Films & Videos


Scène aux Champs
2022 (Super 8, 3 minutes)

In August 2020, I came up with the idea of rearranging the third movement of Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique for solo guitar and sheep voices and make a short film around this. A couple of Super 8 cartridges were promptly ordered, and I went on my way with my digital sound recorder to record various sheep bleatings. Somehow the project got delayed. Eventually, in Spring 2022, all filming was completed. Recording the music and editing the film were done very quickly at the end of June 2022.

Avonleigh Orchards & Vineyard
Avonleigh (2020, 720p HD, 4 minutes)
Avonleigh Orchards in Spring 2022 (2022, 720p HD, 5 minutes)

I've been coming to Avonleigh for several years as a veg and salad buyer and, seasonally, a grape-picker in the vineyard. In autumn 2020 I created a short video about the farm. Filming took place during the first day of wine harvest (26 September) and during a farm tour (7 October). Editing was completed five days later, in time for submitting the video to the virtual Trowbridge Apple Day. The following year, some of this video footage was borrowed by a Bristol-based film student for a promotional video presented at the Bradford on Avon Climate Festival in September 2021.

My second video about the same place was recorded during a farm tour on 14 May 2022.

Spain and France 2019
2019 (MiniDV, 13 minutes)

Recordings taken during a ferry-and-train trip to Spain and France in April/May 2019. The video includes clips from the outbound ferry crossing, Santander, Valladolid, Tarragona, Barcelona, Girona, Rivesaltes, Lyon, and Bayeux.

Public screening:

  • An Evening of European Films, Bradford on Avon, 11 August 2019

Experiment with Light
2018 (720p HD, 10 minutes)

Conversation between Craig Barnett and Rex Ambler about the spiritual discipline Experiment with Light, recorded at Rex's home in Silverdale, Lancashire, on 26 March 2018, just prior to the Experiment with Light conference at Glenthorne, Grasmere, Cumbria. As I was travelling by public transport and with 24 copies of my new book in my rucksack, I chose a very minimalistic recording setup for this video: Kodak Zi8 on a lightweight photo tripod and Zoom H2n sound recorder on a table tripod. Natural light only (with a bit of adjustment in post-production).

Public screening:

  • Experiment with Light Network Annual Business Meeting, Friends House London, 5 May 2018

Bristol Naked Bike Ride
Bristol Naked Bike Ride 2011 (2011, Super 8, 5 minutes)
Bristol Naked Bike Ride through the years (2017, Super 8 / 35mm stills, 4 minutes)

On 19 June 2011, I tried to accompany the World Naked Bike Ride in Bristol as a naked running reporter. Finding myself stranded next to a four-lane roundabout, naked on my own, seeing the riders disappear at the horizon, I changed strategy: Shortcuts in shorts to finish my short.
For the soundtrack, I later adapted a 19th century guitar piece by Matteo Carcassi.

Public screenings:

  • The Warden's Film Vault, Bradford on Avon, 26 June 2013
  • Pigpen Cinema: Bristol Cycle Festival, 6 June 2015
  • CineMe film night, Bristol, 2 July 2015
  • Homemade Film Festival, Bristol, 12-14 November 2015 (stripped of its soundtrack, shown as part of the Observastory installation)

In following years I became a regular participant in the World Naked Bike Ride in Bristol. My 2012 ride inspired me to write an article in my local Quaker newsletter. 2013 was cold and wet, but there were still over 50 riders turning up. In 2014, I was wearing a hat, and in 2015 made it onto the homepage of Bristol 24/7 for several hours. 2016 saw the biggest turnout ever, with over 200 riders, and naked dancing in Castle Park to the sounds of a samba drumming band. In 2017, I missed the ride for the first time, so I had to make up for it by re-editing my previous short film with the help of 35mm stills from the 2014 and 2016 rides and adding a more energetic flamenco style soundtrack to it.

Public screening:

  • Bicycle Mania film afternoon, Bradford on Avon, 2 December 2017

On the Trail of Hector Berlioz
2012 (Super 8, 10 minutes)

French composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) has been one of my favourite composers for many years. In Summer 2012 I travelled to his birthplace La Côte Saint André and to other places in France and Italy that are associated with his early life until about 1830/32. This short documentary is based on Berlioz' memoirs and accompanied by the fifth movement of his Symphonie Fantastique, taken from a 1950s recording on an old vinyl record.

Public screening:

  • The Warden's Film Vault, Bradford on Avon, 26 June 2013

Sometimes Illegal?
2012 (MiniDV, 9 minutes)

Filmed over a period of 36 hours on locations in the New Forest, on the Isle of Wight and in Hampshire, Sometimes Illegal? examines the confusion on the legality (or not) of being nude in public places in England and Wales. The project was the idea of naturist hiker Brian Johnson and made through the British Naturism Media/Filmmaking Group. With over 400,000 views, this video has become my most popular online.

