Secret Life of the Rainforest wins 3D award and nominated for an RTS Award

The Secret Life of the Rainforest (3D) for Sky 3D and Smithsonian, Winner of the 2012 International 3D Society.Lumiere Europe award for Outstanding Achievement. Also nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for Technical Achievement.2013-02-22 22.55



High Octane 3D Edit

I’m presently editing an extreme sports 3D series for Discovery’s new 3D channel at Electric Sky / BTV Post in Brighton, who are UK pioneers of 3D production. It’s been interesting to say the least getting to grips with 3D workflow and limitations. More on this to come….

For now some cool stereoscopic stills from the edits.

Vampire Island edit finished

My edit of this one hour documentary for the History Channel finished a few days ago and the dub was finished yesterday. The programme TX date is 31st October we believe, both in the USA and the UK.

I had a lot of fun on this programme, especially with the graphics.

These lovely illustrations by Ivan Allen were opted for instead of dramatic reconstruction and I think it’s worked very well. Ivan gave me the illustrations as Photoshop layers which I then placed along Z space in After Effects.

To automate this process I used a script written by Paul Tuersley from the AE scripts site called pt_Multiplane. The script places each layer at a different position along the z-axis and scales it so it will always appear the same as the original in the camera. It’s then possible to do 3D camera moves through and around the layers effectively turning a 2D image into 3D.

Applying DOF to the camera and animating the aperture or the focal distance directly, creates some interesting animations. A plugin I used extensively was Andrew Kramer’s Sure Target 2 which allows for really quick camera animation using nulls. You can add and automate camera shake and roll as well as dolly moves. A fantastic free plugin, thanks Andrew.

Vampire Island – History Channel

Vampire illustration by Ivan Allen

My latest editing job is a one hour documentary by Electric Sky Productions for the History Channel titled Vampire Island (working title). It follows the discovery of graves in Greece containing ‘unusual’ burials. One of the graves, discovered during an excavation by Professor Hector Williams in Myteline, shocked the world, the body had been buried in a tomb carved into the city wall, it had stakes driven through the neck, the pelvis and the ankles. It was then placed in a wooden cask, lowered into the tomb and the wall rebuilt around it. The people of Myteline definitely did not want this person returning from the dead….

The documentary follows on to locate an island off Myteline which is perhaps the location of the worlds only mass grave site for vampires.

Instead of cheesy reconstruction, director Julian Thomas has opted for stylish graphics by illustrator, Ivan Allen. I will then be doing simple animations of these in After Effects.

Sky Arts HD – First Love: Lenny Henry, 8pm 11 August

Sky Arts will be kicking off the series First Love on Wednesday, 11th August with Lenny Henry who’ll be taking on the challenge to sing some his favourite soul songs live at the Jazz Cafe in London.

Watch preview clip here:First Love: Lenny Henry

First Love – Sky Arts HD

I have just finished working on an Electric Sky Productions series called ‘First Love’ for Sky Arts. The series synopsis is “Five famous faces embark on an emotional journey into their past as they rekindle their first musical love. But do they fall in love again? And do they have the commitment and nerve to pull off a live performance?”. The series will be broadcast on Sky Arts and Sky Arts HD in August 2010.

Lenny Henry

Of the 5 x 60 minute episodes I’m cutting 3 featuring Janet Street Porter, Lenny Henry and Mark Radcliffe.

ACT Alliance One Rhythm One World video released

As the launch day for ACT Alliance looms the video has now gone live on YouTube. It was an adventure making it. Myself, JJ Maurage and Sean Hawkey (aka the production team) hope you like it.

ACT Alliance Launch Video

I started working on this project November last year. Myself and JJ Maurage, a good friend and sometimes colleague, were approached by Sean Hawkey, Communications Officer for ACT Alliance to produce their launch video. The alliance is made up of many different aid agencies from around the world, undertaking a range of humanitarian work in countries across the globe. Sean H. wanted the video to show the diversity of their members, the international nature of their work and also have the different members interacting with each other across the world. Sean had the simple idea (or so he thought) of doing a percussion based music video. It made sense in that it was non-verbal and therefore had no language barriers and could be understood by everyone. His idea was to record some samba percussion in Brasil and then get people from around 150 other locations where ACT member organisations work, to play along. Simple!

Making this happen posed a huge number of logistical and creative issues as most of the people who’ll be playing with the rhythm won’t be percussionists, just normal people hitting whatever they have to hand. Mixed in with this will be various professional musicians, like the very successful Olodum and Afro Reggae. They will also be from all over the world and have completely different senses of rhythm.

To make it work, JJ spent a day in a studio with two percussionists Ollie and Cicely and the client, Sean Hawkey. Together they mapped out 4 different 1 minute pieces of music with lots of call and response, peaks and troughs and tried not to get too fixed into any one rhythmic schema.

We then flew to Brazil. First we recorded and filmed Olodum in Salvador, playing the rhythms created in the studio in Brighton.

Next stop was Serra do Padeiro where we spent an amazing time with the Tupinambá indigenous tribe. They mostly played on improvised instruments, pots, pans, etc. The Tupinambá are fighting to reclaim their land and heritage. They are often at odds with the Brazilian government and powerful politicians. Their chief, Babao has been persecuted by the Federal Police, shot several times and survived three assassination attempts. They have been unable to arrest him, despite sending in 45 police vehicles, two helicopters and many men. The Tupinambá resisted the military onslaught by throwing fruit, and using catapults and bows and arrows. Many of them have been killed. Their traditional clothes were burnt by the police, their work tools confiscated as weapons, their hunting equipment also confiscated. All this for wanting what is rightfully theirs.

Our next stop was the beautiful Cachoeira. Here we filmed with Movimento de trabalhadores rurais sem terra – the landless movement (MST). Again this was sans instruments. School books, hoe’s and even a plough became the instruments here.

After Cacheoira it was a drive back to Salvador and straignt on a plane to Sao Paulo. Here we filmed at the Gaspar Garcia Centre for Human Rights and their programme for rubbish collectors and the homeless. In fact it was here we filmed Enrique, who became the intro for the video.

After a couple of days in Sao Paulo it was back on a plane to Rio, our last stop in Brazil. We spent 4 days filming the famous Afro Reggae in the notorious Vigario Geral favela. The fantastic documentary ‘Favela Rising’ was filmed here and documents the rise of Afro Reggae.

Next stop – Africa and India …

Concrete Canvas, Sky Arts HD

I edited 5 episodes from this amazing series for Sky Arts. Here is a cut and paste from the Sky site promoting the series:

Series following street artist Julian Beever, as he travels the world creating incredible chalk drawings which, when complete, create stunning optical illusions.

Think of street art and you may think of Parisian chalk painters and rebel graffiti artists, but Julian Beever is a street artist like no other.

He creates trompe-l’oeil chalk drawings which, when complete, create stunning optical illusions filled with depth, life and colour. He creates a projection in his works which is called anamorphosis, which produces a very realistic 3-D effect when viewed at a certain angle.

Sky Arts follows him on his artistic mission around the world as he tries to find the best pavements, sidewalks and walls for his visually stunning art. The first city to witness Beevers wondrous art is London. Follow him as he quite literally scours the streets and pavements for the ideal location to create a chalk scene of Big Ben inspired by the film Safety Last!

During the series, Julian explores London, Philadelphia, Stockholm, New York, Amsterdam, Berlin, San Francisco, Paris and Los Angeles.

Concrete Canvas on Sky Arts