We have been using a Canon XC15 with fixed lens from 5th Sept 2017, first reports and footage from the New England Cruise aboard Aurora.

We have been using a more drama camera the BMPCC that we bought for Jean’s foray into the web with her award winning drama series Shades Of Bad. That show saw her get a Best Actress vote twice in the USA in the charts run by the New York Based critics We Love Soaps. Now, we have to learn the Canon XC15 which is internationally accepted for broadcast (not that the BMPCC could not do broadcast or film it is a movie camera) but that the XC15 should make it easier with auto facilities.

First reports, the handling is great though I have no idea why they put the headphone jack on the hand grip. We will get used to it. The use is easy, battery life is unbelievable compared to the hungry BMPCC, and it is so, so, so easy – auto focus, auto light and we have not had to colour the footage. The first quick film up is Cheers from Boston, the bar of the NBC TV show, and it is interior, exterior, and low light as well as bright. Footage all on auto and untouched through FCP X 10.3. The experiment continues.

But for the photographers and film-makers, this is how we used to make all the Doris Visits films up to Pisa and Rome and Corsica and Strictly Come Dancing right up to Sept 2017….. all hand coloured, what a nightmare!

The BMPCC was and is a great kit, but better suited to drama and we want exactly what drama does not want, we want the opposite. The BMPCC camera also gives a desaturated image that requires colouring skills and we are certainly not experts on how to colour the footage. If and when our OPERA DORIS VISITS ON LINE TV CHANNEL gets to be really busy we may have to recolour all those old films, but, we do own the footage ready for on line TV when the UK catches up with the likes of Korea and Japan who have over 60% of its end users with fast broadband compared to the UK’s 4%. The XC15 should help us keep everything in focus, it is a documentary camera rather than drama. To explain, the BMPCC with changeable lens meant one layer featured by being in focus and the rest inc background was out of focus – ideal for drama not for a travel show. There are other reasons why the Cinema Camera has been changed for the far more expensive Canon XC15 kit, but we need to get used to the new kit to compare. We are just about to take it to chase the sun, so will be reading the manual and playing with it on the plane.

BMPCC kit had many extras, a metabones to EF, and LCDVF (BM) eye piece and a set of lens – EF 17 to 40mm USM Ultrasonic, EF  28 to 90mm Canon 200mm zoom, 38 to 76mm  and 75 to 300mm zoom – an untold selection of ND’s and UV for 77mm, 52mm and 58mm

We have also sold our RED EPIC DRAGON 6k  cameras that we used for the movies we made like Bula Quo. Our movie Freight which is currently on Netflix was made with the Red One.

Great Pictures from the BMPCC included this night film of the Great Belt Bridge.

Midnight, white light sky, shot at 1600 iso with a 17mm to 40mm lens.

SOUND – we use Radio Mics

Doris wears a Lavalier Microphone, which we never hide like you would have to in drama. Like in news we leave the mic exposed and Jean often wears different coloured fluffy covers like a brooch. We use radio miv links – a similar version to the Sony listed below, ours is a the little more expensive Panasonic, but there are versions on Amazon for under £50. I have no idea what they will be like. Our Panasonic radio packs.

The Magic Belt

The whole lot went into a fisherman’s pouch, and the SC15 will do the same.

Here is a list of kit that might help you. These links are here to help you see the kit in more detail. Amazon we find very good for finding the best price and for customer service. Take a look then move onto Post production below.

Edit and Post Production

We edit on Final Cut Pro, and because of the XC15 we have had to upgrade to FCP 10.3 which is about the fourth time we have purchased versions of that software. Then a plug in for the Canon files and we have just bought a title plug in recommended to us by comedian Manuel Martinez.  As the XC15 has a two mic mixer we will see if we can use two radio miss as he wants to film some street magic.


We add music from our in-house composer Mark Blackledge, there are two great films on this. Below is a film of how Jean adds the music, but the blog on Mark working in his studios is worth a few minutes, he is a fantastic talent with a great facility for mini orchestra or his huge digital orchestra.

Mark is a proper film composer with major credits from Disney, we jointly manage him so enquiries via our web site for him or for shooting.


We have a few on the web, they are on the same channel as the laying music film above. But while we are plugging, there is also a book on how to write a screenplay, at least that is something we earn a penny from. Click this text. 

The playlist of the films on film making is building very slowly. Click here.

Feature films we have made as producers, writers and directors often most of those jobs The Krays, The Scarlet Tunic, Devil’s Gate, Freight, Bula Quo.

Web series made with this kit Doris Shades Of Bad (61 episodes), Doris Visits (over 100 episodes). Now Jean likes it at sea, and why not, why not become a cruiser.

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Sally Katz used the films on Doris Visits to peg her books on! With permission. Each book takes place over a cruise! Book 1 is a Canary Islands cruise, Book 2 is in the Baltic, Book 3 is in the Caribbean. Adult romance, Bridget meets 50 Shades on a ship!