Founder of Jaffa Productions Stuart Lambe goes under the spotlight in BFV’s ‘In The Frame’ feature.
The company has built up a strong returning client base throughout the UK and Ireland, having supplied countless crewing facilities to many independent production companies and broadcasters alike.
The firm can supply fully kitted crews in any format who are not only trained in the use of camera, lighting and sound, but also in specialised work including Steadicam and Jib.
Hi Stuart, thanks for taking the time to chat to BFV, can you tell me a little bit about how Jaffa Productions started. Have you always been passionate about bringing stories to life?
I began Jaffa Productions in late 2002. I had previously worked for three separate independent production companies over a course of several years before launching Jaffa. I always had an interest in art and photography while growing up, but it was by pure chance that I ended up working at a production company in early 1996. I learned the craft of editing on what was called a three machine suite before moving to Avid and from there onto camera and sound. For me it’s all about trying to create beautiful imagery and sound on screen that evokes the audience’s emotions while they watch and listen to the stories being told.
I know you provide excellence and a wealth of experience at Jaffa Productions, you have worked on large productions like “Entertainment Tonight” on CBS and “Spend it like Stormont” on BBC, does working on productions like this help you evolve from year to year?
I have worked across many productions, well in excess of two hundred since starting Jaffa Productions, plus countless news stories and programmes throughout my career and I could honestly say that every day is a school day. I think no matter how large or small the production is, you should always bring something extra to the table and take a little something away from it. This industry is rapidly changing from day to day. You have to evolve in order to keep up with demand, competition and technology alike. If you don’t learn anything new you will just be standing still.
This month you are due to receive a new Steadicam Archer what are the main features and how will they benefit the shoot?
Yes, this is quite an exciting month for Jaffa. We have just taken delivery of a new Steadicam Archer 2 system with G50x arm and Exovest from Tiffen. I have been flying Steadicams and systems alike for over 12 years now and the production value that they bring to any shoot is immense. This is a body worn stabiliser that can take the weight of cameras up to 30lbs. This allows us to fly any camera from the smaller production cameras all the way up to essentially an Arri Alexa or similar weighted high end camera. Unlike most large handheld gimbal stabilisers, a Steadicam will not fatigue the operator to anywhere near the same degree, meaning you can get a lot more from it.
Do advances in technology change your business for the better or is it difficult to have to constantly update your kit?
In a word…Yes! Advances in technology are always amazing. We can now create imagery with remarkable precision & resolution and create more dynamic camera moves than ever before. At Jaffa we are constantly reviewing, updating and testing new equipment. And that can be anything from cameras to lenses, Steadicams to drones or even cablecams to sound devices, it’s always constantly evolving and I think it has to in order to keep up with client needs & expectations and every client is different.
How important is it for Jaffa to deliver the real message of the production to the audience?
We work very closely with all of our clients to ensure that the overall message of the production is delivered at the highest standards possible. This industry is very much a team and collaborative effort on all parts and Jaffa Productions would not be where it is today without the confidence from our clients that we, in our part, can do just that.
Finally Stuart can you maybe touch on the final part of 2019 and what the future holds for 2020?
The final part of 2019 will have numerous productions that we have worked on being transmitted in both the UK & Ireland. Ranging from a hard hitting documentary series to light entertainment programmes in both English and Irish, along with a current affairs series and a news facility, plus not forgetting film inserts for an online programme and a 30 second promo for a major network. Looking forward, I would hope 2020 will continue to allow us to help create some more wonderful moments on screen that captures the viewer’s imagination, with the highest possible standards.