I had fun VJing on behalf of my great friends More Eyes for this UK tour which culminated in a sell out show at Manchester Arena. The whole team worked really hard and it looked and sounded great every night.
Summer 2021 had arrived and bookings for events were still in short order due to the lingering pandemic so it was time to diversify before the gov’t furlough payments dwindled.
The UK film and TV industry had restarted production in the middle of 2020 after a brief shut down. Due to a government backed insurance scheme there was a huge number of productions shooting all over the country. Upon the advice of an old colleague I duly sent my CV to one of the larger D.I.T agencies and was sent out on my first job as a trainee no less than a week later.
On the first job I was working under a young woman who had just stepped up to the operator role. Working under her guidance was difficult, she was little more than a grumpy teenager and I have never bitten my tongue so hard and so often in my career. She was just plain rude pretty much every day but I ‘sucked it up’ and made it to the final day of the shoot without leaving her in the lurch, although I came very close on a number of occasions.
The second job I was sent out on was a different kettle of fish altogether. It was a much bigger production for a large American company. The video operator who I was working under was very experienced and we got along really well. The DIT team were a lovely bunch and I learned a lot from the whole crew as well as sharing my own knowledge and skills. I happily fixed some ongoing issues with the wifi access points which had been causing serious difficulties for some senior members of the team when viewing our video streams. Two weeks into the shoot and a fellow crew member was ‘pinged’ by the NHS covid app on her phone and had to go home to isolate. I was asked to step up and operate her rig for the remainder of the shoot thus proving to myself that I knew my way around the software and hardware well enough to take on the next challenge.
Next up I spotted a call for an operator for a commercial shoot on a social media page and applied as a freelancer, with my level of experience as a Qtake operator I was very happy to be chosen for the work. It was a nice little job in a South London park and I had to quickly gen up on the compositing abilities of the software as it would be essential for this shoot. The only kit available at short notice was from Movietech at Pinewood studios and I went out with an Ovide system for the first time which was interesting to say the least as it turned out that the unit was faulty and had to be replaced halfway through the day. A challenging situation which I managed to the best of my abilities.
I was sent out once again by the agency as an operator for a medium budget feature film which was a pretty trashy rom-com. Seemingly everyone on the crew knew it was trash and the atmosphere was pretty uncooperative and unpleasant from the get go. It was high stress and badly managed, particularly by the locations team. I made it through half of the shoot before being replaced, I was happy to move onto better things.
My last shoot of 2021 was as an operator for a couple of days in Ireland, shooting on the coast near Dublin. I had been recommended by someone whom I’ve never met but I had once contacted for rig hire, he had my CV and a level of trust which I admire. The job had quite a relaxed schedule and a good crew. I came home feeling almost like I’d had a holiday.
I worked in partnership with Suffolk County Council’s health improvement facilitator Imogen Sherwood as part of the ‘Suffolk How AreYou?’ campaign to create eye catching projections at three seasonal events in the county.
The projections were the highlight of the campaign which included extensive community outreach, traditional advertising, local Radio, TV and printed media. The campaign focussed on healthy eating, exercise and outdoor activities with the aim of improving public health and encouraging active lifestyles.
I created site specific projections which were displayed during the Christmas light switch on events in three towns. The site in Ipswich Corn Exchange was a prime location for an architectural projection mapping. I employed the talents of Gary Mellor at Blue Spec Media to help me with the large amount of After Effects animation.
The producers of this performance contacted me to work with designer Pia Myrvold to plan and deliver a projection mapped set and visual lighting for the premier of Isabella Steinsdotter’s music project which doubled up as a video shoot. I called on Insight Lighting to supply all the projection kit and Brendan was a dream to work with as usual.
Photo’s from Insight Lighting’s Flickr.
Not sure what happened to the full edit they were due to create.
The multi-talented filmmaker, musician, artists and director Zahed Sultan invited me to create the stage set projections for this show at The Albany Theatre, Deptford after I spotted a post on social media looking for my skills.
The Haramacy residency program and multi arts festival was held on the 27th April 2019. The program brought together 11 artists from Middle Eastern and South Asian communities in London for a 4-day residency to collaborate and create works that would be performed on the fifth day.
I designed and fabricated the triangular screens using a mixture of rear and front projection materials. I worked with the artists to create content for the triangular screens and use the design successfully.
Working for We Make Stuff Happen as video content manager at this annual event is challenging and exciting. The schedule is always tight for the huge logistical challenge involving temporary road closures and a large crew to rapidly build the stage and ancillary equipment.
I have taken care of video content displayed on stage and sent out to the screens along the street including a tightly synchronised countdown to the switch on itself in 2018 and 2019.
I worked with him to prepare some of his archived animations and designed a cost effective and easily operable system for projections in the gallery which would run daily througout the show. It was a pleasure to work with such an experienced and talented gentleman and the gallery staff.
