Simon’s early childhood years in Singapore instilled in him a love of tropical climes, foreign places
and their peoples. This has served him well in a career travelling the globe shooting music,
commercials, documentary, feature films and television drama.
Growing up, family trips to the cinema were held as rare special treats, but television could be
relied on for a constant diet of classics: Welles, Hawkes, Powell and Pressburger. There was
always the Saturday morning kids’cinema where you might, in spite of all the noise and flying ice
lollies, be transported by a film as amazing as The Thief of Baghdad; “Chief Photographer”
Before he knew the names Toland, Garmes, Metty, Harlan, Morris, Cardiff, he knew it was the
lighting and camera that created the atmosphere, the magic that envelops the watcher, holding
the gaze and the imagination till the screen fades to black.
In his teens he picked up a stills camera and taught himself basic photography but it wasn’t until
after he had completed a degree in French that he applied to The National Film and Television
School to study cinematography. He learned he had an interview whilst crewing as a spark for
Sue Gibson BSC on her NFTS graduation film in Dublin.
Going before the panel, the presence of Nic Roeg CBE BSC , about whom he had intended to
enthuse, nearly paralysed him. Somehow nobody noticed.
At Beaconsfield, in addition to having access to a treasure trove of cameras, lenses and lights, he
was able to learn from and train with cinematographic luminaries Ossie Morris OBE DFC AFC
BSC, Billy Williams OBE BSC and Vittorio Storaro ASC AIC, spending invaluable time with Billy on
Dreamchild and Ladyhawke with Vittorio.
This unique education launched him on a journey that still brings surprise and inspiration. In the
beginning, as part of Nic Knowland’s Tattooist family, he shot many music videos and a first
feature length project featuring The Pet Shop Boys, It Couldn’t Happen Here, he went on to work
with many artists of the time - Oasis, Blur, Amy Winehouse, Primal Scream, Van Morrison.
Commercials with Andy Morahan, Brian Griffin, Rocky Morton, Antoine Bardou-Jacquet,
David Slade and others followed.
Working with fellow NFTS graduate Gary Sinyor on his Merchant Ivory spoof Stiff Upper Lips led
to another collaboration with Gary, this time for Newline Cinema in Los Angeles on The Bachelor,
a romantic comedy with Chris O’Donell and Renee Zellweger.
Most recently he has enjoyed being part of a rich and prolific period for television drama, while
holding more than ever to the maxim best expressed in Preston Sturges’ Sullivans Travels,
" that entertainment and laughter may ultimately be of more practical value than more serious
depictions of the human condition”.
Cinematography, for him, has never been more exciting, as digital technology continues to
revolutionise the way we work; not ultimately to the exclusion of film, but perhaps, now, to its
advancement as a capture medium.
TV Credits include:
Poldark; Endeavour; Harlots; Thirteen; Humans and Doc Martin (still shooting on S16 Kodak)
Brit award Best Video 96 Oasis Wonderwall Director Nigel Dick
Welsh BAFTA 2011 Short Film Nadger Director Catherine Linstrum