Phillip Whiteman – Editor / Director / Producer

Who is Phillip Whiteman?

I am originally from the Navy city, Portsmouth, where I spent most of my days skateboarding and travelling around the globe (with my skateboard). My mother is Chinese whilst my father is English, so I have a good balance of Eastern and “Western” philosophies. Listening to stories from both parents about two very different parts of the world has definitely affected my creative side and has played an active role in the kind of storytelling I’m interested in. I have always loved film and my favourite filmmakers tend to be mavericks like John Cassavetes, Werner Herzog, David Lynch and John Huston, amongst many others.

How did your career path develop?

I trained as an actor and studied in the USA and UK at drama schools and fell in love with storytelling. After working on an indy feature film, the director – who was a trailer editor – invited me to watch the film being cut together. I immediately fell in love with that process and with his guidance, I started working on my own projects, for fun at first. I wanted to produce my own work as an actor instead of being at the mercy and whim of others’ taste so I set up my own theatre company. Theatre however is not that commercially viable, so I moved into producing films and shorts. Editing was always on the side, here and there, but helped me supplement my income as an actor. Now I have stopped acting and I work primarily as an editor but I also do PD, operate cameras and fly drones!

What’s your greatest achievement/s so far?

Winning awards at The Raindance Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. Being picked by The Guardian’s Film critics for best short film and receiving an amazing write up from them.

Any projects you are most proud of and why?

Web series “The Vessel” was a fun project and I am proud of where it went – Italian public broadcaster Rai bought it as part of their attempt at more progressive content. Short film “Aeris” was different and has done well around the globe, even garnering interest from top Hollywood studios for a potential development into feature length.

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

Everything is a process: be patient and take things step by step. And always trust your instincts – especially with story! Sometimes it is ok to compromise creatively – we all need to enjoy life and it helps when you try to make your passion projects.

View Phillip’s full portfolio

Welcomes and farewells

We’ve left it a bit late, but some staff announcements are in order… Three new Blueberries have joined us at HQ – we got so busy working together that we didn’t take a moment to share!

Francesco joined us as Marketing Coordinator in May, Makeda became our new Team Assistant in August and Marta joined more recently in October as a Bookings Assistant. You can learn more about each of them on our Team page.

Sadly, at the same time we have a couple of goodbyes – though more like ‘see you later’ as we expect to see them again in the new year…

Halle is leaving after 7 years at Blueberry to explore new adventures in the world of theatre, though she’ll be making guest appearances to cover holidays from time to time, whilst Kirsty will be going on maternity leave this month as she and her partner Adrian are expecting a baby boy in December!

Highlights Of The Week

– PROJECTS –

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At Blueberry we love supporting our Talent’s side projects. This week, Motion Graphic Designer and Creative Director Ibrahim Ahmed presented Journey To The Blue City, the first photographic book exploring the culture and community of calisthenics before the world caught on. It tells a story of how empowerment at the high bar can bring people together from all backgrounds, regardless of ethnicity, race and age. It shows the world how calisthenics can be used to contribute towards unity and social integration in all levels of society, particularly in an urban environment. 


– SPOTLIGHT –

cropped-11393396_10202958622685806_8908568418733676481_o-copy-2-315x315A fresh addition to the Blueberry pool of Talent, Jamie Roper is an editor and self-shooter and the focus of this week’s Spotlight article. His understanding of corporate business language allows him to be able to tell a complex story, which is both interesting and visually engaging. He has the ability to adapt to whatever the subject matter throws at him. One of Jamie’s most prideful moments was filming the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay which has travelled from Athens to London for over 70 days.


– HQ NEWS –

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On Monday night, the Blueberry Team headed after work to The Bird In Hand for an early Christmas staff dinner. The date was picked to celebrate Kirsty going on maternity leave and Halle leaving Blueberry after 7 years to pursue new venues. Even if it was still a bit premature to get into the Christmas spirit, the evening was rather merry, and surely the copious wine at hand must have had something to do with it. With great food, music, a drunken game of Cards Against Humanity and even a clumsy attempt at a drunken mannequin challenge, it was indeed another fun night out for the Blueberry team!


