PRODUCTION/POST-PRODUCTION: THE POST-PRODUCTION TALENT POOL - James Hamilton talks to some of the highly skilled technicians who can help clients weave disparate pieces of light and sound into their TV commercials

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

better response.

"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."