Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Not only was this the title given to the Premier Leagues return to action; the relaxing of social distancing laws enabled me to undertake my first day of paid work in just under 100 days.
Like the majority of freelancers I know, it's been a rollercoaster ride of emotions; seeing everything wiped out of the diary in a matter of days mid March; suddenly being thrown into financial uncertainty and emotionally concerned about the health of friends and loved ones with no clear idea of when and in what capacity normality will resume.
As a pretty positive person my immediate response was to embrace the opportunity; enjoy the time at home that I would have missed with my family as I was scheduled to be away most of the summer lighting the Euro 2020 presentation studios for ITV Sport then straight off to Tokyo to light the Olympics presentation studios for Discovery/Eurosport.
My primary focus was to see this time as as a gift; to reconnect with my life and my family, things that I now see I've neglected in order to keep pace in an industry that asks a great deal of anyone that wants to be a part of it...it is truly a lifestyle rather than a job for most.
I set myself the challenge of learning new things, catching up on life and being open to any project that normally I wouldn't have the time to do or financially be able to commit to due to clashes with more established paying jobs. As long as I was learning something new or pushing myself outside of my comfort zone I'd give it a go.
I expanded my knowledge of Mixed Reality and shot some exciting pilot shows remotely (which I'll expand upon in more detail at a later date). I undertook an untold amount of courses and videos online learning about design, colour, lighting visualisation and photography as well as the more mundane "chores" of standardising my accounts and updating my online profile by building a new website.
The work that I finally came back to was familiar but unrecognisable...temperature checks, masks, no gatherings around our normal social hub "the tea urn" and most noticeably production done remotely with no Director onsite. As a shift personally it has seen me "back on the tools" as it were, behind a camera, operating - something that I truly love and do miss in my more regular role as a Lighting Director or Director of Photography.
I've attached some images of the first week back at work for Sky on their live Premier League coverage of the Aston Villa Vs Chelsea Match and for White Light shooting an XR (Extended Reality) music promo featuring Fyfe Dangerfield of the Guillemots.