Jacques, a robin: My Spectral Summer
2011 (35mm stills / Standard 8 / Super 8, 4 minutes)

Jacques, a robin's song My Spectral Summer from his debut album Statuettes deals with a young man's grief following the death of his twin brother. Jacques had a very clear vision of the music video that should go with it and asked me to help him turn his vision into reality. I took some stills photographs and combined them with Standard 8 and Super 8 movie footage I had recorded in previous years.

The music video is available to watch on Vimeo and youtube.

Public screenings:

  • CineMe film night, Bristol, 20 July 2011
  • Screen Social, London, 26 October 2011
  • The Warden's Film Vault, Bradford on Avon, 26 June 2013

Clockwork Mouse
Clockwork Mouse Strikes Back (2007, Super 8, 1 minute)
Clockwork Mouse Can't Get Enough (2008, Standard 8, 1½ minutes)
Clockwork Mouse meets Robot 7 (2008, Super 8, 1½ minutes)
The Naked Animator (2010, Super 8, 2½ minutes)

In 2006, someone presented me with a plastic mouse with a clockwork motor. I immediately thought this mouse should become a film star and started off by using it for a 60-second part-animation done with my Digital8 camera. This first film (not available online) lead to the demise of the mouse's motor (which didn't survive being soaked in white wine), and future films obviously had to be animated throughout whenever the mouse was supposed to be moving.

Clockwork Mouse Strikes Back looks at animal experiments from a fresh perspective.

Clockwork Mouse Can't Get Enough is a tale of boundless greed, filmed on a clockwork motor driven Paillard-Bolex B8 camera from 1956.

Clockwork Mouse meets Robot 7 introduces a new character who is sent on a mission to restore clockwork and order. The film won an audience award at Szeged Super 8 Film Festival 2009. A 7-minute video recording of a Question & Answer session I gave during Cambridge Super 8 Film Festival is available to watch on Dailymotion, and you can also have a look at some production stills and a short behind the scenes documentary.

Clockwork Mouse for President was supposed to become my great masterpiece, but suffered from technical flaws (some the camera's fault, others my own). The production stills show a couple of scenes that didn't make it into the finished film. Not all was lost. Some of the ideas and props of Clockwork Mouse for President made it into my Straight 8 UK 2010 competition entry The Naked Animator that the judges considered one of the best 20 out of over 100 submissions, despite a slight timing mistake in the audio recording, which I rectified for the online version (which hence is called 'Version Bent 8', as this correction bent the strict Straight 8 rules). In November 2010 I re-enacted the making of a Clockwork Mouse film in my favourite outfit for a photo shoot by photography student Hannah Sampson, and a short clip from The Naked Animator featured in my (unsuccessful) 2016 Straight 8 UK entry The Goblin of the Meeting House as film within the film.

Public screenings:

  • Strawberry Super 8 Film Festival Preview Night, Cambridge, 8 April 2007 (Strikes Back)
  • Strawberry Super 8 Film Festival, Cambridge, 2 June 2007 (Strikes Back)
  • Super Anim-8 film night, Cambridge, 16 December 2007 (Strikes Back)
  • Strawberry Fair Film Festival, Cambridge, 7 June 2008 (Can't Get Enough)
  • Bristol Filmmakers Festival, 14 June 2008 (Strikes Back & Can't Get Enough)
  • Cambridge Super 8 Film Festival, 30 April 2009 (Meets Robot 7)
  • Squeaky Wheel Global Super 8 Day, Buffalo, 8 May 2009 (Meets Robot 7)
  • Odder's Mini Cine Picture Show, Manchester, 21 June 2009 (Meets Robot 7)
  • Szeged Super 8 Film Festival, 9 September 2009 (Meets Robot 7)
    (Winner of the opening night's audience award)
  • Curta 8 Festival Internacional de Cinema Super 8 de Curitiba, 23 October 2009 (Meets Robot 7)
  • Flicker Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 26 January 2010 (Meets Robot 7)
  • Rushes Soho Shorts Festival (as part of Straight 8), London, 27 July 2010 (The Naked Animator, original version)
  • Szeged Super 8 Film Festival, 7 September 2010 (as part of Best of 2009) (Meets Robot 7)
  • Raindance Film Festival (as part of Best of Straight 8 2010), London, 4 October 2010 (The Naked Animator, original version)
  • Cambridge Super 8 Film Festival, 1 May 2011 (The Naked Animator, Version Bent 8)
  • Cinecity Film Festival, Brighton (as part of Small Wonders), 19 November 2011 (The Naked Animator, Version Bent 8)
  • The Warden's Film Vault, Bradford on Avon, 26 June 2013 (Strikes Back & Can't Get Enough & Meets Robot 7)
  • Wondrous Tales Film Afternoon, Bradford on Avon, 16 April 2016 (Strikes Back & Can't Get Enough & Meets Robot 7 & The Naked Animator, Version Bent 8)

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This page was last updated on 18 July 2022