Wrapping up the year has been a reflective one. A quiet December quickly transformed into a multi-tasking schedule of assisting photographers, freelancing and keeping a clear mind in my day-to-day.
2018 saw the end of my Masters studies, possibly the last I’ll ever experience working under an institution. Leaving student-hood behind, as well as the year itself has been a relief. It’s been a stressful year, of pure graft at times. I’m not afraif to say it’s been a struggle at times, a test to my dedication, I’ve often questioned my intentions, pleaded with myself to become more content in getting by. But I piled my workload high and emerged the other end having held my ground.
I’ve achieved a number of things I set out to do this year, I’ve created benchmarks and heightened my expectations of self-belief, and the MA has given me the realisation moment many times over. I’ve encountered stress this year, pure stress, the closest I think I’ve felt to unhappiness at times, and as winter sets in I’ve been able to really appreciate those around me. I’ve realised I have a bloody good group of mates, propping me up at times.
I’ve juggled a freelance career with a sturdy part-time job for the past few years, and I’m feeling ever closer to making the fulltime leap. This year I’ve really begun to fine tune my skills, I’m under the BAFTA wing as a writer-director, and have utilised the role on a number of short edits throughout the year. During the past few months I’ve had the chance to meet a great group of individuals, some of which I’ve been building up relationships with for future projects, and it’s feeling good.
I couldn’t get far into this write-up without a special mention of “Two tickets, please?”. This short has been a fantastic experience from beginning to end, and it’s great to see it flying the nest to festivals as we speak. I’d wanted to shoot at The Hollywood for some time, but it needed to be the right project. Casting Simon and Georgia has left me with two really strong, extremely talented individuals to now call friends, as well as performers. The development process, was something I really got stuck into, from rehearsals to screen-tests, to designing the final screening space. And the end result, is an edit, of immense depth, with all the texture of my experimental strengths thrown into a narrative landscape. I cannot thank my team enough for their involvement and trust in working alongside me on this. I’ve built some solid working relationships with a number of my crew, and had the chance to re-ignite some collaboration from others.
“Two tickets, please?” achieved what it set out to do. It’s an audio-visual treat, and nothing less. It’s beautifully flawed characters, the peeling paint, the stained seats, the dust motes in the projector beam, it’s all there. Life isn’t a movie. Unless you’re part of the team Two Tickets, and we invite you on a trip to the movies.
The team will be travelling down to London for it’s city premiere at the London Short Film Festival on the 17th Jan - at an old stomping ground, the Rich Mix. I’ve screened at the festival a number of times over the past 12 years, but this is the first narrative category I’ve been signed onto, on a programme which aptly focusses on aesthetics.
My work for the BBC continues, having broadcast my radio edit of Dibs McCallum: On Photography back in November, I quickly moved onto my next ‘victim’, the cinema man himself; Mr Simon Pritchard. My role with the Radio Norfolk team has been to focus my attention on individuals actively involved in the artistic scene of the local area, and what better portrait to paint than Simon’s body of work. More to follow on that in the coming weeks, and you’ll likely catch me on The Sophie Little show on Friday night’s from 7pm.
Photography keeps my heart ticking, the ever-flitting movements of my eyes are rarely satisfied, so it’s often the way that see’s me using my day’s off to ease the urge. The obsession can be testing at times, but my Foto-Diary is here to stay. I’ve really focussed on my own practise this year, I feel a comfort in capturing what I need when venturing out for a shoot. I know what I want, and I know how to get it. 2018 saw me reach Round Two of judging at the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery. My image, Those Left Behind, sets the scene for my entire year. It’s narrative and real-life at the same time, it’s neither the right time or place, it’s a powerful rendition of my everyday, and no one is better than telling my story than Simon, my sitter. Round Two is a statement, and we aren’t finished yet.
The second part of the year saw me delve into videography, mainly backed up from my use of the XT3. I’ve always been a mixed-medium creative, at times I’ve felt a little too elitest with my filmic choices, however, I’ve always been open to formats which can heighten my ideas. Shooting with the Fuji is giving me an extreme positive workflow experience. I’ve built up an entire new shooting kit since September, and I’m not over my shoot capabilities just yet. More of that in ‘19 anyway.
As I move on, I know I owe many a beer or two. Here’s to new scripts, funding opportunities, travel and exhibitions.