I was particularly pleased to achieve the three circular screen projections using only two media players and involving no projection mapping software, just a circular mask on the content.
Bec Smith of Urban Projections contacted me to ask if I would like to go to Alexandria to do a projection mapping for her. It was a short trip but a pleasure to meet the team at Back Street Festival and display such a lovely piece of work. The piece was commissioned for DCAF festival (Cairo), and Backstreet Festival (Alexandria). Great to see it got some press too.
In Bec’s words ‘Fault Line’ transforms architectural facades in the beautiful Egyptian cities. The piece explores a continuing fascination with geology and local landscape. It explores the transience of energy release, associated with rapid movement of faults on the earths surface.’
My mates at As Described were busy so passed this tidy little job onto me. I simply needed to hire a big projector, place it in the window of a fashion stylists office across the street and projection map a beautiful video: Max Cooper’s Order From Chaos by Maxime Causeret.
The event was to mark the start of Frieze art fair. I went inside for a while and introduced myself to one gentleman at the bar, turned out he was Ian Emes, the animator of some early Pink Floyd visuals, what a great pleasure. I soon made my excuses and left with the projector before the night undoubteldy got a little crazy.
I have worked for Bertie and Haydn at Immersive-me on a number of projects. Among the most memorable and impressive was with Reeps One and Zach Walker for an event sponsored by Ballantines whisky, filmed at Printworks London.
I also helped on a huge projection outside London City Hall in the Scoop for a big music event sponsored by Timberland boots:
I have freelanced with Transition since 2017. The first job they sent me out on was at Hammersmith Apollo to set-up a pair of projectors and screens for an Erykah Badu concert.
They have employed me as VJ for the main stage at Beat Herder Festival in 2017 and 2018, LED technician and Camera Operator for multiple stages at Parklife Festival and Manchester Pride among many other events.
Highlights shows with them have been at Wembley Arena and La Seine Musicale in Paris for a Korean boy band. While I was VJ at Beat Herder I had the pleasure to perform alongside many musical greats including one of my all time favourites Lee Scratch Perry.
Working for an agency called Cake I undertook the challenge of displaying the outstanding new feature of the Nokia 8 smartphone: The ‘Bothie’ dual camera function allowed users to use and display video from the front and rear camera modules of the device at the same time. The one big snag being that the device had no video output functions built in to the operating system.
A short period of research and testing resulted in success. Utilising a screencasting app on the phone in combination with a Syphon enabled screen capture app on a MacPro, we were able to capture streams from two roving phones at an adequate resolution and frame rate with minimal latency.
The venue for the event was Beat nightclub where I took care of clients large and small for a couple of years thanks to both VJ Mowgli and Sleepytom whom both had a hand in creating such a good edge blended set-up in the venue.
I first worked alongside QED at the Elton John Aids Foundation event where they supplied Insight Lighting with a brilliant set of projectors and technicians to help get the job done perfectly. I already knew they were a good projector supplier but soon I learned that they are the BEST.
In 2016 I was very happy to begin working for them in a freelance capacity as a projector technician and camera operator at a number of events including one for a major insurance company where the guest of honour was David Beckham. We had to get the focus tight for that one.
I was contacted by Rickin Patel from https://oppglobal.co.uk/ to help give some spit and polish to the rough cut of this feature length documentary which he was producing. The important subject matter and quality of the material made for a challenging but rewarding job. I wanted to cut it down to 30 minutes as it is longer than the average viewer may wish for but it would have required a big restructuring.
I worked alongside editor Bhavesh Hindocha from http://loudminority.co.uk/ who did the bulk of the work while I concentrated on image grading.
Director Remy Lamont contacted me for advice about projecting onto a cube for his upcoming video shoot with a poet. I was happy to advise and attend on the day to help construct the cube and set-up the projectors with Thomas Blackburn. We turned out a nice job using the cube as a backdrop for the performance poetry of Tommy Sissons.
The lovely Henry Trew whom I had got to know while he was running Dalston Roof Park had a big hand in organising this small but beautifully formed festival which raises vital funds for Jamie’s Farm to host outdoor education trips for inner-city children.
I helped out for a few years and really enjoyed adding some projections to an experimental space with a collection of artists from the studios where I worked the first year. In 2016 I designed the ‘main stage’ in the barn for the first time. I found some materials on site and constructed some organic shaped screens which hung above the stage to be mapped with projections.
In 2018 I was joined for the fun by Brendan from Insight Lighting, Gary Deepvisual and Hanzo of http://initstudio.net/ and we filled the barn and yard with lighting and projections for the whole weekend.
In 2015 I was sacked from a job, dumped by my girlfriend and also given notice to leave where I was living, all within a week. Pretty bleak. I decided to turn all of that negativity into something positive, distracting and useful!
