speaker-info

Cassius Rayner

Director, Camera Operator and Founder Gofilmit.tv

Cassius started his career in camera operating in 1995-97 overseas for UNOPS (United Nations) filming in hostile conditions. After this time with the experience and skills he’d developed he continued to camera operate on UK independent film productions including JUNK starring Adam Ant which was nominated at OMACC Cannes and won the Portobello Film Festival award for ‘Best Film’, which he also directed. In 2000 he directed another film ‘Cut and Run’ which was screened at UK festivals but soon after its release the film was not supported at overseas festivals due to the subject matter. At a Cinema Q and A the audience were uncomfortable, shocked and angry at a story that dealt with knife crime on the streets of London…times have changed but in 2000 this was not a subject people wanted to engage with. 
 
During this time he continued to gain credits with TV networks including documentaries he shot for PBS, ABC and got his first significant break on a series of short film projects for Channel 4. In 2004-05 Cassius got his first opportunity to direct and shoot a feature length documentary called ‘Poker Queen’ – the story of top female US poker player Jennifer Harman for Sky TV. He also shot grime music videos for artists including Shizzle, MC Bushkin and the Heartless Crew.
 
Cassius dedicated a lot of his time to mentoring and training disadvantaged and marginalised young people with passion and determination to bring film and TV to those that would never normally get access or the opportunities. He designed and implemented a variety of training projects to give skills and experience to young people, partnering with ITV television. According to the Department for Work and Pensions Cassius had the highest successful outcomes for the London area in working with unemployed young people and getting them apprenticeships and employment in TV and Film. 
 
In 2014 Cassius began to explore the possibilities of filming with mobile phones, discovering the Filmic Pro app online, he began to shoot content and was amazed and excited by the possibilities. Since then he has not used main stream camera systems. Against the advice of many colleagues in the film industry Cassius continued to explore the creativity and freedom he was finding by using mobile phones. In 2015 he was commissioned to shoot a documentary on graffiti artists in London using iPhones and has continued to use mobile technology to shoot a variety of professional projects including documentaries on a fashion designer in Hong Kong and China, Medical teams rescuing children in Ethiopia, circus elephant rescue missions in South America to UK based projects including ‘Walking in our Shoes’ which has won several awards.
 
Cassius has received 14 international film awards for projects he has shot using mobile phones including ‘Best Cinematography’, ‘Best Music Video’, and Best Foreign Documentary’.
 
Presently he lecturers BA students in mobile filmmmaking at the Met Film School – Ealing Studios. He is a guest lecturer in mobile filmmaking at the BFI and London Film Academy. Cassius continues to shoot a variety of mobile filmmaking projects and works closely with the charity sector.

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