Royal Albert Hall short film
Award-winning production company Digital Drama commissioned me as their editing cameraman for their recent video production. This project was assigned to Digital Drama by the Royal Albert Hall to form part of their schedule of planned events to demonstrate and celebrate the role that the Hall played in the women’s suffrage campaign.
Working as editing cameraman, the requirement was to deliver a 10-minute film highlighting some of the most memorable moments during the Royal Albert Hall’s association with the Suffrage movements. In addition, a subtitled version was also required together with some social media content on particular items of interest.
Digital Drama’s producer Alison Ramsey scheduled the filming required for this project. This included interviews with key personnel and also descendants of the leaders of the Suffragettes and Suffragists movements. This project was filmed across two whole days and two half days on location at the Royal Albert Hall. I filmed the main interviews which were conducted with the producer in various settings within the Hall. The producer had also arranged for some dramatic reconstructions with actors to take place. These dramatic reconstructions featured memorable events which had taken place in the Hall which I then filmed. To add to the overall effect, I filmed individual location shots and also some time-lapse photography with beautiful winter external shots of the Hall as the sun was setting over West London
Editing with film archive
In addition to all the filming, as editor cameraman, I was also required to add historical archive footage and pictures to the main film. The producer had done a great deal of research into the most suitable archive material available. Together we worked to edit this archive footage into the film to help to illustrate the stories being told by the interviewees and reconstructions. The producer had also arranged for a recording of a spoken narrative which I then added to the film together with the chosen music tracks. Additional sound effects were later added to the film during the final sound dub.
Helping the story with a voiceover
During the editing process, I recorded a guiding voiceover that was supplied with the producer’s script. The guide voiceover helped to explain and link the different stories contained in the film. As the film was a completed the final version of the voiceover was recorded by Jane Garvey which I edited into the final timeline.
Grading and sound mix
Once the final 10-minute edit had been completed to our satisfaction, it was sent for a grade and a sound mix to provide the best quality possible for the look and sound of the final deliverables for the signed-off content. For this final completion, I worked with two ex-BBC colleagues, sound mixer Luke Williams (www.onedub.tv) and colour grader Geoff Hockney who both added to a beautiful outcome for this project. The film was graded using Blackmagic Resolve and sound mixed on ProTools. This film, called ‘A Temple of Liberty’ can be viewed on the RAH website and also their YouTube channel.
I was also required to create a subtitled text version of the main 10-minute film to be used by the Royal Albert Hall. This subtitled version will be displayed on an outdoor touring van. The subtitles will ensure a wider audience can follow the film even if not within earshot of the soundtrack or are hard-of-hearing.
Social media deliverables
In addition to the main 10-minute film, I also delivered three, under one-minute self-contained short videos as part of this project. These short videos were edited from our long filming sessions so that they would demonstrate particular items of interest and be suitable for the Royal Albert Hall to share on their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.
The ‘Voice of Jupiter’
I also edited an additional ‘behind-the-scenes’ short film about the Royal Albert Hall organ which is called the ‘Voice of Jupiter’ and also delivered this as part of this project. This short video called ‘Taking a peek inside the Hall’s 9,999-pipe organ’ can be viewed on the RAH website and also their YouTube channel. I enjoyed being the editing cameraman on this professionally produced historical documentary.
Documentary editing cameraman
My early broadcast career began as a BBC video editor and progressed on to my own freelance filmmaking and I now very much enjoy editing the footage I film for many projects. Some examples of projects I have worked on as an editing cameraman include a series of ten films I produced for the Koestler Trust featuring guest curators like musician Speech Debelle and her 2013 Art by Offenders Exhibition. The Reader Organisation also commissioned me to create a funding film for them.
If you would like any creative advice or assistance with your video production, please get in touch and I will be happy to help.