I wanted to realise a long held dream of organising an audiovisual festival. Initial plans were conconcted and emails went out to the people whom I wanted to help make it a reality. After a year of hard work and commitment from a small team of directors with huge contributions from the community of artists and volunteers Splice Festival was first staged from the 3rd to the 5th June 2016: http://2016.splicefestival.com/
and one year later: http://2017.splicefestival.com/
The final year of my involvement: http://2018.splicefestival.com/
I remain very proud of what we created together and hope to see something rise from the ashes post covid.
Director Phil Good at Kash contacted me to provide projections and lighting for their shoot at a studio in East London. Insight Lighting supplied a van full of kit and I provided a pair of laptops with Resolume Arena to map the content all over the studio walls. It was a quick turn-around one day shoot and I think we made it look great. The editor did a lot in post!
The advert was for West African TV if I remember correctly, I can’t find it online anywhere…
I freelanced as projectionist and photographer on a series of jobs for Projection Artworks. Most of the jobs were guerilla advertising projections. We would set off in small teams with a projector and an electricity generator in a transit van and project onto landmark sites around London or in cities across the UK for lots of different commercial clients.
I had come to know the company via Richard Burns of https://richandmiyu.com/ who developed some great in-house projection mapping tools with Touch Designer as seen in the ‘Ad cubes’ pictured.
Zak Norman of Black Box Echo came to me with an interesting challenge…
He had built a show using the most impressive and cumbersome Quartz Composer patch I have ever seen and wanted me to understand it enough to be his understudy should the need ever arise.
We spent a couple of days together and I wrote an instruction manual which would hopefully be enough to let me get the show up and running. The system used structured midi data sent to QC from Ableton live which was directly synced to Tom’s laptop on stage. The twisted logic that Zak implemented ensured that every show would be individual. Before each and every performance he would input a set of localised data, such as weather conditions and city population, from these data points the programme would make choices such as allocations of colour or distortion etc.
Zak had employed the talents of the best QC programmers in the game, Anton Marini and George Toledo to create some of the generative compositions within his megastructure and it was a pleasure to see how it all combined to produce some impressive results.
Thankfully I never needed to be understudy but I did get to do one show alongside Zak at Lovebox and the instructions worked about 90% of the way. It was also nice to put a face to the name Pesh who was projectionist for this show.
Konstantinos from Urban Visuals pulled me in to make some realtime 3D animation for this gigantic projection mapping in Switzerland. It was the 210th anniversary of this historic private bank. Working alongside Brendan from Insight Lighting and Tom Wall from Blinkin Lab to generate enough content for a long show we each made individual sections in our own unique styles to build a momentum over the duration of the night.
I was contacted by the promotion department of the Swedish lighting brand Fagerhult to provide projection mapping, content creation and an interactive display for the companies 70th anniversary celebrations.
It was great to work with the team at the London office to make the most of their building which would be used as the party venue. I commissioned Judd Brett to create an extensive timeline animation of the company history which was displayed in extreme widescreen and filled a prominent wall in the large office space.
I programmed an interactive 3D lighting simulation where users moved a sparkling light source to augment the company logo on the wall outside. It was brilliant to use the Leap Motion hand tracking device and demonstrate it to the congregated lighting designers in attendance.
One morning while relaxing by the pool in Beirut in 2012 I received a phone call from Jasmin Jodry in London, she had one question: ‘Was it possible to projection map a rotating car?’ I said yes but it was difficult, and I was unfortunately busy in the sunshine.
Out of the blue two years later I was messaged on LinkedIn by someone from Imagination and was invited to discuss an upcoming project. It turns out to be the second iteration of the project Jasmin had designed previously. This time it was for the Long Wheel base version of the same vehicle so as ‘Senior technical producer’ my job was really not too challenging.
The installation had been brilliantly created by Chris Plant of Colourburst and Elliot Woods of Kimchi and Chips with vvvv in 2012. New animated content was rendered using the LWB 3D model and a new white sock for the vehicle was ordered ready for Chris to update the system. We worked to service the installation at the factory visitor centre and install and test the new content. We also devised and tested a new callibration cube to align the projectors without requiring the vehicle.
You can watch a video of the original version here and to quote Jasmin’s Vimeo page: ‘Jaguar and Land Rover wanted a spectacular experience for VIP customers of the new L405 when they pick up their car in the Solihull factory. The 3D augmented projection mapping tells the story of the car and literally ‘builds’ it in front of the visitors eyes: from abstract factory processes via terrain simulation to the finale where each bespoke vehicle is revealed to its client. The complex mapping covers a car on a rotating turntable plus floor and back projections in real-time 3D, a world’s first.’
For this inaugural year of the British Film Institutes fundraising gala event The Light Surgeons tasked me with programming a realtime filmstip video effect. Quartz Composer at the ready it would be a fun job.
The Light Surgeons raided the BFI archive for suitable short action shots which were converted into small image sequences. I used the composition within Madmapper which gave me the flexibility to place each strip where ever I wished on a four H.D. projector output.
