BARNSLEY - Inferno Artist, The Mill
Phone the London-based post-production facility The Mill and ask whether
Andrew Wood is available for a session and reception will probably tell
you that you've got the wrong number. Ask for Barnsley and you'll get a
"I acquired the name the moment I arrived in London," the 31 year-old
explains. "It's stuck ever since." Barnsley is one of the hottest
Inferno artists in London, is permanently booked and is the talent
behind some of the best special effects seen in advertising today.
Winning awards for his creation of racing snails in Guinness's "Bet on
black" and a perversely distended forehead in PlayStation's "mental
wealth", Barnsley, in his own words, tends to do the hard jobs. "If
there's a big rotter that comes in that's quite tricky I usually end up
doing it." A recent "rotter" was the creation of twisted and dislocated
arms and torsos for Frank Budgen's Levi's spot "twist autogrille".
Bodily mutilation is a specialty of his.
With a college education in television graphics, Barnsley set his sights
on high-end effects as soon as he landed a running job at The Mill and
intends to stay in that area for the time being, rather than move into
the film special effects arena.
"The commercials side is a lot more exciting," he says, adding that he
rarely sees his work as the hours an he puts in tend to preclude
watching TV. "It's got to be on air in three days' time and it's a mad
scramble - I get a buzz out of that."
JUDY ROBERTS - inferno artist, Smoke & Mirrors
With a background in choreography, Judy Roberts, 31, freely admits that
her career went off on a tangent somewhere along the line. Now an
Inferno artist, Roberts tends to go for the more graphic work that comes
through the doors of Smoke & Mirrors.
She has recently completed a job for Pizza Hut and was behind the
creation of the talking worm in Danny Kleinman's "easy way out" Tango
Her dance background has come in useful. "(Choreography) was quite
interesting in a way because it was all about time, movement and space -
a bit like animation, so it isn't all that far removed," she says.
Roberts admits to preferring the more design-based jobs. There are more
levels to deal with in commercials: "With a promo it's you and a
director and you create something out of it. With commercials you have
to follow criteria set by the client - 'we want our logo bigger'," she
says, although she is aware that a good compositor knows when to curtail
his or her input and follow the brief.
"There are a lot of ops who are frustrated directors or designers and I
don't think it always works - maybe they're more interested in what
they're going to get out of it," she cautions. Direction is not an area
that Roberts sees herself moving into in the future.
"I'm interested in designing looks and ways of doing things slightly
differently, but you need to find a job to channel it, you can't just
force it on people."
MARK GETHIN - film colourist, Rushes
Within the post-production industry, few people command as much undying
directorial loyalty and enormous salaries as the telecine
Was this what attracted Rushes' Mark Gethin, 27, to the job?
"It was that," he laughs, "and it was the most creative thing I saw in
post-production - you've got a big influence over what the end product's
going to be like."
One of five colourists at the facility, Gethin sees a continual flow of
promo and commercial work coming through his suite. Working with
directors including Paul Street (Streetlight), Jake and Jim (Godman),
Matt Kirkby (Harry Nash) and John Hillcoat (Oil Factory), he admits to
preferring to work on promos as it gives him more creative freedom.
"The ads that I tend to do are where my promo guys go on to do
commercial work, so it's not too bad - you've got a relationship with
the director and you understand each other - it's not as if you're going
into it cold," he explains.
One area he says he would like to explore in the future is the use of a
telecine grade on feature films, citing the Mexican scenes in the recent
film Traffic as being a good example of what his kind of skills can do
for a feature.
JOEL MILLER - editor, Cut and Run
The sheer number of editors in the post-production industry makes rising
to the top very difficult. Not that that has in any way daunted Joel
At 33, he has been editing for the past seven years and fell in love
with the job as soon as he started running for Ian Weil Editing. Miller
initially started out working on both commercials and promos, but has
ditched music in favour of working solidly in advertising.
"I love commercials - anything, it doesn't bother me," he says. "It's
the variety - it's always something new and that's what keeps me
buzzing. I love my job."
Miller says his third year as a full-time, fully-qualified editor is his
best yet and has seen him further strengthen his working relationship
with Leagas Delaney, where he works closely with the television
Most recently this relationship saw him editing with Rocky Morton on
Partizan's "Sonny" and "Testimonial" campaign for Adidas - a massive job
as there were almost 43 hours of material to sift through for three
"I just told them to give me four days to sort through the material," he
says. "We worked it out that way and came up with a structure."
In the future, Miller says he'd like to try his hand at directing a
commercial, but claims that he's more than happy working on the cutting
side if that doesn't work out. "I feel like I've only just started," he
enthuses. "I'm happy to stay with editing for a while - there's so many
sides to it."