PSC filming All Together Now

One of the highlights for me last year was filming on the BBC One, Saturday evening prime viewing show, ‘All Together Now’. Part of the PSC team filming behind the scenes and filming the profile interviews. PSC,  to those who don’t  know, stands for Portable Single Camera. An ‘Americanism’ starting to be used in the broadcast world.

IMG_4674                                                        All Together Now PSC team

Filmed at Salford Keys Media City. Profile interviews were shot in the ‘Pie Factory’ an old decaying building next to the BBC studios planned to be demolished after the show. One of the coldest places I have worked!! Behind the scenes filming of the Judges ‘The 100’ was filmed in the large mezzanine area  front of the building. Very challenging as we had to battle against the low winter sun streaming in from the large glassed front of Salford Quays.

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Filming the Sundaes, great fun!!

 

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The Pie Factort Studio Set

Our crew was put together by Casey Antwiss, who I have known for a few years through my work with Electric Robin. My team consisted of Carl Akkouh PD, Dionne Bromfield camera, Russ James Sound, Sam Taylor Assistant Cam, and Myself on Camera and slider. We shot on Arri Amira with Canon primes. Profile filming was done over a two week period before filming took place for the lives shows.

Hosted by comedian Rob Beckett, All Together Now is a singing competition with a twist. In each episode, a range of talented singers take to the stage eager to impress ‘The 100’ televisions biggest judging panel. Lead by Spice Girl Geri Horner, The 100 are a unique collection of one hundred singers, experts, teachers and performers from every corner of the music industry.

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The Mezzanine area where we filmed the 100 before the show and between breaks

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Celebrity Big Brother (2016)

Last summer (2016) I had the privilege of working for Electric Robin and filming some of the profile VT’s for Celebrity Big Brother. We filmed these at Kentish Town Studios, which was a great space for us to film all our set ups without having to re-light every time. Sadly these studios have shut down.

I was involved in the ‘get in’ where we had to hang florescent lighting strips from the lighting grid and fix all the cabling neatly . Not an easy task as you can see in the photo below. To light the subject we used one panel light directly above them, as not to spill too much light on the black background.

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We also had to build a ‘green screen’ area where we would filming the contestants acting out various emotions… happy sad, angry etc. There was also a couple of large boxes that we filmed contestants in  dancing and basically larking about.(the slow mo sequences)

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The contestants in Celebrity Big Brother were Sam Fox, Marne Simpson, Lewis Bloor, Stephen Bear, Katie Waissel, Christopher Biggins, Renee Graziano, Grant Bovey, Frankie Grande, Aubrey O’Day and Chloe Khan.

The very first person we filmed was Stephen Bear, who eventually went on to win. He actually said to us ‘stick a £100 on me to win’!! after his interview. When filming the Marne Simpsons interview, if you watch the video, when  discussing the bit about a ‘certain part of her anatomy’, she looks away from the camera and smiles cheekily at me. It did make me chuckle.

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We filmed on the Arri Amira and Arri Alexa mini with a set of Canon Prime Lenses and filmed the slow mo sequences between 200 fps and 100 fps. For the interview we had one locked off and the second on a track.

I think the final videos look really good, another great effort from the Electric Robin Team.

Video Shoot for Haya Water in Muscat, Oman

Earlier last year I had an exciting Video Shoot for Haya Water in Muscat Oman. This was the first time that I had been to the Oman and was told that if I took my camera it wouldn’t be a problem entering the country. Wrong!! as I went through customs I was told that I needed a letter of authorization from the Ministry of Information. As the time was 23.00 this was not possible to obtain until the following day, so reluctantly I had to leave my camera at Customs for the night. Next day all was sorted thanks to our client Khalid.

The video shoot was a Health & Safety video for visitors and contractors and was set against the beautiful and sunny countryside of Muscat. As you can see in these pictures and the video, everyday was hot and sunny(about 29-30 degrees) I was really taken with the country, the people are so friendly and welcoming.

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Haya Water was established in December 2002, as a closed joint stock company owned by the government of the Sultanate of Oman. Its aim is to develop, built, operate and maintain a world class water reuse system by converting waste water into environmental friendly products such as compost.
Since then they have invested huge sums in the modernisation and expansion of the Sewage Treatment Plants, treated effluent and sewerage network.

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Shooting at the the wetlands at Al Ansab

The Oman is a very mountainous country which I got to see alot of whilst traveling to each location. It also has a spectacular coastline. Muscat means ‘safe anchorage’ and has a large port which brings in tourist through cruise ships. We got to see the historic ports of Old Muscat and Mutrah which were stunning. I was pleased with the video which I think shows the the natural beauty of Muscat and the Oman.  I also used my GoPro to get underwater shots for the titles which add another dimension. Overall a very pleasurable project.