This installation was part of the reception area and an even grander installation was in place for the main event upstairs. Working with Insight Lighting to install the system with projectors supplied by QED productions was great and the 16mm projections from David Leister set the whole thing off to a tee with the authenticity only found with the smell, grain and sounds of real film.
Ben Sheppee at Light Rhythm Visuals (now Observatory London) sent me out on a few VJ shows this summer. Two with Shikari Sound System and one with Dizzee Rascal. Ben supplied all the content for both artists regularly and it was a pleasure to go out on the road for him.
The Shikari Sound System show was all triggered by the band over a network so easy for me once it was all rehearsed and working. Shows at Leeds and Reading Festivals followed and duly executed in the muddy fields that were.
The Dizzee Rascal show was a different kettle of fish. Soho House Summer party, a bourgeois heaven in the grounds of a mansion on the outskirts of London with lobsters and champagne on tap. Can’t say I didn’t indulge. It was nice to meet De La Soul backstage too. No photos or recordings of that one!
Commisioned by Insight Lighting to create a custom control system for thier video mirror system to make a synchronised dynamic panorama display and dance floor lighting. Created using Quartz Composer with Kineme’s ArtNet Plugin I made a patch with controls which ran as clips with Resolume Arena. This allowed sound reactive imagery to be dynamically moved around the space and also align at set positions to create a dual output screen.
Lots more photo’s and videos on Insight’s Flickr
Jim Horsfield of As Described lives in Ipswich, he was contacted by a local promoter who was planning something big. He had a warehouse to use and permission from the local authorities to hold a big music and art event otherwise known as a ‘rave’. It was a huge space and it needed a full treatment with projections and lighting.
I worked with Insight Lighting to put together a cost effective package of Solar 250’s, Kodak Carousels using some simple minimal designs. Jim supplied two 10k lumen video projectors with wide angle lenses which I used to projection map the roof and walls of the space. Madmapper line plugin was heavily used as were a lot of my sound reactive Quartz Composer patches.
Mr Manuva invited me to create a set of visuals for his new live show with the Banana Klan. It was a pleasure to collate a set of material from new and archive videos and combine those with some sound reactive elements made in Quartz Composer.
My footage of the show was unusable due to the massive vibrations in the control booth, (let that be a warning to anyone who works there), but I did slavage a few stills:
I returned from India and quickly readied for delivery of a small part of this job with Insight Lighting. I created a simple Quartz Composer waveform music visualiser but on a BIG wall using three edge blended projectors.
The venue was Village Underground and Insight transformed it with a full stage design, custom lighting sculptures and projections throughout it’s caverns.
Deepvisual called me up to be on the team for this exciting opportunity to fly out to India for 10 days and get to grips with an enormous dome. What adventures lay ahead?
I had done quite a bit of dome theory before but this was another league. 18 huge projectors and everything that entailed. There was a lot to learn. Gladly I was in good company, it was the first time I had worked alongside Richard Bagshaw of Digital Insanity and the talentented programmer Lawrence Ryan of 360 flicks who used software from 7th Sense Design.
We arrived to find the dome being assembled in a muddy field, not the best thing for a giant white projection screen…
That mud led to a big slip in the schedule…but the dome went up eventually and the gargantuan task of ‘cleaning’ some of the mud off ensued as we began installing the projectors.
We got it all cabled up and lined up after a few very long sweaty days and finished with hours to spare at four A.M. the night before show day.
We were just getting to sleep in our hotel rooms when the phone rang at 6am. Someone had put a nail through an electricity cable! We arrived on site to find two projectors blown and unuseable, we had to find a way to fill the gaps…and quick. A call went out and two underpowered projectors arrived by about lunchtime and we did our best, not perfect but holes plugged.
I rendered out some 2k pixel square videos of space and galaxies from some Quartz Composer patches I had hanging around, it was great so see content I produced with particle systems (and the addition of some Nasa image downloads) on such an impressive canvas.
I hope the millionaire couple who were to be wed are still happy. This was just the engagement party!
Anna Boberg of https://bopa.tv/ got in touch with an interesting and unexpected offer. Would I like to VJ at a club in Beirut?!? She and her studio would be supplying all of the content including some backdrops for the stage shows with a dance troupe. I went along for a six week contract and worked alongside a local VJ Moses Magharian (Eye See Experience).
I had a brilliant time working and making friends in Lebanon which gave me an insight into the culture and politics of the region. We were accommodated in a superb out of town apartment complex with a lovely outdoor pool and we were really well looked after.
One morning while relaxing by the pool I received a phone call from a colleague in London, she had one question: ‘Was it possible to projection map a rotating car?’ I said yes but it was difficult and I was busy in the sunshine. More about that later.
For two years running Insight Lighting designed the stages for this commercial awards show. I created lots of Quartz Composer content, some rendered video clips and some realtime 3D. I also incorporated a live Twitter feed.
For the 2012 event Brendan programmed Madmapper with Artnet/DMX output to run a set of LED battons mounted within the staircase which came to life with pixel mapped animations as award winners climbed to the stage.
