What does Philip Bloom do? And how did he become famous?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Siderz, May 27, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    I follow him on Twitter, and he always has the latest cameras, he's never resting, always traveling the world to test out new cameras.

    I know he started as a cameraman and whatnot, but is he still just a regular cameraman, or does he literally just get paid to play with new cameras? And how did he get to that position where companies will just rain gear on him? I feel like he's the only person out there that has this kind of career, maybe that's just because he's the only person that I follow who has this opportunity, but it seems like everyone else in the filmmaking world talks about him, and only him, like at NAB.

    I'm very impressed if he received this celebrity status mainly from playing with cameras. Personally I'd be pretty bored of this stuff...because...most cameras seem to do exactly the same thing.

    I'm just basing what I know about him off of Twitter/Instagram posts.
  2. macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    He isn't anywhere near famous. He's basically an advertiser for manufacturers like Canon and a few others.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2009
    Philip Bloom is a British filmmaker known for his DSLR filmmaking, blog and workshops. He has worked as a cinematographer for Lucasfilm, Sky and the BBC.


    He began his filmmaking career at Sky, travelling the world as a cameraman. His recent credits include work with Lucasfilm, Discovery HD, Five, Living, Sky One, and more.

    In 2009 he was called up by Rick McCallum to help shoot with Canon DSLRs on the set of Lucasfilm's Red Tails.
    Bloom's 2011 documentary film How to Start a Revolution about Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp premiered at the 27th annual Boston Film Festival and won Best Documentary, as well as the Mass Impact Award. It also won Best Documentary at the Raindance Film Festival.
    In 2012 he was the first cameraman using the novel Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 of the Micro Four Thirds system creating the film Genesis.
  4. macrumors demi-god


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Philip was one of the first pro camera guys to start really shooting with DSLRs and, more importantly, he blogged about it so in a nascent (but wickedly fast growing) field he was one of the few sources of consistent information. He was able to parlay that position of information into higher profile gigs (which he blogged about) and this cycle kept repeating which is basically how he became so well known in cinematography and indy filmmaking circles.

    They might basically do exactly the same thing, but they don't do it in exactly the same way. For people making a living shooting all day, every day there are differences that make a difference.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    I’ve never been a huge fan.

    It seems to me at least that he is the result of being in the right place at the right time as he was one of the first to blog about DSLR video.

    I liked some of his early stuff on the 5D following the people of different cities but his recent stuff really doesn’t do anything for me and it seems he is mostly known for his long camera reviews rather than the quality of his actual work.

    I am in no ways saying that I am better than Phillip but at the same time for someone who can pretty much just buy and Epic and send it back because he didn’t like it I don’t think his works stands up to the prices he charges for workshops etc...
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2009
    In addition he comes across as warm, friendly and informative. Plus he's photogenic. And so is his mum :)

    (and check the specs of the lens he used for that one)

    Personally I think he overdoes the shallow DOF thing in his shots. For example, having a razor thin DOF for a product shot doesn't actually show you much of the product itself, but each to their own.
  7. macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    This video for me is a perfect example of how I feel about it.

    The video is good but it is nothing special. I can sit through it but it doesn't inspire me and make me envious of his filmmaking talents. I think more than anything I am jealous of Mr. Bloom as he gets to make mediocre videos and get loads of money doing it!
  8. PhilipBloom, May 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2014

    macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2013
    How funny to have a thread about me! :)

    I am not famous. I don't consider myself famous. I just do what I love and try to help where I can. "Famous" people get laid by being...well famous. I don't. I have to try and use my charm, humour and fading looks. It rarely brings me much success!

    BUT I am lucky enough to have ended up doing a job what it also my hobby. To be paid to shoot makes me damn lucky. Chicks or no chicks.

    If you don't like my work, that's absolutely cool! I don't like a lot of it either :)

    As long as people have an interest I will write articles about my experiences and do the odd camera review if I am able to. Luckily for people who don't like either of those there is no obligation to read or watch either! ;)

    I have lots of work I am enormously proud of. 99% of it is my personal work. I am proud of much of what I have achieved in the past 25 years of being in the business. Especially our film "How to start a revolution" that won lots of awards including Raindance best doc and a BAFTA. But I am not here to defend who I am or what I do. I just popped over to say hello really and chuckle at how strange it was to find a thread debated who I am! There are way more interesting people to talk about!

    Personally I would rather watch Game of Thrones, play Call of Duty or read SFX magazine.

