I have over 20 years experience making films, from my first experiments as as teenager (on VHS!), via uni where I ran the filming society at Cambridge, to a production company where I worked for 15 years. I have been self-employed/independent/freelance since 2009, and I now wouldn't have it any other way. There has been a trend in recent years to "cookie cutter" video production - but I just don't think you get good results that way.
I believe that every company, every situation is unique and can only be truly communicated on film with a bespoke approach. A classic example of this was this film made recently, which won the IVCA Gold Award for Best Photography in 2014. I have a full Sony FS700 kit - including lighting, slider, tracking, jib and basic sound kit. I edit on FCP7 and Premiere Pro. I also use After Effects for compositing and graphics.
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