Two months into Lockdown, still working, but finding new ways to do it!

I’ve had a productive couple of months, getting used to new ways of working, meeting some new clients, and trying to find solutions to problems that didn’t exist a few months ago.

This month and last, I’ve been making training films for Covid19 nurses in the Nightingale hospitals, it’s been challenging, but rewarding too, I’ve not been able to mic anyone up, so finding ways to recored voices cleanly, when the people talking are in full PPE is a challenge, but anything is doable with the right kit and enough experience.

I also entered a different world for a few days, the world of the YouTube content creator, I spent a few days at Morgz house, with him and his Mum, preparing for a huge live show raising funds for the NHS, so a lot of fun, and a worthwhile aim.

In between jobs I’ve been working out solutions to a few problems, in particular, how to mic people up safely, safe both for me, and the person being mic’d up. This is going to be an essential skill over the next year, we all need to get back to work, but stay safe, so you can be sure that I’m at the forefront of ways to get the same good sound I’ve always got, but as safe as it can possibly be, given the new constraints. My other project was to find a way to record the best possible sound remotely, working with contributors who stay in their own homes, and shoot content on their phones. We all know that video shot on the latest phones can look incredible, but what good is that with dodgy sound? So, I’ve done my homework, and invested heavily in kit that can get sound quality to match the picture quality. Whether it’s for a Lockdown drama, reality show, or a doc, I’ve now got the kit to send to contributors, which is easy to set up, and gives us the results we need. So give me a call if you’ve got a project coming up that you want to talk about.

I know, I know, I’ve hardly posted anything for ages, and then two come along at once!

Miriam Margolyes’ Big Fat Adventure is on tonight (Monday 9th of March) and tomorrow (Tuesday the 10th) Miriam and I made this show last spring, with our usual cohorts, Simon Draper directing, and the DOP Mark North. If I could only ever work with one team again it would be this bunch, I’ve never enjoyed work so much!

 

Here’s Miriam and a bodybuilder, you’ll see more of him in the show.

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Here’s Miriam and me, after our final shoot day, when I was leaving the team to start work on my next project.

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The project I went onto immediately after working with Miriam and the gang was another BBC2 series, Back In Time For The Corner Shop presented by the lovely Sara Cox and Polly Russell.

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The show started a couple of weeks ago and is great viewing, episode three is on tomorrow (Tuesday 10th of March) I spent all summer on this show, and it was a really good shoot, a great crew made every day fun.

In other news, I’ve upgraded just about all my kit, so have state of the art rigs for everything from docs, through to big reality set ups, and dramas or commercials too.

Nearly a year since the last update, whoops!

Evening all! where did the last 12 months go? This year has gone by so quickly, I went to see my Mum last week and she casually mentioned that she hadn’t seen me since May. Sorry Mum. After a gentle start to the year with the Canadian womens football team, and a few corporate jobs,  I spent a week on the second unit of ITV’s Wild Bill, it was a great shoot, early starts in the Lincolnshire countryside made so much easier by the amazing skies you get down there. Spring and early Summer were spent with the wonderful Miriam Margolyes, making another series for Wild Pictures following Miriam doing what she does best, asking people things they never thought they’d get asked. It was fun, as time with her always is, and it’ll be on telly early 2020. I finished that on a Thursday some time in July, and on the Saturday went straight on to the massive shoot that is Back In Time, this time were were going Back In Time For The Corner Shop, in Sheffield, so nice and close to home for me for once. Technically it was one of the most demanding things I’ve done, lots of radio mics, a constantly changing cast, unpredictable scenes, but with the help of an amazing crew, and the wonders that are Sara Cox and Polly Russell, we pulled it off. It’ll be on your screen spring 2020 and is well worth a watch.

Since then, I’ve been mainly watching my dogs run up and down Suffolk beaches, eating fish and chips, and cooking things on my Big Green Egg.

