Checking locations yesterday. I found a place I’d like my production office to be in the future when I’ve ‘calmed down’ a little haha. What lies behind me there is one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the UK. Oddly enough I get a great sense of peace from it and myself and Ant Barrett (my friend and cinematographer who took this picture) found ourselves sat down taking it all in for about an hour. It was the first time in a long time I felt completely at peace. The only thing that was missing was ‘Pink Floyd - Us And Them’ playing in the air (go listen to the start of that song to get an idea of how chilled it is).
It’s no news to everyone I’ve been posting a lot less on this blog, but a big part of this reason is I’ve had a lot to attend to in my life. I haven’t felt particularly positive as I’ve gone through some personal stuff which doesn’t really (at the moment) belong on any of my pages. I do however have an article to post in the future where I’m going to talk about some of the hurdles I’ve dealt with lately and how it’s best to approach them in terms of being a director/filmmaker.
There’s been a lot of work going on through which as always is my saviour. Furthermore I’ve got back in the water surfing which I’ve really missed. I have a detailed post on ‘filming in a recording studio’ coming where I’ll talk about how I approached my recent stint with The Devil Wears Prada as they recorded ‘something awesome’ over the space of a week. Until then, be well and remember to value who you are and what you’re worth. Do not give way to fools, just keep being creative.
Wanna know how useable the @rodemic rodegrip+ is? I’ll be releasing a video soon called ‘tinylife’ which shows a day up close and personal with nature and the iPhone 5s. Watch this space. #rode #rodegrip #film #video #filmmaking #plants #nationaltrust #trengwainton #penzance #cornwall
Home, and all the things I love about it.
Even though through my job, I can’t stay there, I always get drawn back for a little taste whenever possible. When I’m sat on a train in a city, I visualise my house on the coast in my older years, with its studio on the side of it where I write fictional stories, process the photos I take, and be as creative as possible learning new things. I see the board shed with my selection of old and new surfboards in it, my wetsuit hanging next to the old sink. The walls of the house are covered in the photos I took throughout my life and the memories I made with the people who count. There’s a vegetable garden at the back where I grow my own things and my dog sits in the sun as it warmly shines through a large tree which stands near. My children bring over their children and I teach them about the sea and why it’s important to respect and love nature.
Then I come back to reality as my stop approaches and I’m back to jumping off the train and dragging too many bags of equipment through city passage ways filled with people who are too busy to share such a dream. I’m forever tormented by the desire to be surrounded by nature and the sea, but at the same time something always sits on my shoulder telling me that it’s not time for that and I have far too many things to make, and people to inspire. Cities call me back; strange places I don’t know well, but which have hundreds of ideas yet to be used in productions I’m currently oblivious to.
It’s important to dream, but it’s even more important to remember that often before a dream comes what seems like an eternity of hard work. That being said, make sure that the work you do is work you love (whenever possible). Because in the darkest of times, the love you have for what you do will keep you from going truly insane. Even if you stand on the edge of your reason and all that is behind you is doubt, you have to believe in your dream and reinforce it with the talents you have. It’s a game we forever play with time, where we wonder if we’re using our hours and days as we should. The only certainty is that following your guts is the right way to go, because even mistakes give us the right answers. Life is not about what we own, but what we are, and what we give. And even when we know it all, there’s another lifetime’s worth to learn.
The calm before the forthcoming storm at Portleven/Loe Bar. Stay safe everyone in Cornwall for what’s about to hit is going to be one of the biggest swells in years. Peoples lives are at risk.
Photos by Ryan Mackfall
Hercules - The 60 Year Storm
"A personal artistic project.
During late 2013 and early 2014 the UK was hit hard by what was recorded as the biggest swell in the Atlantic since records began. For me this was a chance which couldn’t be missed. So in high winds, rain and every other form of aggressive weather; I headed out to capture what I could while trying not to be blown off a cliff.
This video is comprised of footage shot on a 5dmk3 and iPhone 5s and originally was going to be purely a test for apples newest telephone device (it’s video capabilities). Enjoy, and remember to respect the oceans and their power.”
As a lot of you know, shoots often happen when we deem conditions to be best, so for me to shoot on the coast while high speed winds were in full play, was indeed not an easy task. The Met Office had warned everyone not to go out, but me being me I had no alternative but to try and capture what I could of this rare spectacle. Much of the footage was shaky or had rain hitting the lens, but in between bouts I managed to snag some shots. It’s a good idea (when safe) to practise shooting in conditions which aren’t always ideal. However I would remind everyone that people lost their lives during this particular storm, while trying to take photos and shoot video. It might look calm and tame in the footage, but I can assure you that it was far from that. A lot of the time I was holding my entire bodyweight on the camera tripod WITH my edelkrone slider placed on top. It’s great to get good footage, but better to stay alive. Check out the video and enjoy. I’d love to know if people can distinguish all the iphone 5s shots. Some are easy to see while a couple aren’t!
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Headed out this morning just to grab the last push of the storm surge. Although it was smaller, it was still by normal standards pretty big…. Sadly someone under estimated this coast and lost their life on new years eve by getting dragged out to sea. Quite often in these situations it’s people down on holiday who don’t really understand the coast well enough. In this instance, the guy was only stood up to his knees and was hit by a freak wave. This coast is notorious for taking lives, and even some specially trained navy divers have been killed. I avoid going in the water here throughout the year. I shot this picture from the seawall and wished I had been there at the spot filming the day before, that being said, check out this picture where you can see the sea wall beyond the church - CLICK HERE. It was probably a wise choice to not have attempted it. The above picture I took doesn’t do todays’ swell justice as it was still rolling in viciously (consider I was stood on top of a 15 foot sea wall).
I’ve got enough footage now to put together an arty rendition of the conditions while Hercules was hitting. I spent a large portion of the time cleaning my lens and avoiding being blown away, but it was good practise and gave me some time to consider what my next lens purchases will be. In this job you’ve just got to be creating all the time in order to excel.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
The only way I can describe the ocean at the moment, is hell on earth. This is a wave climbing up a huge cliff, trying to attack a normal 2 story sized house. Unbelievable. I took this earlier before I had to head to a meeting. This afternoon I’m out again shooting more, albeit from a safe distance. If you’re in Cornwall, be safe.
Storm Chasing (again)
At the moment the South West of the UK is being battered by high winds and heavy rain through one of the biggest ever low pressure systems which is whipping up monstrous swells in the Atlantic. All of this is heading right for us as I write this, but we had a batch on Friday. So I got up at around 6am and decided to go check out the destruction. What I found was some of the weirdest weather I’ve ever seen. All of the above pictures were taken over a 2 hour period on the same day which gives you an idea to what was going on. I took this chance to shoot some footage and take some photos when I wasn’t being battered by the rain.
I like to get out in nature as much as I can, when I can. At the moment I’ve been going back from Portsmouth to my parents place in Cornwall regularly for project commitments (I’m starting to write a film with a producer in Cornwall); so I use whatever time in between this to shoot. Part of my resolution this year is to shoot as much as I can, and learn as much as I can so I can be a better director. I don’t talk about resolutions normally because I think it’s pointless, I’d rather just do them.
If you want to know more about the weather system coming in, and the size of the waves we’re expecting (28 foot in some places, which is like 2 houses stacked on each other), click the below link:
For realz. #cornwall #storm