Cutting-edge Cutting

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‘Going on the Road’ had a whole new meaning this week. Our regular client Northern Gas Networks asked us to make a video to help explain new technology used for detecting and repairing gas leaks. Over three days and three sites I found myself in the middle of busy roads, in mud, rain and sunshine.

We didn’t have much of a brief to start with and everyone was finding their feet. Balfour Beatty has been using video cameras in water leak detention for some time, but gas detection need a different approach to find the leak as well as more stringent safety systems. Together with Scotia Gas’ innovative cutting systems the idea is to trace leaks at a distance down a gas main, then drill a 60cm core down to the main and fix the leak.

Of three cores drilled, all three worked perfectly (luckily) and the crews were able to be off the site in 6 hours or less as opposed to the usual 3 days when digging much larger holes.

Core&Vac_4I shot the interviews and GV’s on my trusty EX1 which offers great control in these testing environments. But the biggest surprise to the client was the pole I waved around while filming with a camera on it… They didn’t know what to expect until they saw a first draft edit and were amazed by the footage I had got with this little camera. It was the GoPro of course, which let me get footage from every imaginable angle and matched the look of the EX1 really well. I rigged the GoPro of vehicles, strapped it to barriers for timelapse and used it a lot on a monopole.

Core&Vac_6 Core&Vac_5 Core&Vac_3 Core&Vac_2










Another practical aspect of using a GoPro is that it doesn’t get in the operators way and I could put it right down the holes when I wanted. Also I wasn’t concerned about the camera getting damaged or wet as it was in it’s 60m waterproof housing which is really tough and has a scratch proof glass front element.

Ten years of Toolbank

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Today was my last day working on Toolbank’s 2013 Christmas campaign.

Toolbank Studio 2013

I first worked with them back in 2003 when I was Senior Editor at CBF in Leeds editing their TV commercial. From then on I worked with various agencies to create their campaigns.
In the early days 3000 VHS videos were distributed across their UK dealers together with VHS combi TV’s. I started filming on my VX2000 and authoring DVD on the early Final Cut Studio software.

These days it’s distributed on DVD, SD cards and via Social Media and the Internet. The bulk of the work is an in-store loop video running at over 20 minutes in two versions – Sterling and Euros.

The online campaign will be rolled out a week from now, and the thirty or more individual videos I made will start going live.

Lastly, today we filmed the TV commercials in Leeds with the team from Dark Horse Media. After helping rig the lighting the day before we got an early start and filmed all 10 adverts in a day, plus some additional footage!