Spencer Carpenter – Producer / Director / Editor / Motion Graphics / Colourist

Spencer is a media creative with a passion for storytelling and visual design. He has considerable experience in delivering creative concepts which utilise video production, post-production and animation. The skill sets he uses are so wide and varied that they keep him constantly engaged, when not spending time with his beloved family. His dedication to multi-disciplines since 1999 enables him to manage teams and offer clients an unrestricted array of creative possibilities for every task.

Road to success – Ups and Downs

My whole journey through video, film and animation production has been exciting, challenging and rewarding. My recent high point was being convinced by my client to enter my latest film to the Cannes Corporate film awards. The toughest moment was toward the end of my cycle at my full time position in 2012 – I was giving everything I could to my work to the detriment of my family relationships. Facing a challenging financial situation, I felt I had no real choice but to risk the jump to freelance and owning my own business – I’ve never looked back. I’ve now produced over 215 media projects for a huge variety of household names in many industries since I began freelancing in 2012.

Greatest achievements so far

In general, starting and maintaining business with a long list of happy and returning clients. Navigating the reality of film and video production through a list of mistakes and lessons has allowed me to reach a place where I have a team I can trust and an approach that exceeds clients’ expectations.

In terms of specific projects, the conception of a new visitor attraction (still in progress) required me to pull together a team of highly skilled contributors to work for free or very little whilst persuading Centre Parcs to support me on a completely new concept that they weren’t expecting.

I was asked to create a promotional film for Arm for a simple product launch. Given only 3 weeks from concept to completion, it was a difficult task to conceptualise and produce live action in 3 locations, mixed with VFX completely from scratch. It was a success and later received over 180k views on YouTube and parts were adopted for BBC’s popular ‘Click’ technology programme’s opening titles, whilst being broadcast nationwide among TV news stories relating to upcoming technology company.

Projects you are most proud of and why

I’m proud of so many of the jobs I’ve contributed to but here a few:

– Always getting better for Vision Express. (Film concept to delivery)
– Accenture and BMW partnership film. This was a great technical challenge because of client’s high standards. (Online advert, editing and colour grading – Not yet released)
Goodwood TV show titles. (Motion graphics, concept to delivery for 3 years running)
One pager. (Online advert, concept to delivery)
Catching up for Tui UK & I. (Film concept to delivery)
What makes you smile for Tui UK & I. (Video concept to delivery)
Adidas Spiderman 2 trainers advert. (3D animation and motion graphics)

Biggest Lessons in life and work

The world has become such an amazing landscape of creative opportunity that it’s easy to push important personal relationships down the pecking order. It’s important to remember that without nurturing these relationships you lose more than you’ll ever gain from creative expression.

View Spencer’s full portfolio

Suga Suppiah – Editor

Who is Suga Suppiah?

I’m a Sri Lankan/Australian editor raised in Japan, and since I moved around a lot whilst growing up, it helped me collect stories from around the world. That is what originally drew me to filmmaking as my storytelling medium.

How did your career path develop?

After finishing a BA in Television Production in Australia, I began assisting at a post house called Cutting Edge in Sydney where I got to see how both the short form and features department worked and I was immediately hooked into post. I love that, as an editor, you get the privilege of being the first to see the story come together.

I then moved to Method Studios where I cut on a range of short form jobs, assisted on a couple of features and earned a couple of statuettes along the way.

I moved to London a year ago, which seems just like yesterday. Moving to a new city has its challenges but you also get an opportunity to meet a whole new creative network that in my case has been very welcoming. The best projects I’ve worked on have been not only creative work but also the result of collaborating with fun, interesting people. So far London has been way more up than down so hopefully it stays that way!

Greatest achievements so far

A great achievement is now living and working in London. The opportunities here as well as the proximity to Europe for holidays is a novelty that I hope never wears off.

