Sweetheart | Short film funded by iShorts


Short film directed by Jack Taylor Cox, | coming of age.

A dystopian drama about a girl who has to choose between family loyalty and her heart’s desire on the occasion of her sixteenth birthday.

A showcase of the latest short films produced by Creative England’s iShorts scheme. iShorts is Creative England’s entry level shorts initiative for new filmmakers outside of London, delivered through the Sheffield and Brighton Talent Centres as part of the BFI NETWORK. We produced 20 films that run the gamut of genres and styles, from quirky comedy to supernatural horror, social realism to magic realism, sci-fi to road movie. The films express regional voices from Exeter to Gateshead, Morecombe to Brighton, and one side of the Pennines facing off the other.

Each project received £5000 towards the production budget and a wealth of on-going support from Creative England’s Talent Centres to deliver the finished films, with intensive residential training supported by the Creative Skillset Film Skills Fund. The filmmakers were chosen for their passion, their vision, their ambition, and their potential. Join us to celebrate the inaugural year of the scheme with a small but choice selection of their films

Excerpt taken from Creative England’s iShorts scheme.

First I would like to thank Arri Rental for their incredible support and understanding in helping us on Sweetheart.  It’s one thing having wonderful ideas, it’s another having the tools to execute them.


  Sweetheart was shot on Arri Alexa with some old Cooke lenses. Jack and myself had done quite a bit of prep before hand.  We had even taken the time to storyboard some of the more complicated scenes, Dulani Wilson from Bluntspear  was our storyboard artist who did just an amazing job.
My personal views on storyboards.
Storyboards are great especially in commercials and VFX, you know exactly what your dealing with and how your going to approach each scene/ setup, a very clear communication of ideas.  This of course also applies to narrative as well, being able to see the film before you start shooting.  However I have worked with Directors who prefer not to storyboard which I am completely comfortable with and ‘find’ the film.  It is not for me to say which is right or wrong, in a matter of fact I don’t even think there is a right or wrong, it just comes down to personal working styles.  My documentary/ ENG background has given me the solid background to be able to think, react and execute on my feet very quickly.  For sweetheart we had storyboarded a small but the biggest section of the film – The Garden Scene. I have attached the original boards done for the film.  I think you can see some relation between the film and the boards.  However The Garden Scene proved challenging.


Basically long story short, from my calculations the sun was going to disappear behind the house by 17.15hrs and we need to be outside in time to cover the scene of 70 + Cast ! but we never did until quite a bit later – it happens.  So all those lovely storyboards became strong refs, There was no time to think literally. Fabrizio Sciarra was on steadicam and an absolute pleasure to work with. We got the scene in the can but it was very different from the boards and also we cheated the line to the point of it being questionable.  If we followed the boards frame for frame in this instance, the scene would have rendered incomplete  and unusable – which is just not an option.  Did someone say reshoots ? of course not…
Looking back at it all even though we did something different from the boards, would we have been able to work at the speed we did without them and manage such cheats ?

Sweetheart_Stil_WIlliams_running copy

We were both going for fantastical, surreal type feel and look for Sweetheart. I believed this was communicated well through the gentle gracious movement of the camera, filtration, lighting and angles.  The camera was to remain subtle for the most part, creating a slight but noticeable uneasiness. Jack also wanted key frames to be like paintings, creating a tableau.  This I thoroughly enjoyed.  Moving the camera just centimetres at a time composing the frame to communicate best the emotion at that time. Anything from 14mm to 250mm lenses were used, setting the camera height and angle became a test for patience especially under great time constraints.  One tableau was used as a poster for the iShorts scheme here which I thought was cool.

Please find below the boards used on Sweetheart shortfilm

Eleven Dimensions – Sci-Fi London 48hr Challenge 2014 | Short Film

Director : David O’Reilly
Producer : Vinnie Jassal

Although the competition states 48hr challenge, this project was pulled off in 22hrs, because of scheduling conflicts everything had to be done on the Sunday.
It was great working with David and the gang again as it had been over 10 years since our very first short film, including all Cast, I remember Nico (Party man 1)and Piero (Greg) being  as tall as my waist now they are both taller than me !
As for the shoot, it was a skeleton crew, so that included me, me and me, but everyone pitched in (cast) and helped with whatever they can.
Equipment was a 7D with Kit lens and one L series lens, photographic tripod and a handful of lights, and for the time travel effect an Atomic 3000 – oops !!
Went through quite a bit of fuses, but we managed to find the right  level and duration to run it at, in hindsight might have been a bit overkill, nah it wasn’t !
As we had to submit  on the Monday and knowing the edit will take a bit of time actually it took until  3am, I decided to shoot neutral with Sharp, Sat and Con setting to ‘0’, normally I would have loaded Technicolor’s Cinestyle but didn’t want to risk having such a flat image to grade in such a short space of time, even though I filled the shadows, that 7D sure knows how to crunch.

