When Cinema Succeeds

I’m a fan of photography, of DSLR in cinematography, of time-lapse and slow motion. Having seen a trailer for a documentary which used all these techniques I ended up booking tickets and heading into the heart of Central London to the Institute Of Contemporary Arts, one of only two places in London showing the feature. The Chasing Ice documentary follows the progression of the Extreme Ice Surveyors over a period of years. And what it shows is spectacular:

Their pioneering work of constructing a way to photograph icebergs and landscapes over a period of years is something the world hasn’t seen before. What they achieve is a way of showing that our world doesn’t follow the pattern we expect throughout our four seasons. The icebergs and poles don’t “grow, shrink, grow, shrink” as you’d expect. It’s more “shrink, shrink, shrink, shrink“. This documentary clearly shows it. And just for reference, that rock of ice that breaks and churns in the opening of the trailer is about half the size of Manhattan.

However, this blog isn’t a piece for or against the argument of “climate change”. What I actually wanted to write about is something far more basic, and less of a political storm. A few days ago I wrote on the failures of the local Odeon Cinema to reach the basic standard I expected from such a chain, citing poor upkeep and baffling design to their screening rooms. In order to accommodate more screens (and in turn take more money) it appears they’re sacrificing the real cinema experience for profit. I still await their reply. Less “Fanatical About Film“, more “Fanatical About Profit, Less So On The Customer“. But that’d probably be too long for their billboards.

But the Institute Of Contemporary Arts succeeded where Odeon Cinema clearly failed. The ICA has only two screens, they have old fashioned movie theatre chairs (in sensible solid rows), their prices were good, their employees were great, the screen was clear and bright, the sound was perfect and it was packed to the rafters (literally).

So take note, Odeon! Some people like the idea of running their own pub or hotel. I might just run my own cinema just to be your competition…

Business. As usual.

I really thought April 2012 was going to be a quiet month. Having only been freelance for seven months so far I don’t have the full years worth of experience I would like in order to guage the busy and quiet periods. I guess it depends on your remit of work. In my industry of News and Politics, Christmas and New Year are busy. Mainly because so many people want the time away from the studios to be with their families. That means double-time freelance pay on certain days. It seems with Big Brother back on the cards, summers will be busy too (and I don’t mind that).

When Celebrity Big Brother ended in January I had no other work on the horizon. I did the odd day here and there with Sky News and continued on my search contacting studios and other companies. Bloomberg took me on as a contracted freelance Director for their Asia shows in January and I was keen to get my teeth into it all and learn their studio ways (as each place seems to have their own technical workings and language). I’d been doing that, but it still felt quiet.

Thankfully for me, an overnight Director with Bloomberg London had a baby on the cards. And the little one appeared at the beginning of April 2012. Joy and happiness all round. They start a family, I got over two weeks of freelance work.

With Big Brother seemingly on the cards till the end of 2014 I can’t help but have twiddling thumbs, waiting on the text/call/tweet/FaceBook-message asking if I am available. And I wouldn’t say no. I couldn’t say no. I dream of being in the Big Brother house! In fact not too long ago I had an actual dream of being in there and rushing into the previously-locked bedroom area and seriously debating at lightning speed which bed I would take (furthest from the toilet and the main door so less noise?) whilst making sure the other housemates weren’t going to steal the bed I wanted…

But for now, it’s Bloomberg for another week. Business. As usual.

Sky News wins Coverage Of The Year!

I’m very pleased to say that Sky News has won an RTS award for ‘Coverage Of The Year’, relating to the ‘UK Riots’.

And I’m incredibly proud to say I was one of the Directors covering that event as it unfolded. I sat down as Director at midnight on the first night, just a few hours after the iconic burning double-decker bus footage. All night we received emails in their thousands with photos, videos and text messages from all over the UK. A fantastic team of top-form Producers verified and checked each piece of footage and we took it straight to air.

A very well deserved award for incredible team work.