Amanda Jenkins from AJ Films put myself and Director Robin Shingleton together to film this brand commercial for Munns.


We took advantage of the great locations in Oamaru, choosing this wonderful traditional street in the historic part of town.


I used Andy Rennie as my gaffer and he came down from Christchurch with his team.


The challenge was to light the dark suits so that they looked stylish on camera, while still keeping the dramatic night time feel. I separated the guys from the background by using a moon colored backlight, and I lit the foreground with large tungsten sources to be soft and flattering. I really enjoyed playing with the colored lights in the back of shot, and it was great fun lighting the entire street.


I wanted to achieve crisp sharp images to match the sharp suits and I shot on my Red Scarlet camera. I used Canon L series lenses as they resolve an amazing sharp image and are just perfect to use at night.
Robin wanted to have a slow motion feel to the images, so we chose to shoot at 48fps, 3K. This gave us a high resolution image with great detail.


We only had 3 hours with the talent on set, and everyone worked very hard to make sure that we came in on time, and on budget.
Whitebait TV produced and edited the commercial and I worked with Auckland based colorist Miquel Ubeda on the grade.


It was a great shoot, and and I am very happy with the result.


Hotel St Moritz

Before I lived in Queenstown, I came here often for work. Many times I stayed at the Hotel St Moritz and it was always perfect. I recently filmed a promotional video for the Hotel, and it was a pleasure to see that the Hotel is still beautifully maintained, and perfectly run. It's a timeless classic in Queenstown, and it was an honor to film it.


Darren Simmonds Directed the shoot, and we filmed over a couple of days. We had a lot of locations to cover, and many set ups.


I decided to work with the new Sony F3 Camera and Zeiss Compact Primes. Recording to my NanoFlash.


It was great working in my home town, and I really enjoyed working with my Queenstown crew. Max Catterick was my Gaffer. Josh Dunn was Grip, and Raj Patel was my Camera Assistant.


'Solar World'

Amanda Jenkins from AJ Films asked me to DP this film for Peter Keil. This was a huge honor for me, Peter is regarded as one of the world's top car photographers and I have admired his work for many years.


This was not an ordinary car shoot. The Solar World GT car is circumnavigating the globe in a race, powered only by the sun.


We did not want to waste any power with multiple takes, and we had very little control over the car. Most shots were achieved on the fly, with only one take.


GT was our location scout and fortunately he directed the German crew to leave State Highway 1 and head through the Lindis Pass and into Queenstown. The scenery down here speaks for itself and I love shooting cars on these roads.


We had a tiny crew. I shot most of the job with my PDW-700 XDCAM in Full HD. I also set up Canon 5D2's as additional cameras, and had the camera assistants hit record on these extra lock off shots.


I worked closely with Editor Paul Wedel in Wellington and Visual Effects and Grading was handled by Miquel Ubeda in Auckland.


This was a really fun job, and I am proud of the result. I wish the team all the best for their travels around the world.
Comments (2)

'Atomic Tracker'

I shot and directed this film for the new Atomic Tracker bindings. We shot during the New Zealand winter, for a Northern Hemisphere winter release.


The Tracker is a Back Country Binding, that has two functions. It allows the skier to skin up the hill easily, and comfortably then at the top they can clip in and ski down with the performance of an alpine binding.


Daron Rahlves was the skier, and his fitness and stamina was amazing. Daron hiked for multiple takes in challenging terrain. He wasn't gentle on the product, jumping off 50' cliffs and generally skiing super aggressively. The binding passed with flying colors, and Daron was a pleasure to work with.


We shot for several days in the Southern Alps. We needed clean, beautiful, inaccessible backgrounds - and we found them outside the ski area boundary. Each shot takes a lot of time to get to, let alone set up and shoot safely in this environment. We were all avalanche aware, and equipped. My camera assistant Stacey Farrell has ten years Ski Patrol experience.


Because we were working off ski's and we had to carry all our own gear I chose to shoot with the Canon 5D Mark II. It's a great small camera for hiking with, but very slow to set up and make adjustments to when perched on a ridge. It was hard work, but the results speak for themselves.

