News: Filming begins tomorrow

Today I travel to the first location to begin my engagement on Genius. It's a project that's been in the works for over a year (for me) - and a lot longer for the core creative team. I'll be on this shoot for two months and during that time, as far as my work on the film is concerned, I'm on a news blackout. It's an industry of very tight non-disclosure agreements and so I'm under orders to keep schtum. I will be discretion itself. 

At the tail end of this year I'll be shooting a couple of theatre productions and even finding time to squeeze in a wedding. I'll be able to post up details of the theatre gigs in a few weeks. One promises to be a bonkers show and the other is going to be a high-profile, big name gig. 

I've got three challenging shoots booked in for early next year and then my diary is reasonably clear to make contact with new clients, seek new challenges and to make a start on a new personal project. 

Pac-a-mac? Check. Strong boots? Check. Camera? Check.  - Right that's enough preparation. Time to hit the road.

View: Still thrills


I'm only a couple of weeks away from starting work on Genius. It's all getting rather real now, with meetings, schedules, scripts and NDAs to be signed. Working on this film means having to get to grips with a new raft of necessary kit. I'll be using the Canon 5DMkIII with a 5DMkII for back-up. I'll be carrying the with the latest versions of the 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 lenses as well as a very nice, and extremely cost-effective 50mm 1.8.

Unfortunately the one piece of gear that is absolutely essential for this gig cannopt be described as cost-effective. I've had to shell out for an Aquatech Sound Blimp along with the accompanying lens tubes. You would not believe how much a few pieces of foam encased in plastic cost. But I don't have any option on this job, I need soundproof housing. The company claims that the box can reduce shutter noise by 95 percent. With the 5DMkIII's excellent 'silent' shooting mode, I should be as quiet as a mouse in socks on set. 

The Aquatech Sound Blimp: Silent, chunky, astronomically expensive.

The Aquatech Sound Blimp: Silent, chunky, astronomically expensive.

I'm spending the next few days getting to grips with this hefty piece of kit. It's going to be a bit like trying to play the piano while wearing boxing gloves.  

A quick recommendation - check out @oneperfectshot on Twitter. It's a excellent daily diet of perfect film stills. It's interesting how the examples on @oneperfectshot are described as frames from the movie, when in all likelihood they were actually taken by the unit photographer. I've become quite obsessed with both the technical and creative challenges faced by unit photographers of late. 

News: My brush with 'Genius'

Maxwell Perkins  By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Maxwell Perkins
By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In October I will be taking on my biggest job yet. I've been signed up as Unit Photographer on a film called Genius. It stars Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney. Michael Grandage is the director and it's written by John Logan, the man behind Skyfall, TV's Penny Dreadful and the Tony Award-winning play, Red. It's filming at Shepperton Studios, and at various locations in the UK and overseas.

I'm responsible for taking all of the production shots as well as the behind the scenes images. It's an eight week shoot and I'm along for the whole gig. It'll mean that theatre work will have to take a back seat for a bit. It'll also mean some early mornings, which will be a devastating shock to the system.

Who's the Genius? Maxwell Perkins (pictured). Great piece in the Guardian about the man who crafted some of the twentieth century's greatest works of literature. Fascinating life. 

Can't wait to get to work on it.