• 8 Weeks 16 PORTRAITS , 8 STILL LIFES and 3 TALKS

I should have documented this as I was going along but when you have so little time and you are trying to shoot, plan , produce and have ideas as well..you can’t do everything. The project was instigated by me about 2 years ago after taking “How to have Sex on the Radio (The Art of Sound)” to Janette Dalley, photography director at BAFTA.My argument was that if radio sound effects can be interesting what about the SFX and production teams behind modern cinema? BAFTA were keen but were looking for funding from within the film industry though waiting for this was holding things up quite a bit.In the end BAFTA thought it was worth doing anyway and they kindly supported the project on the basis that it be included in the 2016 Film Awards Brochure which will be published next week.This was fantastic news but it meant we didn’t get the green light until the beginning of November 2015. Here is a  small selection and some stills from the exhibition which was open to the public for 2 days in January and Ive just been informed by BAFTA that almost 2500 people came through the door.

 Wednesday 11th November 2015 Terry Gilliam

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a picture inspired by “Where The Wild Things Are ” by Maurice Sendak

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The project took us across the sea to Los Angeles with a statuette that had a better seat than me.

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Some of the ranges were conceived and executed in very little time. Hoyta the cinematographer was based on an illustrated film poster for “Man With a movie Camera”,

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where the camera and the body are morphed together but instead chose to utilise the intense shadows of California.

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22nd November 2015

We shoot Andy Serkis in The Ovaltine Cafe, Vancouver and model it on the classic diner scenes of Edward Hopper

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Tuesday 24th November 2015

Behind the scenes  with the WETA team working on Planet of The Apes

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 7th December  2015

Jaqueline Abrahams, Production Designer “The Lobster”, East London

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The project also gave us fantastic opportunities to capture some still life and SFX guru Niell Gorton gave us access to his stores to make this.

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The complete series was featured in The Independent , The Observer Review and interviews with me on London Live and BBC Radio London.

The open weekend included talks by me about the inspiration for the images and a talk with Terry Gilliam about photography and film. The latter can be seen at bafta.org.

The overriding inspiration was the work of Phillippe Halsman who seemed to just ask for and get whatever he wanted. I don’t have his reputation or access but I decided early on to just act as if I did and weirdly it worked as people became inspired by the ideas.

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A really enjoyable and challenging eight weeks and hopefully something that can be continued..

Blag because thats half the game when trying to pull off personal shoots. In the best possible way of course. Its how you get twelve really keen naked people to pose for you for a start. So here finally is the second in my series of Roundabouts featuring members of the Diogenes Sun Club. The project is a playful delve into our national heritage and character and how from a high vantage point it’s been carved up into a series of interlocking lines and circles. I just thought what about all that space in the middle of these enchanting rings, what was it and what could it be used for. Watch this space..

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and how to blag half a dozen druids and a stone circle..a work in progress.

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Quick brag, as I just had two covers this weekend for the Observer Food and The Observer Magazine.  The magazine featured the mercurial and playful artist Carsten Holler (sorry about the umlaut)

which was a perfect shoot in may ways, involving an artist, a load of pills, a few Fly Agarit mushrooms and an empty space to fill. I have shot him before and was surprised again at how relaxed he was.


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You see I am getting to like the background colour effect. Quite a lot actually and so I had to use it again for the OFM piece on young healthy food bloggers. Adorable and sweet as they were anyone who knows me will understand why I don’t have a lot to converse about when it come to quinoa and kale but needless to say I bored Carsten to death with my tales of psycho active food stuffs and their energy giving properties. Its a matter of taste.


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The Donmar warehouse in tandem with a broadcast on Channel 4 did nothing to save the nation from another five years of Tory rule but I got to meet some very funny actors and produced this poster for the theatre and which was used by Channel 4 publicity.

Ch4_TheVote_Final2and a big thanks to Simon Corkin at Sky Creative for getting me in to do this seasons press campaign for Stella.

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Svetlana Lokhova took on a bank over sexism and bullying and if you believe the headlines she won. Believe me, she has not and the bank will not let her rest. 

