Scroll down for more details about the production of this film!
The campaign film needed to depict a particular individual or family whose lives had been enhanced by the work of the charity. We carried out recces to several families and eventually decided upon the Twines. They are an inspirational family living with extraordinary challenges but despite that, were extremely enthusiastic about making a film. We visited the family at their home a few weeks before filming which was invaluable. This was a chance to strike some rapport with them whilst also discussing and visiting potential locations. We also began to familiarise them with the filming process in order for it to be less overwhelming on the day.
The main body of the film was an interview with Nikki and Rob. We chose to shoot this using a mirror box which enabled them both to be looking directly down the camera lens whilst also maintaining eye contact with the ‘interviewer’ off camera. We have used this tool several times before and know how powerful and engaging it can be particularly within a campaign film focussing on personal stories. We also used it again in order to grab some extra shots of Timmy and Maisie. By reflecting their parent’s faces in front of the lens we were able to shoot some candid happy shots of them both. This was a much more sensitive way of filming Maisie as she was less comfortable with the camera.
In terms of general shooting within the house, we always strive to keep things as simple and less invasive as possible. The comfort of contributors is important to us and will of course directly impact the end result if they are nervous or tense. In the case of this film, the fact we had already built some rapport helped the shoot move along much more easily.
Following the interview, we filmed an extra sequence in the living room featuring Timmy being shown photographs of himself at various stages of surgery. The photographs were relevant to what Nikki and Rob had already spoken about but we wanted to build them into more of a sequence rather than just cutting to a static image. We recorded sync whilst also gathering shots of the photographs/family from various angles, which provided options in the edit.
We wanted to make sure that we shot in varied locations to keep things interesting, and we thought that by taking the kids outdoors to a local woodland they would be less camera conscious. This provided some nice moments between the family in an aesthetically pleasing area.
We created two outputs – a longer film for the Dreams website, and a Facebook-optimised version in a shareable format, which used short, streamlined text to advance the narrative. One of the key elements of a Facebook film is that it needs to be engaging without sound!
The film was very well received on social media and also by the family, which is always important to us.