QCF works with donors big and small to provide grants to charities in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. This year marks the Foundation’s 30th anniversary, and the films both celebrate and explain the great work the team and all the associated volunteers have achieved. It was a privilege to showcase some of the lives their work has changed, from helping young carers have time for themselves through the performing arts to being a lifeline to parents of young children who face hard times.
We produced five short films from our two days of filming: an overview; two case studies; an interview with a donor and an interview with a volunteer. The videos will be used to promote QCF’s work via their website and YouTube channel. If you don’t know QCF’s work it’s really worth taking a look. They carefully research the areas of most need in the local area and provide a lifeline to charities that are too small or busy to fundraise for themselves. Clever investment means donations grow over time so donations can be worth far more than the initial sum. Some of the early donors have seen their investments more than double so they can keep on giving year after year, for ever and ever.
2016 was another busy and fascinating year for Beeston Media, with some excellent new clients and plenty of return business.
In PROPERTY, we continued our long-standing association with top-end builders Knowles & Associates, with regular film shoots of their epic building projects, often with stunning subterranean elements. A highlight for Knowles was a large country house in Wiltshire where we also deployed a drone for aerial views. For Werner Developments, we have shot video and stills for a fantastic new-build mansion in Surrey and for Fargain Developments, we shot prime mansions both in Chelsea and also out in sunny Monaco. We have also continued our coverage of the Bishops Avenue super-prime Buxmead scheme for Harrison Varma, with repeat visits to the site as more areas are completed to update the imagery. Other new property clients include builders CBros Construction and branding agency DD London.
Of particular note is our project for Retreat East, an exquisite luxury farm share scheme in Suffolk, for which we produced two lovely films. The brief was to make the 'emotional case' for the development and the films included an appearance from international model / trainer Roger Frampton and aerials by Trigger Air. The main film also won Videographer of the Month on international real estate blog Photography for Real Estate - our third such win in as many years.
In 2016, highlights included a high profile film featuring the UoB Vice-Chancellor and local NHS chief to spearhead a multi-million pound funding bid by Biomedical Research Centre Bristol, which ultimately led to a £21m award; a series of films to accompany the launch of the South West Nuclear Hub; and coverage of a visit to the University from Bristol's newly-elected Mayor Marvin Rees.
We also made 20x course promos for the School for Policy Studies, filmed 16x lectures for the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership and, in a first for us, produced a fully-animated video to promote the UK - Somalia business development scheme Somalia First!
Outside UoB, we have begun work with new client Bonas Macfarlane producing an online film to promote their international University Preparation Academy scheme.
In TECHNOLOGY, new client Rayleigh Instruments brought some interesting projects to promote their range of electrical transformers / monitoring systems. A highlight was the split-screen 'race' between the same electrician to show just how speedy the Rayleigh Easywire system can be. Other Technology clients in 2016 included SWS Certification Services with our fifth upgrade of their corporate film for the annual trade show circuit.
When client Harrison Varma approached us with their latest development in Hampstead in summer 2015 we knew they had something special. Buxmead is an award-winning 20-unit scheme in a prime spot on the Bishops Avenue. The CGIs showed just how spectacular the final product would be. Yet there was a big story to tell between the then building site and these glossy images. When property is this prime, the pedigree, the endeavour and the attention to detail is a tale in itself.
Pulling out these stories is about getting to know your client and how they in turn serve theirs. Harrison Varma is a family firm at heart, with MD Anil Varma at the helm, his wife Marisa Varma as Director, Head of Interiors and their daughter Immy Varma heading up marketing. What impressed us about them and their team is just how much careful thought went into their end user, their lifestyle and the neighbourhood. As local residents themselves their ‘effortless living’ approach is more than a mere tagline. It really does present an exciting prospect forged through years of experience and inspiration from knowing their customers, and spotting a genuine gap in the market.
So how to bottle this devotion to both client and architecture? The personal touch was needed. This came from testimony from Marisa and Anil as well as local experts such as Stephen Lindsay from Savills and Trevor Abrahmsohn from Glentree Estates. Six short films were devised to capture the essence of Buxmead that made use of these interviews and interwove them with footage of the site in progress, CGIs and archive of other recent projects. This Phase One of the video marketing was displayed on customised Buxmead iPads, devised by London agency Sectorlight. These tablets became the prime marketing platform, preloaded with the films and additional Buxmead information, to be used by sales agents and given to serious prospective buyers.
Beeston Media Creative Director, Hamish Beeston was impressed with HV’s innovative offer:
‘Our job is to assess a scheme’s potential and get its magic on screen. It has to look wonderful, elicit an emotional response and make a connection with the viewer. Harrison Varma’s approach is already very tailored. Whilst some developments suit the big marketing suite / big screen platform, an iPad specifically loaded for you with great attention to detail, to be browsed through at leisure, reinforces the warm personal one on one service these guys deliver’.
The use of iPads also means that marketing collateral can easily be updated as the scheme progresses, saving piles of quickly outdated brochures. Phase Two was filmed in September 2016 to showcase the newly-completed communal amenities complex - a stunning 14,000 sq ft suite of games room, cinema, private dining room, residents lounge, offices and gym, pool and spa, as well as two completed apartments. Phase Three will include aerial drone filming when the scheme completes in 2017.
