Strong Island Co.

Film & Cinematography

Watch Student Film from Underwater Filming Unit at University of Portsmouth

You’ll probably know the name Triton Scuba, they are located on Highland Road in Southsea with a scuba gear store, put on diving trips & diver training and they often set up a diving pool at local events for people to try out diving for the first time. Maybe a little less known is that David Jones at Triton Scuba is one hell of an underwater cameraman and photographer. With years of work diving with a camera for magazines and for TV programmes all over the world, you could well have seen some of his submersed imagery along the line.

Back in 2013 we worked with David and Triton on the Creating Balance project, where as part of a larger project with Anglepoise and the University of Portsmouth we placed a lamp in Southsea Marina for a few months. Working with David and his team made the underwater lamp possible, you can see the film about the underwater Anglepoise lamp HERE). Soon after David was approached by the University of Portsmouth to teach a unit entitled Underwater Filming and Media, a subject very few universities cover.

Recently David shared a film from one of his students, showing what work they get up to on this innovative and creative course unit. Danielle Wiltshire for her course produced a short promo film for Vobster Quay inland diving centre. Fantastic to see the quality of work coming out of this course and to see the University, working with local creatives, breaking new ground (or waves?) with innovative teaching subjects.

Check the photos below from a recent course trip and the Danielle’s film.

Underwater Filming Unit at University of Portsmouth

Underwater Filming Unit at University of Portsmouth

Independent Film ‘Fratton’ Premieres at Portsmouth Film Society on 21st May

We’ve been closely following the Fratton film project from its early crowdfunding inception three years ago, through to the 13 days of production and then post-production, teaser, trailer and now with the film hitting the big screen. The film is completely independent and a labour of love for all involved, anyone taking on a feature length drama production should be given their due respect.

The film is a coming of age drama that tells the story of James following a brutal mugging and his relationship with one of the attackers on a journey of fear, excitement and self-discovery. Portsmouth newcomer Ben Caswell plays the leading role, supported by award-winning British actors Oliver Park, Joanna Howden and Edward Mitchell, with key performances from local actors Wil Sammes, Jayme Swiftt and Graham Cawte. Some of the local locations include The Cellars at Eastney, Palmerston Road, Drift Bar, Old Portsmouth and the streets of Fratton and Milton.

“Producing Fratton was a challenge but we’ve brought to life a story that we feel will stand the test of zero budget. Fratton is a testament to the dedication of all the cast and crew so we have been really looking forward to sharing it with the community and get their reaction” – Director Jack D Searle.

The Portsmouth Film Society will hold the first public screening of the independently produced local film FRATTON on the 21st of May at 18:30 in the Eldon Building main auditorium of the University of Portsmouth. The capacity is 200 people; tickets are £6.00 and are available at:

YOu can find out much more about the film at:

Fratton Film

Creative Census – Measuring the Creative Temperature of Portsmouth

Every year, for the last five years, Strong Island has taken on a large creative project aiming to engage with people from all over the city of Portsmouth. We had the Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower, the PRIMARY photography project & exhibition, Creating Balance, Creative Cargo and for 2015 we’re running Creative Census.

The creative industries in the UK have grown dramatically in recent years, become a power house of economic growth and innovation in the national economy. As of January 2015 the Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy for the creative industries has increased 25.8% since 2008, with the creative industries contributing £8.8 million to the UK economy every hour*. In recent years the creative sector in Portsmouth has grown dramatically and for the very first time we want to take a measure of the sector in the city.

The first Portsmouth Creative Census aims to measures the size, shape and make up of the creative industries workforce in the city. It also aims to identify emerging trends and question what are the resource needs and funding issues that could benefit the industry by helping it to grow and flourish in the future. The census aims to look at any individual, organisation and business who is either based in the city or works primarily in the city (check the Creative Census website full details on if you can qualify for the census). We need your help to leverage local, regional and national bodies to address your issues and build a stronger creative sector.

