Thursday, 9 December 2010

Our Videographers, part 2: Greg Foot

The next in our series highlighting our videography team is our star Editor, Greg Foot (you've heard from him on this blog before).


This is something of a coup for us really, as Greg is now a TV star with a growing fan following. He recently convinced Gavin Henson to take 750,000 volts of electricity and you might have seen him on BBC3 recently. We knew him way back when he was but a wee lad....

Greg the filmmaker

Would you call yourself a geek?

Yep, definitely! Geek and proud! I don’t have an obsession over one particular thing like many geeks do, I’m just really interested in how the world works and finding fun, different ways to understand it. My twitter stream is full of links to cool or quirky science stories I’ve come across, wicked little videos of experiments & high-speed camera stuff, or just some clever little animation.

However, my main geeky side is probably linked to my love of escaping the Big Smoke for an adrenaline fix. I’m never happier than when I’m careening down a piste or surfing across a wave, but I’ll always find myself wondering about how long that wave has travelled to get here or how the latest climbing tech has been designed to get you up that rockface and keep you safe. So, my geeky passion is in uncovering the science that’s all around us and we never really think about.

What's the geekiest thing you've ever done?

Ha! Well, that’ll probably be when I decided to get my mates together for a big dodgeball tournament (love that film!). That meant fancy dress of course, so I drew on some geek inspiration and went as C3PO. We’re talking full-on gold costume with wires, gold boots etc! The mask got in the way a bit tho. Which is why we didn’t win of course...


[INSERT IMAGINATION HERE. Greg declined to provide photographic evidence of this escapade, sadly.]

Which was your most enjoyable Geek Calendar shoot?

Well, I actually only went to a couple of shoots as Barry J Gibb and Tom Ziessen kindly offered to go film them for us so I could tackle the editing! Watching Evan Harris maneuvering giant chess pieces in torrential rain in the BMA quad has to stand out!


Face Off

What was the biggest challenge in putting the videos together?

Trawling through over a dozen tapes and then cutting all that material down to a short trailer vid! Our geeks said so much interesting stuff about their jobs, their geekiness and their passionate thoughts on Libel Reform it was hard to select the best bits!

Do you have a favourite month from the calendar?

I think Adam Rutherford’s photo is my favourite. It’s a brill shot in a great location that captures Adam’s film-loving geeky side. Plus, thinking of Mun-Keat being inside that bunny outfit on the hottest day of the year always makes me laugh - that’s some serious dedication to the Geek Calendar cause right there!

January 2011

How did you get into filmmaking?

When I was at uni studying science I got really into making short films and radio shows. I still wanted to stick with my passion for science but wanted to combine it with this newly discovered creative side so after I graduated I spent a fun year doing a Masters in Science Media Production at Imperial College London. That opened doors for some cracking work experience and since then I’ve been working in-front and behind the camera making science documentaries.

I think the key now to getting a job in TV or as an online multimedia producer is to have as many strings to your bow as possible. So if you want to get into this sort of thing jump at every chance you get to learn how to shoot, write, edit and make great tea! Oh, and chat to as many people as possible as you never know where the next job will come from.

What's a normal day in the life of a filmmaker?

I’m freelance so every day is different - which is great because you don’t get bored, but also a bit of a juggling act! Until recently I’ve been most often found huddled over a laptop coming up with new TV show ideas for an independent TV company, filming and editing taster tapes, or eating far too many biscuits in brainstorms!

In amongst those days I’d been squeezing in the really fun days where I could be found on the beach teaching a bunch of students about the science of surfing or out filming a show and getting to do cool things like build an Archimedes Death Ray. In the last few months though I’ve been spending more time on the latter type, so fingers crossed for more!


Who's your favourite geek?

That’s a really tricky one. I’m torn between two. Carl Sagan has to get a mention for being such a passionate science communicator and for enthusing so many people with the wonder of the cosmos.

The second is a curveball - Garrett Lisi. He’s the guy who proposed his model for a unified field theory a few years back. But I don’t mention him for his scientific work (which received a whole barrage of both support and skepticism), but more his way of life: he lives in Maui and splits him time between theoretical physics and big wave surfing. And for me, that’s a geek I want to be like!


Anthony Garett Lisi