Throughout 2009

Shooting a car stunt

Again in 2009 I spent more time working on EastEnders than anything else. Although most of EastEnders is shot in the studios at Elstree and on their outside set, Albert Square, there is a lot of work that falls outside the perceived 'normals'.
I was involved with the E20 project that moved EastEnders onto the internet as an online soap, providing the back story to new characters that later entered the main drama.
Another variation was a special shoot for the 25th Anniversary of the start of EastEnders that will take place early in 2010.
Plus the more usual range of location shooting that takes the drama out into the real world or needs special facilities like the car stunts shot in the autumn.

Love's Labour's Lost
Oct 2009



Often the most interesting jobs arrive in the most mundane way. A text arrived in September from a colleague "Fancy some Shakespeare ?" "Sure, when ?", the job was to become one of the hardest technical challenges I had ever worked on.
All the previous Shakespeare plays I'd been involved with had been studio productions earlier in my career, this was to be a recording of Love's Labour's Lost in production at the world famous open air Globe theatre. The client, Opus Arte, wanted the production shot in high definition for release on DVD, Blu-Ray and cinema release.
Shooting a stage show, be it drama or opera, actually in production adds significant difficulty to a TV production. The production's schedules don't allow any sort of rehearsal for TV and crucially The Globe theatre's productions are faithful to medieval production values, so no additional stage lighting. There is only just a small amount of additional lighting to allow the audience to see the production in the gloom of late season performances, the required audience lighting for safety in the event of an evacuation was actually brighter than the stage lighting! The exceptionally low light levels gave us a particular challenge, the cameras had to work with the lenses at their maximum aperture f1.7 with additional gain used. This results in very small depths of field needing absolute accuracy in focussing, not helped by the noise introduced into the picture because of the additional gain.
As usual with theatrical productions shot for television, there were planned to be two recordings on different days. This usually allows an opportunity to edit from both performances if there are any problems. As the shooting dates approached an added difficulty arose, weather. Rain was forecast for the second performance, so we would need each recording to be as complete as possible as continuity for editing would be very tricky.
With these sort of obstacles to overcome it's reassuring to be working with some of the best people in TV. Director Ian Russell's camera script worked perfectly and was expertly cut together by vision mixer Julie Mann. The rest of the crew lead by OBCrew's Chris Goor performed outstandingly. Everyone is keenly waiting the opportunity to see the final programme when released for the cinema.

6 Nations Rugby
February 2009

Another annual assignment has been working on the six nations rugby tournament in the spring. Working on the home games is always great with a fantastic atmosphere at Twickenham, great facilities and a good natured crowd.
The annual trip to cover the away game in Rome was again blessed with wonderful spring sunshine. Although working abroad is often fraught and rarely the glamorous job it might sound, over the years our visits to Rome have had the rough edges of foreign work smoothed off until they become a very pleasant exception to the routine of winter of sporting events. I've even managed to learn enough Italian to get by reasonably well with too over the years.

Festival of Remembrance and the Iraq Commemoration service
October and November 2009

Two major events in the autumn were covered for BBC television, The Iraq commemoration service at St Pauls cathedral and the annual Festival of remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. These were unusual in 2009 as now the BBC has no outside broadcast facilities of it's own, the contract went to an outside company, Arena who did an excellent job; undoubtedly helped by a crew very familiar with the programmes through working on them in past years for the BBC.

Other recent work
Throughout 2009

Whilst it's nice to be able to display some pictures of the programmes I've worked on, it's not always possible. So here a few other programmes I've worked on already this year.

  • Horse racing, for channel 4
  • Athletics, SIS for BBC.
  • Premiership football, SIS for BBC.
  • The Proms, SIS for BBC.
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