Paul graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Liverpool University in the 1980’s but had always, more than anything else, been fascinated by the magic of film.
“From a very early age I used to borrow my Dad’s 8mm Bolex and would shoot, mostly animation. I was very keen on model making so I could build the miniature sets and film them.”
Despite having headed along the engineering path, Paul’s passion for film and television exerted an irresistible pull and so, after a couple of years working as a graduate engineer, he willingly halved his salary overnight and joined the BBC’s apprenticeship scheme. He spent five years working at the BBC, followed by a contract at the Dutch national broadcaster, NOS, in Hilversum. On returning to the UK, an opportunity arose to attend a Steadicam course at the National Film School in Beaconsfield. Because of his engineering background, Paul had always been fascinated by the Steadicam system so this was an ideal opportunity to learn all about it.
“As soon as you go on a course, you realise it’s not all about size and strength but more about balance, stamina and subtlety; that really suited me and I jumped in with both feet and never looked back”.
By 1993, Paul had purchased his own Steadicam rig and was totally committed to being a Steadicam specialist, taking whatever work he could, to gain more experience. As time went on, the short films and endless music videos made way for larger projects, firstly for television and then for the cinema. To date, he has worked on over 80 feature films either as a Steadicam or Steadicam/B camera operator.
Paul has been an Associate member of the BSC since 2009, having been nominated by fellow operator, Rodrigo Gutierrez. He is also a member of the GBCT and a founding member of the ACO, serving for 8 years on the board. Throughout his career, he has enjoyed working with some of the most talented practitioners in the industry including directors Richard Attenborough, Danny Boyle, Richard Curtis, Neil Jordan, John Landis, Peter MacDonald BSC, Mike Newell, Guy Ritchie, Joel Schumacher, Ridley Scott and Edgar Wright.
BAND OF BROTHERS (2001, dir. David Nutter, dop Joel Ransom), SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004, dir. Edgar Wright, dop David M. Dunlap), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (2004, dir. Joel Schumacher, dop John Mathieson BSC), SUNSHINE (2007, dir Danny Boyle, dop Alwin Küchler BSC), ROBIN HOOD (dir. Ridley Scott, dop John Mathieson BSC), THE FAVOURITE (2018, dir Yorgos Lanthimos, dop Robbie Ryan BSC), ALADDIN (2019, dir Guy Ritchie, dop Alan Stewart), ENOLA HOLMES (2020, dir Harry Bradbeer, dop Giles Nuttgens BSC) and also 2nd unit Steadicam work on seven HARRY POTTER films.