The census aims to engage with people working in different creative sectors such as Advertising, Marketing, Architecture, Crafts, Design (product, fashion and graphic), Film, TV, Video, Radio, Photography, IT & Software (including web design & application development), Publishing, Museums, Galleries, Libraries, Music, Performing & Visual Arts and more. If you work within these different strands of the creative industries, we really want to hear from you!

Creative Census Portsmouth 2015 launches today, with the census open for contributions throughout June to August 2015. Once the census is closed we’ll collate all of the data and working with statisticians, experts in the sector and graphic designers we’ll produce a presentation with all of the information created by the census. We aim to release the presentation by December 2015.

Creative Census Portsmouth is a Strong Island project, in partnership with Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth. To find out much more about the project please visit:

Creative Census

* DCMS Creative Industries Economic Estimates – January 2015

Bluebells in Foxes Forest

A quick, early morning walk through Portsmouth’s Foxes Forest with the camera is hard to beat this time of year. This city has harbours, beaches, towers, castles, cathedrals, docks, a loud and vibrant inner city but it also has on the north shore: a quiet home to birds and other wildlife. Hilsea Lines is perfect to get away from things for 30 minutes and see the colours and hear the sounds of spring.

Our Picks For No 6 – May 2015

If you haven’t visited the No. 6 Cinema before then we highly recommend it, it is a mix of thoughtful art house cinema, vintage Hollywood classics and new blockbusters all within the historic blockhouse in the dockyard.

Be sure to check their website to buy tickets and find their full listings

Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck | Friday 1st May | 7pm

Brett Morgen blends Cobain’s personal archive of art, music, and home movies with interviews with his family and closest confidants. Following Kurt from his earliest years in Washington, through the height of his fame, a visceral and detailed cinematic insight of an artist at odds with his surroundings emerges. While Cobain craved the spotlight even as he rejected the trappings of fame, his epic arc depicts a man who stayed true to his earliest punk rock convictions, always identifying with the “outsider” and ensuring the music came first. Fans and those of the Nirvana generation will learn things about Cobain they never knew.

The Tale Of Princess Kaguya | Saturday 2nd May | 7pm

The latest masterpiece from Studio Ghibli is based on a 10th century Japanese fable. A peasant discovers a miniature girl growing inside a bamboo shoot and takes her home. She quickly grows to become the most beautiful young woman in the land, and is wooed by a series of suitors, including the Emperor himself. But it soon emerges that she is in fact exiled from the Moon, to which she is bound one day to return. This haunting story is brought to the screen by Ghibli co-founder and genius animator Isao Takahata. Exquisitely drawn in a style that recalls washed-out Japanese watercolours, the story is spellbinding and melancholic.

The film will be shown in the original language with English subtitles.

Dior and I | Thursday 7th May | 7pm

Filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng follows up his work on fashion films with another masterful exploration of a towering fashion institution. Dior and I brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection as its new artistic director – a true labor of love created by a dedicated group of collaborators. Beautifully melding the everyday, pressure-filled components of fashion with an elegant reverence for the history of Dior, Tcheng’s colorful homage to the seamstresses of the atelier is nothing short of magical.

The Falling | Friday 15th May | 7pm

Maisie Williams and Florence Pugh co-star in The Falling as Lydia and Abbie, gum-sharing best friends at a strict English girls’ school in the late 1960s. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved. Director/writer Carol Morley beautifully captures the horrid isolation of the female teenage existence in the film – with stark imagery and an eerily whimsical soundtrack, all the while packaging the story in an interpretative mystery.

Force Majeure | Friday 22nd May | 7pm

Ruben Östlund’s latest darkly humorous film reflects on the tenuous bonds that keep well-heeled couple Tomas and Ebba and their two children functioning as an apparently loving, cohesive family unit. When an avalanche threatens to engulf the family during their skiing holiday, Tomas abandons them to run to safety, driven by an instinct of self-preservation. Although disaster is averted, this moment of betrayal has far-reaching consequences, and Ebba starts to question Tomas’s role in the family as it now seems impossible to trust his decisions. Tomas is in denial about what happened, but raw instinct has forever shattered the ice of familial normality.