Projects I’m most proud of

I guess the highlight for me was working as a previs editor on Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates. I’d never been on a film of that size and I’m a Harry Potter fan, so every day was a delight. I’ve done a lot of work with spots that included VFX but I’ve never been a previs editor so to see the film come together before they had shot a frame was really interesting.

The other highlight was working on a short film about the migrant crisis called The Dead Sea, directed by Stuart Gatt. It was a piece that touched on a part of the narrative that is rarely told. I’m usually very objective when I’m watching rushes but such strong, moving performances were a welcoming challenge to watch.

Biggest lessons in life and work

I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to know your craft and that story is always king – and to always carry an umbrella in London.

View Suga’s Full Portfolio.

The 2016 D&AD New Blood Festival

The British Design & Art Direction (D&DA) New Blood Festival just wrapped its 2016 edition last week and Blueberry’s Creative Consultant Liam Beirne was in attendance at The Old Truman Brewery in the heart of East London.

A creative takeover like no other, with free talks, workshops and events that bring industry and talent face to face for Fringe events and an Exhibition, displaying the year’s top graduating students from design and advertising courses around the UK, it’s all about getting everyone excited and inspired by the future of commercial creativity.

Since 1962, D&AD has been inspiring a community of creative thinkers by celebrating and stimulating the finest in design and advertising. The D&AD Professional Awards are recognised globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the best from around the world. But it’s much more than just awards. Members join a vibrant global community, whilst creatives and clients are inspired by a world-class training programme.

As a non-profit, D&AD takes all of its surplus revenues and invests them back into the creative industry, funding programmes that develop the next generation of creative talent while campaigning for the creative industries to help solve the world’s toughest social and environmental issues.

The D&AD New Blood Exhibit was a really wonderful showcase of 2016’s new design talent. This year, illustration seemed to dominate most of the graduating class’ showcases, and the schools got very creative with the set-up of their stands. Particular highlights included Plymouth University’s Record Store set-up, which showcased the students’ illustrations as record covers.

As expected, Ravensbourne had the strongest showing for motion graphics and digital design. It would be great to see more digital design work coming from some other schools across the country!

The free “Ad Job Wall” was also a nice touch – companies from a big fish like Radley Yeldar to smaller boutique agencies were able to post their graduate opportunities on handwritten flyers.

For more information on D&DA visit their official website.

Blueberry at London Screenwriters’ Festival 2016 – In conversation with Michael Ashton

The seventh edition of the London Screenwriters’ Festival (LSF) will take place September 2-4 at Regents University in Regents Park and this year, Blueberry will be in attendance for the first time, presenting a few sessions. One of them is a talk with brilliant playwright Michael Ashton, who has recently transitioned into screenwriting.

An annual conference for screenwriters, the LSF spans over three days filled with workshops, masterclasses, Q&As with A-list industry professionals, pitch sessions and networking. However, despite being a screenwriting event, the guests in attendance include plenty of filmmakers, producers, actors and executives, all gathering to share ideas, hear pitches and build relationships.

Blueberry Creative Consultant Maureen Hascoet will moderate what promises to be a compelling talk about Ashton’s unusual career so far. Born in Scotland, the writer has had a varied life experience, to say the very least. He went from college into active service with the British Army across the world and upon returning to University, he worked as a taxi driver, ice cream salesman and then qualified as a barrister, specialising in human rights.

Following a conviction for fraud, he was sent to prison for 18 months in 2008. Whilst in detention, he undertook a course in playwriting at the end of which he wrote The Archbishop and the Antichrist, a fictionalized account of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s meetings with Piet Blomfield, a murderer who seeks redemption for the atrocities he has committed while he serves a life sentence in prison in post-apartheid South Africa.

The play was submitted for an award in 2009 by those running the playwriting course and it won a Koestler Gold Award followed by Amnesty International’s Protect the Human prize, and it has been shown at the Royal Festival Hall, the Amnesty Theatre, and the Soho Theatre London.

