Natasha Haws Stepping Stone Video

I was very pleased to get an opportunity to shoot the debut video of the local musical wunderkind*  Natasha Haws, and only my second promo  music video.
We discussed possible locations and style for the performance footage. Initially I was thinking of doing it in my studio where we could have complete control of the lighting and it would have been warm.The only place I was sure I did not want to film was on stepping stones. Eventually, we decided on shooting at the top of a fire  escape in the center of Newcastle, on a cold and cloudy February day – it would have been great to have some sunshine but  we are not in California. We filmed all afternoon, Natasha was super patient and we managed to get all the footage we needed. One of the highlights of the day was the  improvisational skills used making a substitute guitar strap from some plastic fishing wire which was used on a previous photo shoot to tie balloons

The dancing was Natasha’s idea I had not filmed anything like that before. I did some research, and we done a some run throughs on the day of the shoot so we could all warm up.  It took all day to get the footage we needed. On a separate note the video was filmed opposite ( on the other side of the river)  the Music Box studios where the music was recorded – a nice piece of symmetry. The time and effort spent rehearsing was evident on the day – the dancers done a phenomenal job, and were an absolute pleasure to work with. The choreography and thought in matching the dance to the song works incredibly well.
The editing took hours and hours,  special thanks to Natasha and Scott who came to my studio and helped out by  selecting the dance footage ( without ever complaining about my coffee making skills).
Making a video is all about teamwork, I also must thank  Daniel Robson, and Martin Emery for help on the shoot – they are always enthusiastic about getting the right results without ever complaining – thank you !
I know I made mistakes ( we all do), I am real fan of reflective writing and have made notes about everything that I done right and wrong – overall I am happy with the result, although I have to say I felt nervous about other people’s opinion. So far people have been very kind and positive about the video. Overall I hope we done this beautiful song justice – thank you Natasha.
The video is here:
We have also done a live session in my studio – here is Constant Fairytale
* I hope I am not being pretentious – I just seen an episode of Mad Men where Peggy Olsen is described the same way

Bridie Jackson and the Arbour Album Launch at Gateshead Sage Live Video

Back in January I filmed the Bridie Jackson and the Arbour gig to launch their debut album Bitter Lullabies. This was a sold out gig at Gateshead Sage

It was a real challenge there was four of us filming the gig with  five cameras. This was first big live shoot that I have done, but I feel our research and preparation helped give us some excellent footage. We also came down early and filmed some of the soundcheck.

Some of the results can be found here:

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For my first attempt at filming an entire gig I am happy with the results – but know I can keep improving.

As with any video shoot, it is the editing that can take up your time. However there is one advantage when I saw Bridie play at The Central Bar in Gateshead I know all the songs word for word.

My First Music Video Union Choir Your Melodica

Although I have filmed some acoustic performances from some of the North East’s most exciting bands  since September, I have never made a music video. The performances that I have filmed are  stripped back live acoustic sets. To my relief the bands  I filmed,and other people have liked them.Some of these videos can be see

One of those  bands was The Union Choir  who asked me to make a video for their single Your Melodica. So we met at The Cluny before one of their gigs in November to plan the video. Over the coming weeks we came up with a concept for the video a mixture of performance and narrative.

From my photography I do have knowledge of lighting, composition, and experience shooting gigs and bands – it seemed a daunting task for a first music video but we managed it one step at a time.

We planned the performance shoot to be at the end of November in a room where we had recorded some of the acoustic sets called the High Bridge Sessions – but to give it a different look we put the band in front of the windows. This shoot took careful preparation as we decided on the key shots for each part of the song – on the day we were there from 2pm and I think the real filming took about 5 hours – and we ended up being there until the building closed at midnight. It was a hectic day but the band were willing and patient to hang around and make sure that we got all the shots – without complaint.

Here is a time lapse we made of setting up the performance footage

That video will always remind me of the fun we had on that day – thanks to the  three people ( Dan, Andy, and Jill) who helped with the filming and setting up it was a fantastic team effort.

We then planned the doll shots in Newcastle and South Shields – Jill even knitted a doll in the image of Jon from The Union Choir – I feel details like this really give the video a more personal feel and was definitely worth doing. It was great that the band could find some actors – thank you Ashleigh, Liberty, and Rachel.

The editing took days it was especially time-consuming to synch the video. I sent different cuts of the video to the band for approval and we finally came up with the final edit. It is a pity there was other footage that could have worked but there was only 4 minutes of video – there was also footage that was good in theory but when viewed on-screen was not suitable.

Anyhow here is the video

Three Great Bands at Cosmic Ballroom Tonight

After I shoot the Go West gig at Newcastle Academy tonight ( 17 December) I am going to see some of my favourite local bands at the Cosmic Ballroom on Stowell Street.

Gallery Circus – who I have recently filmed

The Greeting Committee – whom  I filmed on the roof of my studio building in September

The Watchers – as yet not filmed them but have shot some of their gigs

See you there

The Prison Library High Bridge Sessions Video

I have been busy filming local bands as part of an ongoing project. This is a  sharp learning curve for me, but it is a fun ride. This is one of the multi camera shoots I done with The Prison Library

This is the song If I  Was There. They are playing with Tribes  tonight 2 November at The Cluny. For more information please visit The Prison Library website

I like the way this contrasts with the images I made with the band back in February

Prison Library Homepage

There will be more videos with more bands soon.

So What Robot Live Transmission and Acoustic Gig Thursday 28 July 7pm

In May I done a photo shoot and had so much fun creating some shots in a room full of balloons – who knew it would take so long to blow up and tie a knot in all those balloons. I tried the prepare the night before by blowing up a load of helium balloons – who knew that they would deflate overnight – always read the instructions.

Anyhow during the shoot we decided to do an impromptu video and thought it would be interesting to do an acoustic set in the studio and maybe make it into a webcast.

Two months later we are going to make this talk become reality with a live webcast and an intimate gig tomorrow evening – for me it is a step into the unknown and I am sure mistakes will be made but we are ready for this and have a good feeling about it – you can see for yourself by visiting this link tomorrow at around 7pm​ot

Some images from the photo shoot are her in the this gallery on my website section of my website

It is great with positive and creative people like So What Robot – it is the way it should be


The debris after the photo shoot


So tired and pleased the photo shoot was a success - and we have burst all the balloons