After being given the role of DoP for the first term’s film at London Film School Ole Birkeland fell in love with the framing of each image and how that frame can communicate emotions at the same time as furthering a narrative or telling a story. Since then he has immersed himself in every aspect of film to gain technical knowledge and cites Harris Savides, Nestor Almendros and Chris Menges as his favourite cinematographers. Ole often uses more conventional camera techniques as he feels it keeps the emotional value of the image stronger and prefers to work in film allowing for the background and close-up to be present at the same time, thereby informing each other.
Ole’s most recent film Helen written and directed by Christine Malloy and Joe Lawler and starring Annie Townsend won him a host of prizes including Best Cinematography at Durban Intl Film Festival and Kodak Best Cinematographer at the Dinard Festival. The Radio Times wrote of his work on Helen, ‘Ole Birkland’s stealthy camerawork is as mesmerising as Townsend’s impassive performance’. In 2009 his short film Little Red Hoodie was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA and screened at London Film Festival.