I was renting a desk in the studio of my good friends Insight Lighting when they asked if I could help create some of the content and be part of the technical team on the biggest show I had ever worked on at the time. Another great animator on the team was Pep Palau.
It was simply huge! It was held at Evolution Battersea which is a giant blank canvas for events. The set-up consisted of: 21 projectors, 12 for the 360º surround image, 8 for backgrounds visible through the wrap-around translucent mesh screen and 1 for the stage show. Main content was all delivered using Modul8 by Brendan from a MacPro with 2 GPU’s and some clever use of a matrix switcher.
I first met the incredible musician and programmer Tim Exile at Hackney Film Festival. He contacted me sometime later to provide some live camera mixing for his new live stream experiment and I jumped at the chance.
We did four CrowdJam shows where the audience uploaded samples to a Soundcloud page, these samples were automagically synced to his music software with which he then improvised the entire show.
The video is Lo-Fi and as crunchy and compressed as you can get but kinda fun when the wireless head mounted camera kicks in and I play with the analogue tuning for extra glitchiness:
Justin at meno.tv had been working with Hospitality Drum and Bass events for a while and he had built them some huge logo lighting and projection mapping features. For this show in Brixton he had created a cylindrical LED stage set for one of the headline artists which was an all consuming task so he asked me to come along and VJ for the rest of the night. I always loved Drum and Bass and to work in Brixton Academy for the first time was a pleasure.
My friend Gary (Deepvisual) had uploaded some projection mapping tutorials to Youtube and someone in Mongolia was watching them. Ulziibayar Nergui an Ulan Bator based DJ, budding projection mapper and dance music promoter soon got in touch with him. He was looking for a Projection Mapping artist to help him create a show. Gary was busy again on another job so he suggested me. Wow, Mongolia I had only dreamed of the chance to visit such a place!
This was the first big 3D projection mapping that I was technically and artistically producing. The pressure was on. I had been closely following and studying the techniques of projection mapping and had created some of my own tools with Quartz Composer to achieve many of the effects which were being used.
We used five projectors to cover three objects with projection, 2 cubist structures and an eye above the DJ booth. It was quite a push for our MacBook Pro’s but it worked smoothly using two Matrox Dual Head to Go devices to feed the outputs.
Mongolia was an amazing experience even though I was only there for 10 days, working with the local crew was fun and challenging due to the language barrier, our interpreter Zolboo was not always around. It turns out Zolboo was also ‘the only drone musician’ in Mongolia’ and some damn fine sounds he does make: https://soundcloud.com/crepusculo
My friend and collaborator Ojah worked at a Music School and his boss wanted something special for his wedding. A bit out of my usual but I was happy to oblige.
I knew the work of a great illustrator Martin Wollerstam and he came along and ‘drew’ directly onto the architecture with a graphics tablet piped into my projection mapping software. I put together a soundtrack of suitable music with choices from the happy couple and as the guests digeseted the meal a panorama of designs emerged around them on the walls of a beautiful 17th century barn. The images came to life with colour and animations as the evening disco kicked into life.
The long term visuals supplier to The Orb, Deepvisual was busy on another job so he asked me to fill in for him on this show out in Hungary. I only stepped out from behind my computer for a few seconds to get a clip of the show:
This was not the first nor would it be the last show with the Orb. In 2009 I VJ’d alongside Michael Coles of Malicious Damage for the Baghdad Batteries album launch show. It was an interesting set-up in an arched venue and the audience all wore white paper suits to become a giant projection screen.
I also accompanied them on a handful of UK tour dates in 2013. It was an honour to be passed the baton and work with the Orb who have always incorporated visuals into their shows and were a huge influence in my musical youth.
Beware the terrible sound quality from the on camera microphone:
An Italian friend and colleague who lived in London was part of a successful projection mapping collective back home called Deltaprocess and they had a show coming up for Kernel Festival. He asked if I would be interested in helping out and I jumped at the chance, a paid trip to Italy in the summer for an mapping festival, what’s not to like?
At the time I had a bee in my bonnet about narrative in projection mapping of which there was very little that I had seen so I really pushed for this to be an aim of the project.
A national referendum was held in Italy in June 2011, there were questions concerning the repeal of recent laws regarding the privatisation of water services, building new nuclear energy plants and criminal procedure, specifically a provision exempting the Prime Minister and the Ministers from appearing in court. We took these themes and created our show. The results of the referendum were spectacular in rejecting the privatisation, new nuclear power and Berlusconi’s attempt to create a get out of jail free card.
The show was 30 minutes in total. We used Quartz Composer, Max/MSP/Jitter and Isadora. A lot of the content was generated in realtime and triggered with OSC sent over a wireless network from the musicians on stage. Other clips were created in Cinema4d and After Effect.
We created the entire show in 48 hours from arrival on site in Desio. We were accommodated in a junior school classroom where we set-up our studio and worked through the night animating and programming for the following day.