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Composting plant at Al Amerat to turn sewage sludge and organic waste into a valuable commodity – Kala Compost.

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Khalid loves a ‘Selfie’

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Another day filming in the sunshine

Filming for The Almost Impossible Gameshow

The big shoot for me this summer was filming for Endemol and ITV2’s new game-show The Almost Impossible  Game-show.

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Arri Amira

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Usual spot in the morning

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Filming with Kevin

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Toby the soundie with a contestant

Filming at RAF Bentwaters near Ipswich for three weeks we shot two series of 6, 12 episodes in all. The show went out on the 1st October this year. We were dead lucky with the weather with only 1 day affected by rain.

The shoot was co-ordinated by Electric Robin with my good friends Kevin Batchelor and Ross Brandon, we filmed predominately with the Arri Amira cameras but had the Canon C300 as the safety cameras plus go pros dotted around the games. We had three cameramen plus a soundman on each game plus there were two crews filming actuality and profiles of the contestants.

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Contestant tries to eat a banana while running on travelator

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The Blue Team!!

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FAIL!!

My two areas that I was filming were the ‘Runway’ with the Travelator and the ‘Mud pit’ with Tiny Bike. My task was to film the ‘Super slo-mo shot’ of the contestants falling on the travellator and into the muddy water of Tiny Bike.
In each episode  ten contestants pit themselves against The Almost Impossible Gameshow’s incredibly simple yet hilariously difficult games.

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A happy but Muddy contestant..still smiling.

Comedy duo The Rubber Bandits provide anarchic commentary and their own twisted, surreal take on the action as the increasingly bedraggled contestants make their way through the show.

The games include riding a tiny bike at speed along a very narrow beam, shaking Velcro croissants off a Velcro bodysuit and putting on a pair of trousers while sprinting on a treadmill.

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One of the other challenging games

These physical challenges are so  tricky that contestants are given 50 attempts to complete just 5 of them. If they fail a game, they’ve got to do it again… and again… and again…

If they succeed at this Almost Impossible task and beat the show they’ll return home covered in glory! And mud or Slime. The show goes out at 21.00 on a Thursday ITV2.

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The Full Crew and Casting

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Final days filming and they give me this bad boy

Doritos commercial video shoot at the world famous George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios

With all the football fever going around this summer with this year’s Fifa World Cup in Brazil I was involved in a commercial video shoot at the world famous George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios, to film an advert for Doritos. The shoot was based on a penalty shoot out competition by 8 teams with three players. This was a knock out competition until two teams made the final. In the final the teams had to beat England’s Joe Hart.

The Shoot was organized by Endemol using Electric Robin to produce the video. This was probably one of the biggest shoots that I have been involved in with with over 50 people in the camera crew alone including Jib operators, steadycam, sound and lighting. I filmed on the Canon C300 and my task was to focus on the goalkeeper and you will see that my shot was used a few times in the final video.

elstree photoThe World famous George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios

The Shoot out brought teams of mates from across the country for the ultimate test of their penalty spot skills – but to make sure the pressure didn’t get too much, teams had have help from the legendary Mariachi Doritos.  Bringing their own Mexican flavour to the game, the band dished up a host of distractions t the keeper had to face as he attempts to save each shot.

Elstree photo 2Yours truly operating the Canon C300

Joe Hart, who  faced the two final teams in the ultimate Mexican style showdown, said: “I’m really excited to be working on the Doritos Penalty Shootout, it’s a great opportunity to get your mates together and throw your sombrero into the ring if you think you can put one past me. You might have the Mariachi Doritos on your side but be warned, I’ve been practising”

Elstree photo 3The Teams line up before the penalty shoot out

The two teams that reached the final  stared alongside Hart in the new Doritos TV commercial, which  aired across the UK on 24th May.  The winning team that scored the most goals  also received the ‘Ultimate Mates Football Trip’, traveling by private jet to some of Europe’s most exciting cities, receiving VIP treatment at exclusive clubs and hotels.

Green Screen Video Production

I have just finished a video production for BMI Healthcare using a portable green screen, 2 metres by 1.5 metres. I filmed 7 people against this, in a meeting room at a conference center in London, where all of the interviewees were all present on that day. Green screen is an effective way to shoot interviews and enabled me to put the people in front of a unifying background. Using a selection of soft lights I was able to create a smooth even light on the green screen which made keying very easy. A cameraman I work with many years ago gave me a great tip when lighting for green screen, and that was to use green gel on the lights that you are lighting the green screen with, I have always done so ever since. I also used two backlights, normally I only use one, to give the subject more separation. In the edit I had to drop the intensity of the graphic background down and also use a Gaussian blur to make the subject more prominent.

