The last few months have been very frustrating for Graham and Sarah Wilkinson and all the team at Spotlight Productions. They have had to cancel their annual show – ‘Oliver!’ – and income from their costume and scenery hiring ‘business’ used to fund their annual show has been decimated. Being the positive people they are, the unexpected lull has provided an opportunity to plan ahead and reshape Spotlight for the future. I’ve been really enjoying our regular Zoom and Skype […] . Click here to read the full article.
One of the most popular, and beautifully romantic, organ pieces is ‘The Swan’ (or Le Cygne) by the French composer Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, who composed the piece as part of his Carnival of the Animals in 1868. Apparently, The Swan was the only movement from The Carnival of the Animals that the composer allowed to be played in public during his lifetime. Below, I have just recorded this piece, below, using the Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ and using samples of the […] . Click here to read the full article.
‘Enigma Variations’ is one of Edward Elgar’s most famous orchestral works and ‘Nimrod’ is its most recognised melody. On its website, Classic FM describes Elgar’s Enigma Variations as “one of the greatest pieces of the 19th century”, and I certainly do not disagree with that. Below I recorded myself playing a version for church organ. This was produced using the Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ, which is widely regarded as the best sample-based organ in the world, athough it does require […] . Click here to read the full article.
Local songwriter Angie Collins came in so I could video her performing a song she wrote, called ‘Broken’. While I have recorded several songs (sound only), it was nice to capture visuals as well. While sound recordings allow you to use large-condenser microphones, room treatment and portable isolation booths for better sound quality, video can be easier to share with others, particularly on social media. The video was recorded with four Sony 4k Ultra HD cameras, using broadcast-standard Aputure LED […] . Click here to read the full article.
In video production, ‘green screen’ (or Chromakey as it is more accurately termed) provides amazing opportunities to be creative and overcome the challenges of finding (and lighting) appropriate real-life backdrops. Many films rely upon Chromakey to avoid the need to travel to specific locations or to create imaginary worlds. Chromakey can be very useful for corporate videos and I find I leave my Chromakey screen up permanently. With care, results look very different to the tell-tale signs of fuzzy edges […] . Click here to read the full article.
Superfast broadband arrived in Spaldwick in July 2014. With take-up well above national levels, our village received a great deal of national attention, including a visit by Ed Vaizey – the then Broadband Minister – and senior figures from BT and Government. I have seen Broadband Ministers come and go, and now over 80% of residents in the village in which I live subscribe to superfast broadband. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the Connecting Cambridgeshire team (above), who are a […] . Click here to read the full article.
The month of March is very busy for my friends Graham and Sarah Wilkinson as they prepare to put on their annual musical at the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) at Hinchingbrooke School. My daughter Rebecca and I popped in to video some of the rehearsals for ‘Grease The Musical’ using three matched Sony 4k cameras. Two group numbers are shown below: ‘We Go Together’ and ‘Summer Nights’. Given my past experience of the dingy, yellowy lighting of the PAC (shown […] . Click here to read the full article.
At the 2018 Christmas Carol concert held in Spaldwick Church, Ben Rice sang ‘The Three Kings’ in German. At Kimbolton School, he was active in a number of musical pursuits, including the school’s Chamber Choir. He played the role of Javert in the school’s production of ‘Les Misérables’ and achieved a Grade 8 with Distinction. Ben was invited to join the Rodolfus Choir, which is one of the leading young choirs in the UK (with its members aged between 16 […] . Click here to read the full article.
It was lovely to see saxophonist Rob Burton and his brother James perform together at the 2018 Christmas carol concert in Spaldwick Church. Despite it being an amazing year for Rob, winning the Woodwind Final of BBC Young Musician and getting through to the final of the competition, it was great to see the two brothers together for the Christmas period just having fun and not taking themselves too seriously. In the video below, saxophonist Rob Burton performs the piece […] . Click here to read the full article.
I used the opportunity of a Spotlight Productions dress rehearsal for Sister Act to try to record video. To be honest, it was not the most successful venture. Extra lights had been brought in to supplement those in the Performing Arts Centre. Unfortunately, these were not to broadcast standard and caused flicker that ruined the vast majority of the footage. I managed to rescue enough footage to create a ‘highlights’ video with a backing track and I was pleased with […] . Click here to read the full article.
I had such grand ambitions for videoing the dress rehearsal of Sister Act by Spotlight Productions. In hindsight, these were totally unrealistic. After photographing the shows for several years, I felt quite confident with photography so video provided a new challenge. I knew my set-up was not optimum at the time, as I was using three different 4k cameras (from different manufacturers). My daughters were there to help operate the cameras. I was not to know that extra lights had […] . Click here to read the full article.
While I have loved attending services and concerts in the Chapel of King’s College Chapel on many occasions, one event has stood out. My daughter – who was an undergraduate there at the time – was able to secure tickets to the BBC ‘filming’ of the Easter service that is broadcast by the BBC in Easter week. Interestingly, recording took place in December, so that the BBC could video the Easter and Christmas services at the same time. I truly […] . Click here to read the full article.