I have been a cinematographer on feature and series dramas since 1998. In this time have been fortunate enough to work on some terrifically exciting and fun projects.
Everyone who has worked in the industry knows that television drama is a tough business working to very tight schedules and uncompromising budgets. The successful outcome of a project is most influenced by the ability to complete the schedule effectively. Knowing how to adapt with confidence as the pressure of time bites is the test of experience. Part of the art of cinematography is an ability to work successfully within these constraints, turning limitations to advantage. This, I believe, is the defining quality of a DoP.
I regard myself as a filmmaker more than a cameraman. As such, my approach to cinematography begins with a clear overview, not just of the script but of story and character. A close, collaborative relationship with the producer, director and designer is the most important ingredient to excellence. From this collaboration it is possible to explore the very best methodology to realise the production’s dramatic landscape.
Shooting styles change from film to film. No two scripts are the same and consequently, no two films may look the same. I try to treat each film individually, giving it a visual personality and character. Understanding the way that light works, the use of a lens or the camera method to give psychological weight to scenes can never be undervalued. My approach is not just aesthetic but a clear, relevant cinematic interpretation of script. For me, cinematography is elemental. It affiliates the audience to the story, engaging them with character and place, and visually drawing them into the psyche of the film.
No servant to Technology.
Whatever the technology, be it film or HD, it is there to serve us. I strive to allow as much freedom for the actors and director as possible offering maximum space in which to perform, as close to non-interference being the aim. This is not just expedient and efficient but with this freedom of movement long natural developing shots are possible, making the action more fluid and natural.