8 Months since the last update, sorry!

It seems like only yesterday that I was live on your screens looking for ghosts with the wonderful Rylan Clarke Neal, but a lot has happened since then!

Rylan and  I, plus a few other folk toured France and Germany looking for spooks, fantomes, geister, call them what you will. You’ll have to watch the shows on 5Star to see what we found, but I can reveal I found a brilliant little wine merchant in France, whose calvados I’m still enjoying.

I walked an abandoned railway line between Sheffield and Manchester with the very talented Rob Bell, for a Rumpus Media show Walking Britains Lost Railways, shown on Channel 5 earlier this autumn.

Over the summer I worked on a doc about alcohol with Adrian Chiles, a history doc for Channel 4 called ‘A House Through Time’ and ITV’s Big NHS Sing Along Live, all very different projects and all really interesting to work on.

Towards the end of the summer, I thought needed a couple of weeks in the sun to set me up for what September had in store, so I boarded the MSC Seaside for a two week cruise round the Caribbean, for a Brinkworth TV shoot, to be shown on Channel 5 early next year, The Secret Life of The Cruise, I didn’t see much sun, but did get a fascinating look behind the scenes of a floating city.

On to September, and a shoot I’d been looking forward to all year, 2 months with the incomparable Miriam Margolyes, a true national treasure if ever there was one. We travelled around Europe and went coast to coast in the USA, Wild Pictures produced the show, and it’ll be on your screens in Spring next year. I’m not sure I’m yet at liberty to tell you too much about the content, but it’ll be a good watch, I saw things I never thought I’d see!

That brings us up to date, the diary is clearer than it’s been for a while, so if you have any shoots you want to talk to me about, please get in touch.

The year so far……..

Since I had the dubious pleasure of watching Wayne Sleep strip off in a Working Mens Club in Sheffield back in April, I’ve hardly stopped, I spent some time in Benidorm, sunning myself with the cast and crew of the hit sitcom, shooting behind the scenes for a tenth anniversary special, which will be shown in December I think.

In May I worked on the studio segments for the BBC’s How To Stay Young, a nice change to the doc work I’d been doing for the couple of months prior to that, a large studio rig with 10 radio mics, feeds to multiple cameras, lots of timecode boxes, I had a great assistant and the rest of the team were a pleasure to work with, so it was a very enjoyable shoot.

In June, July and August, I travelled 4500 miles around America, with the wonderful Miriam Margolyes, it took us two months to travel across 8 states, we started in Chicago, and before arriving in New Orleans 54 days later, we passed through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas finally arriving in Louisiana with some amazing tales to tell, you’ll have to watch the shows to find out what happened, it’ll be on the BBC early in the new year. Will the scene where the ladies of J-Pod in Butler County jail, Hamilton, Ohio christened me Teddy Bear make the final cut? Probably not. 2 months is a long time to be in the road, but a greta crew helped, and the fact we were travelling through barbecue and chilli sauce country meant I could mix business with pleasure.

September took a slightly surreal turn  when I found myself in a classic Citroen DS with Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders, making a program called ‘On Champagne’ From Searcys Champagne bar at St Pancras to the Eurostar home, not an hour passed without someone passing me a glass of something sparkling and amazing. The ladies were amazing company, and I caught up with some old friends, so it was a week to remember. I did blow a days wages on bottle to bring home, but who can blame me?

Along the way over the last few months I’ve worked on a couple of commercials, the new BBC idents and a host of docs for various clients. I’m currently looking for work for the rest of the year, and have lots of new kit to play with, so give me a call if there’s anything I can do for you.

The Real Full Monty

You’ve never lived until you’ve seen a bunch of blokes off the telly stripping off in Shiregreen club in Sheffield. I had that dubious pleasure earlier this year, when Ashley Banjo and Alexander Armstong recruited a bunch of men to recreate the famous scene from the Full Monty. We followed the journey from Alexanders first phone calls to try and recruit potential strippers, through to the inevitable climax in Sheffield. Look out for the show which will be on ITV1 later in the year.