After leaving school I studied photography at the Berkshire College of Art, graphic design at Brighton College of Art, then film at the London School of Film Technique (now LIFS). My first job was production office runner on Nic Roeg and Donald Cammell’s film “Performance”. I spent a lot of time on the set, sometimes sleeping on it as it was cheaper to give me a couple of quid and a cheese sandwich than hire a security guard. I eventually got my ACTT card working in the cutting rooms of Signal Films in Broadwick Street.
Several years of assistant camera-manning followed, mainly for Alan King Associates. I then had a lucky break; through Donald Cammell I was hired to shoot Kenneth Anger’s film “Lucifer Rising” in Egypt, an interesting experience. The film is now a cult underground classic, and is screened in Anger retrospectives in MOMA, New York.
Many years of documentary work followed, much travel, exciting times and great adventures. Amongst many films I shot were “Cosmos” with Carl Sagan, “The Hear of the Dragon” for Channel 4. “Man and Music” for Granada, “Laurence Olivier, a Life” for LWT and many more. Producer Brian Eastman gave me a second lucky break when he employed me to shoot an episode of his “Poirot” series. I went on to shoot twelve more ”Poirots”.
There followed many television drama series and single films, many of which were particularly enjoyable, including “Sharpe” and “Hornblower”, both chiefly shot on overseas locations with some set work on the Pinewood stages. The most popular films I worked on were the “Inspector Morse” series, of which I shot four episodes including the final one, “The Remorseful Day”. Working with John Thaw on “Goodnight Mr. Tom” (directed by Jack Gold) was a complete pleasure, despite some difficulties with the weather.
What fun we had: travel to exotic locations, adventure stories with actors in frocks, lots of horses, stunts, car chases, explosions, massive sets, sailing boats at sea, models in tanks; lots and lots of toys to play with, and a cheque at the end of the week (mostly). My team became lifelong friends.
During my career I have always kept up my stills photography, particularly black and white portraits, and I have six examples of my work in the National Portrait Gallery, London, as well as in private collections.
I now live in West Cork on the edge of the sea. I look back at a career that never ever felt like work; this is how I wanted it.
Some further credits include:
“Michael Powell” – South Bank Show”
“Art of the Western World” - for TVS
“Mozart on Tour” - for KCET
“Alan Bennett” - for South Bank Show”
Several “Under the Sun” for BBC
Several “Beats of the Heart” - for BBC and Channel 4 (Jeremy Marre)
TV Series and one-offs
“The Big Battalions” - for Channel 4 (BAFTA Nomination)
“Love Hurts” for – BBC
“Chillers” - for YTV
“Original Sin” – for Anglia
“Into the Blue” – for Carlton
“Mosley” - for Channel 4
“Pollyanna” - for Carlton
“Wire in the Blood” – for ITV
“The Last Detective” – for Granada
“Lewis” pilot and 3 subsequent series – for ITV
“The Santa Incident” for Hallmark Entertainment
Cinematography award nominations:
BAFTA Nomination for “The Big Battalions”
Royal Television Society nomination for “Sharpe series 3”