An instinct led me to my first camera, a Kodak 127, when I was twelve. Two years later I borrowed £14 from my Dad to buy a Quarz 5 wind-up standard 8mm Russian film camera from Optical and Textile Ltd.- the camera had been stolen, recoverd from the murky waters of the Thames, and works to this day. Optical and Textile Ltd. became Optex from whom I would get my first Steadicam twenty years later. Holding any of these pieces in my hand felt like communing with the fundamental power of the Universe. After joining the Greenock Cine Club at fifteen and helping out backstage at the local theatre I was totally smitten by making frames, by lights, by the magical process of creating images, and working with like-minded people.
After a considerable stint operating at BBC Scotland, I became freelance in the early nineties and armed, literally, with my Steadicam, spent several years on the dailies circuit meeting many illustrious cinematographers, directors, and crew. In the early days I was lucky to get the opportunity to operate on several movies for Chris Menges, Bernard Lutic, Seamus McGarvie and John de Borman and to contribute on many projects on Camera A - Z. Laterly I have been fortunate to forge enduring relationships with Anthony Dod Mantle and Terry Stacey.
The sense of inclusion and fellowship occasioned by being associated to the BSC (since 2000) and the ACO is mind-broadening and life enhancing.
There are so many occasions, beyond number, when I have had to actually punch myself to the reality that I was actually looking through the viewfinder and seeing first hand an amazing performance being born and nurtured by directors such as Stephen Frears, Danny Boyle, Neil Jordan, Ron Howard, John Madden, Justin Kurzel, Lasse Halstrom, Philip Noyce, Sean Penn, Hugh Hudson, Ken Loach, Nigel Cole and Richard Curtis.