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LOOP - for edit - graphics 4The Green screen Background

 The client was very please with the result and will be sending out copies to all 14,000 staff. Another example of how effective video is, when trying to communicate with many people in a large organisation

Vogue Dubai Fashion Week Video Shoot

My second overseas assignment of last year was Vogue Dubai Fashion Week Video Shoot, an event organised in partnership with Vogue Italia, one of the world’s leading authorities on fashion, Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience was the first event of its kind to take place in this region of the world. Over 250 brands in fashion came together to celebrate retail and the fashionable lifestyle at The Dubai Mall. I was part of a 5 man crew to make a short film of the event again for Getty Images through Electric Robin. Shooting on Canon C300 I was part of a five man crew that captured the event.

The event  also hosted a gala dinner, attended by international celebrities with the aim of raising funds for Dubai Cares, the charity initiative founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

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Among the many activities  at The Dubai Mall during Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience was a fashion show at the Fashion Catwalk in the Fashion Avenue where international designers showcased their latest collections. The various activities were also telecasted live through the mall’s multimedia displays with over 400,000 visitors attending.

The mall was  decorated to mark the event with exclusive settings while the Grand Atrium  hosted an exhibition that  featured 50 of the best Vogue magazine covers of all time.

The participating stores  exhibited merchandise for sale, created especially for the ‘Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience,’ with part of the proceeds from the sale also going towards Dubai Cares. 

 

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Rainsbrook Veterinary Video Shoot and Edit

The Rainsbrook Veterinary Video Shoot and Edit was filmed in the Warwickshire area, it was shot and edited in two days and was added to the Rainsbrook Veterinary web site straight after and has had positive feedback. The video was production in association with Wonkana production, John Rose directed and added a second camera a Canon 600D. This is another example of effective communication using web video.

This veterinary practice was founded over 45 years ago by Sandy Lyons. David Walker took over in 1985 and was joined by Simon Daniel in 1992, first as an assistant and then as a director from 1995.  In 2006, Sian Sharples, a former assistant, returned to the practice after 18 months working in referral hospitals, as a director. There are two fully equipped surgeries, one in Rugby and one in Leamington Spa that also houses hydrotherapy facilities consisting of a pool and a water treadmill. There is a further branch surgery also in Rugby at Craven Road. As a ‘mixed ‘ practice in Warwickshire, they deal with both companion animals and livestock, from the smallest hamster to the largest Shire horse. The farm and equine side of the practice covers an area of about450 square miles around these two towns and is approximately 20% of there work, mainly in Warwickshire but also covering parts of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. At each site there is a dedicated team of veterinary surgeons,veterinary nurses, managers and trained veterinary reception.

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Health and Safety Building Site Induction Video

I have made two Video Productions for the building industry recently. Both were Health and Safety Building Site Induction Videos, as by law, any construction worker that enters a new site has to do a health and safety induction before they can work on that site. A quick and simple way to get someone through an induction is to sit them down and watch a video followed by a simple question and answer session. This doesn’t tie up a site manager and is an efficient way to get this done. I was the lighting cameraman on this shoot.

This particular shoot took two days to film plus two days to edit and with the help of site employees we were able to simulate many H&S scenarios. This video was embedded into a power point presentation has has been used successfully to induct new employees. This a good example of how a video production can help inform and educate people without too much hassle.

For this shoot I again used my Sony PDW350.

‘Clown Doctors’ The National Lottery Live show

Just before Christmas I had the privilege of filming a VT for Endemol The National Lottery Live show, which featured CHAS Robin House Hospice in Balloch, and a project which cheers up sick children across Scotland. This was broadcast on Saturday 21 December. The ‘ Clowndoctors’ , who use performing arts to brighten up the lives of children in hospitals and hospices, were shown visiting Robin House on the BBC One show at 9.50pm. The Director Kevin Batchelor, who also runs Electric Robin, once again got me to film with the Canon C300, using Prime 70-200mm and 17-55mm lenses. Kevin wanted to show a happy side, even though the subject was about terminally sick children and used ‘Christmas Lights’ by Coldplay as the soundtrack.

Run by charity Hearts and Minds, The Clowndoctors have received more than £87,000 of National Lottery funding over the last ten years to enable them to visit 17 venues in Scotland and put smiles on the faces of over 10,000 children.

Pip Quinn, Fundraising and Communications Officer at Hearts and Minds, said:  “Clowndoctors bring joy and laughter to children and hope to their families. We visit short stay patients, children who are long term ill and children who are fully dependent on care and have life-limiting illnesses.

“We are not just about magic tricks, it is therapy. We use storytelling, music and drumming to help distract children from their situations and stimulate them to help their development.

“We are really excited to be featured on the National Lottery Live Show. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without National Lottery funding and to be recognised in this way means a lot to us as we are a small charity.

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