Who want’s to be a Film Star? A short interview with rally cameraman Phil

Phil on the Furka Pass 2018
Filming on the Furka Pass, BSS Rally 2018

Tell us about your previous rally experience?

This will be my fifth rally doing the filming and photography, my second with BBS in aid of Mind. And on these rallies, I’ve travelled in excess of 8000 miles through five different countries – France, Switzerland, Italy, Andorra and Spain – while visiting some amazing places such as Lake Como, Monte Carlo and The Furka Pass, to name just a few.

What’s it like filming/photographing a rally?

It’s great fun. It’s long hours for me as I need to be up first thing to film and I’m often late to bed as I’ll be backing up footage on the laptop as well as making sure all the camera kit is OK and batteries are charged – on the last rally, one day I was up at 5am and didn’t get to bed until 4am the next morning! But I’d be reluctant to refer to it as ‘hard work’ as that sounds like I’m complaining which couldn’t be further from the truth!

Phil in car filming
Filming from the mobile office!

What would be the highlight and, if possible, least favourite part of the previous rallies?

There are so many highlights to choose from but if I had to pick one, and this may sound strange for someone who doesn’t like heights, the high points for me (excuse the pun!) would have to be when we’ve been up in the mountains. I’m really not a fan of heights and the thought of being up in the mountains was a little unnerving at first but when we were up there, I just forgot all about that as I was having such a good time. Plus, the views are spectacular! As for my least favourite part, that would probably have to be the ferry crossing to Santander. There were quite a few people feeling a little seasick that day, including myself.

What would you say, or what would be your advice, to people who are going on their first rally?

First and foremost, you’re going to have such a good time! You’re probably going to be absolutely shattered when you get home, but you’ll be wanting to go again – probably the next day if you could! As for advice, I’d strongly suggest that make sure you stick to the proposed route. Steve and Stephen put a lot of time and thought into planning the routes to make sure that you experience some of the best driving roads Europe has to offer while taking in amazing views on the way. If you just follow the Sat Nav (which are banned by the way!) to the final destination for that day, it will take you on the motorway and therefore you will miss out on pretty much the whole of experience of being on the rally. Also, from a filming perspective, if you’re not on the proposed route I won’t be able to film you.

Phil on the Stelvio Pass
Filming from the top of the Stelvio pass 2019

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