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Halle is leaving after 7 years at Blueberry, to explore new adventures in the world of theatre, though she’ll be making guest appearances to cover holidays from time to time. Friday was her last working day and in order to lighten up the mood in the office, in the morning we greeted her with her desk appropriately decorated for the occasion and then in the evening we celebrated her with a yummy farewell cake and presents. We’ll miss you Halle, but we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Jamie Roper – Editor / Self-Shooter

Who is Jamie Roper?

I am a self shooter and editor originally from Oxfordshire. I lived and worked in London for 8 years and now I’m living in the Hampshire countryside with my wife Olivia and my son Felix. I was brought up around motorsport my whole childhood, predominantly F1, with my father being a graphic designer for the Williams F1 team. I am a keen cyclist and I enjoy long distance running, more recently trail running (when I can). My family has always been incredibly musical, so playing and listening to music are a big part of my life. I studied music technology and learnt how to capture the sounds of every type of instrument. I play guitar and piano in my spare time.

How did your career path develop?

I’ve always had a love for photography and when I was able to start filming on home camcorders, the combination of music and imagery seemed to suit me very well. I first started editing on iMovie when I was 15 and you couldn’t get me off it. I found my grandfather’s old super 8mm camera and began experimeting with that and what could be done with projectors, but I quickly ran out of money as the film would run out faster than I had hoped. I then moved into making awful music videos, skateboarding videos that looked more like bail videos and got a degree in digital film production. Apparently I learnt a thing or two and managed to put it into practice. The rest is history.

What’s your greatest achievement/s so far?

My greatest achievement so far is becoming a father. In terms of work, it would have to be the 70-day London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay from Athens to London. I think I managed 35 days running, filming, editing and chasing the flame as it went around the whole of the UK. That’s where I really cut my teeth. Having my footage and edits shown at the London 2012 opening ceremony was the most insane feeling in the world. I think the audience figure for that was nearly 900 million people.

Any projects you are most proud of and why?

Did I mention the Torch Relay? Jokes aside, another big one was the Coca Cola’s campaign Who We Are. Also, filming and editing Michael Phelps after he’d just become the most decorated Olympian in the world, followed by Jessica Ennis Hill and Buzz Aldrin in Rio 2016!

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

Biggest lesson in life: tomorrow is another day – when all the stress and strain come bearing down on you, remember, tomorrow is just another day. Oh yeah and sleep when you can! Biggest lesson at work: at the top of Scafell Pyke, (whilst filming the Paralympic torch lighting) when it’s raining harder than you’ve ever seen, the best waterproof camera cover in the world isn’t going to work…

View Jamie’s full portfolio

Highlights Of the Week

The editors sculpted something great there. I can’t believe they managed to make something that great in such a small space of time and under so much pressure. Well done to all of them!” – Jenny Smith, Production Manager, ITN Productions

Congrats to Blueberry editor Rohan Thomas on being part of the editorial team that cut Channel 4’s The World According to President Trump for ITN Productions.


– SPOTLIGHT –

The subject of this week’s Spotlight article is Creative Director/Director/Editor/Motion Graphic Designer Henrik Sikstrom

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One of our most experienced freelancers, Henrik is a versatile, humble and extremely talented polymath who works on a wide range of programmes, from drama and documentaries to music videos and commercials. He prides himself for having experienced celluloid and analogue workflows.


– HQ NEWS –

This week we attended the Hammersmith and Fulham Brilliant Business Awards which put the borough’s finest and most outstanding businesses, entrepreneurs and community-minded enterprises into the spotlight

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It was our first time participating and we were nominated in the Best Customer Service category.

We didn’t win but the whole experience surely was a lot of fun with drinks, great food and entertainment and we definitely look forward to participating again next year!

Henrik Sikstrom – Editor / Creative Director / Director / Motion Graphic Designer

Who is Henrik Sikstrom?

