After art college and watching Stanley Kubrick's " A Clockwork Orange " many times, Alan did a two year traineeship at a production company. A good place to start because they had 16mm a 35mm cameras, cutting rooms, a neg cutting room and a dubbing suite and as trainee Alan did a bit of everything.
Freelance after that as a camera assistant.
Since then Alan has worked on just about every type of production including news, documentaries, adverts, tv drama and feature films.
Barry Myers, an extremely gifted commercials' director who ran Spots films was a fundamental part of his progress as a Cinematographer.
A lucky break in the early 80's offered the opportunity of operating Barry's second camera for a " no expense spared " American commercial which they shot in Spain. This job changed the way Alan thought about making films because of its scale and ambition, and after a week or so filming Calvary charges and tank battles from dawn till dusk, Alan felt he had been initiated.
A few years later Alan started lighting for Barry and his approach to the work made him realise that cinematography, although it requires technique, is not a technical process, and that sometimes how a thing feels has more value than how it looks.
They worked together all over the World for years, hard work and great fun.
Alan used to operate for Michael Seresin and when he told him that he was promoting himself to Cinematographer he introduced Alan to the Director Anna Campion who was about to shoot her first feature film. Alan got the job and will always be grateful to him for that.
John de Borman proposed Alan for membership in 1998, and although he's pretty useless at joining things, he has always been delighted to be be member of the BSC.
1997. Kodak award for best cinematography. "Smirnoff Black" Dir: Barry Myers
1999. 9th Dinard Film Festival . Kodak Prize for Best Cinematography "Get Real ". Dir: Simon Shore
2009. BAFTA Nomination for " Desperate Romantics " Dir:Diarmuid Lawrence
2010. BAFTA Winner ( lighting and photography ) for "South Riding" Dir:Diarmuid Lawrence