The Archbishop and the Antichrist has now been adapted for the screen by Ashton and filmmaker Roland Joffé (The Mission, The Killing Fields) and is aimed to start filming soon with Forest Whitaker and Vince Vaughn attached to play the lead roles.

With 32 more plays, 5 original screenplays and 3 adapted scripts under his belt, Ashton’s voice is expected to become as prominent in the film world as it is in the theatre, where he has consistently won awards for his work.

Ashton’s writing typically comes alive in extremely tense and graphic accounts revolving around a real-life character who has to answer for his sins to the ghosts of his past. The session, called “Writing as an act of redemption”, is poised to be just like its extraordinary speaker: raw, authentic and uncompromising.

The event takes place on Saturday September 3rd at 5pm in Herringham Hall at Regents University.

Find more information and get your festival pass on the LSF’s website.

Blueberry Talent get a 15% saving on festival passes. Contact us to receive the promo code!

American Cinema Editors’ Editfest London 2016

The 2016 edition of EditFest London was held on June 25th at the prestigious BFI Southbank and this year Blueberry organised a competition won by Blueberry editor Adam Harvey.

American Cinema Editors (ACE) launched EditFest in 2008 in Los Angeles in response to a need to put the industry’s top editors in conversation with other editors and post-production professionals. By popular demand a London-based version of this highly anticipated annual event was added to the schedule in 2013.

Designed for professional as well as aspiring editors, post production team members, students, content creators, production execs, and those who simply love the art and craft of editing – EditFest is a rare opportunity to hear the most compelling artists talk about their work and interact with them in an intimate theater setting.

It’s always brilliant for an up-and-coming editor to have the chance to engage with their peers – in this case, multiple award nominated and winning film editors were able to screen scenes from their career and explain the thoughts and process behind the collaborative nature of the cutting, which was invaluable“. – Adam Harvey

The program was incredibly rich:

‘Small Screen, Big Picture’ looked at the decision-making processes behind some of the most popular shows on television, including Game of ThronesThe Missing and Dr. Who.

‘Editing Animation’ was an exclusive inside look at the Pixar’s animation process and a sneak-peek at their latest offerings. Adam got to see Piper, Pixar’s latest breathtaking short accompanying a little upcoming film called Finding Dory, and he was impressed, hearing about the creative process of a proactive editorial team.

‘Dailies to Delivery – Editing Features’ took an in-depth look at the entire spectrum of film editing with panellists sharing their editing stories, tips and tricks for using Avid Media Composer to craft cutting-edge cinematic masterpieces like A Quiet PassionScott Pilgrim vs the WorldRoom and Billy Elliot.

Finally, renowned Star Wars and Mission: Impossible editor Paul Hirsch, ACE, shared his editing knowledge and expertise from working on much-loved blockbuster movies like FootlooseCarrie and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. 

When discussing why he uses the industry-leading choice for editors, Avid Media Composer, Hirsch explains, “It’s phenomenal that you can now sit in front of a laptop with Media Composer and have more expressive creative power than you could ever dream of whilst sitting in a tape suite 20 years ago.”

Adam’s personal highlight – “to hear Hirsch talk about his love of music and how it has influenced his career was amazing”.

EditFest Los Angeles 2016 will take place on August 6th. For more information visit the official website.

Lucy Buck – Founder/CEO of Child’s i Foundation

Lucy Buck is the founder and CEO of Child’s i Foundation, a charity based in Uganda that provides short term life-saving care for children, trace their extended families and reunite them.

Formerly a leading television producer, working for MTV networks, Outline Productions and Endemol, Lucy earned a BA in Politics and Sociology at the University of Reading. Over her television career she has produced many compelling television programmes including BBC3’s popular child psychology series House of Tiny Tearaways, BBC’s UpstagedBig Brother, Hells Kitchen, Celebrity Love Island and Comic Relief does Celebrity Fame Academy. Her role led her to setting up and managing teams producing prime time million-pound TV shows.

