Set Photography

Today we feature a Guest Post from Photographer Matt Linehan.

It was the first time I’d been on a film set and I was bundled into a small room filled with makeup bags and boxes, told to sit on the bed – it was a bedroom – and told seriously to be quiet as it was a closed set.

I had no idea what anything was for or what anyone was doing but I presumed I needed to be quiet until told otherwise, so sat their fiddling with my camera anxiously.

“Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea” I thought to myself.


Then the door opened and to my relief a happy looking production assistant popped her head through the door, grinned and said “OK, you can come out now”.

The ever friendly Paul and Kat greeted me and I got the opportunity to watch them at work – they are very different people professionally - measured, thoughtful but decisive and firm. They work as a unit, swapping positions behind and in front of the camera, never telling, neither dominant, joining up ideas, not battering one idea against another.

They and everyone else on the set were extremely professional. There was a “can do” atmosphere. I decided to try and not be seen so no flash guns and a long lens, I wanted to get images of these people at work. It was fascinating to watch. I love how light moves and can be controlled so it was kind of like being a kid in a sweet shop as huge 5200k continuous lights were bounced off of white sheets and diffused through bespoke contraptions. There’s flexibility and creativity around, nothing is fixed – Paul and Kat change things on the fly and everyone moves with it, there’s no resistance.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to get shots of actual live scenes as the twang of the shutter puts me off let alone someone who isn’t expecting it, concentrating on the moment. So I chose to get them in rehearsals prior to a scene where everything looked just as genuine and believable. I built on this to capture actors and technicians engrossed in playing their part. Even those actors who had finished their scene stayed and watched intently. There’s nothing I hate more than posed groups of people, I like to capture expressions, shock, laughter, concentration, love even hate. I had plenty of material to work with.

Everyone worked late into the night without question. I was pleased to see a lot of local faces getting small parts in the movie.

I got the feeling that even though I was here for a moment I was part of something big. I’m very excited about seeing the final movie.

We thank Matt for his tireless enthusiasm on and off set and we're very grateful to be using some of his photos on this site and our facebook site and hopefully for future marketing. It's through people like Matt that allow us to make and promote this film. Should you ever be in the market for a Photographer you couldn't go wrong giving Matt a shout

Matt Linehans Bio

As a young kid I got a plastic toy camera. I “played” with it endlessly, forever exposing the film within and ruining more images than I produced but then I was probably only 7 or 8.

I had many images and negatives by the time I was 18 but I moved house and my parents moved house and those images where lost forever. At 21 someone bought me an Olympus Trip. I had it for years. I have probably thousands of images that were making the ceiling bow up in the loft. They are now all thankfully digitised.

Digital came along and I was fascinated with the rudimentary simpleness of compact digital cameras. I was in the world of IT and hi tec, multi million pound computer systems so suddenly a childhood passion came together with the world I was in. I bought one of the first Olympus DSLRs, used it and expanded it over years.

I’ve had exhibitions and had images published in the media. There’s even one of mine hanging at the offices of the Guardian – at least I hope it is still up. Like anyone who points a camera at a tree or a forest I am besotted with the work of Ansel Adams and the influence he still has over photography today. On the human side, the work of Stanley Greene and Fazal Sheikh moves me. Greene risks everything to show us the horror of war and the human suffering it leaves behind.

I spend my time either solving complex computer problems or making photographs.

We'd also like to extend our thanks to our other on set photographers, Naomi and Rob who as well as working tirelessly on set also found the time to capture some fantastic moments for which we're very grateful!


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