“Are you free to film an interview with Piers Morgan and a high profile American politician in Davos Switzerland”

I was free and I then started planning what was surely going to be my biggest interview of my career to date. It’s not every day you get to film an interview with the President of the United States, Piers Morgan had been working on securing the interview for over a year and the White House had agreed to it and it was scheduled for 2 days time in Davos at the World Economic Forum. It was a world exclusive for Piers, ITV which were also planning on making a special programme of the interview. No pressure then! I have to admit of some apprehension of the task ahead, it would have been a difficult interview to film in London, but this was taking place in Switzerland, we had to fly all the equipment and lighting with the added problems of the security, it was certainly going to be a challenge.

The security around the interview was huge, we had to get White House approval as well as sort out the accreditation for the Economic Forum in Davos, all in a day! A 3am meet at LHR on the Thursday morning, 15 flight cases of camera kit and lighting and we were off to meet the President.

The main problem was timings and the lack of it, the interview was scheduled for 4pm on the Thursday but we couldn’t get access to the interview room until 2pm. The security getting into the conference centre at Davos was obviously very tight and with over 20 boxes of equipment, that wasn’t an easy task.

My job was to set up according to Director Erron’s Gordon’s wishes, light the interview and operate the main camera on President Trump or POTUS as he’s known to his press team. We filmed the interview with 3 cameras, 2 x Sony FS7’s and my Sony F55. The other operators were Ed Matthews and Matt Freestone, both are regulars at ITV with Matt working mainly in the studio. Lighting wise I went with a combination of Flexi LED panels through soft boxes on boom stands, Kinoflo Celeb 200’s and 4 x Dedo lights. I went for LED lights as they are so flexible in terms of being 100% dimmable and the ability to dial in the colour temperature. Without seeing the room it was difficult to gage how I was going to light it so I needed options and the LED lights gave me these options.

Once in the room it was plain and small so we had to dress items in to make it look good, We were given the presidential flag and the flag of the US to place over POTUS’s right shoulder, this is done for all the Presidents interviews. We continued setting up as the White House press officer came to look over our set up. As the interview time approached more and more people came to look at the room. Eventually Ms Hope Hicks, President Trump main Communication Director and Ms Sarah Huckabee the main White House press spokesperson came to give it the final approval.

We were all set ready to go about 15 mins before the President was due, the White House press officer gave us a 1 minute warning and then on cue the President arrived. The President gave Piers a great welcome and also complimented me on my lighting saying “Looking good, you’ve got some good camera people hey” which was a great compliment.

The clip shown is short extract from the interview. The interview made News Headlines across the globe.

“President Trump – The Piers Morgan Interview” was broadcast at 10pm, ITV 28th January 18.

 

 Some behind the scenes shots.

My camera position

The Crew

 

The Crew

Presenter  Piers Morgan

Director  Erron Gordon

Producer Winnie Nelson

Lighting Camera Geraint Warrington

Camera Operators Ed Matthews, Matt Freestone

Sound Simon Mallon

Camera Assistant Will Roth

Engineer Carl Owen