Sex: My British Job

Well, not mine. It’s a documentary directed by Nick Broomfield starring Hsiao-Hung Pai looking at the hidden world of the prostitution of Chinese illegal immigrants.

Starring is probably the wrong term to use here as the documentary is predominantly filmed through her eyes by way of a secret camera hidden in her glasses. As such the footage is all fairly low quality but the topic is so absorbing that you soon forget about shaky, low quality image.

In the documentary Hsiao-Hung Pai works as a maid in a brothel in London and her duties include cleaning, cooking and answering the phone. This is about 14 hours a day every day all for about £100 a week. Those are meant to be her duties however as the film progresses there is increasing pressure put on her to work as a prostitute with the madam getting more and more aggressive and verbally abusive the more she resists. You can see Pai getting more depressed as time passes and in the end she agrees to prostitute herself, calls in Nick and gets out. The documentary finishes with Pai, accompanied by Nick, going to confront the madam about her behaviour and the way she victimises the vulnerable girls who through being undocumented cannot work in legal well paid jobs.

As I said above, this documentaries strength lies not in its visuals but rather in the immersive investigation that Pai undertook.

In my own work I’m trying hard to produce strong high end visuals but maybe I shouldn’t get too tied up with that.

Icon Workshop

Teacake design led a workshop of telling stories using just icons. The first part was done on my own using icons from the Noun Project under creative commons. Thanks to Nikita Kozin for the South Africa Flag, AB for the camera, Yi Chen for the vulture and baby, Michelange Baudoux for the gun and pxLens dead smiley. The second project was a collaborative one and I worked with Matey Devedzhiev. We were given one of the 7 deadly sins to work with and could use any iconography we wanted to talk about Greed. Without Matey’s skills in Adobe Illustrator it would have taken me hours, his skills are awesome!

Can you guess the film?

After Effects Tutorial

For this tutorial we were given the Samuel Beckett text Not I and shown the video of it to use as inspiration for creating a short film. We were given a part of the text each and could use it how we wished. I decided to stay with text as my drawing skills are next to none. The whole thing will be put together next week to include all the collaborators but until then here is my part.

Tim Peake

This was the most exciting job I’ve had for a long time: the opportunity to film and photograph astronaut Tim Peake for his talk at MOSI.

The event itself certainly did not disappoint, Tim was a fascinating speaker and the talk itself was well put together and guided by the interviewers whose questions were on point and considering the talk was aimed at children they were not needlessly simple or silly. One of the things I particularly enjoyed was Tim sharing his photographs taken from the ISS. To see the world as so small was humbling and to see the thin layer of atmosphere protecting us all was humbling. But more than that, they were beautiful. Please, take the time to look through his images on Flickr.

Once again I was working for Nathan Rae Productions and I feel I should say a special thanks to Nathan for letting me bring my camera along so I could get a few shots of the event.



Here you can see Nathan and James fixing an issue with the white balance.

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and right at the end, Nathan was able to grab Tim for a quick question about checklists.


Here is Tim’s talk that we live streamed.

Andre Geim

Sometimes a job just lands in your lap and you have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming, and I’ve had two of those recently. The one I want to talk about today was the opportunity to be part of the team, Nathan Rae Productions, that was brought in to live-stream an evening with Noble Prize and Ignoble Prize winning scientist Andre Geim at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Happily this was a rather relaxed talk with Andre and none of the science was above my head, which I’m sure it would have been if it had been just a lecture on graphene. Prior to the job I had read up on both graphene and levitating frogs:

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