"Chi" TV Commercials

IndyFX Producer Sam Scott asked me to film these commercials for the rebranding of the iconic New Zealand Herbal Mineral Water 'Chi'.


We shot at White Studios in Auckland. I decided to shoot on my Canon 5D Mark II camera kit. This was a great choice for the shoot as we had to supply both commercials with a quick turnaround, and I also had to deliver several high resolution stills photographs of the newly branded bottles.


The commercials were directed by Gilbert Hunt. The brief was for our model to be very clean and pure, wearing white, while against a white background. I went for a very classic soft beauty lighting design, while achieving good separation from the background so that she was well defined, and not lost in a sea of white.


We shot the pack shot and the pour with the logo in the background practically, with the logo printed on card and placed behind the bottle. It was very old school, but it was the best way for the product to look great in the glass. VFX were supervised by  Miquel Ubeda who handled the 2D compositing, and the grade, and Sam Scott was responsible for the 3D elements.

It was another fun, successful shoot with my usual crew in Auckland. It was also great to shoot for 'Chi'… I have been a fan ever since I discovered the cocktail 'Falling Water' while filming for 42 Below Vodka!


"Toi La Who?" Short Film

Producer David White from White Balance Pictures and Director Sally Tran asked me to be the DP for this short film shot in Wellington. I had worked with Sally on a music video for Hanna Grace, and she was keen for me to shoot this interesting story.


Sally's unique visual style again came through with this film. The art direction and costumes are bold and interesting. The performances and choreography are amazing. Having twelve children moving through set and all synchronized together was a pretty huge achievement. Best of all, the script was good, and the story compelling.


The film was funded by through Creative New Zealand's Independent Film Fund, and David also secured some great sponsorship deals. The script was very ambitious, but with such a strong and compelling story many suppliers and crew gave their time and equipment generously.


We shot in Wellington where myself and Steadicam Operator Alex McDonald were kindly accommodated in fantastic apartments by The Museum Hotel. We had two days filming on location, and the rest of the shoot took place on set in a studio kindly provided by Camperdown Studios and Jamie Selkirk.


We shot on Red MX cameras provided by Rubber Monkey. The bulk of the shoot was shot with two cameras, as we were on a very tight schedule working with a lot of young children.


Matt Hearte was my Gaffer, and we worked with a small lighting package also provided by Rubber Monkey and Portsmouth. Working closely with Rubber Monkey was fantastic. They supplied me with a great camera and lighting package, a Panther dolly, and viewing the days rushes in their comfortable screening room was excellent.


The Wellington Camera Assistants and Grips also gave their time generously and I was lucky enough to work with a great roster of locals... we even managed to pull Claude Dasan out of retirement!


Without giving the story away, there are two distinct looks throughout the film. I achieved these different looks with on camera filtration, and lighting cues. This was all tied together nicely in the grade and visual effects by Miquel Ubeda.


This is just a small montage of shots from the completed film, please be sure to keep an eye out for it at a festival near you soon.

Annah Mac 'Celia'

Sony Music recently asked Director Darren Simmonds and myself to make a music promo for Annah Mac.

Darren wanted to keep the video looking fresh and vibrant, with a fun hand held feel. He wanted a quirky look with a lot of lens flairs, and a bit of a retro feel.


I decided to achieve this by using my Nikon lenses, shooting on my Sony EX3 with Letus lens adaptor and recording at a high bit rate to my NanoFlash.


I used Spencer Locke-Bonney as my Gaffer and the lighting setups were pretty straight forward. I lit Annah with beautiful soft light, and used every trick I had to flair out the lens!
My assistant Oliver Cross shot the band on the bicycle and playground shots with my Canon 5D Mark II, and also took these behind the scenes shots.


Edited by Paul Wedel in Wellington, graded by Andrew at ToyBox. Paul synced all of the clips using PluralEyes. It was a real time saver on set to not have to film a timecode reference each take.
Channel Four came along and made a small Behind the Scenes piece. The clip and Annah's album were just released this week, and already it's receiving very positive reviews.


