I was asked by Skins to film their ambassador Rory McIlroy trying out a trick shot at a sponsor’s day at The Belfry. This was the result:
Real, or fake? This is what they thought in the USA:
I shoot and edit the video content (interviews and behind the scenes montages) for Their Mag, the sister publication to Rio Ferdinand’s #5 Magazine. Each edition features a different celebrity guest editor or editors, with the first edition starring JLS, and Alexandra Burke to follow early in 2012.
For Christmas 2011 I shot and edited a video to showcase the Sky Go Movies Express, a chartered train from Euston to Birmingham themed to a variety of films showing over the Christmas period and offering competition winners a chance to watch some of their favourite films on the go. Shooting alone and with only an hour and a half’s journey to capture most of the shots, I then edited and uploaded the montage plus b-roll interviews for a deadline the following morning.
A fun but demanding job (shooting handheld on an old train isn’t for the faint hearted) which called for the rather more user friendly EX1 rather than my usual 7D rig.
I’m one of the team currently producing video content for Texaco Fan Central, where Sky Sports’ Fenners visits Championship clubs and films feature interviews with players and managers. Check out the content here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TexacoUKFC
In late 2011 I was brought in by the PR for Wasserman Media Group to produce a video highlighting their PR work with cyclist and 2011 Sports Personality of the Year Mark Cavendish. I shot interviews with Mark plus several Wasserman staff and journalists, added footage and stills from recent media coverage and edited a 3 minute video for internal purposes.
In June 2011 I was asked by FATV to be the FA’s official videographer for the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany. Together with their reporter, I was embedded with Hope Powell’s squad throughout the finals campaign from the squad announcement in London, training camp in Leicester and the tournament itself in Germany. I shot (EX3 and 7D), edited and uploaded daily content from the camp including player personality profiles, training footage, interviews and edits of player video diaries.
These were distributed on FATV/YouTube and several clips were used by the BBC to supplement their tournament coverage.
Upon our return I put together an overview edit of the team’s story:
The work aside, the experience was something I was privileged to be part of. Having worked with professional football for over 10 years I’m very familiar with how the industry works, but spending an extended period of time with a working squad gave me a new insight and understanding of what players go through at a major tournament. I also came away with a huge respect for women’s football and particularly for the commitment and professionalism of Hope Powell’s players and staff, and if things had gone our way in the penalty shootout I think we could have seen them going all the way.
So if you read my previous blog you’ll have heard me mention that I’m not afraid of hard graft. What I am afraid of is finishing a 13 hour shift at Wembley at 9.30pm, nannying the driver with the best route back to Surrey, and then leaving home again at 3.15 the next morning for my next job. I suppose I’ve done it now, I survived, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
The day (I use the term very loosely) started badly when the driver who’d come to pick me up considered it normal to arrive 10 minutes early (at 3.15 in the morning that’s not a virtue), leave his engine running outside my house (my street is so narrow you can touch a car in the road by leaning out of the house either side of the road) and to talk to his mate on the phone with his window open. I repeat, at 3.15 in the morning. That said, there’s something quite intriguing about getting up that early; if someone asks you to get to work at 7 it’s a pain, but a 4am start is altogether more of a challenge and therefore almost…fun. Driving to work past the fleshpots of south London when they’re kicking out after a solid Saturday night is an eye opening experience, and ordering sober at 5am from a 24 hour McDonald’s almost righteous.
Again the job was with/for an old Soccer AM/Channelbee chum, this time the bearded wonder that is Robbie Knox. We’ve embarked on a similar journey so help each other out by hiring one another when we need an extra pair of hands on a shoot. His client in this case was the agency for the Spanish Tourist Board, organizers of the now annual ‘A Taste of Spain’ extravaganza which takes over Regent Street offering food, drink, entertainment and sport with an Iberian twist. The event was due to kick off at midday, leaving us 8 hours to pick up shots of the preparations. The main idea of the early start was for us to pick up a great timelapse of the street being transformed into a fiesta but in reality (and I haven’t seen Robbie’s shots yet) we’ve probably got an hour of Saturday night dregs relieving themselves outside Uniqlo and then 7 hours of vans delivering scaffolding.
The sky looked nice though, and McDonald’s did well out of us (except Jamie the runner who inexplicably for a young bloke who can get away with it has made a pact not to eat fast food throughout 2011).