Overall a  Sunday well spent.

Emily | Shortfilm – Updated

At the begining  of the year I had shot a little teaser for the short film titled Emily  directed by Guy Davies.

Emily is a film about the progression of emotions and the development of a relationship between an intelligent girl and her kidnappers.
I Jumped on the train from London to Bristol first thing in the morning, or rather really really early in the morning for the  one day shoot,  shot on the 5D and some house found practicals and a kino. A  few weeks later  this was then used on Kickstarter.com where Guy and Matt Brawley ( producer)  managed to raise an impressive £3,848 ! for the shoot,

A few months later, enough was raised for us to shoot on 4:3 Alexa & spherical front lomos, This has been one the sexiest setups I have ever shot with, absolutely beautiful. None of this  2:40 extraction from 16×9 images, we are talking true 2x squeeze. The quality of this setup becomes very apparent very quickly .

Overall a  straightforward shoot, we had a bit of steadicam ( Matt allsop ) some low loader for the car driving scenes, a night scene and the main location where the kidnapper was held ransom.

Emily is now is post production.

Definitely a good way to have spent the weekend.


We’re Different | Short Film

We’re Different, directed by Peter Mallett, a short concept film entered into Straight8  premiered at Cannes 2012 and then finally screened at the ICA London. For those who may be unfamiliar with Straight8 , it is essentially a short film competition where you the film maker has  been given 1 roll of super8 to make a film, all editing is done in camera, by starting – stopping the running of the camera where you want the shot to begin and end. So one of the beauties of the final film is how creative one can get with such limitations. I love a challenge !

The first time, the film is actually seen is at the film festival, very cool indeed.

The original amazing track is performed by Elan Tamara – http://soundcloud.com/elantamara

Hope you enjoy.

Disillusioned Dreams | Short Film

Disillusioned Dreams a  4 min short directed by Natasha Luchmun.  

Filmed on a 7D  with kit lens and additional Nikon 50mm macro, masked off for 2.40 extraction utilising Technicolor CineStyle curve. We filmed using all available light  supplemented with gold, silver reflectors and black for negative.
In the poppy field we waited for magic hour to shoot, this might sound absurd to leave us with such a small window to shoot in, but having discussed with Natasha  how much potential material was needed, I was confident we could achieve it within this time. There was absolutely no better time to shoot the sun back lighting the poppy’s from a low angle giving such a beautiful glow to the sea of petals, complemented with lens flares and over exposure. For the  story this was key, as after  dying the place he is in needed to contrast the cold pathway.

Disillusioned Dreams had done a good festival run and created quite a bit of interest.
Hope you enjoy it. 

= Festivals =

 CINE EAST as part of the East End Film Festival
Lund international fantastic film festival
The Aesthetica Film Festival 

A Fistful of Sandwich | Short Film

A light hearted comedy with an introverted security guard John, lackadaisically patrols the car park he oversees before retiring to his booth for the highlight of his night shift – his break-time sandwich, which he begins to assemble with great care and dedication.  Elsewhere in the car park Marc and Eddie, martial artists and not-so-friendly rivals going back years, embark on their latest contest – a samurai sword-fight until first blood is drawn, the winner taking the loser’s blade.

Writers: Tom Cheshire (story), Philippe Leone
Director :  Philippe Leone
Producer :  Ian Prior
Production Co : Extraordinary Films.

 Audi-ArrivingA fistful of Sandwich was a real organic process in how it came into being. I had shot a short film with Dominic Kinnaird ( Actor, Stunt/fight Coordinator  )and we got to talking after the shoot, really cool guy and we just got on straight away.  I remember mentioning to him how much I would like to shoot a martial arts  film and he was of the very same thought as well, anyway a few weeks had passed and I met up with him again completely forgetting our original convo,  he had a friend with him and he was like hey listen you remember that martial arts film you wanted to shoot – pause oh yea…, well meet Philippe Leone, the rest was history. 
Philippe himself was developing a martial arts film, what a coincidence or was it…  We met up regularly exchanging references of our films discussing why we liked each one, it turned out we had a bit in common and importantly we really got on. 