A cultural mongrel: born In Korea, raised in Sweden, studied in France and England, lived in Nicaragua. I have 2 Australian daughters and I love Lebanese food.

How did your career path develop?

I skidded into this on King Kong’s banana peel. Got the dates mixed up and turned up 1 month late for my photo course at art school in Stockholm. Luckily they had a cancellation on their film course which I took and I found my calling there. I later studied at the London Film School and 20 years later I’m still here.

What’s your greatest achievement/s so far?

My 2 Daughters!

Any projects you are most proud of and why?

After film school I got approached to make a series of mini documentaries for Adidas about the (then) subculture of collectors of vintage and rare sneakers. The project took us around the world where we met some amazing people and had some life-affirming adventures. Highlight was drinking “forties” with RUN DMC’s crew and the entire neighbourhood. The low point was when my colleague was refused entry to Adidas headquarters for wearing Nike and got subsequently frogmarched to the nearest shop to acquire appropriately branded footwear. The project ended up winning a Creative Circle award.

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

Having kids brings a new level of purpose and focus to life. Although nearly all processes nowadays are digital, I’ve had the great fortune to have experienced celluloid and analogue workflows – the latter might seem irrelevant today but it’s like Latin. Whenever you’re stuck or find something hard to grasp, you can always reference back to previous processes and usually there’s an “ahh” moment and it all makes sense.

View Henrik’s Full Portfolio

Highlights Of The Week

– PROJECTS – 

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Last Sunday two Blueberry Talents, Mat Kennedy and Henrik Sikstrom fervidly worked all night doing fixes on the MTV EMA 2016 after the live airing for the re-broadcast in the UK.

Henrik worked on fixing technical issues which were flagged once they ran the satellite feed through a system called “Baton” in order to make sure that people who might suffer from epilepsy, etc. would safely be able to view the programme.

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Matt worked on sorting out compliance issues such as bad language and stuff that was deemed too risqué or controversial.

It was the first time these two Blueberries met each other and worked together and it looks like this unexpected, impromptu collaboration went really well, given the positive feedback we heard about working with each other.


– EVENTS –

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On November 7th we’ve had the pleasure and honour to attend The 44th Grierson Trust British Documentary Awards, the biggest event in the UK documentary calendar. During the evening the Awards also took time to celebrate the Grierson Trust’s unique training and mentoring scheme DocLab, which Blueberry got involved with last May. It was a great privilege to enjoy front row seats, alongside some of the DocLab trainees. The event was so inspiring and we came away fired up for the year to come and excited for the interesting companies and projects we hope to book our editors on in the future.


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On November 8th Heather, Irantzu and Bav attended Televisual Factual Festival, held at BAFTA’s Headquarters in Piccadilly, where they’ve heard from leading factual executives at the helm of the biggest factual channels, discussing the content and ideas they need in order to fire up their networks’ schedules in 2017 and beyond. With growing demand for the best ideas and people in the business, the event has become the UK’s leading business forum for factual television producers and filmmakers. All in all an interesting and entertaining event that we definitely recommend attending not just to those who already work in factual entertainment but also to anyone seeking a good networking opportunity thanks to sessions like the ‘Meet the Commissioners’ lunches.


– SPOTLIGHT –

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Jonathan Cronin is the subject of last week’s Spotlight article. An editor and filmmaker with a background in sound editing and photography. He particularly enjoys putting a story together in the cutting room – letting interviews, archive film and audio, stills and music tell the story. Working in sound has informed his development as a picture editor – he learned what sound can achieve subconsciously, and how powerful dialogue can be when used sparingly.


– HQ NEWS –

We are thrilled to have been shortlisted in the Best Customer Service category at this year’s Hammersmith and Fulham Brilliant Business Awards! The event has been a fantastic success every year since it started in 2012, putting the borough’s finest and most outstanding businesses, entrepreneurs and community-minded enterprises into the spotlight. The ceremony is this Thursday 17 November at the Hammersmith Town Hall and we look forward to attending!

Blueberry at The Grierson Trust British Documentary Awards 2016

This week we’ve had the pleasure and honour to attend The 44th Grierson Trust British Documentary Awards, the biggest event in the UK documentary calendar. Established in 1972, the awards recognise and celebrate documentaries from Britain and abroad that have made a significant contribution to the genre and that demonstrate quality, integrity, creativity, originality and overall excellence.

Thanks so much to Jane Callaghan, MD of the Grierson Trust, for inviting us to attend the Awards this year – what a treat!

Hosted by impressionist Jon Culshaw, the star-studded awards ceremony took place on Monday night at London’s Mermaid Theatre where the great and the good of the documentary world came together to celebrate another outstanding year of filmmaking.

Stars and personalities from across TV and public life presented awards during the evening including: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband, Dr Chris van Tulleken, Ant Middleton, Idris Elba, Lucy Cooke, Miriam Margolyes, Stephen Mangan, Mark Dolan, Tyger Drew-Honey, Sophie Morgan and Nina Nannar.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of The Grierson Trust said: “These winning films demonstrate the vibrant and innovative ways in which the UK documentary industry is the world leader and they give such optimism for the future of the genre. From the provocative to the heart-warming, the funny to the simply astonishing, our award winners deserve the accolade and recognition a Grierson bestows upon them. Huge congratulations to them all.”

During the evening the Awards also took time to celebrate the Grierson Trust’s unique training and mentoring scheme DocLab, now in partnership with Bertha DocHouse. DocLab participants are recruited from across the UK, bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds, not just culturally, but also socio-economically and geographically. Through this initiative the Trust has given opportunities to 48 young people to explore documentary making, offering them access to leading filmmakers, production companies and commissioning editors at Sheffield Doc/Fest. The scheme also matched them with industry mentors and sourced paid work placements with production companies and broadcasters, proving an invaluable first taste of the profession.

Back in May Blueberry began an inspiring collaboration with the Grierson Trust for this year’s edition of their Doc Lab: Irantzu hosted a workshop covering CVs, presentations and all things “find-a-job” and she still continues to mentor trainees with one-on-one consultations.

It was a great privilege to enjoy front row seats, alongside some of the DocLab trainees. The event was so inspiring and we came away fired up for the year to come and excited for the interesting companies and projects we hope to book our editors on in the future. Our heartfelt congratulations to all the nominees and winners who dedicate themselves to crafting and sharing some of the most important stories with the world.

View the full list of winners

Blueberry at Televisual Factual Festival

With growing demand for the best ideas and people in the business, the Televisual Factual Festival has become the UK’s leading business forum for factual television producers and filmmakers. This week Heather, Irantzu and Bav attended day one of the two-day event, held at BAFTA’s Headquarters in Piccadilly, where they’ve heard from leading factual executives at the helm of the biggest factual channels, discussing the content and ideas they need in order to fire up their networks’ schedules in 2017 and beyond.

The experience was extremely informative as it provided some exciting insights into what’s to come for factual across UK TV. Highlights included Corfu Cookery School, a co-production between TwoFour and GroupM Entertainment which will air on Channel 5 early next year and is the first static travel series for the network.

Currently, two of Blueberry editors Jason Bowes and Murat Yusuf are editing on the program and it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic show as it seeks to answer one of life’s big questions: is the Mediterranean diet the best diet for a long and healthy life? The end result is a compelling reinvention of the travelogue that brings together mouth-watering food, incredible sights and the genuine journey of discovery for a lovable cast of celebrities.

The festival included talks with commissioners from BBC, Channel 4, Sky and ITV to name a few. They expressed how they are looking for more creative ideas for future television shows and also noted that they are looking for more diverse contributions and more female presenters.

Kelly Webb-Lamb, Head of factual entertainment for Channel 4 noted that they are looking for a new way of telling a story, with shows such as ’24 hours in A&E’ and ‘The Island’, setting new precedents in the way we shoot and view a programme and what other technologies are out there which can enable a new innovative approach.

All in all an interesting and entertaining event that we definitely recommend attending not just to those who already work in factual entertainment but also to anyone seeking a good networking opportunity thanks to sessions like the ‘Meet the Commissioners’ lunches.

Highlights Of The Week

– PROJECTS –

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Blueberry’s recent sign up Daniel Danielsson created the 3D animated title sequence for the 2014 Swedish Steel prize. Equal parts a creative and a technical artist, the Swedish native freelance Motion Graphic Designer and Director – who is now based just north of London – bridges the gap between Brief and Motion thanks to his overactive imagination, passionate heart and curious mind.


 – SPOTLIGHT –

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A London-based video producer who loves creating fresh and engaging content, Jay Knowles is another new addition to Blueberry’s talent roster. This week he has started his first job booked with Blueberry and the timing could not have been more perfect as he is the subject of our weekly Spotlight. Extremely motivated and with a passion for video and for pushing the boundaries of what it can achieve, Jay enjoys working as part of a successful team, combining a highly professional and collaborative approach to achieve excellent results and quality output. Beyond commercial projects, he has also worked on a wide range of video and animation projects and has produced award-winning short films.


– EVENTS –

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Irantzu and Maureen attended a breakfast talk by Simon Sinek on Tuesday morning, held by the How To Academy at the Emmanuel Centre. The talk was part of Simon’s tour to promote his latest inspirational book “Together is better”. His talk on leadership and fulfilment at work comes with a clear vision of a business world that puts people first and shoots for long terms gains by investing in its people. A concept that might be more easily grasped in the creative industries than in investment banking for example, but the need for a humanist approach was evidenced in the questions from the audience. Simon’s core notion was around the practice of empathy and becoming a leader through looking after the people around you – that’s how the world gets changed, one person at a time. We came out with the fire in our belly burning a little harder!


 – HQ NEWS –

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On Friday night the Blueberry team headed to the legendary Fireworks Festival at Alexandra Palace to celebrate the annual tradition of Guy Fawkes’ bonfire weekend, which also included the UK’s largest German Bier Festival, two huge funfairs & lots more. With a spectacular firework and laser display plus unparalleled panoramic views across London, the show lit up the sky for an unforgettable bonfire night experience. Fun was had, food and booze were consumed aplenty and somebody even got a lightsaber…

Jay Knowles – Producer / Director

Who is Jay Knowles?

I am a London-based video producer who loves creating fresh, engaging content. I enjoy sports, love movies and I have recently discovered a passion for traveling. I grew up in London and love the city – there is always something new to discover, a surprise around every corner. I would say that I am a sociable person, I enjoy working with others and my key strength is the ability to adapt to different personalities and situations in order to achieve the best outcome.

How did your career path develop?

I always knew I wanted to work in video, I have always been obsessed with TV and films and how the production process works. The power of video is growing all the time and the boundaries of what can be achieved are continually being stretched. I started my professional career at a time when online video was just emerging from its infancy, so it was a very exciting time to get into video production.

I studied Film Studies and Screen Production at Roehampton University, where I graduated top of my class. I worked as a roofer in my spared time whilst at university and those construction connections came in very handy once I left university as I found it difficult to find a job in video. I spent my next year doing shoots and edits for free in order to gain experience – this was funded by regular stints on a building site.

I got my break a year later when I took a job at BrightTALK Studios. This was an amazing place for me to learn and develop not only as a video producer but also as a person. BrightTALK were very good at taking on juniors and training them in several different areas of film production. As my experience grew, I was given my own clients to grow and nurture and this is where I truly excelled. I really enjoyed working closely with clients to improve their videos – a huge part of my role was to think of new styles and innovative ways in which to tell their stories, and as my clients’ confidence in video grew, the productions became far more engaging.