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The calm Rick Stein in Padstow for the OFM.

Stein__048Ending on a couple of snaps from my own seaside break as a sea mist suddenly descended on us in Broadstairs.

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I needed something to do in January as it is notoriously quiet and I have  barely woken from the slumber of Christmas. Luckily the lovely Janette at BAFTA called to say that they are putting on a small exhibition of photographers work that has been commissioned over the last couple of decades. Its a group exhibition featuring many notable photographers who I will conveniently NOT mention here. So if anyone actually reads this or looks at my Twitter the images will be up at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly for the public on the 24th and 25th of January and a live auction will on the 30th January by Bonham’s Auctioneers. Here is one of the images  they are auctioning and I will be at the venue on Sunday the 25th for a Q and A around 2pm..

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As we are discussing auctions here is a composite image I am rather pleased with as it is never easy to to do these things especially in a real location that stays open to the public..it was for a Channel4 documentary about The Lots road auction house. You don’t have to be crazy to work here but…

Ch4_Lots Rd_299and whilst on a theme, some more eccentric people going about their business at Liberty’s of London..

Liberty2_comp1_colourLet me introduce a couple of comedians. This is Noel Fielding by the way..and an image that had everyone present in stitches. The mag didn’t publish this one as they were obsessed with the issue having a Xmas theme or reference. I don’t hate Xmas like I used to but in an age when it’s forced down our throat for months then I get a bit upset that intelligent magazines still want tinsel in their images..but I’m sure there is a mountain of marketing evidence that will prove I am in the minority..so it goes..

Observer_fielding_55685    and this guy is Mickey Flanagan…returning to Victoria Park East London where he grew up..”you can almost see my Dad’s house from here. “..

Times_Flannagan_55214and we now jump from the ridiculous to the sublime..and wish I had some gripe with this shoot but it was polite , courteous and professional, Redmayne is a gentleman. Which on reflection is a gripe..sorry but I want my film stars difficult and ungrateful.

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I want to end on a portrait of Glenn Ligon an artist from New York..goodbye

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Last weekend saw the publication of two portraits that I’m not only proud to blog about but both meetings were also proof that pop stars public images rarely equate to their actual personality.

Jamie T was as unpretentious as a guy with so much talent can get. He was uncomfortable with the staged shots, though I still think they captured his essence and the magazine chose to publish the candid shots as he waxed lyrical in his studio space. Animated and funny as he was they chose this one looking “thoughtful”. I like this set of images but feel slightly disappointed that they don’t represent what I normally do.

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We had the run of a recording studio too so I had to take the opportunity to recreate one of my BBC radio sound technician images and rearranged the sound baffles and mics accordingly.

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The one in the lift I love and is testament to what you can do with such low light and simple shapes. Out of maybe thirty frames this is the only one I would have shown as all the rest felt like I had forced him into the space.

JamieT_030In reverse chronology, the Times Magazine published an image I had taken the week before of Bernard Sumner of New Order. Knowing that as a band they refused to do encores and didn’t do merchandise and that they never (maybe once) appeared on their record sleeves I assumed that this was going to be a hard one , and harder still as I was about to meet someone who I admired and been a huge fan of their music for years. Being hired by the magazine is not the same as being chosen by either a label or the artist to handle their image and beyond an early attempt at doing press shots for Rough Trade Records my contact with musicians has been limited. So it was a huge relief   that Bernard had even taken the time to look at my website and a long and fruitful discussion ensued that I think ended in trust on both sides. The shots we took at a hut in a nearby park are my favorite  and this was the reason for the title of this blog as Bernard had a flashback on route triggered by a passing stranger  (Jamie T is the comeback by the way) though his current autobiography will shed more light on this than I can sensibly divulge..

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Paddy Considine studied photography before falling into acting. The Observer magazine ran a feature on him in early September.  The portrait they ran was good for lighting and fairly flattering but I wanted to show also a shot that was maybe too busy for magazine protocol and out focus too.

Observer_Considine_51141Can I also mention that an artist contacted me called Owen Lennox who is doing an oil version of this one which I will tweet once it is finished. The work in progress already looks great.