Philippe, Dominic & Tom spent around 6 weeks training, from being in the gym to rehearsing and choreographing each move and swing of the sword, being there gave me the opportunity to work out, how I would approach this film especially with Philippe pulling a Clint Eastwood. No one was hurt but some near misses whilst rehearsing with the bo staff, some of them were quite painful to watch but the guys just jumped right back into it after some prolonged groaning and foetal positioning. Philippe was adamant that he did not want to disguise poor fighting with lots of edit cuts, so they rehearsed until it was absolutely right.

A fistful Of Sandwich was shot 14 floors down in an underground car park and the only other location was the security’s office. lighting was minimal, just a few kinos and some bed sheets for the car park and some birdies for the office. All gear was provided by Panavision which we are most gracious for. The camera was a Panavised 900r with a couple of

Cigar-low-in-handPrimo zooms. I went into my library of curves and dug out a Steve Shaw curve for the 900 which provided a bit more latitude and has a smoother curve in the shoulder. I still can’t believe how quickly technology has moved on, these cameras were the Rolls Royce in their day and even by today’s standard are still capable of producing fantastic images but I guess cameras have become like seasonal fashion – short lived. You dare to mention this camera to some productions and you would be looked upon just like when E.T came to earth.

The first cut which if I am not mistaken ran for around 20 mins was screened at the BFI ungraded – many did not know the footage was straight from the camera unless told.  I was fortunate enough to have made it to its first screening and the audience genuinely loved it, the laughter could hardly be held under control.

The recut version is running around the 15min mark now and is being submitted into festivals.




Damned | Animated Short Film – Updated

An over-ambitious beaver goes too far when he gets the chance to realise his ultimate dream. Some dreams are just too big.

This is the first time I have worked on an animated film. Absolutely great fun. A question that gets raised quite often is – “What does a cinematographer do on a hand drawn animated film ?” well to be honest quite the same really, but the application is slightly different.  Discussions with the director/animator about camera angles, shading ( lighting) creating  test renders working out depth of field, deep focus, deep staging and tones  that help tell the story is all part of it. So not necessarily having a 10 ton truck with Arrisuns, and F O stands does not mean cinematography does not exist, cinematography is more than just lighting, physical lighting.

The aspect ratio we had decided upon was 16 x 9 and this was based on the simple idea that we wanted to show the scale of the damn, seeing that it is taller than it is wider it made perfect sense as opposed to shooting 2.40
Another point I enjoyed working on animated films is that real decisions are made, I would even  go as far to say more so than live action, by this I mean if we decide to place the camera to the right and have the characters enter left, thorough discussions are held to ensure this is best for story telling elements. You can’t be 1000 frames in and decide actually, well the camera would be better to the left instead, any chance of scrapping the last week of animation and hundreds of  hours to re shoot/animate this 7 sec scene ?

Richard Phealan has put many many  hours in animating this short and has done a remarkable job. , I did offer my drawing skills well maybe skill is a bit of an optimism  but someone in a very polite way after seeing what I can do with a dull pencil and some paper whispered in my ear – stick to cinematography.

Congrats Richard.

Check him out at The little Wolf

Below is a list of awards, mentions and festivals it has been screened at

= Awards & Mentions =
Best Postgraduate Animation, Royal Television Society Awards 2012
Commended, Animated Exeter 2012
Honourable Mention, Vila do Conde Film Festival 2011


= Festivals =
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011 (World Premiere)
Vila do Conde Film Festival 2011
Film Festival Della Lessinia 2011
London International Animation Festival 2011
Tindirindis International Animation Film Festival 2011
Canterbury Anifest 2011
Bradford Animation Festival 2011
Uppsala International Short Film Festival 2011
Balkanima Animated Film Festival 2011
Festival du Film Britannique de Dinard 2011
Encounters International Film Festival 2011
Cinanima International Animated Film Festival 2011
Recontres Henri Langlois International Film Schools Festival 2011
Leuven International Short Film Festival 2011
Animax Skopje Animation Festival 2011
Bangladesh International Children’s Film Festival 2012
Glasgow Youth Film Festival 2012
Animated Exeter 2012
MPSE Golden Reel Awards 2012 (Nominated)
British Animation Awards 2012 (Nominated)
BUFF Film Festival 2012
BUFVC Learning on Screen Award 2012 (Nominated)
Fete de l’anim 2012
Roanne Animation Short Film Festival 2012
International Motion Festival Cyprus 2012
Tribeca Film Festival 2012
Anirmau Film Festival 2012
International Festival of Animated Films Anifest 2012
IndieLisboa 2012
Stuttgart International Trickfilm Festival of Animated Film 2012
Tel Aviv International Short Film Festival 2012
Royal Television Society Student Awards 2012 (Best Postgraduate Animation)
Basauri-Basque International Animated Film Festival 2012
Zlin International Film Festival for Children and Youth 2012
Tabor Film Festival 2012
Anima Mundi International Animation Festival 2012
Film Mostra Picurt 2012
Irish Film Institute Family Fest 2012
Traverse City Film Festival 2012

and counting…


The Field Of Vision | Short FIlm


The Field Of Vision is a short Science Fiction story written by world-renowned author Ursula K. Le Guin. First published in 1973 in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine, it was then later reprinted in 1975 as part of the collection of shorts The Wind’s Twelve Quarters.

