Keeping Focussed

Meet the New Wave / Ed Wild

Keeping Focussed

Meet the New Wave / Ed Wild

Filmography (so far):

Severance (2006), Shifty (2008), I Know You Know (2008), Chalet Girl (2001), Welcome To The Punch (2013), Fleming (2013)…


When did you discover you wanted to be a cinematographer?

I’ve always had a passion for photography, deveolping and printing. Although I loved films growing up, I wasn't particularly aware of the British film industry. I trainee’d on a low-budget short and fell in love with the camera department. At first I didn't really hope I could be a cinematographer, but believed I could make it as a focus puller. But as I got into the rhythm of things and started to understand the set, all I wanted to be was a DP. I marvelled at the way cinematographers interpreted scripts and created wonderful moods to enhance and emphasise the feelings.

Where did you train?

On the job. I started out getting the odd bit of running, and managed to get a job driving a van delivering for a small camera company. I worked long weeks and weekends and, whenever I got the chance, loaded on short films and tests, often with Stuart Howell as he got his Steadicam reel together. I loaded on music videos, commercials and documentaries (at the end of S16mm) including Blue Planet with Peter Parks, whose technical knowlegde was unbelievable.

I moved up to focusing and got some small paid assignements for stills photography from companies like Sony and Rank through an art director I knew. He began directing and shooting fashion editorials for MTV which he asked me to shoot. It was all low-fi, without many restrictions, which was great fun and fantastic for learning. Soon after that I bought an ARRI SR2 and shot for anyone who could afford for the film to be processed. I sat in the late night telecine and gleaned knowledge about each frame I exposed to improve my work. Eventually this stripped down beauty fashion work progressed to music videos and commercials. All the while I was shooting shorts hoping I would get a chance to shoot a film. Which I did with Severance.

What are you favourite films, and why?

Star Wars (1977) – as a boy it was the most magical thing I had ever seen with the huge starship sailing over the screen as the film began. I still marvel at the vision and look DP Gill Taylor achieved.The Servant (1963) – the way Joseph Losey and DP Douglas Slocombe used the camera to create such changing rhythms and intense dynamics between the characters is a masterclass.Trainspotting (DP Brian Tufano BSC, 1996) – it took a social realism theme and pushed it with such flair and empathy that just popped off the screen, grabbed hold of you and didn't let go. Blade Runner (DP Jordan Cronenweth, 1982) – I love science fiction, and it's a masterclass too.Underground (DP Vilko Filac, 1995) – my father-in-law introduced me to Emir Kusturica and this film is my favourite of his. It’s an avalanche of love, tragedy and comedy, all rolling towards you with a cacophony of spiraling gypsy trumpets

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

“Never change your idea of what night is, or how dark is dark, in the middle of a film” – Barry Akroyd BSC at a BSC Operators’ Night.

Who are your DP/industry heroes?

Gill Taylor BSC – so many of the films I love are his work. Seamus McGarvey BSC ASC – keeps on innovating and adapting. Anna Kerinina is a fantastic statement of his talent. John Matheson BSC – he creates such rich, deep pictures. Darius Konji AFC ASC – so much varied work, but each with a something special. Janus Kaminski ASC – from Saving Private Ryan to The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, what a range!

Have you won any awards or received any nominations?

Yes, best cinematography award at the Aspen Short Film Festival for Roar (2009).

What’s your proudest moment?

At the cast-and-crew of Welcome To The Punch, when all the crew, who had worked so hard on the film, said how proud they felt to have worked on it.

And your worst moment on set?

A night shoot on Shifty. We had worked very hard over 18 days. The camera team was me and Mark Nutkins, who courageously focus pulled and loaded. We were shooting late one night, a wide silhouette of the protaganists. I didn't pull back deep enough from the board focus, despite Mark’s protests, and it was embarrassingly soft. We had to reshoot on a schedule that barely had time to shoot anything the first time around! But that film was such a wonderful warm collaborative process that there were no recriminations. Just a wry smile from Ben Pugh the producer, and some teasing by Eran Creavy the director.

Away from work, what are your greatest passions?

My family.

What one piece of kit could you not live without?

My Leica

Which films are you most proud of to date?

Shifty and Welcome To The Punch.

"[Favourite film] Star Wars (1977) – as a boy it was the most magical thing I had ever seen with the huge starship sailing over the screen as the film began."

- Ed Wild

Tell us your hidden talent/party trick?

I’m a national champion and Commonwealth bronze medalist in rowing.

In the entire history of filmmaking, which film would you love to have shot?

Blade Runner

What are your current top albums?

British Sea Power, "Machineries Of Joy"; Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, "Push The Sky Away"; Bach’s “The Goldberg Variations”.

What three adjectives best describe you and your approach to cinematography?

Rich. Engaging. Bold.

What are your aspirations for the future?

To keep shooting and improving.

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