I remember watching films like The Italian Job and Convoy as a child in the 1970s. My dad would point out that if I looked hard I might get a fleeting glimpse of the movie camera in a shiny bumper or chrome wheel trim. It’s a game I still play now, and hopefully it’s not my camera I see.
I started out in automotive engineering and design but it wasn’t too long until the draw of cinematography and story-telling started tugging. It was an interesting conversation over the kitchen table when I broke the news to my parents that I was leaving the respectable world of the engineer to pursue a career in film.
I’ve worked in the film and tv industry since the mid 1990s. I spent time working my way up through the ranks of runner, loader and focus puller, eventually arriving at where I am now. I’m so fortunate to be working in all genres and I wouldn’t want to be without any of them. Narrative cinematography is my first passion but the fascination of being able to dip into someone else’s job or world for a day while shooting a documentary always excites me.
I get a real kick out of making a modest budget look like a million dollars on screen. As part of a great team, I’ve made a WW1 biplane strafe a zeppelin without leaving the hanger, a Mark IV tank crew barely survive a battle while still parked in a museum hall and I’ve had twelve jeeps race across the desert on a secret mission without leaving the safety of a farmer’s barn.
My grandmother always said I was a bit of a day dreamer, but I know now that being a day dreamer is what makes you a great story-teller.
© Jamie Hobbis 2019