    Peace my fellow Mac Users! :eek:

  9. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2009
    IIRC, he made that video primarily to test out the new camera/lens combo. His mum gracefully agreed to be the subject and did a wonderful job. Philip's sister was also in a Christmas video he did I think. Once again, it was a 'muck around movie' just to check out gear, not an entry in Sundance.

    If ever I hear a little voice in my head saying "humph, that's easy, I could do that", I have another voice (which sounds like Chris Rock) that says "well get out and do it". My head gets crowded at times.
  10. macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Just so I can have the opportunity to say it to you rather than behind your back as you might have thought from this thread.

    I don't think your work is amazing but at the same time I don't think it is bad and it is still better than anything I have produced.

    I think in one way I am envious that you make a living from doing what I do as a hobby and seem to do very well of of it.

    Half the problem for me is that some of your earlier work for me was really interesting and emotive (sofia's people for example) however, more recent things just miss the mark and don't quite have the same effect on me.

    Maybe as I have grown my tastes have changed or similarly what you liked making videos about you don't anymore. Please don't see this as me suggesting you should stop making videos, it's just that I have seen plenty of very talented filmmakers that struggle to make any money from their films and yet you seem to have more and more success with every video.

    I wonder if you would agree that a lot of your success (as is most people's) is down to your being in the right place at the right time?

    On a side note, did you ever get any further with the feature project you were planning last year?
  11. macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2013

    I am not here to defend myself. I dont want to get sucked into this. I commented purely because i found it bewildering and quite funny!

    Now, the back handed compliments aside the comment my "success" being down to being in the right place at the right time is an insult. It's down to almost 25 years of hard work in the business. That is my right place in the right time. 25 years of it and continued 7 days a week 365 days a year work. That is the reality.

    if you want to take a look at some of my work feel free to do so but I really don't want to start listing stuff to watch as it becomes a defending post. Bringing up an early bit of street filming fun from 4 years ago is not my work (even though you liked it which is great) nor is the lovely piece i made of my mum cooking. Done because i love her to bits and I had just got the voigtlander and wanted to shoot her cooking all on one lens. Paid gig? Nope? But this piece is one of most specials things for me as its my wonderful mum. BUT this is not my paid work clearly. This is my passion. I luckily have a hobby that is also my job. The reality is you don't see 95% of my work. That is commercial work and not bloggable.

    You asked questions so I am answering. Anyway...enough defending If thats ol. There really is little more to add...BUT if you want to then please check out my documentary section in "films" on my site. Some good tales there. Also my recently directed music video called Bitten By The Frost is worth a gander and the BAFTA/ Raindance winning film How to start a revolution is a must see for the amazing story of Gene Sharp. You may not like any of them and that is absolutely fine. But please don't belittle my almost quarter of a century of hard work to such a statement please!

    With regards to future projects. I don't talk about them in case of jinxing them.

    I wish you the best of luck in your career/ hobby and remember you make your success. Nobody else! That goes for anything.

    Have a good night! Time for my bed. Tomorrow is another day of work. That is the life of the freelancer filmmaker. Shoots to plan. Edits to do and so much more.

    Best wishes,

  12. macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2012
    If you have a moment Mr. Bloom I have a question I would love to ask you.

    As a freelance videographer, one has the ability to go after several different types of work, from narrative filmmaking and documentary to events and corporate video. What area of the business do you see growing the most over the next ten years?
  13. macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2013
    it depends where you are based partly...there is always a need for corporate filmmaking. Even filmmaking is still growing strongly. Fiction and docs are great but make little money. That is why I do other stuff to fund these! :)

    best of luck with the career!
  14. macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2012
    Czech Republic
    common sense

    what I like about Mr. Bloom is his common sense.
    He keeps repeating that you don't need the latest greatest hardware to be creative.
    His reviews make sense to me.
    Sometime I will book one of his workshops...

    The Skywalker ranch video blew my socks off.
    His use of music is always impressive.

    And he likes to share his knowledge and experience.
    Which other cinematographer is so outspoken...?

    I would love to follow Vilmos Zsigmond and check his holiday photos, but I have to be satisfied with:

    And while I am writing about inspirational:

    about the late Tim Hetherington.
  15. macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Check out Roger Deakins' site the guy has over 3000+ posts responding to peoples individual questions and is arguably one of the best cinematographers in the world!