Deltaprocess are a talented, hard working and extremely creative team with which to work and have gone on to create many spectacular shows and stages around the world.
Working alongside musical collaborator Ojah we created the Heavy/Light audiovisual performance for Dr Mo‘s event at the Roxy Bar and Screen. The music was a selection of Ojah’s productions and a scattering of new music from other groundbreaking producers.
The visuals were 100% realtime audio reactive patches created with Quartz Composer. I built a standalone composition which switched between 3D scenes with individually controlled textural layers via midi control.
Kabal parties are legendary for those in the Sheffield scene and I was more than happy to return to my home town for this big rave and VJ onto the walls of a gigantic railway arch.
I really enjoyed working with the graphic content created by DJ Pipes and recorded this mix shortly after to the booming beat of a great track by my old mate Tomski.
The Boom Boom Club and White Mischief got in touch asking for a video to be produced for their opulent Steampunk Time Machine themed New Years Eve party at Bloomsbury Ballroom. The actors played out a conversation between different epochs and the videos were incorporated into a dynamic stage set. It was great to work on this scripted shoot with a talented group of performers.
I subcontracted the delivery of the event to Justin at https://studiomeno.com/ He installed a short throw projector, circular rear projection screen and took care of running the show with tight theatrical timing on the night.
The Big Chill festival had been an important part of the cultural calendar for more than a decade, it was the only festival I had once bought a ticket to attend.
The company in charge of video tech was As Described, Adam and Jim had been providing VJ and video services to the Big Chill for many years. It was the music festival that most supported the VJ and AV performance scene, booking whole rosters of visual artists each year, they even had a stage devoted to AV performance ‘The Media Mix tent’. I was really happy to be invited along as a video technician to help install VJ kits and projections for the stages.
The day before heading to the site at Eastnor Castle I also read a post on the VJ Forums (which was the central site for the international VJ and AV community). It was a message from a DJ’s manager looking for someone to help out with a show at the Big Chill, the artist in question was Sampology, he was coming all the way from Australia and needed someone to help mix live cameras into his Turntablist Audiovisual performance and supply a laptop to run some sound reactive Quartz Composer patches.
Just to add a little extra twist the show was in a dome with 360º projections. I swiftly got in touch and happily helped out on this show and then one other in Bristol with DJ Cheeba while Sam was still in the UK.
Sadly 2010 was the year when the ownership of the festival changed hands and the new team had overlooked the booking of VJ’s. A few artists brought their own visual content but most did not. I knew a couple of the musicians and DJ’s on the line-up so plugged in and gave them my visuals but mostly the Roland V8 video mixers sat idle.
My friend Fred de Fred from The Lovers invited me out to South West France for a series of events in the village and surrounding area where he lived. The events included a concert with projections at the rural Chapelle St Agnes, the annual winemakers dinner at the local wine cave and a large scale multiple projector installation displaying archive footage in the village square at Aigne.
I was more than happy to pitch in when Australian born filmmaker and Hackney resident Steven McInerney pulled together a team for this cool community event. Hackney was ripe for a film festival with the abundance of creatives in the borough and the team pulled off great festivals for three years from 2010-12.
I installed the projectors for the performances and screenings and also played some audiovisual sets with Ojah.
I must have done something right at the first show because they invited me back to work on the finale of the Emerging Artists in Residence project at the Royal Festival Hall on the 27th February 2009.
It was a huge show with hundreds of individual participants and 16 live acts in one night. I worked with the musicians to create content to fit with each set and mixed live feed cameras onto a massive projection filling the back of the stage.
I hired a Vixid video mixer from Deepvisual for the first time which gave me unrivalled layering modes for the live camera feeds. I directed 3 camera operators for the duration of the show while simultaneously cuing and VJing graphic and video content.
As an added little extra I brought in the superb Prickimage to supply his Walkabout projection kit and roam around during the interval projecting onto the surroundings while transmitting a wireless camera feed to the screen in the auditorium.
Dan Fenton the VJ whom accompanied me at the E.A.R show had been invited to discuss creating a show for the Tate Gallery, gratefully he called me in for the meeting with them.
The theme for the event was ‘behind the scenes’. This set us up with a nice task: to film all around the gallery for a couple of days with access to all areas in order to create content for the show. The vaults were a particular treat, where I got to film Henry Moore sketchbooks and one-off art books by William Ruskin. DJ’s and musicians for the night were drawn from the staff of the gallery.
Just before one of the Jammin Crew events a headline musician dropped out and a replacement had to be found. The replacement artist we contacted was part of a new project at the Southbank Centre, Emerging Artists in Residence (EAR). They agreed to play and brought with them a big group of young musicians who performed various sets for us that evening, it was amazing.
Soon after I was contacted by one of them Aruba Red to see if I’d be interested in performing at the first big group show for the EAR project. The performance was at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in The Southbank Centre.
