Up until the age of nineteen, my interest in cinema was restricted to going to “the pictures”. It wasn’t until I attended college and studied graphic design and photography that I was introduced to a film department which had cameras and editing equipment. I completed my course determined to become a film editor.
I left college in 1982 and found a job with a small production company. Channel 4 was just starting out then and the BBC was opening up to outside contractors, so there was much work for freelance crews. The company also had a cutting room and that’s where I started work. In time I transitioned to being a camera assistant and then a cameraman. In 1989 left the company to go freelance and over the next decade or so shot documentaries for broadcast television.
My big break came with ‘Touching The Void’ (Dir. Kevin Macdonald, 2004). It was a theatrical and box-office success that helped pioneer the idea of big-screen documentaries.
The cinematographer who helped me get into movies was Barry Ackroyd. In 2000, Barry was unable to shoot Ken Loach’s ‘The Navigators’ and so he recommended me to Ken who, thankfully, took me on. Later, in 2005, when Barry was shooting Paul Greengrass’s United 93, he asked me shoot 2nd Unit. Over the years, Barry has been a friend and advisor, without whom I can’t imagine my breaking into movies.
Forging a creative relationship with a director is a joy. You have the references and the visual language; which is not to say you always do the same thing. In fact often i find the pushing of ideas comes more from within an established working relationship than from a new one.
I became a member of the BSC in 2010. My proposer was Derek Suter.
BAFTA Nomination: 'BORN TO BE WILD - OPERATION LEMUR with JOHN CLEESE’. (Dir. Justine Kershaw, 1997 - n.b Joint nominee with Warwick Sloss & Gavin Thurston)
BIFA Winner:‘TOUCHING THE VOID’ (Dir. Kevin Macdonald, 2004)
RTS Winner & EMMY Nomination: ‘JANE EYRE’ (BBC. Dir. Susanna
10.EMMY Nomination:‘GREY GARDENS’ (HBO. Dir. Michael Sucsy, 2008) 11.EMMY Nomination:‘PARADE’S END’ (BBC/HBO. Dir. Susanna White,
2013) 12.BAFTA & RTS Winner: ‘THE LOST HONOUR OF CHRISTOPHER
JEFFERIES’ (ITV. Dir. Roger Michell, 2014)
13.‘TOUCHING THE VOID’ (Dir. Kevin Macdonald, 2004) 14.‘GREY GARDENS’ (Dir. Michael Sucsy, 2008) 15.‘NANNY McPHEE & THE BIG BANG’ (Dir. Susanna White, 2009) 16.‘THE LOST HONOUR OF CHRISTOPHER JEFFERIES’ (Dir. Roger Michell,
2104) 17.‘THE SELFISH GIANT’ (Dir. Clio Barnard, 2014) 18.‘MY COUSIN RACHEL’ (Dir. Roger Michell, 2017) 19.‘WOMAN WALKS AHEAD’ (Dir. Susanna White, 2017) 20.‘THE WHITE CROW’ (Dir. Ralph Fiennes, 2018)