I grew up in rural Sussex. Aged elven I was already seriously into films, not least through a love of Westerns.
I made my first short drama with a borrowed Super 8 camera and a cabal of friends.
I learned to edit on a Sussex University course for kids and my parents bought me a Bell and Howell camera with which more awful films were made. Without knowing what a cinematographer was I knew I wanted to be one.
In the mid 1980’s I worked as a stage hand at Glyndebourne Opera House. The supportive team there, especially Tom Redman, encouraged me to take the first steps toward becoming a Cinematographer.
In 1987 I moved to London, working evenings at the Shaftesbury theatre. After knocking on many doors I landed my first job as a Runner – mostly making tea and collecting dry cleaning for the Director.
1988-1990 I worked for a few months at Solus Enterprises (a stable of cameramen and editors) where I learned about camera equipment and got my first camera trainee position with Roger Deakins on ‘Mountains of the Moon’. MADE IT! I was sacked to save the cost of taking me to Africa.
I was a Clapper Loader on shorts, commercials and music videos and helped crew many National Film School graduation films.
1990-1992 The Film School at Bournemouth Art College where I learned so much, formed enduring relationships and won the Fuji scholarship award for Cinematography.
1993-1995 The Royal College of Art Film School completing an MA in film direction and cinematography. My tutors were Ivan Strasberg BSC and Freddy Francis BSC. To these exceptional cinematographers I owe a great deal. I won the Fuji scholarship prize for a second time and also the Arriflex prize for camerawork and lighting.
My graduation film won 23 grand prix awards on the student circuit. The high profile of this work led by the talent of director Ben Hopkins was without doubt my first break.
I was being hired to light and operate commercials before graduating from film school.
1996-2000 I was now working professionally as a cinematographer. I shot commercials and travelled widely. There were many shoots with director Nicholas Barker whose original eye taught me much about composition.
My first feature ‘Heart’ (Dir. Charles McDougall, writer Jimmy McGovern) was a step up and a trial by fire as was an opportunity to shoot some second unit for Jane Campion and Stuart Dryburgh ASC on Portrait of a Lady.
In 2000 I lit and operated Men Only, a controversial C4 two part drama about masculinity, directed by Peter Webber. I think we achieved an intimacy between actors and camera which was essential to this piece of work. I won my first Royal Television Society award.
For a number of years I worked closely with brilliant director Philip Martin. Credits include: Hawking (Benedict Cumberbatch), Einstein and Eddington (Andy Serkis), Prime Suspect (Helen Mirren) and Birdsong (Eddie Redmayne and Clemence Posey).
In 2008 I lit and operated a C4 mini series, The Devils Whore, directed by Marc Munden and with a very starry cast it was my first digital cinematography project. Filmed entirely in South Africa but set in 17th century Oxford it was always going to be a heightened piece.
I won both a Royal Television Society award and Bafta nomination.
2009-2020 Shooting for television and cinema, mostly setting up new shows.
Credits include: Luther, Ripper Street, Da Vinci’s Demons and Swallows and Amazons.
Most recently I’ve been filming Killing Eve, returning for three series and working again with director Damon Thomas on Dracula (Blood Vessel) for Netflix/BBC.
3 Bafta nominations – Devil’s Whore 2008, Ripper Street 2011, Killing Eve 2019.
2 Royal Television Society awards – Men Only 2001, Devil’s Whore 2009.
1 Royal Television Society nomination – Birdsong 2010.
1 BSC Award nomination – Killing Eve 2018.
1 Bulldog Award – Killing Eve 2019.