I have been researching into jobs here in Manchester; I received job alerts from several different companies such as Film & TV Pro and Mandy Jobs. My plan is to go back to Lincolnshire and set a wedding video business up, purely to save so I can afford to live in Manchester where there are more production jobs in this industry, if I do not have money I will not be able to stay. Therefore, that is my first plan. I am a confident person however I feel I should work on my overall pitch, as I do get quite nervous, so I have been researching and connecting with people just to get advice. Linkden has been a great resource for me in terms of research and networking, the people that use Linkden have been endorsed for their work so people can see exactly what you have done and what your colleagues think of your work with them, which is a great way for employers to see what you’re work ethic and CV is like. I have just started using the tool so I have not been endorsed for any of my work, which is something I need to build on, by working and interacting with other filmmakers. It is also a great motivation tool for me, seeing all the creative people working together makes me want to get involved.
A filmmaker called Christopher Hugh’s contacted me a couple of weeks ago asking me whether I would like to help out on his new production (C Hugh’s, 2014), all because he had seen my blog and Vimeo channel, so I‘ve really began to understand that networking is key in this industry. In my time at Manchester I have been trying to gain as much experience as possible, a lot of my work that I have done recently has been through people I have met on filmmaking productions , for example the boxing promotional (P Waddington, 2014)shoot I did recently was through Mongz, the guy who I worked with on my last research project and then through Tashan I have secured a job making a documentary film about an athlete (Track & Field) who has injured his leg ultimately stopping him from furthering his career. I have also been working on a lot of films for university projects so that I have a lot of films I can showcase, i worked with Emily Snelson on her film as a cinematographer. I am also working on Natasha Moane’s film and Amy Nash’s film, doing sound design on both. So for me this year has been about getting as much done as I can.
For me most of my research has been practical, my aim is to build my show reel and have a lot of different work, I want to be able to show that I am versatile in my skills, that way if a job came that wasn’t my ideal job (working for a studio etc.) I would still be able to take it. I do not want to limit myself to a cinematographer or sound designer; I enjoy all areas of production from pre to post, so any job within the film industry I would love. Once I have my foot in the door I can progress from there as a cinematographer.
There are many production companies in Manchester I am very keen to work for but there is one in particular called Nine Lives Media who specialise in documentary filmmaking (Online), which is something I am extremely passionate about. I have been following them for a while, researching their staff and programing. Current affairs and journalism is something I am interested in which I why this company appeals to me so much. All in all I can say I have made some good contacts through filming, I recently started working with an old friend from Lancashire who is leading a campaign to help the homeless, they ultimately want to raise enough money to buy a portable soup kitchen so they contacted me and asked if would make the campaign film, again widening my contacts. (Help the homeless, 2013)
Just before Christmas I got a job working for Dr Linnie Blake from the Manchester Gothic Society making a short film promoting the course, she wanted me to shoot some opening lectures with guest speakers and also an open day, shooting the open day with my DSLR was fine, it was only when I was preparing to shoot the lectures I realised I wouldn’t have enough memory as my assistant didn’t turn up with the memory cards. I had to make the decision to shoot only five minutes from each scheduled lecture. I had to remain calm as Linnie was busy at the time with guests, so I to make the decision to cut out certain parts without confirming with her, fortunately she was ok about me doing that as the video would only be five minutes itself.
Another problem I encountered was when shooting my latest film Granny Smith, my grandma was going through a bereavement at the time so I felt as though I was imposing and didn’t want to be under her feet filming everyday so I had to almost tip toe around her. Also when doing the interviews it felt quite stressed and her answers were very basic, most of them being just yes or no answers. I knew that I would have to come back up at a more convenient time as what I had wasn’t enough, also because I felt rushed the framing wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, it felt flat so that was another reason to come back up.
I am a very organised person so planning films is something I really enjoy, I always plan a week ahead of schedule, just in case something was to happen which a lot of the time something does. For example a film I started for the second year personal was a drama about me moving to my dads and one of the actors didn’t let me know he couldn’t make it until the day of filming, but fortunately I had an extra week spare so we could re-schedule for the next coming days. Unfortunately the film didn’t work out, I had a hardly no crew and the couple I had were not skilled so It was too much for me to do on my own, this is something I often think about, I think it could have been made really well if I had enough crew. So that’s something I always consider when planning films, I need reliable people, which will come with the more work I do and people I meet.
