June 23, 2014 by Tony
Back in March I photographed the legendary Tom Baker at the Big Finish studios in Kent. The occasion was the recording of a special extended interview with Tom, to mark his 80th birthday. The interview was conducted by Nicholas Briggs, and the recording is being released on CD and download by Big Finish.
I got to listen in to the end of the recording session and it was full of Tom’s own unique form of inventive story-telling, as well as moments of reflection. I got to photograph Tom on his own using a portable studio set up, as well as with Nick and some other special guests. All in about 7 minutes! The cover has been released now and it looks pretty good I think.
The CD is available for pre-order from the Big Finish website now. Pre-orders will be signed by Tom, so buy now!
May 19, 2014 by Tony
This autumn I’m going to Malawi to climb Mount Mulanje. You might not have heard of it, but it’s 3,000m high and the tallest mountain in southern Africa. I will be walking 15 miles a day uphill, carrying a heavy backpack. I will be bitten by mosquitoes and other flying buzzy things. It’ll be hard work, is what I’m saying.
I’m doing this to raise money for AMECA. They’ve built a hospital in Malawi that is completely sustainable and not reliant on charity to keep operating. Adults pay for their treatments and children are treated for free. But AMECA also support nurses from the UK to go and work in the hospital. The people of Malawi get better healthcare and the nurses get valuable experience to bring back to the UK.
And that’s what the money I’m raising will go towards. There are just 15 surgeons in Malawi for 15 million people so the extra support is so valuable.
There have been lots of amazing, generous donors already. My family, friends, colleagues, members of the Ubuntu and FLOSS community, Doctor Who fans, random people off the Internet have all donated. Thank you, everyone. I have been touched by the response. But there’s still a way to go. I have just one month to raise £190. So much has been raised already, but I would love it if you could help push me over my target. Or, if you don’t like me and want to see me suffer, help me reach my target and I’ll be sure to post lots of photos of the injuries I sustain. Either way…
May 12, 2014 by Tony
I was very sorry to hear on Friday that Paul Spragg had passed away suddenly. Paul was an essential part of Big Finish, working tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything keep ticking over. I had the pleasure of meeting him on a number of occasions. I first met him at the recording for Dark Eyes 2. It was my first engagement for Big Finish and I was unsure of what to expect and generally feeling a little nervous. Paul was friendly right from the start and helped me get set up and ready. He even acted as my test subject as I was setting up my dramatic side lights, which is where the photo below comes from. It’s just a snap really, but it’s Paul.
He was always friendly and approachable, and we had a few chats when I was in the studio at other recording sessions. We played tag on the spare room at the studios, which is where interviews are done as well as being a makeshift photography studio. It was always great to bump into him at other events too.
Thanks to his presence on the Big Finish podcast Paul’s voice will be familiar to thousands. His west country accent and catchphrases like “fo-ward” made him popular with podcast listeners, to the extent that there were demands that he travel to conventions to meet them!
My thoughts and condolences go to his family, friends and everyone at Big Finish.
April 28, 2014 by Tony
My friends over at Big Finish are celebrating fifteen years of producing Doctor Who audio drama this year. To mark the occasion, they will be releasing a special box set called “The Worlds of Doctor Who.” The set comprises four stories with a linking story arc, with each story based around one of the Doctor Who spin-off series that Big Finish have been so successful at producing: Jago and Litefoot, Countermeasures, The Vault and Gallifrey.
I have been doing some of the photography for the box set and it has been a pleasure attending the recording sessions over the past couple of months. I’m sure I will be writing more about it in the future, but the cover for the box set was released yesterday and the central image is one I took of actor Jamie Glover who plays the evil Mr Rees throughout the four stories. His costume was added by a very clever graphic designer though!
“The Worlds of Doctor Who” is available for pre-order now from the Big Finish website. You might also have seen some of my photographs from Big Finish Day 4 in Vortex #61, with a very nice double spread of my images showing what good fun the day was for guests and attendees.
April 1, 2014 by Tony
Tomorrow evening we’ll be bringing a brand new season of the Ubuntu Podcast to your ears. After an extended winter break, we’re ready to dust off our microphones and mixers, fire up our laptops and dive head first into the new season. We’ll be streaming the show live at 2030 BST so you can listen and even participate through the IRC channel. Visit the live page on the website to find out more.
As we did last year, we will be releasing new episodes for download every week. If you can’t wait for that, listen live on alternate Wednesday evenings for about an hour. You can check the recording dates on our website or add them to your Google calendar.
The show will be much as you know and hopefully love it: A mix of discussion, interviews, news, silliness and cake. It would be great if you could join us at 2030 BST tomorrow (Wednesday 2nd April) for the first live show of the season!