No.6 Shorts Night | Thursday 28th May | 7pm

No.6 is pleased to announce a first time event, ‘No.6 Shorts Night’. Working with the University of Portsmouth and up and coming local independent filmmakers, we are excited to be hosting and screening a collection of short films from the local community. Help us celebrate and support the next generation of emerging independent filmmakers, whilst enjoying the unique and thrilling films that they have to offer. Tickets will be sold online and on the door for £3.

True Romance | Saturday 30th May | 7pm

Written by Quentin Tarantino, TRUE ROMANCE is a hip, hard-edged story of modern love – a fast-paced tale of romance surviving in a violent world. Shy, lonely comic book boffin Clarence meets Alabama, his dream girl, during a triple bill of old Kung Fu movies at a local cinema. After a whirlwind courtship, violence erupts and the couple find themselves on the run from both police and gangsters. Firmly rooted in pop culture, the film bears many of the hallmarks that Tarantino made his own in Reservoir Dogs – hip, stylised dialogue, outbursts of visceral violence and numerous cinematic references.

No. 6 Cinema

Video for New Kassassin Street Song ‘To Be Young’ by Jack Daly and James Sharp

Kassassin Street are crushing it at the moment with sold out shows here and there and everywhere and the new song ‘To Be Young’ quite rightly getting a lot of love with DJs and blogs. Eddy Temple Morris at XFM made the new single his Best Record In The World This Week recently and the song hit the UK Viral Top 50 chart on Spotify.

The new video for To Be Young is produced by Southsea’s own Jack Daly and James Sharp, both serious young talents in stills and film. Great to see these guys produce an awesome film for a song sure to be going places up and out the city. Serious props to all involved and stoked to see a lot of Strong Island friends in there too.

Kassassin Street - To Be Young

Tea & Pencils ‘Cinefilms’ at No.6 Cinema

On a recent trip to the No 6 Cinema in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard I noticed some fantastic illustrations featuring some of my favourite movies in the foyer. The posters featured movies such as Kes, Jurassic Park, Labyrinth, The Big Lebowski and the Goonies.

Tea & Pencils 2

The posters were created by Matthew Anstee aka Tea & Pencils. Matthew’s on-going collection entitled ‘Cinefilms’ was first exhibited his hometown of Winchester but has since been featured in various independant cinema’s across the UK.

Prior to his time illustrating, Matt describes on his Facebook how he spent four years as a freelance music video director and editor, but in 2012, feeling creatively unfulfilled as a filmmaker, he reconnected with a lifetime passion for art and design through sketching, and subsequently a new career in illustration. Finding inspiration in an eclectic range of visual mediums – from Will Eisner comics to David Lynch movies, and many things in between – his work combines the organic feel of hand-drawn sketches with digital post-editing. Matt’s diverse spectrum of interest manifests in a very particular style of graphic-visual storytelling, peppered with detail and nerdy references.

Matthew will be at No.6 Cinema this Friday from 6:15pm to host a small ‘meet and greet’ before the screening of Blade Runner. There will be more artwork on display plus Tea & Pencils freebies!

The posters are available to purchase via the Tea & Pencils website Tea & Pencils can also be found on Twitter @teanpencils and on Facebook, where you can find more of Matthews work.


Exhibition runs until the 30th of April during No. 6 Cinema’s opening hours (The box office opens one hour before each screening). Find out the No.6 Cinemas opening times by visiting

Shichinin no Samurai
Shichinin no Samurai

Our Picks For No 6 – April 2015

If you haven’t visited the No. 6 Cinema before then we highly recommend it, it is a mix of thoughtful art house cinema, vintage Hollywood classics and new blockbusters all within the historic blockhouse in the dockyard.

