Esther Vardy Director of Photography

Coming originally from a small and rural ex-mining village in the northeast, I was that kid with a camcorder that filmed everything. The imaginary world that dramas brought and the power of storytelling, combined with visuals to awake feelings was compelling to me. Since then I have worked hard to create my own opportunities. After realising I didn’t want to use my first class chemistry degree, I entered the world of media and became a Self-shooting Researcher, Operator for factual, then AD, to move into drama to be a Cinematographer. I have worked my way up through the camera department, gaining an understanding of how to work at a fast and efficient pace whilst collaborating and getting the desired creative results.

With such a career spanning a large range of roles, it has given me a unique and full understanding of all the angles, and disciplines required to make shooting a production run efficiently. As a camera assistant I observed many DOP/Director combinations and today I use what I believe makes the relationship work best. I have shot in every genre which has given me a stash of creative ideas and techniques. I like to explore the style closely with the Director, and adapt to each specific project.

I bring with me a vast knowledge of equipment having worked across large scale drama, documentary, live shows, music videos, factual, art pieces, studio, theatre adaptations and commercials. My background is such that I’ve lit / camera operated on many different sets. I’m adaptive, and resourceful, starting from self sufficient shooting, self lighting to leading full camera and spark teams.

My documentary operating experience, for example, means being reactive and instinctive with handheld shots which feeds into my drama shooting. From exploring possibilities with the Director and ideas of camera movement motivated by action, to stripped back and stillness, injecting ideas to them prior to filming for the shot sequence options to tell the story. I enjoy creating artistic beauty through composition and lighting, working closely with the director and their vision, supporting them whilst in a fast paced environment. Key planning means not wasting the budget, allowing room for reactionary ideas and positive energy during filming.

Here is an article where I was featured in the British Cinematographer Magazine. https://britishcinematographer.co.uk/esther-vardy/

BUTTERCUP

DoP / Operator

Tigerlily Productions
BBC

Dir: Julia Samuels
Prod: Jenny Monks

WHAT WOULD YOU DO FRIDA?

DoP / Operator
BBC Drama Short Form

Savvy Productions
BBC

Dir: Lily Levin
Prod: Justine Potter

THE LAST TESTAMENT OF LILLIAN BILOCCA

DoP / Operator
Drama Documentary

Northen Town
BBC Three

Prod: Edward Morgan
Dir: Maxine Peake
Dir: Venessa Stockley

THE ATHENA

A Camera & Movi Operator
Episodes 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11

Bryncoed Productions
Sky One

Prod: Paul Mckenzie
Dir: Paul Walker
DoP: Sarah Bartle-Smith

THE ENGLISH GAME

B Camera Operator
6x60'

42 Management Production
BBC Drama
Netflix

Prod: Rhonda Smith
Dir: Birgitte Staermose
DoP: Erik Molberg Hansen

FREE REIN

Series III

2nd Unit DoP / Operator
Episodes 1,3, 6, 9 & 10

Lime Pictures
Netflix

Prod: Tim Compton
Dir: Angelo Abela
Dir: Beryl Richards
Dir: Mark Losey
DoP: Phil Wood

KATY

DoP & Movi Operator
3x30'

BBC Studios
CBBC

Prod: Jonathon Wolfman
Dir: John McKay

FREE REIN

Series II

2nd Unit DoP / Operator
Episode 11

Lime Pictures
Netflix

Prod: Tim Compton
Dir: Marek Losey
DoP: Phil Wood

COLD FEET

Series VI

Camera Operator
8x45'

ITV Studios

Prod: Rebecca Ferguson
Dir: Terry McDonough
DoP: Shane Daly

WOLFBLOOD

Series V

Camera Operator
10x30'