Editing took place in Beeston’s Bristol offices with proofing via online webstreams. It’s a workflow that works well for Immy Varma:
‘Being able to update the Buxmead app with new content remotely allows for evolving marketing collateral that is valid for the entire duration of the project. Due to the multi-purpose aspect of the device, the iPad travels with our clients and agents, and is a fantastic marketing tool that promotes word-of-mouth and 3rd party endorsement. Importantly, the iPad offering allows us to showcase film content which we believe is the best way to portray the quality, scale and complexity of our developments.’
In 2015 we have continued with the record levels of video / stills work reached in 2014, with projects largely split across our main four sectors of Property, Education, Technology and Corporate.
Technically, this year we upgraded our filming equipment to 4k, which has made a huge difference to the quality of our films. There's also the added bonus that clients can take (print-quality) still images directly from the 4k video. To our trusted Wally Dolly track system we have added a DJI Ronin camera-stabilisation rig which gives us more sophisticated moves. We have also forged relationships with a couple of excellent videographics freelancers, whose work has added a new dimension to a number of projects, from simple moving text to whole films created solely from animation.
In PROPERTY, we continued our long-standing association with top-end builders Knowles & Associates and London Projects, producing company profile films for both as well as numerous standalone project films. We have also begun a series of films for Harrison Varma to promote their new Bishops Avenue super-prime Buxmead scheme. Other developer clients include Seqoya and Werner Capital.
Of particular note is a Knightsbridge mews house by London Projects that we shot for the developer. We delivered a full set of stills plus 2x films of the property, which later won us both Videographer of the Month and Photographer of the Month on international real estate blog Photography for Real Estate. This is the first time a single entrant has won the video / stills monthly double-whammy!
Also in Property, we have added a couple of new country house clients to our hush-hush private project roster. I can say very little about these except that the properties are quite extraordinary and helicopters are involved...
In EDUCATION, our association with University of Bristol is entering its fifth year. In 2015, highlights include a series of 7x films to promote a nationwide study of Urban Pollination, an animation-rich public health film about the IUS device and a hospital drama to train students how to deal with alcohol-dependent patients.
We also made a dozen films for the Law School, shot 70x vox pops for UCAS over one very busy day and filmed dental students practising their art on dead pig heads!
In TECHNOLOGY, we are once again working for air ambulance / police / offshore helicopter creators Specialist Aviation Services. As with many of our clients, with SAS we have moved on from producing a single long tell-all film to instead creating a suite of shorter, more specific videos. We have also shot full range of still images on each location day. Other Technology clients in 2015 include SWS Certification Services, Honeywell Skyforce and veterinary innovation firm Docsinnovent.
Finally, in the CORPORATE sector, notable projects include a couple of stills-only jobs for UK lighthouse institution Trinity House and covering the 2015 Policy & Politics Journal Conference.
Do please have a look around the website and get in touch to see how we can help you / your business in 2016.
We had the busiest year of our 10x year history in 2014, with a good spread of work across our main sectors. While video remains our primary focus, increasing numbers of clients are choosing to commission still images for a project too, shot at the same time as the video, thus ensuring a common look across all media and budget savings.
Much of our PROPERTY work is under-the-radar for private HNWIs, developers and estate agents, so sadly we cannot say too much about it or show the films / pictures, as much as we would like to! However, 2014 work we can showcase includes films for super-prime developers Seqoya, Harrison Varma and Fargain.
Worthy of particular mention is the Queens Court, St John's Wood film for Seqoya (see earlier blog entries) for which we were voted Property Videographer of the Year by international real estate blog Photography for Real Estate. We have also continued to produce a range of films / still images for long-term clients and top-end builders Knowles & Associates and London Projects, a client since 2013.
In EDUCATION, we delivered a suite of films for another long-term client Royal High School, Bath. These included a 9x mins main film and a number of shorter pieces to highlight specific aspects of the school, such as boarding and sport. For our other key education client University of Bristol, we made over 80x films in 2014, including being invited to produce the university's first two MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) with partner FutureLearn. The MOOC topics were Cracking Mechanics - Maths for Engineers and Cultural Studies & Modern Languages and we provided video content of 24x and 12x short video lectures along with trailers / introductions. In Cracking Mechanics we incorporated extensive motion graphics as well as hands-on demonstrations of the science. Other University projects include filming star lectures, introductions to library services and training films for dentistry examiners.
One key advance in 2014 was our increased use of an ipad-based teleprompter for pieces-to-camera. We're really impressed how happily our clients adopted this and how it makes scripted shoots so much quicker and easier, with very little additional cost.
In TECHNOLOGY, we continued to produce films for aerospace / defence giant Curtiss-Wright with foreign language versions of earlier films and new pieces to showcase their latest video distribution and mission display technology. A new client was Monmouth Scientific for whom we made a company profile film and 2x product demo videos for their new laminar flow fume cabinets. Another new client was veterinary innovation firm Docsinnovent, for whom we have made over 20x films to showcase their revolutionary v-gel anaesthesia system for cats and rabbits.
Finally, the CORPORATE sector is less-defined in scope than the other sectors but covers pretty much anything else we are asked to film. In 2014 we we continued to produce films / stills for UK lighthouse institution Trinity House. We made a series of 8x films to celebrate their 500th Anniversary in 2014 and later in the year added to these with pieces about their new Control Centre and the cutting-edge Lights Laboratory. Another highlight was the coverage of the 2014 Policy & Politics Journal Conference. For this, we shot the 4x plenary speakers' full lectures and also produced a highlights film of the event. We also shot a series of road safety films for Mercedes Benz World.
Do please have a look around the website and get in touch to see how we can help you / your business in 2015.