featured projects

  • Experience film made for the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, looking at student life in Edinburgh.
  • Short film I made alongside @WAVE_particle and @BashArtCreative to reimagine #Ayr Riverside as a public space launched by @AustinSmithLord on #Tamfest #DayOTheDeid.
  • Event film to promote INTERopen's Leeds Hackathon bringing together developers wishing to devise, test and develop solutions to connect systems and deliver better care.
  • Student profile of a Vet Student from North America. Find out what she likes to do while studying in Edinburgh.
  • Short film made for the National Museum of Scotland's #RobotsExhibition that goes behind the scenes at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.
  • Short film made for South Ayrshire Council as part of a campaign to stop using single use plastic items to tackle pollution.
  • Zetland is the longest running boxing club in my local area and focuses on giving young people the opportunity to improve their lives through sport.
  • Here's a fun one I got to do, an anamorphic music video with student nurses ! - celebrating 21 years of teaching at the University of Stirling.
  • Shot on the Micro Cinema Camera, Here we have triathlete Hanna Howitt getting put through her paces on the vo2max machine.
  • The University of Stirling and Heriot Watt team up to offer education with STEM degrees, aiming to create the the next generation of inspring science teachers.
  • Meet Awatif Mustafa, a student from Palestine who has enjoyed a life changing year studying for her MSc in Investment Analysis at the University of Stirling.
  • Short film following the work of a group of residents in Edinburgh over the last year, who are using human rights to challenge poor housing conditions.
  • Cinematic Cities. An anamorphic journey with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera from Mostar to Sarajevo.
  • A short anamorphic mini-doc on experiences of being LGBT and living with a mental health condition.
  • A short case study of an extraordinary chap whose life was changed through an event which focussed on his strengths and talents.
  • Part of a series of films For Equally Ours. Hughes used human rights to change the law around how young people are treated by the police.
  • Cinematic Cities. Shooting with an ISCO Widescreen 2000 Anamorphic lens, a series of shots from the Spanish Capital.
  • Filmed over many months using Nikkor AIS prime lenses, an insight into the violin-making process of one of Scotland's best craftsmen.
  • Cinematic cities. Budapest in true cinemascope using the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera and a 1.5x Anamorphic lens.
  • Cinematic Places. A trip to Scotland's most beautiful glen with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.
  • A mini-doc on Bethsy Gray, a silver Jeweller from Denmark who moved to Glasgow in the early 1970s. Now based within the starry starry night vintage clothing shop.

blog

BMPCC4K ideal for new River-Sea Systems documentary project.


It’s been a busy 2019 and I have neglected this blog for, well a bit longer than that ;). In October 2018  I got my hands on one of the first Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema 4K cameras (BMPCC4K) in the UK, having ordered one literally as it was being announced at NAB 2018. I was crying out for a small form factor version of my Ursa Mini 4.6K (UM4.6k), and this looked ideal for a project where id be travelling all over Europe solo. Everyone know the specs of the camera, but, for me, what I was really after was something that had great highlight roll off in a small light, but pro-featured package – similar to how my UM4.6k looks, but without the need to visit a Chiropractor.


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But what is highlight roll off? Essentially it refers to the way the gradient from dark to light is handled by the camera, until the sensor effectively “clips” to white. All digital sensors will eventually clip to white, but what’s important is how smooth that transition is. The smoother the transition, the better the “roll off’ is considered to be and the more the footage will look like traditional film, in theory.  Great roll off alongside 13 stops of dynamic range does wonders for skin especially but also high contrast outdoor scenes. Much more like cinema, less like video. I wanted to use the BMPCC4K on a large Pan-European academic project looking at river-sea systems. Here is an extract from Venice:



The Danubius infrastructure will be the first of its kind, pulling together the best scientific, social and economic minds across Europe as a way of making river-sea systems work under the growing pressures of climate change and pollution.  The films look at issues and solutions to managing the complexities of river systems and the millions of people, businesses and areas they serve.


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As part of the project I visited 6 Supersites of scientific importance to the project: The Tay Catchment (here in Scotland,), London (Thames Estuary), Venice (Po Delta and North Adriatic Lagoons), Barcelona (Ebro-Llobregat Deltaic System) Hamburg (Elbe River) and the Danube Delta in Romania.


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Because I was travelling to multiple locations on each trip (we crammed each site into a couple of days filming), I needed to have a system that could be ready to shoot out the bag, with no rig assembly or reassembly required. So far I have settled on this setup with a Zacuto Gratical EVF (essential IMO for shooting outdoors and also helps with stabilizing handheld footage). Audio is run through a JuicedLink RM222 with Rode Wireless Go kit and Deity D3 pro as an on camera mic. Here is a section about the Wadden Sea from the Germany trip.



For batteries I’m running with RavPower LPE6s and i’m barely going through 4/5 in a day. Continually they will last 50 mins at a time. I have an expensive Hawkwoods NP-F battery solution but the extra weight and rigging doesn’t suit my needs for this project. And before folk start hyperventilating, all I’ll say is If you power down in between shots and avoid external media SSDs etc, you can make LPE6s last a very long time.


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I’m travelling light with just the Olympus 12-100 F4 and Sigma 18-35 F/1.8 with Metabones Speedbooster for anything in low light, but most of it has been the Oly. The image stabilisation is the best I’ve used on any camera, you can literally handhold shots and they look like they are on a tripod, while moving pans are free of any jerkiness. Whatever the algorithms are, they’re darn good! Push AF is also very fast.


So far I’m delighted with the camera, its giving me that high end ‘film look’ in a very small footprint, ideal for one man doco projects.