March is quite a special month as the team behind No 6 are giving you another chance to catch the big winners from last months Oscars on the big screen. Be sure to check their website to buy tickets and for their full listings

Catch Me Daddy (15) | Thursday 9th April | 7pm

Daniel Wolfe’s first feature film is a tough thriller set in West Yorkshire. Honour killings within the British Pakistani community come under an intense spotlight in this tale as 17 year old Laila flees her strict home life to live with her white boyfriend, Aaron. Laila’s family enlist the help of family members and local white tough guys, the former driven by rage and the latter by cash, to find Laila and bring her back.

Bleak, brutal and tense, Wolfe’s uncompromising take on modern tribal and gender politics presents a troubling view of British life in the 21st century.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel | Saturday 11th April | 7pm

In this sequel to 2011’s smash-hit, the Marigold’s co-manager Sonny plans to open a second hotel, but his impending marriage to Sunaina and the unexpected arrival of guests Lavinia and Guy – who may or may not be hotel inspectors – prove added strains. Meanwhile, permanent residents and hopeless romantics Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup pursue their own ambitions, both in the original hotel and amid the seething humanity of Jaipur, all under the watchful eye of Muriel, the keeper of everyone’s secrets. Numerous intriguing subplots build up to the vibrant wedding ceremony and Lavinia and Guy’s startling revelations.

Still Alice | Thursday 16th April | 7pm

Alice is a linguistics professor married to the wealthy, loving John and is secretly diagnosed with genetically driven Alzheimer’s. The deterioration accelerates, and worse still, one of her children tests positive for the same gene.

Moore’s powerful, Oscar-nominated performance as Alice holds great resonance as she tries to come to terms with her situation and remain positive, despite her fading personality. We see through her eyes and experience the disorientation she feels as the outside world slips beyond her reach. When the light of recognition dims, her family’s determination to make her as comfortable as possible is heartbreaking and inspiring.

Bladerunner | Saturday 18th April | 7pm

With his adaption of Philip K Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Ridley Scott created an iconic Sci-Fi classic that has gripped audiences, inspired passionate debate and influenced a generation of artists. Graced with extraordinary sets, ground-breaking special effects, stunning costumes and photography, Blade Runner brilliantly evokes a dystopian vision of the future. Breathtaking, glistening city vistas, rain-drenched, neon-lit streets and gloomy interiors combine with Vangelis’ sweeping, sensual score to conjure an oppressive future Los Angeles. On the surface this is a cop thriller, but the real story is one that raises philosophical questions about the human condition in relation to technology and society.

Given complete artistic freedom to make The Final Cut in 2007, the 25th anniversary of the film’s release, Ridley Scott created this final, definitive version, fully restored from the original negative. Blade Runner’s re-release in cinemas in 2015 brings to a close the BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder, a nationwide celebration of film and television’s original blockbuster genre.

The Theory Of Everything | Thursday 30th April | 7pm

Stephen Hawking is a brilliant scientist whose groundbreaking ideas came into popular consciousness with the bestselling A Brief History of Time but it’s the dignified way he has lived with motor neurone disease that has helped to make him so widely admired by the public. Starting with his years as a postgraduate student in 1960s Cambridge, the film portrays his blossoming romance with Jane Wilde (Jones) who, as his disease progresses, he tries to reject in the hope of sparing her pain. Eddie Redmayne is Oscar-tipped for his stunning performance as Stephen in this profound and moving film.

No. 6 Cinema

Back to the Future Mini Exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum

As part of the current large exhibition A Hard Choice at Portsmouth City Museum a community case & display area was set up to allow local people to have the opportunity to share their own treasured collections with the rest of the city. A few weeks ago three winning collections were selected from the incredible shortlist of submissions with judges Rosalinda Hardiman the city’s collection manager, Mark Waldron from The News and myself from Strong Island. The collections submitted were fantastically diverse including vintage postcards, royal clocks, an 80s fashion designer, glasswear and much, much more. Finally three submissions were selected for the community display and the first of these to go in to A Hard Choice is all about the Back to the Future Trilogy.