Adapted from the short story,  The Field Of Vision is about mankind’s pursuit of truth and the consequence of finding the answer. In an unknown future, a group of astronauts unearth evidence of an ancient alien civilization on Mars. Concealed within it is a truth so dangerous it threatens to change the world forever. On their return, a psychiatrist is brought in to assess the surviving crew, all of whom suffer from unexplainable physical disorders. What he discovers will shake his scientific and rational beliefs to the core.

Some truths are better left unknown.

For a full  read and break down of all the talented crew who poured nothing but love and passion into this project, please visit The Field Of Vision official home page.

For the Field Of Vision  I was asked to create a retro futuristic look for the 1970s-themed science fiction short  directed by Siri Rodnes. Complete with a vast composite set, the surface of Mars and numerous models  we decided immediately that digital wasn’t appropriate for the retro futuristic feel of the film, based on references to, among others Alien and 2001. Even board-roomwhen it was challenged, we stuck to our guns and stayed loyal to film. Field of Vision was shot on S16mm Fuji Vivid 500T stock for a final aspect ratio of 2.40:1,  lensed with a SR3A with uncoated Cookes and Ultra primes kindly donated by Panavision UK.  We also shot on 2 other formats – standard VHS and Super8. Most techniques were very much done in camera including filming multiple television monitors with individual continuous playback whilst having two of the monitors fed with live CCTV cameras all within the same frame. For the tech savy you know exactly the tevhnical challenges involved to have this all working in sync, I was advised to leave it till post production, but staying true to Siri’s vision we did all we can in camera, an attitude I will forever maintain even into this digital realm and beyond – Do it on Set not in Post.

The lighting was built into the composite set all 80 + kino bulbs, kindly donated by CirroLite,  this involved a fair deal of planning with production designer Thomas Goodwin. The examination bay was lit with a modest 15KW of overhead space lights through a full 20×20 silk. The examination of Dr Hughes ( George Anton ) by Dr Kray ( James Weber-Brown ) we had used Storaro Red and an additional 10KW to the existing 15KW.

I was  pleased with the stocks handling of highlights, saturation and contrast, it shows Fuji’s commitment to technical excellence to develop a stock that has so much character and punchfov-cdr-dwight-rogers-before-death  straight from the negative – brilliant. Making conscious and clear decisions about the look of the film from the start I believe is extremely beneficial when coming to the grade, as you only have to start building from an already decided look rather than starting from scratch, time can be spent creatively on other aspects of the film.  

There were a few model shots in the film, the most notable is the ship drifting through space. Christopher Goodman had spent his mornings, days, evenings and nights constructing the Psyche14 model spaceship. Chris did such an amazing job creating this, his attention to detail was impeccable. I had to capture these images in the most striking way I could. we ran the HS SR3A to 75FPS, the sound of film running through the magazine at such a high rate is the epitome of money being spent, ok 75fps is not that fast, but on our budget it surely was and a strange thing also happened, my heart rate became in sync with the claw in the gate, we were one… High speed photography captured on film never ceased to give me a buzz.

We shot at around T8 1/2 with  30KW of lights minimum, a few 10Ks and 5Ks dotted around. An Optex 6mm lens was used close in to give Psyche14 it’s sense of grandeur. No motion control just a dolly, F7 head and lots of love and affection.

A shoot I thoroughly enjoyed.


Festival Screenings, Awards & Nominations

 2012 – Dragon*Con

We are very pleased to announce that The Field of Vision is part of the official selection for this years Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival. Screening date and time TBC.

Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe! This year, Dragon*Con will be held Labor Day weekend (August 31 – September 3, 2012) in Atlanta, GA.


2012 Madrid International Film Festival, Madrid, Spain.

WINNER – Best Costume Design (Louise Cassettari)

NOMINATIONS – Best Short Film and Best Hair & Make-Up (Kari Rodnes)


2011 Red Rock Film Festival, Zion Canyon, Utah, USA.

WINNER – Aglet Award for Best Short Film