A hush fell over the crowd of six year olds all crammed together like sardines on the carpet tiles of the library floor. A thin line of sunlight crept through a crack in the heavy curtains and illuminated one single row of books, a million tiny dust particles dancing in the beam of light streaking across the darkened room. Eyes widening, smiles appeared on the faces of the students as a steam train sprang to life on the large fold out screen before them. Steam billowed from the train and children waved from the windows as it slowly made its way down the track until, with a loud clunk, the moving picture came to a halt. Then, as if by magic, the whirring of the projector started again the train began to move backwards. The steam was sucked back into the smokestack and the children moved awkwardly. As one particular boy’s mouth dropped open in wonderment, the train disappeared from view. Sitting in the darkened library, uncomfortable on those flimsy carpet squares, that image of the train in reverse would set in motion a passion for all things film that continues to this day.
Adrian was eleven when his teacher, Mr Wiley, recognised his fascination with cameras and appointed him Audio Visual Monitor of Otumoetai Intermediate in Tauranga, New Zealand. It was the 80’s, VHS had won the domestic format war and he was tasked with making copies of films the school ordered from the New Zealand Film Library, using state of the art equipment that would barely fit in the boot of a car. The pairing of the AV guru and the impressionable youngster was the luckiest of coincidences. In this prestigious role Adrian was also given the responsibility of filming school events. Pride reverberates through his words as he describes recording the 1982 swimming sports. “I found the button on the trusty National WVP-100 that created a fade in and fade out,” he explains, a slight smile beginning to form. “Standing at the very top of the stadium I got a wide shot of the whole pool. It started with the fade in, blackness at first, and then slowly, slowly the whole pool in wide perspective came into frame. I thought it was pretty cool. Even now, I think my eleven year old self did a great job.”
Adrian’s mother gave his interest in film a healthy nudge when she let him stay up past his bedtime to watch foreign and sometimes frightening films on their rented TV. Those final moments of the Nicolas Roeg classic “Don’t Look Now” with the little girl in the red raincoat helped to cement the power of visual imagery into his consciousness. Adrian’s desire to be involved in cinematography just wouldn’t quit and after completing a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), at the University of Auckland in 1992 and a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science), in 1997, he realised his dream and attended South Seas Film & Television School earning a Diploma of Film & Television Production in 2001.
It was a longstanding captivation with documentaries that finally prompted Adrian to put his career as a Social Worker aside in 2005 and attend the Victorian College of the Arts to complete a Post Graduate Diploma, Documentary, Hons. Although taking an indefinite break from the social work scene his twelve years of experience in public health across New Zealand, Fiji and Australia give Adrian a unique set of skills that he brings to his freelance camera work.
Whether it’s filming a documentary in the heat of the Australian dessert, a limited budget drama or shooting a TV commercial for a well-known fast food brand, Adrian has experience in all areas of camera operation. Since 2006 he has worked as a freelance cameraman and Director of Photography for both feature length broadcast documentaries and magazine TV, as well as owning and operating a digital video production company (Pixel Flix) which services corporate, government, non-governmental and community based clients. Along with a vast knowledge of industry standard equipment he also has a flair for capturing stunning visual images and setting the scene for interview subjects. No matter the style, setting, or personalities involved with your project, Adrian will exceed your expectations.