The Hill Valley Preservation Society present a small portion of their Back to the Future props and costume display at Portsmouth Museum. This collection includes some of the most iconic items from the Back to the Future Trilogy and is made up of officially licensed replicas, screen-used/production made props, reproductions and vintage items. If you are a fan of the films this is an incredible collection and well worth a visit, alongside ‘A Hard Choice’ exhibition, from the end of March until the end of May. Don’t forget that entry to Portsmouth Museum is FREE.

Back to the Future Mini Exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum

Back to the Future Mini Exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum

A New Hue #voff5

A New Hue is a short CG animation embracing a paper aesthetic, revolving around the introduction of two contrasting characters living in a paper world. The animation was created by George Rigby, Stephen Tucker and Portsmouth resident Jennifer Hardy.

This film follows the charming tale of a young girl, Lily, who lives alone in her bland paper world, until she meets an excitable blob of ink, Blot. At first, Lily doesn’t know what to make of him, however, they quickly become friends as he literally brings colour to her life. The piece delivers a pleasing, cohesive style with likeable characters and an understandable narrative suitable for all ages.

The beautiful animation has been shortlisted for the Viewster Online Film Festival. The animation is currently doing well and in fourth place, a top ten finish would lead to prize money for the team behind it. You can vote on the website HERE however social media also plays a part, if share the page and include the hastag #voff5.

I’m sure that you’ll agree this sweet and charming film deserves to be winning awards and claiming the international recognition it has been receiving.

A New Hue

A New Hue 1

A New Hue from George Rigby on Vimeo.

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South Parade Pier

We’ve mentioned Diana Goss on Strong Island before. A touch of class behind the lens and a really nice lady.

Here’s another great example of Diana’s work in this Cross Processed, 120 shot of South Parade Pier.


After skating…

…the boys enjoy a sit down at the seafront on a Sunday. Photo courtesy of the ever busy Quiet Corners lensman Paul Gonella. Perfect days, albeit still cold.

Matt Saxey’s Bike Ride Photos

Head on over to Matts Flickr and check out a few more photos from last Sunday’s ride. Great photos that really help capture the event.



Southsea Ramblers Association – Watership Down

We burst the bubble again last weekend for a pretty epic ramble, or should I say hike. Taking the advice of the Guardian Newspaper we embarked on a 6 hour walk across the North Wessex Downs. Although the walk is a good 45 minute drive away it’s well worth the journey and the reward at the end is one of the finest pubs I’ve ever eaten at, the Roayl Oak. Check out my Flickr for the full set.




Vintage Portsmouth Photographs

Following up from our Vintage Portsmouth Postcards article on Monday, Strong Island reader Centro Design posted a link to some rad old photographs of the city.

As always click read more at the bottom to see a small selection, but be sure to click this link to view all of them online.



Strong Island Easter Bike Ride Video II

Sharpie just sent me over his edit from the Bike Ride last April 4th. He attached one of those fancy Flip Cameras onto his handlebars and he was away. Really cool to be able to see the ride from different perspectives. Cheers buddy.

Southsea Show 1970

Image: eBay

Created Local – Matt Howarth

Local illustrator, blogger, cyclist and member of the I Love Dust crew has just relaunched his website with a brand new design and loads of new content. be sure to take some time and give it a good look, plenty of visual gems in there.

Portsmouth at Night

Claire Sambrook from the sent me a link to a Flickr group called Portsmouth at Night, and let me say this, their photos are amazing. Lots of playing with lights, angles and exposures make for some fantastic photography.

Check out all the PAN photography on their Flickr.




Vintage Photography by Richard Baker

Richard Baker grew up in Portsmouth and Southsea with many happy memories, but limited funds. In the 1960s Richard was studying at The Portsmouth College of Art and was lucky enough to be able to print off some wonderful black & white photographs. 40 years later he dug them out from hibernation.

The series captures people in the city going about their daily lives. Shopping, resting, having fun. Great candid shots from a simpler time. Check out the huge Pick & Mix on display at Woolworths along with the rest of Richards photographs over at his Flickr.

Strong Island Clothing Co.