Producing All the Pretty Horses (P Waddington, 2013) went smoothly and everything came together as planned, I was really fortunate to get the location, I had been searching for a few days before my cousin called to tell me she had found a place. I wrote the script a while before the unit started so I had a lot of time to rehearse with the actors, and get the props together. I did have a small crew, only three in total as my friend dropped out last minute but we still managed and stayed within the schedule.
I am defiantly more confident in what I want to do when I finish university, meeting new filmmakers and films as widened my contact base so I feel when I get back to Manchester even if I don’t get the job I want straight away, I will still have a network of people to make films with. I want to be a cinematographer so for the past year that’s what I have been practicing most and selling myself as, Its what I enjoy the most, I want to start testing ideas with other genres of film, I feel I should broaden my skills. I think I will be fine after university, I know exactly what I want to do and where I want to be, I have most of the equipment I need to start this wedding cinematography business so its just a case of advertising myself. I have business cards ready and I’m planning to make a website as soon as the major unit is finished. My work in the past with the studios has definatly shown me what working in the industry is like, I feel confident when I do get back to Manchester I will find a job as a freelance cinematographer.
Christopher Hughes. firstname.lastname@example.org. Crew. 30th March 2014.
Help The Homeless East Lancashire.  In Facebook. Accessed: 28th April 2014]
Nine Lives Media. (2012). Productions. Available: http://www.ninelivesmedia.co.uk/production/productions.html. Last accessed 27th April 2014.
Phoebe Waddington. (2014). Tashan Promotional. [Online Video]. 17 April. Available from : hhtp://vimeo.com/92760664. [Accessed: 27 April 2014].
Phoebe Waddington. (2013). All The Pretty Horses. [Online Video]. 20 December. Available from: http://vimeo.com/75973580. [Accessed: 27 April 2014].
I am a highly passionate filmmaker who strives to do better, I work well under pressure and give my 100% in every production. I’ve been making films for seven years, getting as much work & experience as i can. I enjoy working in all areas of filmmaking from pre- production to post but my ultimate goal is to become a cinematographer, working with documentary.
1st Diploma Media – Merit 2008
National Diploma Film & TV Production – Distinction 2011
BA Hons Filmmaking – Undergoing 2014
• Highly skilled with cameras ( Canon DSLR’S, Panasonic P2HD’s, Other DV’s)
• Skills to analyze raw footage and construct it into a well-structured narrative or documentary
• Proficient editor with extensive experience in (Final Cut, Adobe Premiere Soundtrack Pro)
• Skilled with sound equipment (Tascam’s, Marantz, Edierol’s)
• Team player/Problem solver/Work well under pressure/Excellent Organisation Skills
Work & Experience
February 2009 – August 2009
Estuary Tv Work Experience
• Floor Manager
• Gallery Assistant
• Production Assistant
• Camera Operator
• Script Writer
AMC Dance Live Show
• Camera Operator
British Youth Film Academy
Richard II (Feature)
• Boom Operator
• 3rd Assistant Director
The Manchester Centre For Gothic Studies, Promotional Film
Boxing Promotional Film
Films & Projects
2011, 1 minute
Awakening, Video Installation (Director, cinematographer, editor)
2012, 5 minute
My Dead Friend Sam (Production Manager)
2012, 5 minute
Rachael, Documentary (Director, Cinematographer)
2012, 5 minute
Lucy, Documentary (Director, Cinematographer, Sound Designer, Editor)
2013, 5 minute
Another Man, Drama (Sound Designer)
2013, 7 minute
All The Pretty Horses, Drama (Director, Editor, Sound Designer)
Manchester & Salford Film Society (Nominated)
2014, 5 minute
Mongz, Documentary (Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Sound Designer)
2014, 3 minute
Help The Homeless, Campaign Film (Director, Cinematographer, Editor)
2014, 5 minute
Time For Change, Documentary (Cinematographer)
2014, 10 minute
Granny Smith, Documentary (Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Sound Designer)
Don’t pay attention to sound or cuts, this is just a rough edit, testing out colours. I downloaded a free version of the Magic Bullet software to get the look. I am not very good at colour grading so this was a really good tool to have.
You get in total twenty different film looks, granted some aren’t the best but its worth getting for the few that are. Get your free download here:
There’s a couple of other free downloads.
Quick Looks Free works with:
Adobe After Effects CC, CS6, CS5.5, CS5
Adobe Premiere Pro CC, CS6, CS5.5, CS5
Apple Final Cut Pro 6, 7