Mr John Podpadec

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About me

I come to UWE after having spent some 30 years working in the broadcast and independent film industry. I have specialised in lighting and location camerawork on documentaries and drama-documentaries dealing with science, history, business and the arts with credits on many high profile productions for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 including Horizon, Equinox, Secret History, Trouble at the Top and Grand Designs.

Working with some of the country's best directors and creative teams I have helped produce films and television programmes of the highest standard with many receiving awards from BAFTA, The RTS, The European Commission and others. For example Nick Mirsky's 'Blood on the Carpet' for the BBC won at BAFTA for Best Documentary Series and Philip Priestly and Colin Thomas's 'Video Letters' won the Prix Europa Special Documentary Prize. I was awarded a Royal Television Society award for Best Cinematography in 2004.

For over ten years I was a member of Forum Television Co-operative, a Bristol based television company that produced many innovative programmes for broadcast including a number dealing with restorative justice and the reconciliation between communities in conflict.

Over the years I have built strong relations with many artists and those working within the arts. I was Director of Photography on three feature documentaries, 'Bataville', 'Living with the Tudors' and 'Jaywick' directed by the artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie. (Bataville won The Northern Arts Prize in 2009). I have also worked on numerous shorter films and art productions including Lisa Thomas's 'Tea-Time' and 'The Elders' and Daphne Wright's 'Prayer Project' and 'The Ethics of Scrutiny'.

Over a number of years I contributed to the BAFTA winning educational websites of both the National Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company, filming many rehearsal sessions and stage productions.

Working with Illumina Digital and the BBC I was involved with much of the early documentation of the internet and it's possibilities. I worked on a number of interactive drama and factual productions and helped develop novel technology platforms across the broadcast, cultural and education sectors.

Prior to working in Film and Television my photographic work was exhibited widely in this country and throughout Europe. I was a member of Bristol's Rainbow Collective and together with a number of photographers working in colour I was concerned with novel approaches to documentary. In 1982 I established the Bath Community Darkroom Project which went on to become the influential F Stop gallery.

Area of expertise

  • Fiction and Non Fiction film production
  • Celluloid and Digital acquisition
  • Natural and dramatic lighting techniques
  • Drama and Dramatised Reconstruction
  • Work with High Profile Presenters
  • Handheld and Observational Camerawork
  • Work with Artists and Stage Productions
  • Medical and Surgical film work
  • Work in Schools


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