Extra! Extra! Extra!


I have, over three decades, attended, worked on, been in and directed and myriad of ‘shoots’ from Super 16mm film for a broadcast short, to me operating a Sony Flip to conduct an interview – with everything else in between, including live and as live multicamera studio and location shoots, single camera documentary, news gathering, docudrama and drama, as well as stopframe animation, animation and 3D computer animation. However, I have never taken part in one of those photoshoots in which, as if in a cartoon book, real people are photographed then situated in a scene that is later constructed around them. This was therefore a first, in a studio with an infinity curve, being shot only as stills, though for the purposes of capturing the moment, mood and movement we nonethless had lines and walked through the scenario for the benefit if the photographer and director. Not video, not even shooting thousands of frames, but more a carefully choreographed couple of hundred shots to cover every eventuality.

In due course I will see myself speaking words with which I am only vaguely aquainted. I may even edit these words, but I am in character. The odd thing will be if I am ever identified by a stranger, while out shopping or going for a swim, as ‘Cool Dad’. In a career of corporate training, whilst generally staying behind camera, I have appeared as a Prison Officer and Asthma Victim, in films as man in bar, man on stairs and in a Hollywood Movie ‘King’s Guard Special’ – I usually get thrown off the set for gurninor grinning, or in the case of The King’s Guard special found to be wearing a watch which appeared above the chain mail in some fight sequences.

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