I recently established that as well as being a UK Citizen I qualify as a Canadian DoP for any work done under the Canadian Co-Production Treaty.This is because I hold a Canadian Permanent Resident Card
I thought I’d air this music promo again as it’s fascinating.It was lit by a young Roger Deakins before he became the greatest cinematographer in the world….and directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme of 10cc fame. There was alot of smoke on the set and it wasn’t all from the SFX department. I think there were about 8 camera crews including 2 Steadicam Operators (Pete Cavaciuti and myself). Other camera operators included Ray Andrew, Jeff Baynes, Dave Bridges, John Simmons and Nick Knowland. We are all featured in this elaborate “camera ballet” round a circular stage. Despite a day’s rehearsal we still managed to knock Roger’s Golden Panaflex off its dolly with the arm of the Titan Crane. At 2’44″ you can clearly see this as I captured it on Steadicam. The late James Ainslie (1st a/c) holds his head in horror…and Roger Deakins just makes a bolt for it!
Saw Ang Lee’s movie last night and its a brilliant interpretation of the book. Everything looks much the way I imagined it when I read it years ago. There’s also the added magic of superb visual effects. Stunningly beautiful.
Only a few years ago fur and water were the two things you had to try to avoid in CGI/Animation. And here’s a film featuring wild animals on the Pacific Ocean. The technology moves so fast….although it has to be said the movie did employ 14000 people…most of them get credited! The only disappointment is that for me it falls down at the end….I fell about laughing at this part of the book originally and did so again when I re-read it this morning to check. Perhaps thats the only part of the novel that really did turn out to be unfilmable….but I suspect other reasons……
I just returned from Libya where I was doing some preliminary shooting for a feature length documentary about Colonel Gaddafi’s famous female bodyguards who were handpicked, young, beautiful and highly trained. Jubilation and high spirits in the city of Tripoli, many guns being fired….but all in the air, fortunately. Elsewhere in the country such as in Bani Walid chaotic fighting continues. The country is having to be rebuilt almost from scratch so the transitional government is struggling. Old tribal rivalries from before Gaddafi’s coup 43 years ago are rising to the surface again. We filmed in Gaddafi’s ruined compound in Tripoli, which is vast…also in Abo Salim prison, now closed, where Gaddafi once had 1200 people shot in 5 hrs….all in one small exercise yard. Both places had strong strong spirits. The Libyans are a friendly hospitable people but they seem to be quite fond of torturing each other. Many horrible stories….but I suppose that’s war for you
Just wrapped principal photography on Hinterland, a low budget independent feature film written and directed by Douglas M. Ray. Shot on extremely meagre resources the film stars Eva Birthistle (best known for her award-winning role in Ken Loach’s “Ae Fond Kiss”). I had previously worked with Eva on “Days of Flowers” which premiered at Edinburgh Film Festival this year. Other principal actors are Paul Hilton and Antonia Campbell-Hughes. There are also inspired improvised cameo appearances from comics Matt Berry and James Lance. Hinterland is a comedy thriller with a rather unusual tone.
The film was a challenge as it had to be approached in a “guerilla” style with a tiny and largely inexperienced unit, virtually no monitoring, no dolly, track or Steadicam, very few facilities and very little lighting. I photographed it using the lightweight Canon C300 and a set of Arri-Zeiss Ultraprimes. Much of it was shot in the woods of Black Park next door to Pinewood. The minimal equipment meant we were able to move extremely fast in rough terrain. Also the C300 provided excellent image quality often in extremely low light. Many interiors around London were shot with no lighting at all.
Its exciting how, with new cameras cinematography is changing so rapidly towards obtaining an attractive look without having to burn huge amounts of watts !
Anchor Bay, distributors of The Wicker Tree have announced that it is their topselling DVD/Blu-ray of the year. 2 weeks after launch it was also 3rd best seller in the entire UK DVD market….surpassed only by Iron Lady (Meryl Streep) and a Tom Cruise film…..which is pretty good for a film with no stars, other than a cameo by Sir Christopher Lee.
An Idiot Abroad is officially the most viewed programme ever on The Science Channel in USA.
The channel claims to be “home for the thought provocateur” and “a playground for those with audacious intellects” so you can see why an Idiot might thrive !
Meanwhile across the pond in Britain An Idiot Abroad 2 has been nominated for an RTS award in 2 categories:
Best Popular Factual and Features and Best Presenter (for Karl Pilkington).
This particular parade will be hosted by Rob Brydon at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on March 20th.
Big Banana Feet, a feature length documentary made in 1975 was screened on Sunday at Glasgow Film Theatre. Shot handheld in available light by push-processing slow 16mm film stock it follows a very young Billy Connolly on his tour of Dublin and Belfast at the height of the Troubles. Connolly was emphatically warned not to go…3 members of a showband had died in an attack very recently…but he went anyway…and he came back in one triumphant piece. A small film crew followed him shooting just about everything he did, including his stage shows for about 48 hrs non-stop.
Murray Grigor (Director), David Peat (DoP) and Paddy Higson (Producer) were all at the screening along with other elder statespersons from the period. There were many escaping eyebrows, knowing stoical looks and tired legs but no flared trousers. There was also alot of laughter. To my bemusement the extremely youthful camera assistant was there too….that was Yours Truly !