During the last 3 years of her television career, Lucy would spend six months producing TV shows and the rest of the year volunteering at a baby orphanage in Uganda. She witnessed first-hand the damage caused by placing babies in orphanages and wanted to use her TV skills to prove that it was possible to place children into families instead of orphanages.

The power of storytelling to raise money was already clear to Lucy when she visited Northern Kenya in 2006 and produced an appeal video for UK charity Merlin (“Medical Emergency Relief, International”). The video helped to raise nearly £100,000 for the famine relief efforts.

In 2009 Lucy quit her TV career to set up Child’s i Foundation. The idea behind it was to create a worldwide community to give love, time and money to change the system. Over the past 6 years, the charity has set up services to provide an alternative to placing children in orphanages including foster care and adoption services. 80% of children placed in orphanages have extended family members, who with good social work support could provide care for children. Child’s i Foundation set up the National Adoption panel and pioneered the country’s domestic adoption media campaign on behalf of the Government. The team provide social work training to orphanages across the country to transition them to services which support children in families instead of separating children.

Highlighting that her TV skills are telling a story, creating a connection and generally persuading people to do stuff they didn’t know they wanted to, Lucy has proved that families were a better alternative to orphanages.

I spent a long time putting together a team to create this charity. My background is television producing so I kind of applied the same rules – you’ve got to get your crew together, you’ve got to listen to the experts, you’ve got to get your schedule and budget in place – it was the only thing I knew, and I had never, ever run a charity before.

A big part of this project is changing hearts and minds and Lucy’s background in TV has been instrumental as they’ve had TV producers volunteer their skills and time since day one: “When we started, adoption was taboo and not spoken of, but over the past few years we have made hundreds of incredible videos showing that there are Ugandans who are willing to adopt. We have made adoption more common and as a result we have a waiting list of Ugandans.”

When asked about her proudest achievements Lucy mentions her team in Uganda: “There are around 65 staff members and everyone of them has a passion and a drive. They want to change their country and all believe passionately that every child in Uganda should grow up in a family. They are doing me out of a job – that for me is the definition of success.

Check out these two insightful interviews Lucy had with Women In Foreign Policy and We Are The City.

For more information on Child’s i Foundation’s visit the official website.

To get involved, read about the Child’s i Foundation Media Volunteer Scheme.

Child’s i Foundation’s Media Volunteer Scheme

In the spirit of “Uniting Creative Minds”, Blueberry is excited to share an inspiring opportunity with Child’s i Foundation, a charity set up in Uganda in 2009 which places children into families instead of orphanages.

We are working with the charity’s founder and CEO, Lucy Buck, to identify TV professionals interested in visiting Uganda and volunteering their time and expertise to produce powerful charity campaign films that ‘change hearts and minds’. It’s an invaluable opportunity for the filmmaking industry to contribute in making a positive and lasting difference to children in orphanages in Uganda, and all over the world.

Lucy Buck, a former TV producer (BBC, ITV, Channel 4) founded Child’s i Foundation after volunteering in an orphanage and seeing first-hand the damage caused by institutional care. The harm of placing a child under 3 years old into an orphanage is often permanent and irreversible. In Uganda there are 50,000 children growing up in these institutions, being denied a family and sense of belonging.

Child’s i Foundation provides short term life-saving care for children, tracing their extended families and reuniting them. If no family members are located, they find a foster or adoptive family, aiming to do this within six months, as any longer than that in care can cause irreversible damage to a child.

Over the past six years the charity has also worked in partnership with the Government to develop alternative family-based services to replace the damaging outdated practice of placing children in orphanages. Their solution, endorsed by the Government, is to eliminate those institutions by replacing them with services which give children the opportunity to grow up loved in families.