Midday came and so did the throngs. I had mega rig with me
which is never easy on the move in a big crowd but I did my best. Our brief was to capture as much of the event as possible but with a focus on the sports zone, a pretty impressive collection of stands offering golf swing analysis, an F1 simulator, the World Cup, basketball matches and more. Robbie got the job of filming the massive paella and sangria stalls, for some reason, maybe because he was the boss.
That’s pretty much it really. It rained and we didn’t get any paella or sangria (well, Robbie says he didn’t and we have to take his word for it) but we did get a few pints in at the end of the day (whilst we were transferring the rushes from my camera to his laptop, in case our wives are reading this) and Jamie the runner got to guard our bags behind the motor sport stand all afternoon. We got closer to the World Cup than we probably ever will do again, and I can say I saw Regent Street sober at 4am. As for the film of the event, we’ll have to wait until it goes through the various channels but if it reflects the effort many people put in it should do the trick. I’ve long since been sold on Spain but anyone getting their first taste on Sunday will have had a treat.
Due to my commitments on GoalMouth and also to the fact that he’s got more staff now, I haven’t done much for Sheephead at FATV recently. In fact those who knew Channelbee will be happy to hear that Joe’s not only got Jon Dyson but also Tony ‘the Hammer’ Watson on board now which is great news as he’s a top bloke who knows his football even if you can’t understand what he’s saying most of the time. So naturally I was happy to get the call to do a day with the team up at Wembley covering for Dyson who was on U21 duty.
FATV seem to be growing as an operation and now have tv giants Endemol behind them so I fully expect them to go from strength to strength; think of the assets they have at their disposal (England players/footage, FA Cup) and the huge fanbase (pretty much anyone who’s interested in football) and you can see I’m hardly going out on a limb there. Joe and his team have the access, they have the creative experience and vitally they have the trust of the hierarchy at the FA and the end result is a great example of what branded content should be; it engages the audience whilst promoting the product. They’re not taking it easy either; on Saturday at various times I think I counted 8 pieces in production. That’s a lesson to any brands seeking to get into video; one glossily produced corporate or brand promo does not a digital audience make, unless you get lucky with one of those elusive ‘virals’. In my humble opinion little and often is the key to building brand awareness and eventually loyalty through video.
8 pieces on the go in one day also meant I was in for a pretty full-on day’s graft. First up was a 3 camera acoustic set and interview featuring Brother, hosted by ESPN’s Richard Lenton. Lighting conditions weren’t ideal and it was a fast turnaround in edit so it’s pretty rough and ready but we prioritised getting the piece out before kickoff rather than making it look and sound prettier:
Channelbee trivia point about Richard Lenton: he appeared as a guest in the original pilot show for the project. Back then he worked at Sky but not on camera, and came to us with a brilliant clip he had of him when he blagged his way onto an African channel as a presenter during the World Cup. During one game his co-presenter was caught short whilst he was on air…cue a lot of jiggling in his seat and an eventual panic dash off camera whilst Richard tried to hold the fort. Wish I could find the clip on YouTube…
Back to Wembley, and Brother duly edited and uploaded, next job was pitchside to pick up whatever I could for a low angle perspective on the game. I may have been 10 feet away from the Swiss keeper but I can tell you, crouched behind the goal isn’t the way to watch football. Stuck without a stool, hunched over a tripod just high enough to peek over the hoarding but low enough not to attract the wrath of the fans in Row A, sweltering under the mid-afternoon sun wrestling with temperamental kit…so I couldn’t tell you how we played but it was certainly a buzz. Then a mad dash into the tunnel for half-time, a desperate swap of cameras and off out onto the pitch with the England Women’s team for their official send off to the World Cup. Back into the tunnel for interviews with some of the Women’s team, back pitchside for midway through the second half, another mad dash upstairs after full time and another hurried edit to get the pitchside cut up on the site for 10pm. Again, priority for the edit was to get it up as soon as possible rather than creating a masterpiece, but I think it’s always interesting to view action from a different angle and here it is:
Today I edited the interviews with the Women’s team so that’s up now:
A pretty full-on day but as I say, I really believe in what FATV are doing and it’s a pleasure to put the hours in with them. Looks like I could be heading out to Germany to be the videographer for the Women’s team at the World Cup which if it happens would be a real honour.