Matt Biggs. Director/Producer/Cinematographer/VFX Artist
Matt began his career as an artist and illustrator and became a full-time filmmaker in 2003. He has filmed in places such as Athens, Bratislava, Warsaw and New York but it is in rugged North Devon that he draws his inspiration. His work to date includes; short films, documentaries, music videos, features and VFX work. Two projects currently in production Shattered Summer and Enola-14 are proving to be a particular joy.
"Both films have been in the pipeline for a few years and I am now working with a team of like minded people that are able to bring them to life."
Matt counts Ridley Scott as one of his key influences. Matt has a passion for creating new worlds on the big screen through the use of VFX although ironically, his favourite film is 1967's The Graduate which he rates as having a great script, great acting, great camerawork, one of the best soundtracks in history and absolutely no VFX!
In his spare time Matt enjoys mountain biking, surfing, playing the guitar and spending time with his wife Jo and 18 month-old Whippet 'Ridley'.
"Film is the most exciting medium to work in. It brings together almost every other art form, be it music, fashion, etc... and there's a record of all your hard work at the end!"
Stu Gaunt. Sound Designer/Editor/ Photographer
Stu has worked closely with Matt on every serious Artaura project undertaken since the pair met on a Maniac films shoot in 2005. After working for four years as a freelance film maker Stu Joined Maniac on a full time basis in 2008. Stu is an experienced camera operator and photographer, but it is sound design that is his real passion.
Stu has been a skateboarder for 15 years and first started using a video camera when he injured himself one summer and couldn’t skate – so he filmed his friends instead. This led to him taking a college course and making a number of local skate films, then progressing into work for local festivals and theatre groups which he continues to do today.
A lover of photography, Stu not only works in the digital medium but also owns a large (and growing!) collection of vintage cameras dating back to the 1940’s. Stu is an Associate member of the UK Institute of Videography (IOV) and his work has been nominated for a Media Innovation Award through the South West Media Innovation network. Recently Stu has worked in a number of feature drama production roles including Grip, Sound recording, Set photography, Visual effects and Rotoscoping.
Jason Parker. Writer/Editor/ Cinematographer
Jason is an enthusiastic young filmmaker and composer based in North Devon. After several experiments into short films of his own, Jason is now proud to be working with Artuara Productions along with other like-minded individuals who share that same passion for story telling. As a musician, Jason understands the impact music can have on an audience and works hard to write scores that complement the director's vision. Recently Jason has been getting more involved with the script writing and editing process with the intension of expanding his skill-set further. Jason takes great inspiration from films of the old Studio era, particularly those of British director David Lean, and hopes to one day write and direct a feature of his own.
Wend Baker. Production Co-ordinator/ Photographer
Wend always has a smile on her face and is joy to be around on set. Even when things become stressful, Wend remains upbeat. Behind the smile Wend is a great organizer with an eye for minute detail. Wend has always lived in the South West and appears to have contacts in every tier of society. On many occasions Wend has been able to find locations and cast members at very short notice.
Wend loves technology and was the first in her family to buy a Camcorder. Years behind the lens have given her a great eye for photography.
"Watching and making films has taught me so much about the world and myself."
In her spare time Wend enjoys skateboarding, cycling, watching films, reading, seeing live bands and spending time with her friends and family.
Ben Grimes. Cinematographer/Editor/ Producer
With prevalent and award winning experience in video production and graphic design, Ben has proven to produce quality across the board with extensive knowledge in these fields. Ben has worked for ITV, Devon County Council, and many other prestigious clients on a white label basis. After working on a freelance basis for many years he decided to join forces with Gavin to form GSL Solutions in 2009. Their vision was to create a company that gave clients one unique source for all their media and IT needs. Ben Holds a BA Hons in broadcasting from Falmouth College of Arts.
Josh Hawker. Sound Designer /Lighting tec
Josh joined Matt for a week's work experience while at Great Torrington School in 2010. He has been a core member of team ever since. Josh's real passion has always been sound. As well as working with Artaura Josh also works at the Plough Art centre as lighting tech and sound engineer.
Josh is just finishing his second year at PETROC studying Music Technology Diploma. In October he is hoping to start a degree at Deep Blue sound (Plymouth University). In his spare time Josh enjoys listening to live music and walking Merlot on Instow beach.
Jess Pearson. Cinematographer/ Actor/ Animator
Jess first began to make films during her art A Levels. After being ill since the age of 15 she started working on pieces to communicate how this had impacted her life. At the age of 15 she also loved to act. When her illness stopped her from acting she started using film to allow her to act without the pressure of the stage. Her work consists of art films, animations, community films and eco friendly business films. Her ambition is to create hard hitting, inspirational documentaries that instead of influencing people, simply makes them curious to go and find out their answers for themselves. Jess loves the outdoors, walking with her dog Lily, on the beautiful local beaches.
Other interests consist of belly and Salsa dancing, painting, playing the drums and guitar and volunteering for the local community.
“Film has not just been an interest for me; it has been a healing process that enabled me to communicate when I no longer had a voice.”
Rachel Haines. Casting/Location Manager
After Rachel finished a three year degree in media, music and event management at London Metropolitan University, she returned to her home village, Clovelly, to start her own media company. The “Devon Casting Company”, focuses on casting local people from North Devon and sourcing locations in the surrounding area for film productions. In the future Rachel will be looking to expand into signing up crew members and hiring out props.
Rachel has recently come on board with Artaura, working with casting characters and hunting out locations for future up and coming projects.
Bex Fowler. Set Designer/Hair +Makeup
Always having a noted keen interest in film and theatre, devouring the likes of John Hughs' Brat Pack and Jim Hensons' Muppets, theatrics and fantasy is somewhere I have always wanted to be, I have had sporadic success, working on Ripley's Believe or Not!, being a runner and Prop maker for a couple of NFTL productions, even stepping out and designing and painting a mural for a hairdressers. I currently keep my toe in the water artistically by going to life drawing classes and being involved in projects such as Enola 14, which spurs me on in what I eventually want to achieve.