flying high with steve barker

As Steve Barkers community hospitals film project comes to an end we thought it would be nice to give him a little space for a staff profile. Steve has been working on this aerial film project documenting some of the very striking NHS grampian hospitals from very new perspectives. Steve has also been heavily involved with our whole portfolio of projects working on a documentation film for the student intern show at Moray College and as drone operator for our hospital horror – more on that later.


  • what is your role in the hospital and whats your average day like? 

My role in the hospital is a Chargehand porter/security team member, a regular day is to be clearing wards of rubbish and laundry as well as patient movement and making sure jobs get done around the hospital by my colleagues as handed down to me by my Head porter.  Occasionally it can go a bit pete tong and security bleeps go off and I could be thrown into anything security related.

  • how did you get into filming in the first place ?

I started getting into drones and I just fancied getting the odd clip here and there then it started to turn into a more complete package the more I learnt from fellow enthusiasts and thats really how I got into it.  I then did my PFCO training and realised I had to step onto the next level and started to make a living from it.

  • whats the hardest thing about working with drones?

Setting up a shot and dealing with a camera on manual that you have to set up as you fly at the same time and also watching you aren’t going to hit a seagull or anything else.  Oh and paperwork, risk assessments, flight logs.  I hate paperwork but its a necessary evil.

  • whats been the biggest challenge of this project?

Trying to make hospital managers get back to you after writing risk assessments for their hospitals which unfortunately they didn’t.  They’re busy people with bigger things on their minds than having a drone fly around their hospitals which I totally understand.

  • what kind of things have you picked up working with graeme?
I have picked up from Graeme that sometimes you need to take a step back and just go with the flow, and I’ve been very lucky that Graeme has actually let me have full editorial control in which way the video was made. I love working with Graeme’s laid back attitude that nothing is too big a deal.  He only made one change to my video and that was to one of the credits and has been a great support.  I think we get each others sort of filming preferences so he was happy for me to just go for it.
  • is this project work different than you imagined projects with artists in the hospital might be?

I didn’t think much about it to be honest before, I knew of Graeme’s artistic video background already so knew what I wanted to do when I went to him with the proposal.   I had my eyes properly opened when I went to the students art exhibition which I video documented.  After the editing I realised that those artists had changed how I perceived artists in general.  Graeme actually made me change the music for that video and it actually was a bold move.  it wasn’t what I was used to editing to but it was a masterstroke by Graeme as it actually transformed the edit into something a lot better.

  • whats been your favourite moment?

Looking back I’d say when I got back to the computer and finished the edit.  I love flying drones but I get a massive sense of satisfaction of getting the footage together and moulding it into something that I can say ‘I’m chuffed with this’.  If that ever stops happening then will quit making films because I love doing it.

  • whats next creatively for steve barker?

well I’m in discussions with a young guy who wants a film made of both his cars, he loves his motors and i have made a film for him in the Past. I will now start planning on my end of year showreel as well.  I have just purchased a new camera gimbal so will be hopefully be putting out a bit of film with that and just see what comes next basically.



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