Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


7 hard 10 hour days, no gaffer, no focus puller, no S-Log2, just the good old way it used to be…baked-in as you go along.

Germans camera

All the sound is transmitted from the sound recordist into the camera as “scratch sound” which is lower quality but is there as a guide track for syncing later in post production. I must thank Dave from DSM Broadcast Power who supplied me with a third DSM-U84 battery for my Sony FS7.


At the initial negotiations I insisted on having a sound recordist but 28 soundmen were already being used at the St Andrews golf tournament leaving a rather large hole for anyone decent. Rory the director finally sourced Merlin Bonning a top man by any standards.

Me & Merlin

Merlin was the cream of the crop and an asset to the production.


Even the clapper board looked drunk at one point “Fdradour”, our clapper, Sam was new to the job and is studying sound at college, what a great week he had watching Merlin at work.

Window shot

A classic window shot…the faces are lit with 2 camera top LED lights gaffer to the inside of the window.


Outside the camera is gaffer with black tape and a deep black lastolite is positioned behind the camera, the chap holding the umbrella over the camera was also doused in black material, you do not want any reflections in the window.

Window Shot copy

Then in post you can add a reflection, all adding to the magic.


Angel (Dave Finnegan) with Donna (Georgina Blackledge)

Cam again

SmallHD me and Cambo

The Sony PXW-FS7 was the right camera for the job with hired (PROCAM) 4K Canon EF glass using a CAMBO pull focus unit.

smallHD hair

The hair and makeup girls latched onto the 502 smallHD monitor using it for continuity and taking JPEGS.

smallHD barrels

At the end of the week Holdan sent me the new smallHD sidefinder which came in very useful when the camera was perched on a Whisky barrel. The picture quality was better than Sony’s LCD.

Tams dad

The Clan lads

The lads !

Sam 35mm

Clanadonia are a Drums & Pipes band with a difference – their music, passion, culture, history, people, ancestral bloodlines – are all bonded within the music…they are the dogs bollocks.


The local paper came to take a picture and featured on page 7 of the Courier next day.

Rory mad

Cast & crew

As you can see the cast and crew were not insignificant.

Watt and me

My final thoughts are with a very good friend of mine Watt Nicoll who wrote the initial draft for the Spirit of Edradour alongside Rory the director. During 1973 Watt wrote an episode for Norman Wisdom “Nobody is Norman Wisdom”…now thats impressive on anyones CV.

The week was hard and days were long but friendships were struck amongst cast and crew…but it was a good laugh in-between all the hard graft.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

3 thoughts on “The Filming at Edradour…Final Thoughts

  1. Hey Philip, what model Miller tripods did you use on the shoot?

    HDW : A Miller Compass 25 with carbon fibre legs

  2. How did you find working with the Canon Cine glass? I have been wondering about investing in these lenses for quite some time now.

    HDW : If I had a lot more 4K films I would love to own this glass, its the best beyond best, I loved all the lenses bar two shots…
    Cant beat a servo zoom for run and gun, I used the Sony 4K 28-135 f4 lens when the visitors came off the bus and my less heavy
    Samyang T1.5 for the musical shots as the camera was hand held, the Canon glass by nature is heavy so I used it all on a tripod.

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