Bridgestone 'Blizzak VRX'



Director Toshihisa Koike asked me to film these two commercials for him in New Zealand. The agency was Dentsu, the Production Company Dentsy Creative Cross, with AJ Films working as the New Zealand Line Production Company.

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The two commercials were both very different, and very technical. We had to shot the Tyres performing on very specific road conditions.

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To achieve this, we filmed at SHPG near Queenstown, New Zealand. They had the facilities that we needed to make various road conditions. Varying from pure ice, solid snow and slushy snow with road surface below. Art Director Ken Turner did a great job liaising between the various teams to deliver the surface that the client needed.

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We experienced some extreme weather on the first day. A storm came through and we experienced wind chill of minus 18 degrees celsius. We achieved a few shots before the weather forced us to wrap early. Thankfully, it cleared and we had good weather for the remaining two shoot days.

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I used two Red Epic Dragon cameras. I always prefer to work with two cameras when shooting car commercials. It saves a lot of time, and lets me move from one set up to the next with no delays.

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We had a mixture of rig shots, built by the great grip team of Sam Strain, Josh Dunn and Chris Thomson.

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We also shot a variety of tracking shots, where I used the MoVI M10 on a small tracking buggy.

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The second spot involved a few stock shots from Japan and also several VFX shots, where the background was composited in to match with the foreground elements that I shot in New Zealand.

With 15 second spots, so much of what you shoot on the day does not make the final broadcast edit. There is also an online web version.

It was a great shoot, and the client is very happy.






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Smile 'Pyaw Aung Nay'


I travelled to Myanmar, (formerly known as Burma) back in 2013 to shoot and direct this music video for the pop star 'Smile'.


I bought one of my Red Epic cameras and a set of lenses. I picked up local crew and basic lighting and grip equipment.

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I took advantage of a local nightclub for the dance scenes. We had a great group of enthusiastic extras. Communication was challenging, but I managed to control the club's lighting fixtures. I also supplemented the disco lights with beauty lighting on Smile and her onscreen partner.

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The bulk of the performance was at the beautiful park location, that I shot past dusk... until we were ordered out by the security guards.

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For the second performance scene I had the lighting team make up festoons of lightbulbs in a semi covered location. We only had the location during the day, so I blacked out two sides, used the ambient daylight for fill and keyed with HMI's.

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It was a challenging shoot. We had limited access to locations, and no art department. The local crew that I had were a great bunch. We had very limited resources, but everyone was there to help and solutions were always found.
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Mini Cooper 'Goodbye Pork Pie' Scene Remake



I was lucky enough to be asked to DP the Mini Cooper 2014 'Goodbye Pork Pie' scene remake.

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The original film 'Goodbye Pork Pie' is an iconic New Zealand film from the 1980's, directed by Geoff Murphy. It's a very popular movie, still to this day. I remember watching it when I was younger, and the film made quite an impact on me.

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Director Matt Murphy (son of Geoff Murphy) asked me to shoot the project for Mini New Zealand, and Production Company Goodoil Films.

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We filmed at Lake Hawea, near Wanaka. We had to keep the shooting day within 10 hours, including travel time and meal breaks. This left us with 6 hours and 15 minutes to shoot the job.

Fortunately, Matt was very organised, and he knew exactly what shots were needed to tell the story. We wrapped onetime, and I even managed to sneak in a couple of extra setups.

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I decided to shoot on Red Epic cameras. I used two, and kept one in production mode for the tripod shots and the handheld in the back of the Mini.

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The second Epic started the day in the MoVI M10 on the back of the tracking ute, after we go these shots it became the rig camera.

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Aerials were provided by Peter Thompson with his Cineflex.

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With such a short shooting day, and so many stunts the pace was non stop. Fortunately all of my crew were very focussed. With a good plan, and good management, we moved from one setup to the next smoothly. It was a great day, and a really fun variation on the traditional car commercial.

Photo Credit: Simon Darby




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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (三菱アウトランダーPHEV)



Japanese Director Koshi Horibe had seen some of my previous car work and he asked me to DP this commercial for Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

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The commercial was for the Japanese market, and we actually scouted two completely different locations. After some input from the client, the decision was made to shoot in Queenstown.

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I decided to shoot on Red Epic cameras, mainly because I wanted to take advantage of the small size so that I could use the MoVI M10 Handheld Gimbal Stabiliser on the tracking vehicle. I really liked the organic look of the MoVI, as compared to a crane and remote head. It also meant that I could devote the Libra mount to the Helicopter full time. Pete Bradshaw bought a lot of experience as Tracking Vehicle Driver, and I could count on him to line up the best moments freeing me up to work in with my MoVI Grip Josh Dunn.

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I shot all of the aerials with a Libra stabilised head, Red Epic and a wide zoom. Alfie Speight was my pilot and we achieved some really dynamic images.

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I had a third Epic with a long lens dedicated to my B Camera Team. Operated by Takashi Chiba.

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Kanta Yamaguchi from Greentea Film & TV was the Line Producer, and we wrapped the shoot on time and on budget.



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Samsung Galaxy S5 + Gear Fit



I was the Aerial DP, and the MoVI Operator on this commercial for the new Samsung Galaxy S5 + Gear Fit.

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For the Aerial sequence with the Base Jumper I used one of my Red Epics with an Angenieux 25-250 lens on the Continental Side Mount. Alfie Speight was my Pilot.

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I also operated the MoVI M10 for the running sequence through the forest. The MoVI was such an amazing tool for this job. The Director loved the shots.

