BBC – The Coroner

Release Date: November 2015

Running Time: 24 seconds

Production Role: Shoot the surf scene, all water footage.

Mr B Productions was brought in to shoot a surf scene for the upcoming BBC Drama The Coroner set to be broadcast in 2016.

After an initial consultancy with the director, the biggest challenge for this project was to convincingly portray the lead actor as a good surfer. I managed to source a very good surfer who I work with a lot and is the correct size, shape, hair colour, and was able to be flexible enough to shoot when needed – Ed Smith.

With conditions not cooperating before hand, the surf shoot went ahead on the same day as the production crew were shooting the rest of the ‘surfer’ scenes on Bantham beach. With marginal surf conditions, very small but clean waves, I worked closely with Ed and we made the minimal conditions look great. Using a longer lens, getting away from the ‘go-pro’ look, shooting in slow motion we managed to shoot a great filmic sequence with lots of footage and plenty of options for the BBC editing team to work with. When Ed was surfing, I would often focus the camera on the board, feet, wave movements and hide his face. We shot all the surfing and the cutaways with the idea of cutting with footage of the actor Oliver Gomm…

To complete the sequence we needed footage of the actor in as much of the surfing process as possible – paddling out, paddling into waves, popping up. He had had enough lessons preceding the shoot to pop up and get to his feet. When shooting with the actor, I tried to match the same camera angles and movements I used when shooting with Ed, so the footage could be edited seamlessly together to make him look like he was a very good surfer.