When I started university Google didn’t exist. Nor did YouTube (that wouldn’t come along until 2005). But what did exist were Sony’s transitional Digital-8 format. You could film stuff on old analogue Hi-8 tapes, but in digital. You could then send the footage to your PC using something called a Firewire cable and edit it using Abobe Premiere.
It’s difficult to stress what a game-changer this was. Up to this point if you wanted to edit anything on something better than VHS quality, you better be stumping up £1,000 a day for the use of a professional edit suite.
It was 1997.
Seizing this opportunity, my friend (and now BAFTA nominee) Oscar Sharp and I set up Manchester University’s own Comedy Society, with an aim to film comedy shorts, edit them together and possibly sell them to the BBC. Or something. We were young and excitable and the world was our oyster.
We never did sell our sketches to the BBC, but the experience did set me on a lifelong love-affair with directing.
So, after leaving University I set up my own video company in my home town of Liverpool and between 2001 and 2008 was involved in well over 100 different video projects – as producer, director, writer, camera-op, editor – whatever was needed.
Here is the cream of the crop: