Articles

I’ve been writing non-fiction articles for over 15 years; specializing in heritage, countryside and film.

Articles have featured in Screen International, The Daily Telegraph, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire Life, Surrey Life and Pembrokeshire Life, many featuring as cover stories, and I also regularly write pieces for the National Film & Television School website.

Yorgos Lanthimos discusses his BAFTA nominated film ‘The Lobster’

“I had a message from Colin [Farrell] the other day saying the best direction I ever gave him was ‘Colin, I’ve been watching the footage, you’re too fat, stop eating.’ – he liked that.  That’s the secret, finding great people to work with who have a sense of humour.” – Yorgos Lanthimos

Yorgos Lanthimos

Full article on Screen International.

take a walk on the wild side

“‘That’s Jelly Ear’, David Willis points out a slimily unappetising looking fungus. ‘You can pickle it and eat it, but I wouldn’t bother.'”

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Article about Bushcraft and the courses offered by instructor, David Willis.

 

Corin Hardy talks ‘The Hallow’

Link to piece I wrote in Screen International about film director Corin Hardy’s making of his award-winning debut feature The Hallow.

Director Corin Hardy sharing early sketches for his film The Hallow
Director Corin Hardy sharing early sketches for his film The Hallow
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sally Wainwright, Pawel Pawlikowski and more…

A few recent pieces for the NFTS website:

Phoebe Waller-Bridge on Fleabag and Killing Eve

Phoebe revealed that one of the things she loved about doing Fleabag as a BBC series was that it was billed as a comedy “and then bam the tragedy hits you!” she said, gleefully miming a stab to the gut Villanelle from Killing Eve would be proud of.  Elaborating, “For me the characters are tragic real people, the comedy was sort of a front.” 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Phoebe Waller-Bridge Masterclass

Sally Wainwright on Gentleman Jack 

“You can benefit from having two creatives – a writer’s vision and a director’s skill, but I feel that I have that vision. I get to a point where I feel the script is locked. I want other directors to understand a lot of thought has gone into that and to respect that. I’ve always had that discipline that a script is clear on what’s to be shot and not to tinker with it. Though I do tinker with it now that I direct. But I’m allowed to, because I wrote it!” Sally laughed.

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Sally Wainwright with Editor Richard Cox & NFTS Co-Head of Fiction Lesley Manning

Peter Strickland discussing In Fabric

“You’re just aware of death when you go into a second hand shop. This shirt I’m wearing right now is second hand, I don’t know who its owner was before me. You’re just aware of the continuation of clothing – that it’s going to outlive us. It’s not just an object, it’s an object in connection with humans. It’s the power of a dead person’s clothing – how you’re haunted by it when you can’t bring yourself to throw it away.” Peter explained.

Mark Nielsen on Toy Story 4

Mark delighted students by recounting the story of how at that first meeting at Pixar, when they described the kind of fixed limb plastic toy Duke Caboom would be, Keanu thought about how that kind of toy would move and then “he started striking these poses – balancing on one leg, arms outstretched. Then he jumped up onto a table in the middle of Pixar, stood on one leg and went ‘I am Duke Caboom!’. So that’s what led us to adding in that element of striking poses into Duke Caboom’s character. He’s probably the actor who’s had the most influence on a character.”

Pawel Pawlikowski discussing Cold War and Ida

“You want feedback from everyone, as long as we trust each other and there’s no ego-maniacs – apart from me.” Pawel laughed.

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Pawel Pawlikowski
Christmas once upon a time

“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy-tale.”  – Hans Christian Anderson

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Some of the history, traditions and fairy tales being celebrated for Christmas.  Full article on Buckinghamshire Life website.

the jungle book vfx

“One of the most important things I learned was that every scene, every beat, has a story – a beginning, middle and end” – Adam Valdez, Visual Effects Supervisor, The Jungle Book

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Screen Daily article on The Jungle Book Visual Effects Masterclass.

Friends in Deed

“The secret of freedom is a brave heart” – the story of a First World War pacifist ambulance unit run by Quakers, to mark the centenary of WWI.

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Article on Buckinghamshire and Berkshire Life website and a PDF –  Friends in Deed.  This blog post includes photos of relatives of members of the Ambulance Unit, who kindly spoke to me for the article.

The Art of Love in 1930s Whiteleaf

“The year tastes best to those who do not fear the bite of the wind or the drench of the rain” – Clare Leighton

The life and art of writer, artist and gardener Clare Leighton.

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PDF of the article – Clare Leighton

Bruce Munro – The Light Fantastic

A mini-piece on an art installation of Bruce Munro’s work at Waddesdon Manor for Buckinghamshire Life.  Further blog post about other art in the landscape – “Sculpture gains by finding a setting that suits its mood and when that happens there is gain for both the sculpture and setting.” – Henry Moore

Beacon by Bruce Munro at Waddesdon Manor
Beacon by Bruce Munro
Moon-Harvest
Moon-Harvest
It’s a Cracking School Gromit

Nick Park and his creation of Wallace and Gromit.  PDF of the article – Nick Park

Nick Park

Autumn Delights

“The mellow autumn came, and with it came the promised party.” – Lord Byron, probably one thing you could trust him on was to spot an opportunity for a good time.  Article about some of the best places to enjoy autumn in Bucks.  There’s an online version, a PDF of the magazine article – Bucks Autumn and a blog post.

Halloween at Chiltern Open Air Museum
Halloween at Chiltern Open Air Museum
Mayhem and Magic

West Wycombe park, from Hell-Fire Club to charity snowdrop walks and film location.  PDF of full article – West Wycombe

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simply bewitching

“I thought a kid’s book set in Hell was probably an insane idea that no-one would ever want to publish.”  Article about children’s author Tatum Flynn  appearing at Chiltern Open Air Museum’s Halloween event.  Link to online version of the article & PDF of the full piece: Children’s Author Tatum Flynn at Halloween

The D-Evil Diaries & Hell's Belles by Tatum Flynn, illustrations Dave Shepherd
The D’Evil Diaries & Hell’s Belles by Tatum Flynn, illustrations Dave Shepherd
Wrong Trousers, Right Course

Feature for the Telegraph about the National Film and Television School.  Article on Telegraph website.  And there’s more about Oscar nominated Animation Director Sharon Colman in this blog post.

Sharon Colman working on her Oscar nominated student film 'Badgered'
Sharon Colman working on her Oscar nominated student film ‘Badgered’
Eternal Flame

“It is certain that there is nothing yet discovered which is a substitute to the English patient for his cup of tea.”– Florence Nightingale

Piece on Florence Nightingale’s association with Claydon House.  And her pet owl.

PDF of magazine article – Florence NightingaleOnline version on Buckinghamshire and Berkshire Life website.

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale

Other feature subjects include:

Eighteenth century drinking society the Kit-Cat Club.  Have a Break, Have a Kit-Cat 

A recreated Iron Age village at Castell Henllys Surviving the Iron Age

Iron Age Village
Iron Age Village

Romancing the Stones a piece celebrating standing stones in West Wales. “Bid men of battle build me a tomb fair after fire, on the foreland by the sea, that shall stand as a reminder of me to my people, towering high above Hronesness so that Ocean travellers shall thereafter name it ‘Beowulf’s barrow'” – Beowulf, anonymous

A series on Altnerative Therapies

Here We Come A Wassailing – exploring the old Christmas custom of Mummers.

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