I worked alongside another VJ, Dan Fenton as suggested by project leader Neil Quinton. He was great to have as my co-pilot on such a big show. It was filmed for me by Sam Daniel and Kyla Simone Bruce.
Sheffield and Leeds band the Volcanoes came to me to create two videos for them. They had a small budget and made some good catchy indie/rock so we made it happen. I found the keys for an empty space in the Stag Works and we shot two tracks in a live performance scenario.
I used some sound reactive Quartz Composer graphics and O.H.P with cut-out paper projections to add animated graphics to the scene.
Booked again to film the massive White Party at Magna, it was a full on production.
I brought in a second camera operator with High Definition kit and used a stills camera to shoot timelapse. We captured the whole multi-room event from build to teardown.
The show included a performance from John ‘OO’ Fleming’s live act 00DB. John asked me to edit a short promo for him from this show:
This was the last job I did for Gatecrasher as they claimed insolvency (as they seemed to do every few years) and screwed me for a chunk of my invoice.
I was part of the editing team who brought together the final cut of this project by The Kollaborators. My friends Sam Daniel and Judd Brett had also worked on it, creating the rough cut and motion graphics.
It was the first youth led performance project at Tate Modern in London. A fun and challenging project.
Following on from the vox pops I shot after the Sheffield club burned down the company launched a new venue in Nottingham. They booked me to make a video of the VIP opening night and two further shows with Roger Sanchez and David Guetta.
They called on me to go to the sister club in Leeds the following weekend to record the response from some regulars and turn around a quick edit:
A fun little job filming these dancers and enjoying their winter party. I edited the short promo for them below.
Mr Manuva had come to live in Sheffield, married a friend and was busy making life.
He booked in a writing and recording session for his next album at the short lived but swanky Sheffield residence Kenwood Studios and asked me to be there to document some of the sessions. It was a pleasure to hang out and see through the whole of his creative process.
Music video co-produced and directed with Helene Michaelides.
The first video I shot in High Definition with a JVC GY-HD110U camera hired from Sheffield Independent Film.
I was employed by Suffolk Connexions (Youth Service) to deliver animation workshops and to document the residency that they had organised for a large group of young people from across four counties of South East England. It was part of a scheme called Positive Activities for Young People.
The group of young people were not attending mainstream education or training (N.E.A.T). We were accommodated at Crystal Palace sports centre where a range of workshops including performance, animation and music were combined with a huge range of physical and team building activities over four days.
The aim of the residency was to devise the perfect curriculum and to gather information and feedback which would be delivered direct to the national youth service leadership via the various productions from the workshops.
We created an animation with a mixture of collage and hand drawn stop frame animation expressing some of the challenges and joys of being a young person. We chose to set it to music by one of my favourite HipHop artists of the time Ty’s ‘Wait a minute’.
Continuing our successful creative relationship I was more than happy to collaborate with Jody once again to create the cover for his second album ‘Afterlife’.
He came to me with a very low res portrait taken on an old mobile phone and I did my best to make it presentable with some layering and blur. There are two other sets of photographs layered together in the design. One is from a roll of ‘found film’ that I retrieved from a camera discovered in the mud at Glastonbury festival the second set is of a sunset on the Island of Inhaca taken by a friend who borrowed my camera.
One of the greatest friends I met at university is Sam Daniel, once upon a time Sam had an idea….
Sam’s birthday falls between Christmas and New Years eve so for once he wanted to have a big party.
27th Dec 2005 and the idea comes together, a crew of us head down from Sheffield to meet up with Sam and his friends at a basement venue close to the end of Oxford st.
What followed is legendary amongst the friends who were there…and became a labour of love for a small group of us for the next few years. We created events at a huge range of pubs, clubs and venues around London and in Sheffield. We really should have a standalone website and archive!
There was a bit of buzz about town for this new nightclub and live venue and I was happy to be invited alongside my studio mate Anthony Ashton to provide visuals for them on a regular basis. We made VJ mix DVDs for the screens around the venue and had an arrangement for monthly live VJ performances on the headline nights.
Plug had employed the great design team of Peter Donohoe (DJ Pipes) and Paul Reardon (peterandpaul.co.uk) to create the identity, publicity materials and branding for the business. This gave us a great starting point and some luscious content to start playing with.
SHINE stands for ‘Self Help’ ‘Independence’ ‘Nutrition’ and ‘Exercise’. It is a great programme focussing on these very important and interlinked areas. Kath Sharman a child and adolescent therapist and the founder of SHINE contacted me to work with her group of young people to create an educational video which would create a focus for discussion amongst professionals with an interest in the prevention and management of childhood obesity.
I worked with the group over the period of a year, developing and producing the ideas alongside them and recording their activities and progress. The young people helped with all aspects of the production and hopefully picked up some video production skills and confidence along the way.