BBC Studios
CBBC

Prod: Jonathan Wolfman
Dir: John Dower
Dir: Steve Hughes
DoP: James Moss

THE DUMPING GROUND

Series VI

2nd Unit DoP / B Camera Operator

BBC Studios
CBBC

Dir: Duncan Foster
Dir: Delyth Thomas

TRACEY BEAKER RETURNS

Series I

Camera Operator
Episodes 1, 2, 3 & 4

BBC Studios
CBBC

Prod: Gina Cronk
Dir: Neasa Hardiman
DoP: Chris Goodger

MONSTER

DoP / Operator

BFI

Dir: Lily Levin
Prod: Steven Atkinson

BLOODSTAINS

Short Film
DoP / Operator

New Creatives
BBC Arts

Prod: Naomi Ayres
Dir: Carrie Battram

SO PERFECT IT HURTS

Short Film
DoP / Operator

New Creatives
BBC Arts

Prod: Barrington Paul Robinson
Dir: Alice Cornelia

TIME AWAY

Short Film
DoP / Operator

Vox Pictures
BFI

Prod: Adrian Bate
Dir: Maxine Peake

SHATTERED

Short Film
DoP / Operator

Guardian Media

Prod: Laurence Topham
Dir: Maxine Peake

THE PEBBLE AND THE BOY

Film Promo
DoP / Operator

Dir: Chris Green

FINDING JOY

Pilot Taster
DoP / Operator

LA Productions

Dir: Justine Potter

SAKINA & THE LIONESS

Documentary
DoP / Operator

Short Form Films
BBC

Dir: Isobel Williams

ALL OR NOTHING

Tottenham Hotspur

Documentary
Camera Operator

72 Films
Amazon

Prod: Charlie Ferriday
Prod: Phillip Wood
Prod: Leo Fawkes
Prod: Clare Cameron
Prod: Felicity Cross
Dir: Antony Philipson

DEEP IN VOUGE

Documentary
Camera Operator

FilmRise
BBC Three

Prod: Danny Fisher
Dir: Amy Watson
Dir: Dennis Keighron-Foster
DoP: Shaun Atherton

LIAM GALLAGHER 'AS IT WAS'

Feature Documentary
Camera Operator

Screen Media Films
BBC Two

Prod: Skoti Collins
Prod: Liz Stirling
Dir: Charlie Lightening
Dir: Gavin Fitzgerald

WHAT IF WOMEN RULED THE WORLD

Live theatre show
Camera Operator

Dir: Yael Bartana
Dir: Vicky Featherstone
Writer: Abi Morgan

SHELTER

TV Commercial
DoP / Operator

Shape History

Dir: Louise Cowley

LITTLEWOODS TOPSHOP LAUNCH

Online Content
DoP / Operator

The Gate

Dir: Rhiannon Lewis

PUREGYM

Commercial Series
DoP / Operator

BrainCandy Films

Dir: James Clancy

ADIDAS ATHLETICS

Online Campaign
DoP / Operator

Rosco Productions

EVERTON FC

Promo Campaign
DoP / Operator

Ahoy Creative

Dir: James Kennedy

TIDE BANK

TV Commercial
DoP / Operator

Sidekick

Prod: Rupert Mason

TEACHING MAKES PEOPLE

For the Scottish Government

TV Commercial
DoP / Operator

Greenroom Films

Dir: Mark Lediard

TOPPS MATCH ATTAX CARDS

Online Content
DoP / Operator

ABF Pictures

Dir: Matt Barraclough

KING PONG

Online Content
DoP / Operator

Greenroom Films

Dir: Mark Lediard

FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES

Commercial
DoP / Operator

Beautiful Productions

BOTB DREAM CARS

TV Commercial
Camera Operator

ABF Pictures

Dir: Matt Barraclough
DoP: Tim Follin

KEELEY FORSYTH

'Debris'

Music Promo
DoP / Producer

Bloc & Blur

Dir: Maxine Peake

CHERRY GHOST

'Clear Skies Ever Closer'

Music Promo
DoP / Producer

Bloc & Blur

Dir: Maxine Peake

SARAH CRACKENLL FT NICKY WIRE

'Nothin' Left to Talk About'

Music Promo
DoP / Producer & Director

Bloc & Blur

Dir: Louise Cowley

THE COURTEENERS

'Small Bones'

Music Promo
B Camera Operator

Chief Productions

Dir: Joe Connor

INSPIRAL CARPETS

'Let You Down'

Music Promo
DoP / Producer & Director

Block & Blur

Dir: Louise Cowley

LONE LADY

'Hinterland'

Music Promo
DoP / Producer

Block & Blur

Dir: Juliet Ellis

NANCY ELIZABETH

'Simon Says Dance'

Music Promo
DoP / Producer & Director

Block & Blur

Dir: Louise Cowley