High Street TV

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A new client is High Street TV, based not far from me in Harrogate. They broadcast four channels on the Sky TV platforms. In the Sink Skin Commercial I shot replacement footage of in-sink, low levels shots using the Sony a6000 which got very wet!. For the Pressure King Pro I filmed the 1st, 3rd and 4th and 6th testimonials. And more recently I filmed most of the testimonials and cookery for the Quadrapan.

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Smile like you mean it!

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Wharf Media asked me to shoot a series of testimonial commercials for their client – EvoDental. We overnighted in Heathrow so we could start shooting first thing at their clinic nearby.

The finished commercials came out really well…

Toolbank 2015

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Another year, another record breaking Toolbank ‘Real Deals for You’ campaign: The Christmas Collection.

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This year’s design included present boxes wrapped in shiny foil, which I built as 3D models in Cinema 4D.

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Then creating various coloured versions as looping quicktime files, converting them into particle effects in Motion and making them fly towards camera. Also I built custom box transitions in Motion with full rigging into Final Cut Pro X. This meant I could change the direction and colour of the box wipe transition using just a simple pull down inside FCPX.

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After three days of workshop filming back in April, I started putting the main campaign video together, which at over 30 minutes long is versioned in two currencies – Sterling and Euros.

We also filmed over 60 Social Media product demos which are presented ‘to camera’ by Andy or Nigel from Toolbank. These get embedding in the product pages on the Real Deals website

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Then, in August I filmed the TV commercial at Prime Studios in Leeds. This time filmed as a chromakey.

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Using my new JVC LS300 I fed an SDI picture to my 23 inch location monitor, and also streamed a Wi-Fi video feed to a laptop for timecode logging. Our great pal Vic McCullagh was on hand to light the set and provide his unique perspective on proceedings.

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Love that guy!

Local Leeds Launch

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I’ve been involved with the MadeinLeeds team since well before the Leeds franchise was awarded. And it’s great to finally see the channel on air. You can find it on Sky 117 and Freeview Channel 8.

I directed and filmed the links for the launch show:

I’ve also made most of the local commercials for the channel, which cover a range of business from from a Hair Salon to a the West Yorkshire Police.

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West Yorkshire Police

Safegas

RMUK

CDF Furniture

AR Estate Agents

I’ve got lots more commercial production in the pipeline as well as a few programme ideas which will hopefully make it to air. It’s early days, but exciting to see the local TV beginning to take hold. And the Leeds team are clearly doing something right…

Toolbank’s Legs 11

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Another year, another Toolbank campaign, and I’ve just uploaded this year’s introduction video:

The full loop video shown in stores this year is 25 minutes long with 9 fully featured products, as well as 72 additional products and prices. All of this produced in two currencies as usual:

Year on year the campaign has grown to include more and more products, most recently gaining a significant social media presence as well. To help with this I’ve been tasked with making social media video for almost every product in the campaign in both Sterling and Euros currencies. Due to stock availability and time constraints I film most, but not all of the footage, however I do edit it all adding the campaign graphics that I build each year. In total I’ve uploaded 155 Toolbank videos to YouTube this year!

This year the creative agency ‘Shine’ designed a cloche and dinner table setting style. So I decided the only way I could bring it life with a transitioning animation was to have the cloche lift, revealing the brand logo which then transitions to the video.  My wife kindly provided the butlers arm which I shot against my Chromakey screen. Thanks Chuck!

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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!

Putting words on your mouth

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The guys at IdeasBynet are always asking me for something a little out of the ordinary. This time we were making a TV commercial to promote their rebrand, something fresh and fun with loads of character.

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This was shot in their photo studio, lit with two 1.2kw MSRs through my diffuser frames and Dedos as backlighting. The performers were two staff members and one semi-pro actress. They were holding sticks with cardboard sheet and tracking markers drawn on. The shoot was fairly simple, the only difficulty was ensuring that the actors didn’t move their mouths too much behind the cardboard and that they didn’t turn their heads too much or their mouths would be visible.

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The post production process was obviously quite complex as you’d expect…

-Get the voice performances edited and signed off by the client.
-Edit the actor’s background footage to match the voice recording.
-Save each dialogue line as individual Quicktime files.
-Motion track the individual mouths for each file.
-Edit the mouth movement images to match the voice recording.
-Apply the mouth images edits with the motion tracking to the ordinal background files.
-Put it all back together in Final Cut Pro.
-Apply colour corrections, add strobing/weaving effect.

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I’m really happy with the end result:

Toolbank on TV

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Toolbank are now running their TV adverts in the UK promoting their yearly Christmas campaign.

In the summer, as usual, I produced the sales video with Andy from Toolbank and also shot the studio segments in Leeds with Dark Horse.

Now the 16 finished adverts are made and on air. Here’s a couple of examples:

I shot the workshop footage as well as the white studio shoot.

Dark Horse looked after the post production (with technical input from yours truly) and airtime was managed by John at Dark Horse.

Never work with Children? Bah!

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We’ve just finished four nights at Magna – the children’s science park in Rotherham. It’s based in an old foundry, 350 metres long, 3 floors, painted black inside with very atmospheric low lighting. Bert Agency in Manchester kindly asked me to shoot the commercial for their client, so together with Vic McCullagh on lighting we took on the challenge.

After a screen test session a few months ago, the final actors were chosen, the lead part taken by Finlay:

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The Science park has four zones, Earth, Air, Fire and Water (as well as a nice Cafe). Bert had a storyboard to work from, and I suggested additional areas to film in each zone to make the most of our time there. Safety was of the utmost concern, we were working in the dark a lot of the time, as well as being surrounded by water, flames, and dozens of child extras and their families.

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The gloves are on… Vic means business

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Finlay hosing the camera in ‘Water Zone’

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I rigged the camera on the Jib, and behind a sheet of perspex, held up by magic arms.
It worked great, but I couldn’t keep my feet dry.

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The turbine in ‘Air Zone’ recreates a hurricane,
and I’m sat in the middle of it…

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Getting additional setups. Funny.

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After the second burger, he was full.

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Duncan and the Chris’s from Bert

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Fully operational mini JCBs in ‘Earth Zone’ = NOISY!

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The commercial ends with Finlay sleeping in the back of the car on the way home… Shhh!