We’re an independent, world class film production facility for advertising content, based in the UK. From studios to motion control, Alexa to Phantom, edit to grade and everything in between, we have it all in-house, on one site.
‘WHAT DO SANDSTORM ACTUALLY DO?’ THE (SHORT) MOVIE
CUSTOM BUILT HQ
The search was on to find a more customisable and long-term solution to cater for the digital revolution (not just large scale productions) – the solution was an old dairy farm just by the M4 motorway, which Sandstorm converted into fully equipped film studios and post-production facilities.
In 2012 we moved all production and post from our London and New York offices to the old dairy site and in 2019 we opened our third studio stage and additional offices. Converting an old orchard next door into a 10,000 sq ft facility in just 3 months.
MEET THE SANDSTORM FILMS TEAM
Jen is the beating heart of Sandstorm, she started her career as a freelance production assistant and after a number of 29 hour a day shifts at Sandstorm, was convinced we were the company for her.
Jen’s tireless energy for perfection gives you the studio experience of a life-time, on the off occasion she isn’t at the studio, the entire place falls to pieces.
Jen coordinates all our bookings, scheduling and delivery. She is also Tom’s PA, which is lucky, as he can barely dress himself without the help of an army.
The antipodean set building super star takes a pretty relaxed approach to everything, on the face of the things at least – and then ballistically turns his hand to all aspects of carpentry, decoration and art dept. Kitt has freelanced with Sandstorm for a few years and joined the team full time at the beginning of 2020.
Being a Kiwi, he particularly appreciates colleagues attempting a dodgy Aussie accent to make him feel all the more part of the team…
The ever unshakable super director who brings tranquility to even the most outrageous shoot. Suki is a seasoned pro who has been directing now for over 20 years… yet barely looks a day over 18.
Ayo spent twenty years in some of the leading London creative agencies creating TV commercials and integrated campaigns.
An early adopter of digital marketing, he sees branded film and content as a key element of marketing’s future development within his role as Strategy Director.
Today Ayo works directly with clients to ensure the performance optimisation of their campaigns.
As his picture suggests, Scot is most at home when he’s creating stuff. From his role as a Director of Photography to his work with our TechnoDolly, to welding up new rigs and contraptions. He is one of the most dedicated people you will ever meet on-set and he loves solving problems.
Director of Photography
Matt started his career in London, working as a photographer’s assistant, before running his own studios.
His studio merged with Sandstorm Films in 2013 to manage and produce product focused photography and film.
Time and time again, Matt not only proves himself to be one of the most knowledgeable and precise Directors of Photography in the world today but also an unrivaled expert wrangling products. There is no production issue that Matt has not had to solve before.
The technical visionary (‘someone else wrote this, I’m not a technical visionary, I’m just a bloke that likes making things’ Tom) who literally built Sandstorm from the ground-up and changed the way branded film and content is made.
Tom’s unparalleled technical understanding, combined with a very hands-on approach to film-making and photography brings his vision of a complete creative service to our clients and drives the Sandstorm team to deliver the most beautiful content in a no-fuss way.
He is also a seasoned director working on TV commercials for Toyota, Bear Grylls and TRESemmé to name a few.
Marie-Ann ‘Maz’ Morrell
Maz is the ultimate example of a modern film production hybrid and the embodiment of how Sandstorm operate.
Prior to working at Sandstorm, Maz was based in London as a producer and editor, bringing her versatile ability to orchestrate, coordinate and create everything from global TV commercials to versioning projects to Sandstorm and our clients in 2012. Since then, although mainly focused on producing she is still (in Tom’s opinion) the best story-telling editor he has ever met.
Director Of Photography
Dann is a regular Director of Photography and Cameraman at Sandstorm, he is incredibly inventive and has a great eye for composition and visual storytelling. Though we always encourage a bit of healthy competition, it is not uncommon for Dann and Matt to partner up on shooting projects where Dann’s more organic location experience teams up brilliantly with Matt’s uncompromised ability to light a product or a set.
Peter ‘Pedro’ Morrell
Pedro started his career in Soho before joining our London office in 2008. Today, based at our studios in Wiltshire, he heads up our post-production department as well as directing high-end commercials and content for some of the world’s leading brands.
His hybrid skillset is second to none and there is very little he hasn’t had to handle.
He is never satisfied until every pixel is perfect, and he fights to make sure projects get as much time and attention as they deserve.
Senior Editor & VFX
Ed spent over a decade working in post-production departments around the UK before joining Sandstorm.
You can spot Ed’s work a mile off, because it’s bloody brilliant.
His creative flare spans most areas of post, though he specialises in online and grading.
Frazer is the ultimate example of a go-getter. For anyone wondering ‘how do I get into the industry’ his example is paramount. His first experience with Sandstorm was when he was just 13 years old and telephoned the studio to see if he could come in and shadow our team, at 16 he joined as an apprentice, after successfully qualifying he joined our post-production team full time. Five years on and he is mostly found creating superb visual effects or putting unprecedented layers of lens flare onto films. There are very few projects that go through Sandstorm without the Frazer touch – his natural eye for detail and ability to always think of a creative solution to any problem have made him an invaluable asset to all Sandstorm productions.
The most common joke you’ll hear about Mark in the office is that ‘he never has anything to do’… Mark has worked as a freelancer for Sandstorm for over 15 years! Yes, he really is that old. He started full-time in 2018 and his ‘Sandstorm bow’ has a whole lot of strings. From CGI to DIT, edit to VFX supervision, he’s also a licensed drone pilot, very good at VR, pretty nifty with the TechnoDolly software and knows a few things about a camera. If you need to know where he’s been in the office you follow the trail of empty Diet Coke cans.
Cam joined the Sandstorm crew straight from University and the speed at which he climbed the ladder is unprecedented… he is very tall after all.
His first day on set was a memorable one for his boss, who recollects the speed and ability to anticipate what was coming next combined with a natural eye for lighting that was advanced of his years. He opitimises the energy and enthusiasm of a great crew member, combining a fast can-do attitude with detailed and tireless execution. Put simply, he absolutely loves lighting sets and finding neat, beautiful ways to do it – and he always comes out smiling… usually with a beer in hand.
With youthful looks and long hair that Tom can only dream of having, Ollie is a young energetic pair of hands on the stages and around the studios. Regularly working in the lighting department with Cam, he’s great fun to work with and will put his hand to anything. He joined the company by pulling a (very) short straw and having to paint the exterior of Studio 3, it took eight weeks and 500 litres of bitumen paint… and it’s still not completely finished (Jan 2020)
Charles’ first experience on set at Sandstorm was at the tender age of 15, seven years on and he has found his niche as our in-house camera assistant. He also has a fantastic knowledge of the TechnoDolly system and is regularly seen running the rig as a motion control robot. He has grown up in the studio with an Arri Alexa at his side and there is very little he doesn’t know about the serious ‘big boy’s toys’ we keep in the kit room at Sandstorm.
Barista & Social Media
Curtis is a swiss-army ninja – the man who is likely to welcome you to the studio, he is one of the most outspoken individuals you’re likely to meet… in truth, you’ll be lucky to get two words out of him, but what he lacks in words he makes up for in actions – and will make you one of the best coffees you’ll probably ever taste. When he’s not serving up latte art masterpieces he is likely to be attempting to post on our social channels (if Tom ever lets him – N.B social media is banned at Sandstorm).