I'm an unusual combination, a skilled film maker & writer with a really good understanding of health and social issues.
I like to work with people to turn ideas into films that people want to watch and tell others about.
I really care about my work and love to collaborate with others to achieve great results.
This is a full-length documentary style training film aimed at GPs and primary care staff. It was made for the Hepatitis C Trust, HCV Action and the Royal College of General Practitioners.
The inimitable Eureka cyclists cafe on the Wirral – features an interview with Chris Boardman’s lovely dad Keith
Made with Danny Morris, a trainer and consultant on drug issues and Part 1 lead for the RCGP viral hepatitis course, this short film attempts to address some of the problems caused by the worrying rise of mephedrone injecting.
An experiment, inspired by RSA videos, here we’re trying to help people avoid some of the common problems of experimenting with drugs for the 1st time. Made possible by the brilliant artistic & communication skills of Michael Linnell.
A last minute decision to go along and record this cycling event, resulted in one of my favourite short films to date. Shot, edited, graded, uploaded, all done & dusted in a day. Super fast work!
I started out as a nurse (both general and mental health) and have kept a strong connection with health and public health ever since.
Filming became an occasional part of my life in the mid 1990’s, when I started to use it to bring life and meaning to the courses that I was then teaching about reducing some of the inherent risks of injecting drugs (particularly HIV, hepatitis C and bacterial infections). I used a simple Sony Handycam to record real scenes of injecting drug use. This work taught me a great deal about sensitivity, confidentiality and the power of recorded images.
Fast forward a few years and I was now amongst many other things, working on films about drug use that were commissioned by government departments and spending time on sets and in studios.
I learned a lot and eventually began making films directly myself as part of a national campaign by the Department of Health and the National Treatment Agency. By then (2008) I was using professional video cameras and have since been a part of the revolution in relatively affordable filming equipment that today allows images of fantastic quality and nuance to be obtained. My current main camera is a Canon C300, I also use a 5DMK3 and a Canon XA20. The latter one for recording conferences & events.
I’m a film maker with a really good understanding of health and social issues and my previous work has given me the ability to connect quickly and meaningfully with a wide range of social groups. I particularly enjoy working non-exploitively with groups that are traditionally stigmatised and marginalised, but I also like making commercial promos!
Perhaps most importantly I consistently make films that people want to watch.
Early 1990’s - Community Drug worker/GP Liaison Worker. Wirral Drug Service, Developed and delivered the first training courses on drugs and drug use for Wirral GPs
Mid 1990’s to early 2000’s - Training & development manager for HIT.
Here, I learned how to use social marketing techniques to promote messages about health and was involved in several notable campaigns. Developing written materials helped me to hone my abilities to write attractive, succinct and accessible material. Skills that have been hugely helpful in organising and directing films. At this time, I also wrote ‘The Safer Injecting Briefing’ which was influential in the development of needle exchange practice in the UK & beyond. It has been translated into French as L’injection à moindre risqué.
First films – ethnographic films of real injecting drug use shot with a Sony Handycam.
Early 2000’s – 2012 - co-founded Exchange Supplies Limited, a company that develops and supplies equipment to needle exchanges, alongside health information in various forms.
In 2001, we were commissioned to produce a 5 minute short aimed at reducing avoidable deaths from heroin overdose. With a budget of £100,000 and funded by the UK Department of Health it wasn’t a bad budget for a first film! Luckily we engaged the services of director Kevin McKiernan, it was very successful and won lots of awards. You can see it here.
We also produced the national Harm Reduction Works campaign for the Department of Health/National Treatment Agency. That’s when I really began to learn the craft of film making.