Observer_Considine_51098Aware that this entry is getting long I want to include a recent commission for Wired Magazine and say what a pleasure it was working with studio Githero (www.glithero.com) Inventive and very creative and pleased that they and the magazine felt I captured their playful spirit.

Wired Designers50891-Recovered Wired Designers50798_2and I think it good to end with another unpublished image of the Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford. Shot in Corcosonne, during the Tour de France. “Why by a roundabout?” demanded the publicist, “because I like roundabouts.”I replied. Despite the publicists best efforts to quash the idea, Brailsford, it seems, also likes roundabouts…and why wouldn’t he?

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I’m finally happy to launch my new website which was live this week. It does happily feature a lot of new work especially some experimental short films that I have been testing with.

As well as the site I have embarked on a new project which I am planning to drip feed into the public domain because like any project I think it needs some publicity to get me access and to generate excitement, hopefully amongst possible subjects.

So in keeping with this philosophy I will just publish one image and combine that with a tweet and hashtag and that will be it…@phil_fisk #roundabout

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The National Theatre has again been gracing its walls with images that almost seemed impossible when we got the brief. A Taste of Honey was shot on a cold morning in East London chosen purely for the cobbles and the rest we managed to shoot on several different streets on a day out in Manchester. Then we had the unenviable task to find 1950’s and 60’s signage with the usual limited budget. I was hoping they could just update the play to the present day at one stage. However we finally made a sketch that fitted together , creating a street and a perspective that worked, but it was down to retouch skills of Adam Orzechowski that we blended elements that came from old scanned film, different lighting conditions and different cities. Now I have said this the errors will become glaringly apparent…

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The next challenge was A Small Family Business involving a forklift truck and a twenty thousand quid in used 1980’s £20 Notes…this was a fun one though.

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And in the next  few weeks look out for a series of reportage style images promoting a new NT play by Richard Bean and starring Billie Piper. Three captured moments that involve the press, senior police officers and millionaire tycoons….

Editorially I have shot Jamie Oliver again but this time for the tech monthly. I couldn’t make him cry again but still had some fun making him eat a plate of spaghetti wires and cables.

Observer_oliver_123and for The Saturday Times magazine  a couple portraits which I like for being very open in their brief and involved going to people homes and shooting something that captured their story. In these cases the growing problem

of young adults living at home into their thirties and coping with elderly parents. I love the look the parents are giving each other..

Times_Home43983People1_02and finally, risking a blog that is too long I had the strange pleasure of photographing a couple who for years have been the most prolific art forgers in the world. The shoot took place

in their studio near Cologne, Germany whilst on day release from their 5 year sentence (the artists, not me of course). The interesting thing was they did not “copy” any existing works but took years to mimic the style

of established artists and produce “new” undiscovered works of art. They concocted a rather flimsy back story that these works were lost during the wars but the art world desperate

for sales verified these works as authentic. Not wanting to admit they had been duped the article estimates that hundreds of these paintings are still in circulation and gracing the

walls of art galleries around the world. Their names are Wolfgang and Helena Beltracchi..look it up.

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Unable to release a lot of images as they are embargoed but on a weekly basis The Times and Observer have been throwing some nice portraits at me.

The Times images are not released yet but soon will be and involved a trip to Cologne to meet an art forger. Posted here for now are Thomassina Miers for the OFM a specialist in Mexican food..

and food writer Anissa Helou in her East London flat.

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OFM_Miers_41713and in the beautifully restored Manchester Central Library a very humble Guy Garvey of Elbow..

OBserver_Garvy_and in the weekend just gone an image of coding guru Kathryn Parsons for which we had our own “code” gobos made, something so old fashioned that I didn’t think it could be done anymore

but Rosco in South London are brilliant and its not that expensive.

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This gallery contains 4 photos.

I wanted to post up this portrait of Aoife Mcardle a video director who has been named “one to watch” in 2014 by an Irish magazine called State. The brutal exterior of the Hackney marshes changing rooms seemed right on a grey and wet day in East London.  Video cameras followed us around wherever we …

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