Get ready for an epic two-parter of rip roaring adventure throughout history. Some of it will be insightful, dramatic, and emotional, but jokes, my life is not a Hollywood movie… though I have always been into making movies, so there’s some relevance! Basically I’ve given an overview of this blog, what it aims to be, and a brief introduction to my motivations, but it’s not delved into myself as a person yet, and now you get the gist, here comes the inevitable “this is who I am” post. Split into two parts, this will count as Part 1: “The professional bear”.
I grew up always wanting to be a journalist when I was in school, whether it be writing articles or being the photographer to watch (which admittedly was inspired by Peter Parker working for The Daily Bugle in Spiderman….come on, I was 11 when the film was out).
Then as I grew up, so did my love of food. My mother was my first inspiration when cooking, as she was always able to make something great even if the cupboard/fridge was nearly running empty. Plus we used to watch a lot of Jamie Oliver, and laugh at the original series of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares before it went completely OTT in the U.S (not knocking that either as it’s so entertaining).
As my first work placement in school arrived, I decided as a result of my culinary interest to work in a kitchen. Here I learnt new and exciting recipes, cooked with local produce, and even went to catch crayfish in local rivers! Though I eventually came to realise that cooking was not my calling professionally. Retrospectively I also regret the way I left the job – back then I had no idea of the concept of giving notice.
Now for the reason I left cooking… the Wild West!!
Unfortunately it seems my filmic venture into cowboy heroics has vanished from the internet…. well maybe it’s best left to the imagination. My first foray into filmmaking was a task to make a conventional Western for Media Studies at Sixth Form College. It was such a laugh to gather friends and cobble together a nonsensical story with a cowboy dressed in a contemporary chequered shirt (zero budget you see).
Whilst being the worst western ever, it lit a spark in me to continue learning the craft of filmmaking, and telling stories through the best way I can understand it, images. It hit me then that I took a lot of influence from cinema. As a kid I would replay VHS tapes of films like The Matrix until it wore out, stay up to catch sneaky glimpses of horror films (then traumatise myself), and even the ways in which animated shows were put together – yes, 90’s and early 00’s will forever be the best era of kid’s TV.
I then committed myself over the next few years to expanding my scope of filmmaking through trial and error, directing, editing, and even got to act in a couple of films during my further studies… never again, plus my beard would take up too much of the frame now! Oh, and directing in a TV studio was one of the most stressful experiences in my life…
During this time I also got experience at a local media company during holidays, who were amazing at getting me up and running experience wise, and I stayed for a short period after my studies. However, I wanted to move on and broaden my experiences, so I left, and at the start of 2014 I ventured into a year of twists and turns! See the images below:
I got more of a taste of feature films and short films, mainly as a runner and camera assistant, but it was my first gig as an office runner that got me to where I am now. I’ve always been into editing throughout the years, and whilst working at a production office for two weeks in London, a colleague there informed me of a filmmaking group that helped members to collaborate and produce films. They were planning to enter the BFI Sci-Fi 48 Hour competition, where you have to make a film from scratch within that allotted time, with random variables of plot, dialogue and props thrown in to keep it interesting. I was kindly asked to edit it.
Again, this film has appeared to go AWOL online, but here’s an example of the following year’s effort where I collaborated with the same team:
All in all we were happy, and exhausted, to have a film made in two days with like no budget whatsoever. A screening was hastily arranged with the rest of the contenders from the society. There it was, after arriving fashionably late, that I was approached by a producer working for a production company called Cherryduck. Then the rest is history! I nervously made way through a trial week, and have been working with them as an editor since, from freelancer to full time.
It’s still early stages, but right now I am happy and thankful to be working in the profession I’m in now, so there you have it!
Being into filmmaking has also seen an increased desire to direct films, as discussed on a previous post, so here’s to more creativity in future. As soon as more developments are made on other projects, you’ll hear it here first. I’m also planning to take part in the BFI competition again, so watch this space!
Phew! We got there in the end. Part 2 coming soon, “The Personal Bear”.