I had to see it.

I knocked on my housemates door first to see if the guy would be kind enough to give me a lift to the cinema, however, he had been drinking. So I ran. I ran to the cinema whilst dialling all the people who had encouraged me to see the film that I was seeing Star Wars.

There were twenty minutes on the clock. The film started at midnight. And I was running. Would I make it to the cinema in time? In time to print and collect my ticket? In time to still grab a good seat? In time to wait in the queue? I continued to run.

I made it. I casually merged into the queue to collect my ticket. The line for collection was thankfully shorter than the line for purchasing at the door. I walked up the stairs to Screen 1 and was mesmerised by the buzzing crowd all there to nerd-out at the same film. Amazingly, I got a really good seat, which was almost middle-middle.

The film began and I had already started to cry. The sound, the image, the experience! The feeling in the cinema even!

The film had a euphoric effect on me. All my emotions, weight on my shoulders, stress, insecurity; had all been lifted from me. Time stood still in the real world as I watched this film.

The film ended and I was in tears. But I was also relieved, for I had finally seen Star Wars, and at midnight before anyone else.

For that one moment everything was almost over. The only thing left to do was J.P. Morgan.

Rock Reef In The Rain

Rock Reef In The Rain

Another day filming the recruitment video for J.P. Morgan. This time at Bournemouth Rock Reef!

This shoot was just what we needed. It was efficient, calm, and professional. But most importantly, we had fun.

We were given great creative freedom for this day partly due to Red Balloon not being present, and that we were using our own equipment rather than theirs. For this day, we used two DSLR’s (Canon EOS 650D & 60D) and two GoPros.

The aim of this day was to capture one of J.P. Morgan’s many team-building exercises they do with their employees.

I packed all the equipment and travelled with Emily via taxi down to the pier. We arrived early which gave us great time to fool around in the arcade. I was royally beaten in Air Hockey 5-2, but brought it back with a ridiculously close game of Basketball with 84-83. We finished just in time for the other members of the crew to arrive at the pier.

The Rock Reef were wrapping up a child’s birthday party when J.P. Morgan employees arrived so the manager gave everyone to the opportunity to go on the zipline for free whist they clean up. This was great! Since coming to Bournemouth that has been something I have wanted to do.

I attached a GoPro to a monopod and fashioned a makeshift selfie stick. I handed it to our main employee, Catherine, who we had focused on in previous days and sent her up the tower first. We sent Catherine first so that we could retrieve the camera immediately after her go so not to waste time at the Rock Reef. Emily and I jumped next and it was awesome! Flying over the choppy sea in the dark, wind, and rain was fantastic! Climbing the tower alone was cool enough as you got the fast sea winds hit your face and wobble the tower. Would love to do it again. Very grateful both the Rock Reef allowed J.P. Morgan a free go on the zipline but also J.P. allowed us to partake too.

J.P. Morgan BTS - Rock Reef (1)
The crew for J.P. Morgan’s recruitment video on the day of the team building exercise at Bournemouth Rock Reef.

Once off the wire and back on the pier, we set up for the rest of the event. I set up the 650D with a 14mm lens in the corner of the room to capture a timelapse. I then mounted a GoPro onto a helmet and passed it to an employee. The other GoPro was still attached to the selfie stick and passed from person to person. Three timelapse videos were made as I moved the camera each time the employees moved to another challenge. I then used the 6D with either a 50mm or 24-105mm to run around and capture the rest of the event.

After our time had finished in the Rock Reef, everyone went to Aruba to relax. Further video was captured here.

The Elves Have Rescued Xmas Day

The Elves Have Rescued Xmas Day

J.P. Morgan Present Sorting.

Emily and I were to go to a warehouse on the outskirts of Bournemouth to film J.P. Morgan employees sorting donated Christmas presents for the less fortunate.

The day was incredibly fun. It was just the two of us and we therefore had complete creative freedom and directive control of the day.

We were using our own equipment (Canon EOS 650D and 6D) and one GoPro. I set up the 650D in the corner to make a timelapse, a GoPRo on an employee’s chest, and the 6D with my vintage 50mm.

Emily and I took turns filming and recording sound and managed to make an entire video in its own right.

How I ruined Emily's shot
How I ruined Emily’s shot

This is what filmmaking should be; fun, quick, and efficient. We wrapped with loads of coverage of the event, I gave Emily her Christmas present, then we took a taxi home ready for my next piece of filming…