Since the start, TV professionals have visited Child’s i Foundation in Uganda and shared their skills, experience, love and time, making films that help the the charity’s work reach a wider audience.  Educating, revealing and provoking thought and discussion about better care alternatives. Without the valuable work of filmmakers to help raise awareness, the world’s most vulnerable children all over the world continue to be in danger, despite the good intentions of people who support through funding and action. The next series of films will explore 8 lessons gained over 8 years of building Child’s i Foundation.

The media volunteer placement is for a minimum period of 3 months, and the costs of flights and accommodation are covered. The need is for experienced, enthusiastic and adaptable filmmakers who can hit the ground running. This is an opportunity to expand your experience and use your skills to make a difference. No day is the same as the next one on this scheme, so you need to be adaptable and have lots of initiative and creativity.

The requirements for the role are:

• Extensive experience in field producing with a focus on producing/directing
• Experience and confidence with shooting on SLR
• Knowledge of using basic sound equipment
• Highly experienced and efficient in using Final Cut Pro

The media volunteer will be involved and privy to very sensitive, personal issues and stories surrounding abandonment, babies and families. Confidentiality and sensitivity to the nature of this content is essential as much as it is respecting the cultural aspects in the Ugandan environment.

To get involved, contact Lucy Buck

For more details on the scheme read Changing Hearts and Minds with Child’s i Foundation

For all past videos please visit Child’s i Foundation’s YouTube page

Paul Meadows – Editor

Paul has been a professional broadcast editor (Avid and FCP) for 15 years. He earned a BA (Hons) in Media and Communications plus an HND in Television Production Technology. In his spare time, he had the amazing opportunity to write, direct and produce a promotional video for the RSPCA – this was his first crack at directing many household names (real-life actors), including future Hollywood star Isla Fisher.

Road To Success: Ups And Downs
I cut my first television series way back in 2001 for Peter Williams TV, a small indy in Kent. It was a series about the Nazi’s doodlebugs. I vividly remember the day I was cutting the first episode: September 11th. It was surreal watching archive WW2 film of Hitler’s robotic planes ploughing into London’s landmarks whilst next door there was live footage of similar events taking place in New York and Washington. I was a staff editor at Imago Productions in Norwich for 12 months from 2004. I loved Norfolk, but Imago Productions folded and I returned to Kent. It was actually for the best as I was appointed a company director at Peter Williams TV and became their “preditor.”

Greatest Achievements So Far
One of my greatest achievements was at Peter Williams TV between 2005-11 where I was a company director. Although it was a very small indy (with a permanent staff of 4 or 5 people), it was an incredibly successful company and was the only documentary producer in Kent for all the major broadcasters. As it was so small, I was heavily involved in development, production, post-production and delivery. I wore many hats at the same time: producer, cameraman, editor and production co-ordinator.

Projects I’m most proud of
I am especially proud of an 8 x 1hr series I cut for ITV at Peter Williams Television about life throughout the year at Canterbury Cathedral. It was a 12 month production which was essentially undertaken by a team of only 5 people. Not only did I cut every episode, but I was also a producer and cameraman. The production values were also extremely high. To this day, I’m amazed we pulled it off with such a small production crew!

I am also proud of working on a number of fly-on-the-wall shows in Qatar. I was part of a team that, for the first time, was bringing Western style television to a Middle Eastern country. Of particular note was working on a real-life documentary series that followed the police and other emergency services in and around Doha. It was the first time anything like this had ever been seen in that region.

I am very fond of a number of episodes of “Unreported World” that I have worked on and a very chilling episode of “Dispatches” about young victims of a British paedophile who had been allowed to operate unchecked in Kenya. I believe programmes like this are vital and it’s what British TV does best and should do much more of: bringing to the attention of the West the struggles of the individual on the other side of the planet, of the small person who doesn’t have a voice.

Biggest Lessons in life and work
As a kid my dream was to work in film and TV and I was always writing stories and letting my imagination run wild with my Star Wars figures. Each day is like a Lego brick, that you stack on what has come before. At the end of a year, a decade, a life-time, you have the potential to have created something wonderful.

View Paul’s full portfolio