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I used one of my Red Epic's with my new Cooke Mini S4i lens set. This combination is perfect for the MoVI M10. Small, lightweight camera package that shoots beautiful cinematic images.

It was some very fast running over rough and slippery terrain, but the MoVI handled it perfectly and I was able to concentrate on the framing and the footwork. The results were wonderful, and I am really amazed by what I can achieve with this new kit.



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Appalanchia



I was the Director of Photography on this Korean Commercial for Appalanchia Bikes.

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Michael Cha from Oyster was the Director.

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Michael came well prepared, and we had several discussions about the look that we wanted to achieve. We decided to shoot on the Arri Alexa XT using Zeiss Ultra Primes.

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We wanted to place the family in nature, and our Location Manager Phil Turner gave us some great spots to work with.

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For the tracking scenes I used a bungy rig, and had Josh Dunn as my key grip.

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It was a fun shoot, and most importantly, the client is very happy!

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JR SKISKI



I was the New Zealand DOP for the 2013 JR SKISKI series of commercials.

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Mayumi Komatsu was the Director and Dynamite Productions line produced.

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We filmed up at Cardrona and I used a very small crew who could all work from ski's. This enabled us to move rapidly and achieve the shoot day. We had a lot of material to film including background plates, snow elements, stunts with body doubles, overlay shots and all of the tracking skiing shots.

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As a Skiing Cameraman I use a custom rig to assist with smooth filming while skiing. On this shoot I used a Red Epic and an Optimo 15-40mm lens.

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It was a really great shoot and I was super happy to film it. Back in 2003 I camera assisted on the classic JR SKISKI Ostrich commercial. So it was very satisfying to work again for the company 10 years later.
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Toyota Camry 'Holding Hands'



I was the New Zealand Aerial DOP for this Commercial for China.

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Peter Refle was the Director, produced by The Shooting Gallery and Line Produced by Iris from Batch.

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I shot on Alexa using the Shotover Camera System K1 with Alfie Speight flying.

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Uketamau

I Directed this Documentary Film in Japan in 2012, where I was invited to be an Artist in Residence. This was an incredible shoot. Very physical, it was hot and humid and there were many challenges.

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I travelled to Yamagata Provence in Northern Japan. It was an amazing place. Very spiritual, and I did not see another westerner for a week.

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My crew consisted of Mile Nagaoka from Green Valley and Camera / Sound Assistant Taigo Kawaguchi. We communicated in pigeon English. We were here to film the Yamabushi training. Essentially, this involved us taking part in the training, as well as making the film.

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Fumihiro Hoshino is a 13th generation Yamabushi, someone who guides people on Shugyo ascetic training in Japan. He was the Master, and I decided to structure the film around him. It was very challenging interviewing him in loosely translated Japanese, but after spending several days with the group - I was confident that I understood the sentiment.

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The first night was wonderful. An amazing meal with just the crew and the Yamabushi Master. The next day was a little bit different….

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We began to walk. Lot's of walking. Day one I was told that we would take a short stroll… we walked up 4500 steps to a temple. This in itself was a challenge, but to throw in the heavy Red Epic camera equipment, and the awkward clothing, and I struggled. Myself and my crew did not make it all the way, we were carrying too much weight and my giant western feet that stuck out of the split toe Japanese slippers were in pain.

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We were all living in the same tatami mat room. I grabbed a corner for battery charging and downloading.

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A far cry from the first night's meal, we were now on a starvation diet consisting of one bowl of rice, soup and two vegetables. The chanting and prayers stopped at 11pm, and after a mosquito filled night we were woken at 4am.

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This was the big day, and I had negotiated to be allowed to wear my own clothes and shoes. This was to prove to be a great decision. I stripped back the camera equipment to two lenses, 3 batteries and 3 Redmags. Weight was going to be critical. (I must also admit that I cheated and packed some extra water, a Pocari Sweat Isotonic Drink… and a couple of candy bars…)

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I was told that the walk would take us about 2 to 3 hours… so I assumed 5. In the end the hike up the mountain took over 8 hours. It was a massive day. I had to film the group as they would pass me, then run ahead to catch up and repeat the process. It was tough, but it was also absolutely beautiful and satisfying.

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Chanting and prayers again along with the starvation meal. Everyone was exhausted. I was so tired that I really had to concentrate on my downloading… I could not afford to make a mistake.

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Up at 4am again, woken by the sound of the conch. We loaded up and started off back to the 4500 steps that had defeated me earlier. I have to say, after the previous days marathon, it was a breeze. I practically ran up the steps, and the morning light was beautiful to work with.

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We got to the top, and the temple was very cool. I looked over… and a car drove past. I couldn't believe it! Apparently there was a road up to the top, but we took the steps!

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The weekend was over. Everyone was tired, but we all had a great sense of accomplishment. We sat around and had a feast, including the biggest cup of Sake I have ever seen. It was a great experience, and I was honoured to be invited into the group and I am proud to be Yamabushi.

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'Focus: Fresh Challenges'



I filmed the backbone of this piece with Ben Brown recently in Rotorua and Hamilton.



Directed by Ethan McLean from Milk Money Films in Sydney. 'Focus' screened on Fox Sports Australia.



I shot on one of my Red Epic cameras. It was the perfect tool for the slow motion kayaking and overlay with Ben Brown. Also, by shooting the mid shot interview in 5K resolution Ethan was able to reframe and punch in for close ups in post.
(There is existing library footage and aerials in this edit that I did not film).
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