Im Ben, a freelance Camera Assistant/ DoP/ Gaffer based in the West Midlands and West Yorkshire, specialising in Features/ HETV Drama as a Camera Assistant, and Short films/ Music Videos/ Commercial Cinematography as a Director of Photography.
Currently, my work is split 50/50 down the middle, with half of my time spent working as a freelance Camera Assistant/ Trainee on Feature Films and HETV Drama, and the other half spent working as a freelance Director of Photography on short films, music videos, and corporate/commercial work (with some Gaffer work thrown in there for good measure).
On the camera assistant side, I have equal experience working as a Focus Puller, Clapper Loader, and Camera Trainee, and often tend to move between these roles depending on the scale/ budget of the job. I enjoy them all equally for different reasons, and always aspire to be the most efficient camera assistant possible. I've always had a technical mindset, which definitely helps me as an AC. Growing up I was certain that i'd become a mechanic like my dad, and always had a toolbox handy to disassemble and reassemble random bits around the house (not always successfully). That interest is definitely what caused me to become obsessed with working as an AC, and the constant learning curve is what keeps me drawn in today.
Whilst being a camera assistant fulfils my technical craving through the constant requirement to learn and improve my knowledge of equipment and how best to use it, working as a Director of Photography fills the more creative itch that got me interested in film in the first place. Unlike many people, who begin by making short films with their friends on cheap cameras, I was initially drawn in through lighting design, and its ability to change the mood/ tone of an image with unlimited potential. As a teenager I would spend hours in my bedroom practicing lighting setups with cheap lights, and see how different setups would create different feelings. This excitement for lighting has never really gone away, and so working as a Director of Photography (and occasionally a Gaffer) is always a great chance to merge the technical knowledge of my camera assisting experience, and the creativity of lighting design to serve a story.
Im currently based in both the West Midlands (just south of Birmingham) and West Yorkshire (Leeds), and move between the two frequently - with permanent bases in both. This fortunately means i'm never too far from the likes of London, Bristol, Manchester, Cardiff, etc. and can easily commute to most places.
I have a full clean driving license, and a car to transport myself and my kit around!
If you want to get in touch about a potential project, or would simply like to introduce yourself, you can find me at:
firstname.lastname@example.org | (+44) 7905 206 528.