Career
After leaving school I joined my local newspaper in Northern Ireland as a trainee Photographer. I gained early and unique experience as a junior Photographer photographing the outbreak the civil disturbance and subsequent IRA war in Northern Ireland. This experience led me to become a freelance photographer and from a base in Belfast I began contributing to various newspapers and magazines pictures of the ongoing war and general situation. These publications included The Irish Times; The Daily Telegraph; Daily Mirror; Daily Mail, and the celebrated American news magazines Time and Newsweek.

The Irish Times, Ireland's leading newspaper, which I had always admired for it's use of photography engaged me on a contractual basis and I went on to receive several Press Photographer of the Year Awards in various categories during this period. At the same time I began to develop a keen interest in cinematography and as a result of open competition I joined RTE, The Irish State TV Service as a Trainee Camera Assistant. After eighteen months of tremendous work experience I went from Film Clapper/Loader to Focus Puller to Camera Operator.

Within eighteen months' I was promoted to the post of Film Cameraman at 24 years and worked for two years in News, based once again in Belfast. Afterwards, I moved to Dublin to work as a DoP in RTE's Documentary Division and thereafter in the Film Drama Division. My first drama film, ‘Caught In A Free State’ was a period drama set during WW2. It's duration was 4 x 1hr. episodes and was a major co-production between RTE and the newly launched UK's Channel Four. The series received critical acclaim in Ireland and the UK and it prompted me to resign and attempt to establish myself as a freelance DoP primarily in the UK.

I gradually established myself as a freelance operative and started to receive regular assignments from BBC Network Television; Channel Four (UK) and other leading production companies in the UK and Ireland. These assignments ranged from Documentary to Drama and Features. I also gained further experience in Commercial production as a DoP and on several Feature Films as a Second Unit DoP or Second Camera Operator.

As a principle DoP I went on to shoot several Feature Films produced by or for BBC Drama. One film ‘Dance Lexie Dance’ was nominated by the American Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences for an ‘Oscar’ award in 1998 in the Academy’s ‘Best Live Action’ Category. One of my most recent documentaries 'Cult Of The Suicide Bomber' commissioned by Channel Four (UK) received an EMMY nomination in 2006/7.

As a DoP I have experience of filming in all production formats for Film and Video including 16mm; 35mm; 65mm; HD; SD & DV. I continue to work at the highest technical and artistic levels within the film and television industry and I remain committed to personal development and awareness through constant up dating of my skills.

 

Personal Profile
Born @ Castlecaulfield, Northern Ireland, UK.

Education
Castlecaulfield Primary School; St. Patrick’s Secondary College, Dungannon;
University of Ulster: College of Art & Design, Belfast.

Educational Qualifications
(1) G C E ‘O’ Level in English Literature; English Language;
Mathematics; Physics; Chemistry; History; Geography; Art

(2) London City & Guilds Diploma: General Photography & Graphic
Design

(3) Field Management Diploma @ IMI (Management Institute. Dublin)

(4) The International Film & Television Workshops Master Class
Advanced Cinematography Diploma.

Other Skill Related Qualifications
Professional Environment Health & Safety Courses Completed @ BBC:

(1) Hostile Environments (Conflict & Non Conflict)

(2) Nuclear Chemical & Biological Environments

(3) First Aid (Combat & Non Combat)

(4) Location Environment Production Safety

Specialist Skills
500 hrs+ of helicopter flying experience with and without aerial camera mounts for drama and documentary

Travel Experience
USA (14); Canada; France (9); Germany (8); Holland (3); Italy (2); Switzerland (2); Austria (3); Spain (8); Portugal (5); Bulgaria; Bosnia; Croatia; China; Greece(2) Turkey; Iran; Iraq; Saudi Arabia; Cyprus (8); Israel (5); Palestine (4) Syria (3); Egypt (2); Jordan (5); Libya (2); Lebanon (3); Afghanistan; U A E (3); Oman; Kenya (2); Somalia; South Africa; Zimbabwe; Namibia; Japan; India; Malaysia; Indonesia; Thailand; Singapore; West Indies; Iceland; Hungary; Tanzania; Estonia; Finland (2); Sweden (2); Russia; Lithuania; Poland; Czech Republic.

Professional Associations Membership
(1) BECTU - Director of Photography (No: 62136)

(2) British Kinematograph Society (BKS)

Professional Awards & Recognition

Productions I have worked on as DoP which have received awards or professional recognition are:
  • Caught In A Free State (C4) Canadian FTA Award (1984)
  • Seamus Heaney Doc (BBC) UK RTS Winner (1998)
  • Dance Lexie Dance (BBC) AAMPAS Oscar Nomination (1998)
  • Leap of Faith (C4/PBS) USA Sundance Film Festival Award (1998)
  • BBC Panorama ‘Omagh Bombing’ UK RTS Winner (2001) (UK BAFTA Nominated)
  • BBC Education Series ‘Citizenship UK BAFTA x 2 Nominations (1 x Winner 2002)
  • BBC NI ‘Spotlight’ (People for Sale) UK RTS Award (2004)
  • Cult Of The Suicide Bobber (C4) USA EMMY Nomination (2006)