The DVD we created was screened to all of Sheffield’s youth groups in a special cinema night at a local multiplex and distributed to Members of Parliament when Kath was invited to make a presentation in Westminster.
Sharrow Festival asked me to provide a children’s workshop. This was the first VJ workshop that I was to lead. It was held at Highfield Children’s Library in the heart of Sharrow. It was also my largest projection to date, we covered the large arched window with rear projection fabric and projected for two nights over the festival weekend. We hired a big projector from Lumen in Leeds as there were none available in Sheffield at the time.
The young people created some colourful hand drawn stop frame animations and then learned how to mix and layer them with other clips and control them with a midi keyboard in the VJ software Neuromixer. They also got hands on with digital photo and video cameras.
Some of my favourite feedback came from the Library manager whom was awoken by a call from the local police after they had received reports of a ‘rave’ in the library after midnight due to the projection! Luckily he was able to see the funny side.
Sheffield based French musical coupling The Lovers needed a quick turn-around video for their song as it was garnering some commercial interest. You may recognise the song from it’s use on a McDonalds TV advert.
Uhm and Ahh screenings were a collaboration with Greg Kurcewicz. We programmed a small series of events with a leaning towards the more conceptual and fine art end of the moving image spectrum.
Uhm and Ahh screenings as part of Sheffield Now and Then event at the Showroom Cinema and Bar Sheffield.
Sheffiled Now and Then was an event programmed by Sandman Magazine. For this event Uhm and Ahh programmed an evening in the cinema including a Premier of a Zombie feature film starring members of the band Pink Grease.
More info to be dug out…. The flyer was great, designed by The Designers Republic.
The highly talented and original Sheffield band I Monster employed me to create and perform a full live visual set to accompany their album launch show at the Cobden Club London, W10.
I filmed some of their homemade props in the studio and some antics on location including the back of a Rolls Royce car. I also downloaded some clips from the archive.org and used some of the great videos they had already created.
David Hall Partnership the business start-up training provider whom had helped me produce my business plan a year or so previous came to call asking me to make a promotional video for them to use as a marketing tool.
I set about interviewing some of their previous clients with successful businesses around the city region. I edited the resulting footage into a compelling set of stories covering the full range of businesses.
My good friend Jody Wildgoose whom I’d known since playing in teenage bands had scored a record deal for his music with Sketchbook Records. Working together Jody and I designed his first CD album cover.
The biggest show to date with Jamie Wilkins of Scuba at the helm. We filled the three rooms of the ballroom with music and visuals for two very special events. I pulled in studio mate Anthony for main room VJ duties while I supplied visuals with Justin Randell for live performances by The Lovers, Jody Wildgoose and Mu in room 2.
The footage was shot by my friend and collaborator Mark Cohen who had invested in a Canon XL1s DV camera upon my advice. He gave me ready access to use it in many of my productions at the time and I will be forever grateful for his generosity.
The Musical Works a Sheffield based music training provider contracted my studio partner Anthony Ashton and I to document a brilliant two days of dance, music and media production workshops which culminated in a performance. It was held at the now long demolished Nelson Mandela Student Union Building.
We had a great time immersing ourselves in the activities for two days and the resulting video which I edited was used as a promotional tool.
During my dissertation research for university I undertook a placement at the Community Media Association In the days before youtube when community radio and television in the UK was but an infant the team at the CMA were some of the most forward thinking people in the Sheffield media scene.
In an early attempt to create an online media archive they launched with a collection of audio and video from UK community producers which were made available for the public to download or stream.
Working alongside Justin Randell (with whom I had been collaborating on audiovisual performances since university), we were tasked with creating an exciting introduction video for the launch event promoting the new archive. There entailed a lot of trawling through content and Final Cut Pro editing. We also utilised some custom visual effects created by Justin with Max/MSP/Jitter.
Another housemate at this point was Chris Smith whom I’d met while studying for my art foundation course in Chesterfield. He was a budding DJ and had landed his first club residency at an event called Scuba. It was organised by Jamie Wilkins and Chris passed the word that Jamie was looking for someone to provide some visuals….
So it began, every Saturday night for nearly five years in the small venue of the Fez Club. Sheffield’s best DJ’s were on a monthly roster and we hosted many touring and international guests.
For the visuals I started with a pair of Eumig Super 8 film projectors and a Kodak carousel with a lunchbox full of home made loops and slides. The venue had a few moving mirror lights and I enjoyed flashing them along with the music.
I was given a budget to create content which varied from 8mm film loops and 35mm slides, some digital animations and an occasional VJ set using my first Apple G4 computer. At some point we bought a set of old Black and White TV’s which we sometimes hung precariously from the ceiling with chains.
My first music video made for my housemate Chris’ band Bear. It was shot on Super 8 film and Hi-8 video. I did lots of hand colourising and scratching onto the super8 and then projected multiple layers of film onto a screen and re-filmed.
It was edited with Chris at Sheffield Independent Film on a Panasonic tape editing system in one very long night.