If you visit this site from today, 12 November 2017, you will find it in disarray, since I have just moved it to a new host. I have every intention of refreshing and relaunching it. Meanwhile if you would like to see anything that you might have expected to—specifically videos of my work—do please contact me via the Call page.
And I have finally edited some clips from three of my television documentaries. (Their titles on the grid of thumbnails all begin with ‘Documentary’, so they’re easy to find.) There’s one on the North Sea, another on the fjords of Norway, and the third is about porpoises. Because of the longer, more elaborate post-production process for long-form broadcast television programmes it’s always a lot more difficult getting hold of a copy of the end product. And then when you do you have somehow to distill an hour of programme into three or four minutes. This is a process that is much easier for someone who hasn’t actually made the programme, because they haven’t sweated and agonized over every shot. You as the director feel that every single frame of the finished film is there for a good reason, and cutting most of it out feels like abandoning your children (OK, I might be exaggerating a teensy bit here). Anyway it’s a difficult process, so I’m please to have done it at least for these three jobs. These are the documentaries that I have co-directed, as opposed to others that I have written and/or produced.
Some years ago a friend and one-time colleague from my advertising agency days left to start a marketing consultancy. He was called Johnny Wright. Neither he nor I were particularly keen on marketing consultants, but he planned to offer a very specialized service. It struck me then that he had a really good idea. And it still does. Put simply, Johnny’s idea was to offer advice to companies on how to get the best out of their advertising agency.
I have long thought that understanding as much as possible about what you are buying leads to the happiest outcomes, whether it’s a house, an investment, or the 3.30 at Newmarket; or a video. Of course you can never have the skills or the knowledge of the specialists you hire – presumably you wouldn’t need to hire them otherwise. But it has to make sense to understand enough about their work to be able to provide all the information and materials they need to do the job properly, give them a sensible amount of time to deliver the best solution, and judge what is a good price. There are also less tangible issues, like motivation and loyalty. As a manager you wouldn’t think twice about the need to motivate your staff and win their trust to get the best out of them; well funnily enough the same applies to most your suppliers.
Now you’d think the marketing people in companies whose primary way of communicating with customers is mainstream consumer advertising would have a pretty good idea of how the process of creating and buying advertising works. But even so Johnny found that he was able to teach them all sorts of tips and methods to improve their effectiveness, and the quality of the advertising produced.
And that’s what I hope to do in some of the pieces that I post here. Over the years I have worked for many different clients, ranging from those who had never before had anything to do with media as a communications tool and were happy to profess their ignorance, to those who had been closely involved with media throughout their career. I hope that I can offer all of these some useful thoughts about getting the most out of media production, and some insights into the work of a media producer. I make no apologies for these articles being totally subjective. The views expressed will be my own, based on my own experience. Other opinions are available.
If any of my observations stimulate the urge to respond, in agreement or otherwise, please do add your own thoughts.
This project has taken a back seat to paid work for too long. But it’s 2012! About time I made use of the service I offer to others: communicating information and ideas.
The plan is to regularly post news, thoughts, and insights that are in some way relevant to my work. I hope others will find them worth reading.
As well as this blog, the site shows examples of my work, an outline of the services I offer, and a little bit of background. Please explore via the menu above – or just start here: HOME. (Hover over the buttons for more information about the different sections.)