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Stephen Melling DOP on set

When I found the camcorder gathering dust in the back of the cupboard one day, it just felt like a cool thing to do - to film something or someone and see them on the screen. Then it quickly turned into something to do. I started creating comedy skits with my friends. Then, little horror trailers. We used to edit in-camera. So this meant re-winding the tape to the cut point and recording the next scene. I remember quite quickly we started playing around with this, and made it look like someone could walk through walls from one room to another. 

Hi, I'm Stephen. I've been making films since I was 11 years old.


Back then it was my dads DV camcorder that he bought for family holidays (although I don't recall him ever using it!) He was / is a photographer though. I do remember the photos, the trips to the countryside to look for a good photo opportunity. I guess you could say I grew up around it but then it didn't really feel like it at the time.

Stephen Melling Taking Photograph
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Steven Symon, Digital Film Producer at SharkNinja for EMEA

"As a production manager, finding a DoP who is both highly skilled and adaptable is crucial. Stephen fits the bill perfectly. His extensive experience and creativity ensure our TV commercials are visually captivating and on point with our brand message. His ability to collaborate effectively with diverse teams, regardless of the project's scale, makes him an invaluable asset to any production."

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Rick Dooley, Video Director & Creative Content Producer

"It's always great to collaborate with Stephen - no matter what the brief. 

He helps me push the boundaries on the creative vision and is always looking for that different perspective or new way of doing things with the camera, composition or lighting setups."

From this point on I didn't really stop. Comedy skits turned to horror films turned to mountain biking films turned to BMX films and by this point I was in college studying Media. By the time I was at the University of Salford studying Film and TV I was also filming documentaries for Channel M and working on music promo's, gig films and online music magazine content.

For a lad growing up in Preston who loves watching films, Hollywood might as well be the moon. So working in UK drama still felt like the ISS. It never even felt like an option, certainly not one I knew how to begin. So I got a job in an agency that filmed TV commercials and corporate content for business'. I did this at a couple of agencies for the next 5 years and gained some good friends and great contacts. It meant I could stay operating a camera, lighting, editing, crafting my skills. 

Stephen Melling DOP on set
Stephen Melling Salford University Logo
The Children
Stephen Melling On Set

I really feel like I've been doing this a while now. I guess I have; this year it will be 14 years professionally - 24 years since I picked up my dads camcorder. Since then I've become a dad, moved house too many times, and have finally settled in Stockport - South Manchester with my partner, Angela.

When I left the agencies to go freelance as a director of photography it felt like a step towards the moon. Maybe the launch pad at least. I've completed several TV commercials and started working on and learning all things VP (Virtual Production). It feels like I'm on my way now, there isn't really anything in my skillset stopping me doing a HETV drama, or a feature film or a big budget commercial - It's just contacts and a bit of luck. 

So having said all this, I'm ready to make some cool shit. Contact me if you want to make some cool shit with me, and lets go to the moon together. 

Stephen Melling and family
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