My name is Stephen Melling
I shoot and light for TV commercials, promotional material, corporate, documentaries and short narratives.
I first picked up a camera at age 10 and filmed some short skits with my friends. They ranged in genres from comedy to thriller to sci-fi. Of course I didn't know much about genres back then I was just creating things because it was something to do. I shot on tape and didn't know much about editing so edited in-camera; rewinding and recording to create cut points. For dramatic music we pressed play on a hifi set to full volume. Those were the days!
At age 15 I started filming mountain biking. I taught myself to edit (on a PC this time) alongside shooting and refined my skills through college and university. It was in uni that people started paying me to film and I realised I could make a living doing what I love. That turned out to be a good thing because I didn't have a plan B.
The next eight years saw me gain more experience working in-house at three production companies. This taught me a lot about different departments and how to work with big clients. I have always loved developing an idea and seeing that through to production and post. Working in-house allowed me to do that.
Having a well rounded set of skills is very important to me. It has allowed me to discover many corners of the industry and the jobs involved.
Cinematography has always been at the core of my skill-set and passion. It has been the one constant as I learnt everything else. I love my job and everything about it. I think this comes through on screen.
The following is an extract from an article I wrote about lighting a scene.
The interesting thing about this space was we were shooting one scene as a daytime office scene and one as a 'later that day' office where the office was closed. So it gave me the chance to take some light away and cool the temperatures.
It was important to keep the office space clear of lights so the actors and camera could move about the space. I had one 1x1 clamped to the ceiling and the rest were outside the glass. We were a few floors up so it wasn't an option to put any big lights outside the window so I controlled the natural daylight by putting Frost Diff on the windows and using the blinds that were already installed.
The story is a laptop has been left out on the office. The cleaner enters later that day and swipes it. I took away the warm colour temperature lights for the cleaner scene and introduced some cooler temps to give it a feeling of late in the day. Unfortunately as this was a working office it meant we could not control the windows at the far side of the building which ideally would have been reduced in intensity.