FOCUS: Phil Fisk
30 July 2020
Whilst making arrangements to move safely out of lockdown and back onto shoot production, Phil Fisk and his agent Louise Turner at Flock took up the opportunity to curate a beautiful shoot, with a talented team, in a wonderful shoot space. As a team they were all keen to create and wanted to explore how the new shoot guidance from the APA/AOP (Advertising Producers Association / Association of Photographers respectively) worked in practice. It was essential for everyone involved to follow the guidance to the letter. Challenges were met and all aspects of the shoot ran very smoothly. The initial concept started with a conversation with Phil and quickly developed into project involving both stills and moving image, all turned around in 2 weeks. We catch up with Phil to find out more about his career and the inspiration behind creating Separation a new project to come out of lockdown.
How did you get into photography and when in your career did you embrace moving image?
I studied sociology at university, photography was really more of a hobby but after college I took it more seriously. My first chance to practice it seriously though was as an on set photographer on music videos and then TV dramas. So I guess when I was taking pictures I also had a lot of time to watch the process of moving image making.
I embraced moving image with more energy about 4 years ago with the idea of finding new ways of storytelling helped by the availability of digital cameras that could shoot HD. Now I can’t really think of a project where ideally I wouldn't want to do both.
© Phil Fisk
Tell us about the inspiration behind creating your new stills film during lockdown.
Pre Lockdown I had just completed a brilliant project with Sky One which required both stills and film. The look and feel of the stills was transferred to the moving image seamlessly. My immediate thought was to work on a project that had the same synergy as soon as possible, but I was still sketching ideas and I had nothing concrete, except a lighting style and using semi opaque materials. Then the opportunity to shoot under lockdown was offered with a studio (Park Village) and loads of additional help from Liam Bergin (Thirdberg) as producer and the PV studio. The inspiration simply came from turning our limitations into our strengths. If the actors/dancers can’t touch then make that a feature and a positive. The materials were transferred from being a backdrop to a barrier.
Can you talk in more detail about the logistics you faced?
The logistics to begin with and especially at the planning stage started to feel insurmountable. Once the concept was on table the round of talks and extra people getting involved was daunting and given the period we shot in this was understandable. But on the day the restrictions were not as draconian as they seem on paper. People’s professionalism, effective planning and good humour were what saved the day.
Do you have any advice for photographers planning forthcoming shoots?
Don't be daunted. It will be fine if you are sensible. Perhaps think of others more.
Why is it important to you to support the work of the AOP?
The AOP is a great organisation to help promote your work through competitions and features like this. It's also a good resource for expert advice on surviving in an ever changing and often challenging industry.
View more imagery from Phil in Find