John Grant on Reykjavik: for Guardian Travel

John GrantThe American singer-songwriter, 45, on his adopted home’s best restaurants, coffee and hostel – and why you should think twice before taking a northern lights tour

I first went to Reykjavik for the Airwaves music festival ( in 2011. I went back a couple of months later to record my second album, Pale Green Ghosts. After that I decided I just didn’t want to leave.

Reykjavik has a mixture of southern and northern mentality. There’s a laid-back, relaxed attitude, but also the feeling things are going to get done.

There is a lot going on in the city but you can find your own space. I love the fact that there are small shops to explore and cosy cafes to relax in.

The first thing I would do is head to Mokka ( for a coffee. It’s the place that is on the cover of Pale Green Ghosts. As soon as you open the door you can smell them making waffles. Mokka opened in 1958 and is the oldest coffee shop in Reykjavik – and it hasn’t changed. A lot of locals, and artists, hang out there. It’s a great place to start and get a feel for the city. Continue reading

Archive Live in Athens DVD: interview with filmmaker James Tonkin

Hangman Studios’ James Tonkin likes a challenge – such as using eight Canon EOS DSLR cameras to film a two-hour live concert DVD for the band Archive. Here, he tells Robert Hull about last-minute venue changes, the stress of multi-tasking, and how Canon’s DSLRs captured the epic, cinematic sweep of a band in full flow.

“It’s been a labour of love really.” James Tonkin is sitting in his west London studio and explaining a project he admits he: “lived with for the majority of last year.” The project is ‘Live in Athens’, a DVD of the rock band Archive. Not only is the film an example of how live footage can be crafted to deliver a rewarding concert experience, it’s also a testament to the ability of Canon’s EOS DSLRs to deliver technological excellence and creative invention. Continue reading

iStockphoto, Kelly Thompson interview

iStockphoto, the royalty-free online photo and video resource, has revolutionised stock photography for customers and photographers. The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Kelly Thompson, spoke to CPN to explain the ethos, attitude and planning behind iStockphoto’s success. Robert Hull reports.

For Thompson there is virtually no overlap between Getty and iStock, though he’s quick to thank Getty’s Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Klein, for providing useful advice. “One of the great things he told us when he bought us was to ‘slow down and focus on quality’. Once you have more than five million images on a site that’s more than anyone can see in a lifetime, so we could step back and focus on how good the images are,” reveals Thompson. Continue reading

Making of … Charlotte Church’s Back to Scratch video: shot on Canon EOS 5D and 7D

Legendary music video director Kevin Godley was commissioned to help to launch Charlotte Church’s creative rebirth with an innovative video for the single ‘Back to Scratch’. Godley, DoP George Tiffin and producer Ben Sullivan tell Robert Hull a tale of white rooms, eight Canon EOS DSLR cameras and a finished video they feel hit the mark.

When a recording artist as high profile as Charlotte Church takes creative control of their career it’s usually an indication that they mean business. And with the Welsh singer forming her own label, Dooby Records, to launch the ‘Back to Scratch’ album, it also underlined her financial commitment to the project.

Read the full article online at Canon Professional Network


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3D games: Patrick Naud interview for the guardian

Case study: 3D games developer, Patrick Naud, executive producer for Ubisoft (
Note: Shaun White Skateboarding set for Europe launch on 28 Oct.

Read full interview and more 3D stories at Guardian: Life in 3D

It’s just a short hop from the University of Montreal to the games developer Ubisoft’s offices in the city but making that trip has taken Patrick Naud on a 12-year journey to the pinnacle of the games industry and the forefront of 3D game development.

Naud, a 34-year-old “French-Canadian guy”, joined the company straight after his degree in 1998 and has seen the studio grow from a small satellite office to one of the largest games production houses in the world. His credits include Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and last year’s James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game, on which he was executive producer. Continue reading

Jimi Mistry interview

From his breakthrough role in East is East via a stint in EastEnders and appearances in Hollywood blockbusters such as Blood Diamond and 2012, Jimi Mistry  has had an interesting and eventful acting journey. It’s probably not fair, after all that effort, that his latest movie – the low-budget Brit horror, Basement – finds him trapped underground with Danny Dyer. He tells Screenjabber’s Robert Hull about the experience … Continue reading

Interview: New Town Killers director Richard Jobson


Robert Hull: Visually it’s a very striking, atmospheric film. Did you have particular movies in mind when you came to shoot it?
Richard Jobson: Yes. First of all I decided to make a black-and-white film – in colour. So I dressed everyone in black and white, apart from Sean, who they are chasing, and who wears a red, hooded top, and so really you get this film-noirish feel. It was gently paying homage to a lot of noirs I liked, from The Third Man through to The Killers, but also to a lot of the films that have dealt with similar themes, such as Funny Games by Michael Haneke, American Psycho, or Rope by Alfred Hitchcock.

RH: It’s a very nocturnal film. Was there a lot of night-time shooting?
The majority of it was shot during the night and early morning, right up until the very end of the movie. Continue reading