Annah and the band were great to work with. It was another fun shoot in Auckland and I am proud of the look that we achieved on a very limited budget.

Young Lyre 'Cinema Smile'

Tanya Cathro from Fatboy Media Group asked me to DP this music video for Auckland based band Young Lyre.

Jordan Dodson was the Director. It was our first shoot together, and it came together nicely. Jordan wanted to capture the energy of the band hanging out together and having fun. I really liked his concept of a night shoot with the band, a bonfire and the fireworks. It felt natural, and fun to film and watch. The fireworks were great to shoot, and blowing up the tent reminded me of being back at Film School!


I had my choice of camera on this shoot, and I thought it would be a great test for the new Sony F3. I sourced the camera package from Gavin Stroud. The package consisted of the camera, a set of Zeiss CP2 primes and a NanoFlash. It was my first time shooting with the F3, and after a quick test I settled on a Cine Gamma Profile and decided to record at a very high bitrate to the NanoFlash (bypassing the cameras internal compression). I shot the whole video handheld, and although the camera was nice and light the ergonomics are terrible! It is not a shoulder friendly camera at all. I decided to pull my own focus for aesthetic reasons, and because we were moving very quickly in the dark, and shooting pretty much wide open. Despite all of the camera's design shortcomings, the image it produces in low light is quite remarkable. I lit by eye, left the meter in the case and was referring to my Sony PVM-740 HD Monitor to confirm my decisions - the camera was literally seeing into the dark!


Spencer Locke-Bonney was again my Auckland Gaffer of choice, and I kept the lighting very clean and simple, with just a few units coming out of his truck and using the bonfire and fireworks as one of my primary lighting sources. For the reflection shot of the fireworks in the window with the girl in the car I lit the girl with some subtle 'moon' light, and set off a small firework to fill in the shadows on her face and capture the reflection in the eyes. The firework reflection was augmented in post.


Everyone on the band and the crew was great to work with, and for me it was another really satisfying music video shoot.


Hanna Grace 'Red Lips'

I was on an Air New Zealand flight recently, and as we were boarding this clip was playing. The boys around me were all staring at the screen, the flight attendant commented 'If only you would pay that much attention to the safety video!' The irony was that as the DP I was responsible for the images!t if it is disabled in your browser.

Produced by Fish n Clips, the video was Directed by Sally Tran. This was our first project together. After this video we went on to shoot a short film called "Toi La Who" in Wellington. The film is not out yet, but it again showcases Sally's unique visual style.


We shot the Red Lips video in Auckland on location in one day. We used a Red One camera from Metro Film, and I was lucky enough to have Alex McDonald as my Steadicam Operator.


Spencer Locke-Bonney was my Gaffer and we made full use out of his fantastic combo truck. The art department and wardrobe were also instrumental in the look that we achieved, along with Sally's great choreography.


I find having a decent digital stills camera on set really helps me with my exposures. I have pretty much replaced my spot meter with a Canon 5D2, and a Zeiss 50mm prime. I am now setting the exposure using a combination of incident meter, stills camera, HD monitors, waveforms and histograms.


For this video I went with classic beauty lighting. Using big soft sources inside and a lot of daylight control outdoors. I used a little diffusion on the lens, and the grading was done at ToyBox.

Carlsberg 'Everest'

I was lucky enough to be the 2nd Unit Director of Photography on this Carlsberg commercial for Shoot disabled in your browser

The commercial was Directed by Daniel Kleinman from Rattling Stick. Danny is the most awarded Commercials Director in the world, and he was fantastic to work with. I am a fan of his work, and it was great to be on set with him.


The Director of Photography was Stephen Blackman. He shot the aerials on a Red MX using a Super G.


The rest of the spot was shot on 35mm film. My shots were all on the snow, I used an Arri 435 with Angenieux Zooms, Kirsteen Green was the Focus Puller.


We shot on the Earnslaw Burn Glacier during summer. It was kinda odd to be in the snow in the middle of summer, but seeing the finished commercial made it very worthwhile. It's been a while since I have shot film in the snow - and I really enjoyed it!
See Older Posts...