This is the bit where all the clips live. Alongside professional engagements, I've recently started shooting stuff myself as a one-man-band, mostly for my own amusement and to try out the plethora of affordable cameras, equipment and software that are now on the market. I'm working towards an online drama series of linked shorts which, when it happens, will probably spin off onto another website.
The first thing you're going to see on this page is my current showreel. Below that are a selection of clips, mostly from high-end BBC shows, which I have been working on for the past few years. I'm going to be adding to and changing this selection on a regular basis, so there should always be something new to look at.
NEWS: I'm currently finishing post-production on a two part New Tricks storyline entitled "Last Man Standing". I wrote and directed this story at the request of Dennis Waterman, who has been in every episode of New Tricks for 12 years and who asked me to take care of his exit from the show.
A clip from the first episode of a two-part Doctor Who story I directed (written by Matthew Graham). This shows the creation of the Almost People.
Superstorm was a 3x1hour mini-series for BBC1 that we shot in Montreal, Canada. It was a science drama/conspiracy thriller, drawing on cutting edge advances in meteorology to tell the fictional story of a group of scientists brought together by the US government to figure out a way to deflect hurricanes away from the Eastern Seaboard. In this clip, the Stormshield team are experiencing teething problems, both technical and personal, while attempting to host their slimy politico boss, Katzenberg (Tom Sizemore).
You get the late, great Maury Chaykin to play the venal senator from Texas, you put him on a boat with Tom Sizemore... This shit writes and directs itself. The editing technique we touch on here is known as "vertical cutting" - cutting to show a character's state of mind. It was first introduced, I believe, in Oliver Stone's Nixon; at least that's where I stole it from. We used it throughout this show.
James Bolam asked me to write and direct his last ever episode of the show. I wanted to do something different so I decided to have the team investigate a crime from Victorian times. This meant there would be no guest stars (save for Tim McInnerney) and that the vast majority of the action would take place on the main set. I wanted this episide to be about the team and to allow as much space as possible for long scenes that the actors could get their teeth into.
The trick here was to introduce the tech (TEMPEST) that the team would be relying on heavily for the next three hours without letting the scene become too dry. I'd made the decision fairly early to make these characters as sparky as possible (I was actually using Marvel's Fantastic Four as character models!) and I decided to use this scene to explore not just the tech, but the background of one of the characters (played by Cas Anvar); a background which would profoundly affect his future actions in the story.
The big confrontation between Sarah (Nicola Stephenson) and Katzenberg (Tom Sizemore). A huge hurricane has hit New York and, in the aftermath, Katzenberg is trying to wriggle out of taking the blame.
The Criminal was a movie I wrote and directed when I was 26 years old. Obviously there are bits of this that make me cringe now but overall it holds up pretty well. In this scene, J (Steven Mackintosh) has been arrested for the murder of a woman he picked up in a bar (Spoiler: he didn't do it). The cops are played by Bernard Hill and Holly Aird. NSFW warning: I'd be surprised if this isn't one of the all time sweariest scenes in cinema.
"Could we do this whole thing as one shot?" was the question I asked after lunch on the afternoon we were due to shoot this. This was modern noir and it was the classic walk-and-talk through the police station (the now over-used Bethnal Green Town Hall) and I wanted it to flow non-stop from start to finish. Luckily the producers had anticipated the whims of a first-time director and had one of the best Steadicam guys in the UK standing by. The poor guy didn't just have to cope with physical obstacles, he also had to deal with Bernard Hill riffing brilliantly around the script.
The latest Sweet Billy Pilgrim video. This time we wanted a drama feel, so we asked some actors to take the lyrics and treat them as dialogue in a scene. Starring Indira Varma, Colin Tierney, Don Gilet, Tracy Whitwell and Nicola Stephenson.
This was the first thing I shot for Sweet Billy Pilgrim. Considering we were working on a super-low budget with a cameraman (me), editor (also me) and colour grader (me again) who had never done this before, I think we pulled it off.
Shot on a Nikon DSLR, edited and graded at home, this is a music video for British folk band Piefinger.
This is the brand new SBP video and I'm really pleased with this one as it was a completely solo effort (if you don't count the band, obviously!) The idea was to document a song from the writing to the performance, so I took my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and a handful of Nikon lenses and followed the band around London, the Home Counties and out to Vienna to get the footage. I then cut the lot down to four and a half minutes and graded it on DaVinci Resolve. This one is labelled the "director's cut" because I regraded one shot and tweaked the audio at the end so it's minutely different from the "official" version. There are also some versions floating around without the 45 second intro on them but I've reinstated it here.
A music video for the band Sweet Billy Pilgrim. This was shot on a DSLR (a Nikon D800 for the camera nerds in the audience) and was made on a budget of approximately £85. I wrote a piece about exactly how we did that HERE. This video was premiered on Mojo Magazine's website.