February 24, 2014 by Tony
I spent nearly 7 hours in the same cinema seat this weekend. The BBC and the BFI were celebrating the return of several missing episodes of Doctor Who to the archives by holding a marathon screening at the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square. All twelve episodes of “The Enemy of the World” and “The Web of Fear” were shown back-to-back, with only two short comfort breaks. That’s a lot of Doctor Who, even for me.
The panel after the screening was expertly moderated by Toby Hadoke. Deborah Watling and Frazer Hines were joined by Ralph Watson, who played Captain Knight in “The Web of Fear,” the role that was originally going to be played by Nicholas Courtney before he was promoted to play the Brigadier. Ralph was certainly talkative and brought some fresh stories and recollections, particular about his working relationship with Douglas Camfield. Michael Troughton was also on stage to reminisce about his father’s dual roles in “The Enemy of the World” and his visit to the London Underground set with the yetis.
I think the BBC and the BFI were using this event to see if there is sufficient interest in screenings now that the anniversary year celebrations are over. I hope they are convinced, although I would happily settle for a single six episode story rather than two! It was great to geek out with James from the Doctor Who Podcast again.
The Prince Charles cinema, which is slightly smaller than NFT1 at the BFI Southbank, is a great choice of venue for this sort of cult screening. However, the availability of cinema snacks, combined with the duration of the screening, meant there was a lot more rustling going on than at the BFI. But I can live with that if I get to see more Doctor Who on the big screen.
February 19, 2014 by Tony
I was rather excited to receive my box set of Doctor Who: Dark Eyes 2 today. Not just because it’s the follow-up to the BBC Audio Drama Award-winning first series. Here’s the splendid artwork that accompanies the 4 CD release:
You see the photographs of Nicola Walker from Spooks on the box, album art and even the disk itself? I took those! Thanks to the design wizardry of Damien May they blend seamlessly with the photographs of Paul McGann, Ruth Bradley and Alex Macqueen in costume that they already had. It’s tremendously exciting to see one’s efforts printed on an actual BBC authorised CD.
Nick Briggs (Executive Producer and voice of the Daleks) asked if I could attend the recording session at the studio to photograph Nicola, Alex, Ruth and other cast members. Not knowing exactly what I would encounter when I got there, I tried to cover all the possibilities. I ended up shooting using off camera flash to get the dramatic lighting suitable for the covers and album art, and natural light for the more straight-forward shots. It was fascinating to see how a complex audio drama is recorded, and yes, the lunches at the Big Finish studios are every bit as good as they are made out to be!
See, that’s my actual name! In the same listing as Terry Nation and Ron Grainer. I never thought I would see that happen.
I can see more of my photos of Ruth (below), Alex and Nicola in issue 60 of Big Finish’s free magazine, Vortex. Dark Eyes 2 is available now from bigfinish.com. I suppose I better go and listen to it now!
February 10, 2014 by Tony
Later this year I am going to do something stupid. I’m going to climb Mount Mulanje, the highest mountain in southern Africa. It will take 5 days to get up and I’ll be carrying a heavy pack all the way.
People keep asking me if I’m in training. I’m not. I probably should be. What those people don’t know is that it’s not climbing the 3,002m peak that worries me. It’s the insects. I am extremely attractive to insects. Even in the UK I get bitten, a lot. When I was working on an outdoor theatre production I got bitten so much that they put it in the accident book.
I’m doing all this for AMECA, a UK charity who have built a sustainable hospital in Malawi. Adults pay for their treatment, which funds free medical care for children. Sadly there is no NHS in Malawi. So, is this just about helping people in Africa? (As if that wasn’t reason enough!) No.
The money that I’m raising pays bursaries for nurses from the UK to go to Malawi and work out there for 6 months. The nurses get valuable experience that they bring back to the UK. Everyone benefits.
I first wrote about this last summer, and I’ve had a lot of generous sponsorship from people. Only some of whom want me to suffer whilst I’m doing the climb. Some generous people donated anonymously, so I can’t thank them in person. But thank you. Thank you so so much to everyone who has helped. I really do appreciate it.
I’ve only got 4 months to reach my fundraising target of £2,550. If you can help out, the link is right here:
All the money goes straight to AMECA. Thank you.
February 3, 2014 by Tony
I’m very pleased to reveal a brand new logo for my photography. I think it reflects my geekiness, my excellent sense of humour (you may disagree) and generally straightforward approach to photography.
It was a fun but challenging process to collect together ideas that might influence the design. “Describe yourself” is always a difficult question to answer, but gradually I collected a pinterest board full of things I feel describe my aspirations and that I admire: Classic design, comedy heroes, retro computing.
My photographic style has developed so much since I started photographing weddings back in the dim and distant past of 2011. This new branding reflects the clearer understanding I have of my style, but also who I am as a person and a photographer. I’m not going to be in your face and demanding, but I will be smiley and chatty. I won’t filter, airbrush and process your photos until they look completely artificial: I will produce natural looking images that show your personalities. I won’t try and pose every tiny aspect of your photos: I will create a space where you feel comfortable and can act naturally.
My new branding was designed by the brilliant Tom Holmes and I will be using it for my wedding photography as well as other photography and video work (about which more soon!).
I think the little fella should have a name though. Any suggestions?
January 27, 2014 by Tony
This isn’t my usual sort of blog post, so please bear with me.
Last summer I worked for Neil Thomas Douglas as second photographer at a wedding in Oxfordshire. James and Helen had put a lot of thought and effort into their day. From the outdoor ceremony where Helen’s pupils sang, through the meal cooked by family members and served to guests seated on hay bales, and onto the evening with live bands, swings and tug-of-war, the whole day was alive with their personalities. It was clear just how much Helen loved James. Her short, powerful speech sent shivers down my spine.
Helen died suddenly last month.
Even though I only knew her for a day, it was clear that Helen was a caring, lively and compassionate person. Someone who wanted to make the world a better place to live in. It was a privilege to be a part of Helen and James’ wedding day.
The fundraising campaign that Helen had set up to raise just £200 for voluntary aid workers in the Philippines has been flooded with donations and is currently at over 9000% of the target. This immense response shows just how loved and respected Helen was. If you can give anything in Helen’s memory, please do.
Thanks to James and Neil for letting me write this post.