Reykjavík to Hull: A tale of two cities

Reykjavík to Hull: A tale of two cities

I’m really proud of this film, which I wrote, directed, shot and edited. Iceland has a huge number of cultural links with Hull, which are being celebrated during its City of Culture year. I headed up to Reykjavík with a small but perfectly formed team (Kofi Smiles and Martha Mangan) to explore these connections.

This VT was one of several I’ve been making for a series of half-hour features called Britain’s City of Culture, produced by the local Look North team for BBC News Channel. This episode, as well as being shown on the News Channel several times, went out on BBC One in Yorkshire and BBC World News.

bbc.co.uk/programmes/p050psm5

Reykjavík to Hull: A tale of two cities
I used an iPhone for several of the shots, but don't tell the TV bosses that!

New Strings Attached Medley

New Strings Attached Medley

I love making new videos with these guys. This one is a medley of 500 MilesI Really Like YouLike I Love You and Keep On Movin’, to celebrate our hitting 500 likes on Facebook. As well as playing cello, I did most of the filming and editing.

To Hull and back

To Hull and back

I am currently working in Hull, as Digital Video Producer on a four-person team set up specifically to cover the events taking place as part of the City of Culture year.

It’s very exciting to be at the centre of what is an unprecedented move by the BBC to significantly focus its content around Hull this year. If we get it right, we’ll be setting the standard for how the BBC can come alongside future Cities of Culture and similar events.

My job specifically is to celebrate what’s happening in video form. This usually involves attending events with Kofi Smiles – a brand new presenter who comes from Hull and was specifically selected for this – and trying to give our viewers a taste of what’s happening. I do the filming and editing, and direct Kofi to make sure we’re getting the best results possible.

One of the key challenges is that we’re not just digital or just TV. In fact, on a regular basis we’re creating content for social media, our City of Culture website, local TV news, a longform programme on the national BBC News Channel, and radio. And yes, I do mean at the same time. I don’t think there are many other teams of this size, in the BBC or elsewhere, who are working across such a diverse range of platforms. If you want to know more about how that works, feel free to buy me a pint some time!

Most of my work in Hull can be found on the BBC’s City of Culture website.

The BBC's webpage for Hull 2017 UK City of Culture
All City of Culture-related content by my team (and the rest of the BBC) is being collected on this designated page, part of BBC Arts.

When I met Ellen DeGeneres and she told me off

When I met Ellen DeGeneres and she told me off

This was one of my favourite days ever: getting to meet the absolute star that is Ellen DeGeneres, and produce an interview between her and Lindsey Russell for Finding Dory.

As it’s Blue Peter, we don’t tend to go for straight, sit-down interviews, so I thought it would be fun to play a game based around Dory’s problems with short term memory loss.

Unfortunately Ellen didn’t quite understand the format, and it fell apart spectacularly. I felt gutted at the time, as these ‘press junket’ interviews are very quick and very high-pressured, so you can’t afford to mess up. But when I watched the rushes back I realised that if I packaged them in the right way (and could persuade my bosses to get on board) this could be a really popular clip.

As it turned out, it became my most successful ever clip on the bbc.co.uk platform, and did pretty well on YouTube too.

"Is this all you have...?!"