11 Nov 2015

Spring ’19 Reel

Portfolio, Productions No Comments

My very latest reel. Mainly self-shot / directed / produced / written but with some notable exceptions including  Read more

03 Jan 2017

Mercury Rising?

Kit No Comments

Magic Bullet lives up to its name – again

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15 Sep 2016

One Man – One vision?

4K, Kit, Productions No Comments

Black Magic Ursa Mini 4K

Camera base price:  £2409.00 + VAT.  As tested: c £6K + VAT




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29 Jul 2016

Guest Post – Why Video is your best selling tool.

Industry, Marketing No Comments

My thanks to the lovely people at NuBlue in Lancaster for this Guest Blog.


How video helps transactional websites sell more.

According to internet giant Buffer; product videos increase the likelihood of purchases by 85%. A huge figure and perhaps surprising statistic but how and why does video make such a dramatic difference? We look at how businesses are benefitting from replacing static images with moving ones.

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25 Apr 2016

20 (and a half) things you need to know about commissioning your own video (but didn’t know who to ask)

Disconnected Jottings, Productions No Comments

There’s no doubt that video is an effective, ever-expanding medium for getting your content out there, and delivering additional value for your company’s audience – but how do you go about producing video content if you have no previous experience? What are the key considerations before commissioning video to promote your company and your team’s expertise? Read more

23 Mar 2016

Review: Panasonic DVX 200

4K, Kit No Comments

I last tested a Panasonic 4k camera about a year ago. That one (the HCX 1000) wasn’t really a full-blown pro camera – more pro-sumer.  Basically it was too small to work with gloves, looked a little too fragile, was difficult to put in full manual and didn’t really deliver the bit rates necessary for full 4K broadcast. Read more

13 Mar 2016

This is my story …

Kit, Productions No Comments


A friend at Senior School could draw superbly.  He had a natural gift and not only did he cover his own school notebooks with the most elegant of illustrations, many ended up on mine too! Sadly I no longer have any of his sketches – most of which were done using a technical drawing pen – as I no longer have my old schoolbooks. Read more

04 Mar 2016

A Night at the Flicks

Industry, Kit No Comments

Does anyone call movies ‘the flicks’ anymore?  Or is just another indicator that I’m turning into my Grandparents?

No matter, but I DID actually spend a night at the flicks recently preparing footage for this review – and very illuminating it was too! Read more

11 Nov 2015

No Benny; plenty of Jets

Productions No Comments

Recently we had the great pleasure of shooting and editing for Jet Design & Marketing in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

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31 May 2015

An XS of Power… Testing a Scan 3XS Evolve 4K NLE PC

Kit No Comments

You can never have enough power. Didn’t someone (now disgraced) often say that?

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02 May 2015

Review: Tiffen Dfx version 4

Kit No Comments

As part of all my gear, I have a matte box and lots of filters. Sometimes I even get to use them. But more often than not it’s a run’n’gun or such a tight schedule that niceties like that are ignored with the caveat ‘we’ll sort it in post’.

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05 Apr 2015

Review: Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 12

Kit 2 Comments

What’s in a name? A lot or a little … but when it comes to roses, as Shakespeare said, ‘By any other name would smell as sweet.’

Coincidentally (but slightly tenuously) the headquarters of Red Giant, publishers of the Magic Bullet Suite reviewed here are a few miles west of Portland, Oregon – a city known for warm dry summers and wet chilly winters – ideal conditions for growing roses. In fact, Portland is known as The City of Roses.

I’ll come back to the significance of that later but in the meantime let’s hunker down and look at what you get for your money with Magic Bullet Suite 12.

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05 Apr 2015

Panasonic HC-X1000 4K Camcorder Quick Review

4K, Kit No Comments

Panasonic HC-X1000 4K camcorder

Available: Now
Price: £2,300.00 approx inc. VAT (April 2015)

I’ve recently taken on a contract that requires concentrated bursts of shooting in short time-windows. And in that window I need to shoot a lot. The subject matter could be anything and has often been not what I was expecting.
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19 Jan 2015

Working with Bay TV

Productions No Comments

In case you haven’t noticed, the UK has several new local TV stations and more to come.

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09 Jan 2015

Pick a card … (Updated)

Kit No Comments

Gobe Launch Faster ‘Magic’ Cards

Not so long ago I reviewed the excellent range of Gobe memory cards. Now they’ve launched even faster ones suitable for the latest hi-res video and stills cameras.

Offering all the advantages of the rest of the Gobe range – including being waterproof, resistant to magnetic rays and extreme temperatures, they are probably the fastest cards out right now and are ideal for RAW / 4K recording on video.
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08 Oct 2014

Caffeine Crazy – Up all night with Mocha

Industry, Kit No Comments

Review: Mocha Pro / Plus

OS: Windows 32/64, Linux Red Hat, Mac

Publisher: Imagineer Systems (www.imagineersystems.com)

So another software review – and this one rather more esoteric than normal due to it being a Very Grown Up piece of software that really everyone who’s serious about film should have! Read more

29 Sep 2014

Red Giant Shooter Suite Review

Industry, Kit No Comments

Review: Shooter Suite

Publisher: Red Giant (www.redgiant.com)

Price: See text

Reviewer: Ian Sandall F Inst V

Written: 11 Sept 14

I still have a camera that takes videotapes. I know I should’ve sold it years ago when I could still get a decent price for it but something made me hang on to it and I think it’s this: A reminder of simpler times. Times when you didn’t need to worry about running out of cards during a long shoot – and then making sure that the cards were copied and backed up. You kept on recording tapes and when the elapsed indicator went red (or when you were told to if it was a really organized shoot) you ejected that tape and went on to the next!

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03 Sep 2014

Now you CAN do it yourself (Again)

Disconnected Jottings, Marketing No Comments

Over the years people have asked me many times to help them make their own videos themselves. And I’ve always resisted, working on the principle that I’m doing myself out of a job. But finally with the success of the Vodcast project for ITC I’ve been persuaded to change my mind and not so long ago I ran the first ever ‘Video for Social Media’ course in Manchester. Read more

14 Jun 2014

Case Study: Vodcasts

Marketing, Productions 1 Comment

Problem: You have a requirement to put a lot of simple videos on the web quickly and on a regular basis but you don’t have the budget. What do you do?

Answer? Call SPL! We have developed a system to do just that!

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10 Jun 2014

Quick Review: Magic Bullet Looks 2.5

Industry, Kit 1 Comment

Not content with launching Universe, Red Giant has also been tinkering with their best-selling Magic Bullet Looks and has recently launched version 2.5 – a $99 update to existing users. Normal price of MBL is $399 – and in my opinion, worth every penny! However you can also buy it as part of a bundle in RG’s ‘Color’ suite. Yup, it’s confusing … Read more

10 Jun 2014

Review: Red Giant Universe

Industry, Kit No Comments

Over two years ago I reviewed Magic Bullet Looks II for the IoV’s Focus magazine. I’d been a Magic Bullet convert well before that – almost at the same time as Philip Bloom picked up a DSLR! So that’s been a lot of water under the bridge and quite probably millions of frames of video treated.

In the intervening years, Magic Bullet has become almost a de facto term for NLE effects/grading plug-ins and checking the Red Giant site shows a panoply of products and bundles all with the Magic Bullet moniker in them somewhere. You can’t blame them of course for making the most of a name that is well on the way to becoming a generic term for plug-ins. Red Giant seems to have recognized this however and now you get given a bit of resident software to keep track of it all. Read more