    I realise that he and Philip Bloom are in different categories but if you are looking for other people to follow I would definitely recommend him!
  16. macrumors 6502


    Jul 20, 2003
    A well deserved Kudos to Mr Bloom -an overnight internet success twenty years in the making. You are a class act sir!
  17. macrumors demi-god


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Check out Shane Hurlbut's site. M. David Mullen and Rodney Charters (@rodneykiwi) also share a lot but are mainly active on cinematography and filmmaking forums.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2009

    Also a testament to the adage "the harder I work, the luckier I get".
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2008
    (UK) Hampshire / London
    Nah blooms ain't all that and a bag of sugar y'all dig on Ma grill?

    I hear he owns a floristry in Scunthorpe called 'Bloomin Marvellous'.

    He dances with cats, like kev, and is also into scuba diving and Polo.

    All of the above is made up.

    My first glimpse of pb was his vid of the z1 - I just remember him asking Susan the runner for a cup o coffee.
    I now own and use for event (nightclub promos mostly) videography the ex3 - again, great reviews from him and perhaps a trendsetter in the sad-act uh boxing type vids that are how common as dog-s!!!
  20. macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2013
    Philip Bloom is a celebrity filmmaker. I don't mean he makes films of celebrities. I mean he is a celebrity who is a filmmaker like he is a filmmaker of celebrity status. Do you know what I mean?

    I don't mean he makes films about the status of celebrities. What I mean is he is a popular filmmaker.

    He is a celebrity among amateur filmmakers. But he is not an amateur.

    I don't get to have great adventures around the world like Philip Bloom and tell about it to the whole world and have them be interested because I am lazy. So I live this fantasy through Philip Bloom by reading his blogs and vlogs and videos. The world has been changed by Philip Bloom and I want to some day have a photo with him. I have an SVHS camera and I am doing what I can to make my movie with it with the help of Philip Bloom. Because a fancy camera does not make you a good filmmaker right Philip? Philip bloom is my friend whether he knows it or not.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2008
    (UK) Hampshire / London
    SVHS? Think you can do ALOT better!

    Even a dvcam like the Sony pd150 would be a good move (my first own pro camera)

  22. Siderz, May 31, 2013
    Last edited: May 31, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Oh god...I nearly had a heart attack seeing Bloom himself commenting...watching us talk behind his back! Well, I guess it looks like I ditched the thread though.

    Not sure if to feel honoured that Bloom pitched in or to wonder if it's a fake account, how did he find this? Did he Google himself? Either way, I feel today has been a good day; I showed my College teacher an edit I made for an assignment and he was absolutely blown away, so was the rest of the class, and now I see that Bloom has commented on a post I made.

    Anyway, although people (And Bloom) have been saying he's not exactly a 'celebrity', I disagree, I'd say he's pretty well known in the camera/video/indie film realm, making him a celebrity to us. There aren't many people with his kind of status, I hear about him the most out of others, I guess Ryan Connolly does similar things but I'd say I hear more about Bloom.

    Edit: He made a post about the thread - http://philipbloom.net/2013/05/30/personalpost/ - oops! What have I caused?! Time to hide!
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    I'm not a big reader of the blogs and what have you, but even so I've noticed it's become sport to make disparaging comments about Philip Bloom.

    I think there are three mindsets at the root of this:

    Classic internet "hating"/trolling/baiting.

    The belief that taking a swipe at, or even just being casually dismissive of, someone held in high esteem will convince people of your superiority.

    Celebrities have to take **** because all the reverence and sycophancy they get needs balancing out. I think this is part of an important principle that keeps society from tyranny. The celebrities as individuals are collateral damage.
  24. macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2013
    People hate on Philip because they are not nice and Philip is. Do you know 2 things or talk like you know and then be a nice guy. Next stop overnight success.

    These people do not know to be nice. Their Moms probably did not do these teachins on them henceforth they cry and toss their stinky doodoos at peeps. Me I am nice and I plan to bring back SVHS. I prefer the patina of SVHS in comparisons to Mini-DV.

    In my opinion the DSLR and C300 are whack. They do all the work for you so just press the power button cowboy. If you want to fight me my address is 13-40 Rosalynd Ave. Mount Oku, Hawaii. Your masters did not nag over sharpness and noise when they made their master-pieces. They shut their pie hole and made what they had. My goal is to kick ass. Those people with the shiny cameras by making with my SVHS camera what which will kick your ass.
  25. macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2007
    I feel like if a thread is written about you, you have the right to comment and put in your two cents, I am positive it was really him. Philip is definitely one of the nicest and most helpful filmmakers out there, and very humble. That being said I do agree with you in some sense about him being a "celebrity", but only in certain circles. I feel celebrity status is reserved for those that no matter who you ask, they know who you are talking about.


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