After 6 years working for BrightTALK Studios, I decided it was time for a change. I am looking to build on the skills I already have and I am very excited about the opportunity to work with new companies and new people. I have already learned a great deal since becoming a freelancer but I aim to go from strength to strength.

What’s your greatest achievement/s so far?

I think my greatest achievement was breaking into the industry in the first place. After leaving university I suddenly realised that I had no contacts in the industry and no real clue on how to go about getting a job. Luckily I am a very persistent person, I knew what I wanted and I was not going to stop until I got to where I needed to be. I worked for free on any productions that would take me – I made coffee, carried kit bags and drove equipment vans. On each job I learned a little more and my CV gained another entry. Looking back, it was all worth it and I would happily do it all over again in order to work in this business.

Any projects you are most proud of and why?

I have produced a lot of work I am proud of, including a couple of award-winning short films. However, the project I am most proud of is a short promotion film I edited for a small tennis club in South London. This tennis club had been doing great work in the local community for years – with classes for all ages, from under 5s right up to adults, they also had an outstanding record of producing junior national champions, working with a shoe string budget. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, it was facing closure so my friend and I decided to team up and make a video about the club in order to raise funds. I am delighted to say that our video not only helped prevent the club from closing, but with the additional revenue they were able to build a brand new clubhouse and massively improve their facilities.

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

My biggest lesson in work and life is to work hard and be patient. If you set yourself a goal, no matter how big a challenge it appears to be, if you keep working hard and you are confident you are doing all that can be done to achieve that goal, more often than not you will succeed. There have been a few occasions in my career and my personal life where things were just not happening as I thought they would do. In these situations it is easy to doubt yourself and give up, however I stuck to my guns and kept working hard and eventually I got to where I wanted to be.

View Jay’s Full Portfolio

Jonathan Cronin – Editor

Who is Jonathan Cronin? 

I am an editor/filmmaker with a background in sound editing and photography. I grew up in London, then lived in the US for 9 years, working in sound editing on feature films like ‘Mimic’ and ‘The Brothers McMullen’ but the pull of home grew too strong and I eventually headed back to the UK.

How did your career path develop?

Before becoming a video editor, I was a cameraman, sound editor and mixer. This background has provided me with an ear for audio and the knowledge and creativity required of an effective editor. My career in film began as a runner in a sound post house. I fell in love with the world of post production, watching a film take shape and come to life. I became an assistant and then a sound editor, handling dialogue, sound effects and foley.

Once back in London, I stayed in sound editing, working on ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ and HBO’s ‘Band of Brothers’. I love sound but I wanted to edit picture too so I moved into video editing, cutting short films, documentary and current affairs for news networks like CNN, Al Jazeera and CNBC.

I’ve also cut long projects like the award winning documentary ‘Football Fables’. Working in sound informed my development as a picture editor – I learned what sound can achieve subconsciously, and how powerful dialogue can be when used sparingly.

I particularly enjoy putting a story together in the cutting room – letting interviews, archive film and audio, stills and music tell the story. I’ve always kept up with new technology and methods – recently I am particularly excited about Apple’s FCPX and the new way it approaches editing, letting the user build databases and paper edits all within one system.

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

I joined forces with my brother to produce a documentary, “Look Out, Haskell, It’s Real: The Making of Medium Cool”. I shot and edited this 60 minute BTS documentary about Haskell Wexler’s 1969 classic ‘Medium Cool’. Our doc was screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival, on the BBC and is included in the recent EurekaDVD/Blu-ray release. This may be the project I am most proud of – we created it from nothing, and in my editing I feel like I pulled many strands of interview and archive material together to tell a story that hadn’t been seen before.

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

Sometimes the biggest luxury is time. We can edit a piece in an hour and it will work but if you have another hour or so, you can make that story so much better. Unfortunately, you don’t always have that extra hour. That’s a lesson for editing and for life too. Another important one is to be prepared to throw away what you have built: if a better idea comes up or if the material is pointing in a different direction, then go wth it. The audience won’t know what you wanted to make, only what you have made.

View Jonathan’s Full Portfolio