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Im Ben, a freelance Focus Puller/ Camera Operator/ Director of Photography based in the West Midlands specialising in Features/HETV Drama as a 1st Assistant Camera, and Narrative/Music Videos/Commercial Cinematography as a Director of Photography. 

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Currently, my work is split 50/50 down the middle, with half of my time spent working as a freelance Focus Puller on Feature Films, HETV Drama, and Commercials, and the other half spent working as a freelance Director of Photography on short films, music videos, and branded content work (with occasionally some Gaffer work thrown in there for good measure). 

On the camera assistant side, I started out as a trainee back in 2017, before working my way up as a Clapper Loader/ 2nd AC, and then to 1st AC/ Focus Puller & Ronin Tech - which is where i'm at now. I've been extremely lucky to work on some great projects as a Focus Puller, from cinema-released features, to HETV Crime Dramas, high profile music videos, and big budget commercials, and in the process have amassed a decent amount of kit. I also have experience working with just about every piece of camera kit out there, and i've built rigs for pretty much every setup possible. I've rigged cameras for Ronins/ Gimbals, Steadicam, Trinity/ AR Rigs, SRH-360's, Moco Bolt arms, Tracking Vehicle Russian Arms (U-Crane's), Low Loaders, Black Arms, Techocranes, and a whole bunch more! It's honestly the best part of the job for me. 

Whilst being a camera assistant fulfils my technical craving, working as a Director of Photography or Camera Operator 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. As a teenager I would spend hours in my bedroom practicing lighting setups with cheap lights. This excitement for lighting has never really gone away, and so working as a Director of Photography 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. I think I can be quite picky with my projects, and only try to shoot content that I know either I can add something to, or I can learn something from. I'm not in any major rush to leave AC'ing behind and become a full-time DP, and so I only really work on projects that I'm passionate about - the benefit of which being that I'm always fully committed and dedicated to anything I do end up shooting. 

Being a bit of a technical geek also means I've amounted a pretty serious amount of my own equipment. There really is no way better way to learn how a piece of equipment works best than to own it yourself. However, I am very careful with what I buy, which means I've ended up with some of the best tools the industry has to offer, and avoided some of the less-reliable bits of kit. Everything I own and rent is looked after and cared for as carefully as possible, and I take serious pride in my understanding of how it all works, and how to maintain it in the best way (check out my full kit list here)


I'm currently based in the West Midlands, which fortunately means I'm never too far from the likes of London, Bristol, Manchester, Cardiff, etc. and can effectively get to anywhere within 2 hours.

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: | (+44) 7905 206 528.

Ben Sansom - Camera Assistant - DOP
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