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Why I love shooting pop videos PDF Print E-mail
Dec 30, 2014 at 09:54 PM

The life of an image maker is not all wine and roses. A lot of the stuff is corporate, shooting talking heads in offices, making sure that the lighting and sound work to project a professional corporate image. The TVCs can be hard work and long hours, only to see your best shots left on the cutting room floor to make room for another 5 seconds of hard sell. And then there's the fun stuff, which may not be as lucrative, but it means working with creative and good looking young people, so the imagery is often very strong. Here are some shots from a recent music video that I was Director of Photography on, working for the 2nd time with talented local director Kuhan Kunasegran. The stars are Hunny Madu and Kayda, but the first shot is of local model Amelia.


Sometimes on a film set all you get to play with is a black room and a couple of lights. But it always pays to have talent in front of the camera as well as behind it, so Kayda and Hunny filled the room with a great performance. The costumes in particular are great in this shot. They're very Star Trek, but with a touch of Japan in there too. I wish I could remember who they were designed by. 

Hunny and Kayda performing

And here's Kayda on her own, catching that modern 1930's look. 


Reach Out PDF Print E-mail
Jul 12, 2014 at 11:37 PM

I'm currently doing a pro bono short for Reach Out, a NGO (non-government organisation) that feeds the homeless in KL. This is the co-founder, charismatic Scotsman Pete Nicoll. This was taken at around 1am on a Sunday morning after a long round of distributing food to KL's dispossessed. Pete Nicoll after an evening distributing food

Site updating PDF Print E-mail
Mar 31, 2013 at 03:09 AM

I'm back in KL and very busy processing all the footage from our American trip. There are hundreds of hours of footage to recolour and package for Corbis, and sometime I will also have to get all the stills ready too. It's a mammoth task, in between which I also have to re-start the business here and make sure that we earn a living. As you can imagine, keeping up with the various blogs is a toughie.

So here's a shot that I treated very quickly last night just to get things moving. It was taken from the top of the Empire State building in October last year. More to follow soon.


Boogie! PDF Print E-mail
Jul 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

 Darrin 'Boogie' Berlin The first leg of our US stock photo/video trip has begun, and we've been enjoying the wonderful hospitality of our Southern California hosts. We're really impressed by how nice and courteous everyone is. The weather is great and the kids are enjoying a very big adventure.


So far we've had to get through the process of opening bank accounts, transferring money over (which has been totally mishandled by Standard Chartered Bank), buying a car and stuff. Our first weekend was spent visiting an old 'virtual' friend, Darrin 'Boogie' Berlin, who lives in a quiet place about half way between San Diego and LA.

Darrin has an awesome collection of fabulous guitars, which is quite appropriate because he really knows how to play them. He used to be the lead guitarist in several now defunct LA Country/Punk bands, most notably Tommy Homicide and The Last Americans. Now he's settled down to the quiet life, but there's still a big heart of the rebel in him. You can hear his lead guitar skills at the bottom of this post on a track that I released as Calamity Pop and featured on our second album in 2006.

Sunday morning, we engaged in the traditional American pursuit of firing some lethal ammunition at some paper targets. Handguns not being allowed in the parts of the world that we live in, this is always a great opportunity to have some fun, and we fired plenty of lead at into the back wall, from a variety of guns including a Magnum 44 hand cannon. It was our youngest son's 10th birthday, so he also got the chance to save the world from a Zombie Apocalypse.

Connor vs Zombie

Earth Platinum in the British Library PDF Print E-mail
Jul 16, 2012 at 09:34 AM
Earth Platinum, the largest Atlas in the world, is now owned by the British Library. Watch the BBC Coverage of the event here. The Guinness Book of Records also took the time to measure it and confirm its status as the largest Atlas ever made.

Here is the gigapan of the first launch event in Abu Dhabi. This one took quite some time to do as lots of people moved around while we were shooting, so I had to fix many dismemberments to make people whole again.

Spotting the Sunbathers at Abu Dhabi PDF Print E-mail
Jun 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM
In June 2012 my son and I went to Abu Dhabi for the launch of Earth Platinum, which features the Singapore F1 night shot. While we were there we went out for a wander, like 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen', and took the opportunity to take a few more Gigapans. This is the beach, which attracts sunworshippers despite being a Muslim country. The temperature that day was around 42C, but it's a dry heat so the sweat practically boils off you.

Gearing Up For The Philippines PDF Print E-mail
Apr 08, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Instant Cinema Location Shoot Kit Next week I'll be shooting stills and interviews for an oil company in the Philippines. Some of the locations will be remote, including a couple on Davao. Yet, with the Red and judicious choice of lenses, we will be able to do a full 4K quality shoot with stereo audio and a backup camera, with the equipment in the photo on the right. And it all fits into hand luggage. Now that's pretty amazing.

OK, to be fair, I'm not showing the batteries and tripods here, nor a special super-secret device that we'll be carrying to get perfect interviews every time, but I'm sure you get the picture. The full kit includes: the Red Epic M, a backup Canon EOS 5 MKII for alternate angles, four lenses covering every focal length from 11mm to 200mm, two lapel radio mics, backup audio and scratch mic. The reflector will be coming with us too.

Time to Get Slowly Smashed PDF Print E-mail
Mar 05, 2012 at 09:18 PM


So I finally got my act together to finish the slow motion camera tests, and you can catch it here.

We had a smashing weekend, shooting, dropping, throwing and snacking on some of the props. Then I stuck it all into Premiere Pro, graded it with RedCineX and added a few bars of music.

Don't worry, nothing was harmed in this video that wasn't already dead. And the smashing flourescent section was done without the presence of any children, in the safety of a concrete bunker deep below ground in a top secret defence facility.


Having a Smashing Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Feb 17, 2012 at 09:49 PM

This weekend we'll be mostly smashing things up. Soon Calamity Studio will be incorporated as a Malaysian company, so I'm making a promo video for the Calamity Studio website. This time, after changing out over 20 dead fluoro bulbs, I thought we'd experiment with the slow motion capabilities of the Red Epic camera. So after a few trips to the supermarket, and a big hunt round the house for things that don't work any more, we'll be satisfying our urge for destruction in a big way. Here's a screen grab of some we were doing yesterday, a big fluoro bulb self destructing at 300 frames per second, shot at 1/750th second shutter speed. I dropped it from a ten foot ladder onto a very hard surface and waited to see what happened. Woo hoo!

Like the guy said in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, 'a bit of violence never hurt nobody', and this time we're hoping to turn it into something entertaining, for a short while at least. Monday I also pick up our new editing workstation, which should give some smoking performance levels, and we can get on with editing the Truk Lagoon video. But in the meantime, please excuse me as I've got to go and break some stuff.

A spooky little ghost story PDF Print E-mail
Jan 22, 2012 at 11:07 PM
I've just put the finishing touches to this little side project. It's a creepy wartime ghost story, told by the Captain of the SS Thorfinn, Lance Higgs. He told the story as part of a longer interview, so I decided to split it out and make a seperate short out of it. I augmented it with wartime shots of the exact aircraft, and some of our underwater footage of the very same wreck, the Hoyo Maru.

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