One of my favourite roles is working as a charity videographer producing charity films. In 2011 I was commissioned to make a film about the Art by Offenders exhibition and magistrates curating project.
The Koestler Trust is the UK’s best-known prison arts charity. They have been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 50 years. I was commissioned to produce, film and edit this observational documentary type film which tells the story of the Art by Offenders Exhibition 2011 and curating project.
Twelve magistrates were tasked with selecting 150 artworks for 2011’s Art by Offenders exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The three-week programme gave the magistrates an insight into the skills required to curate an exhibition. They were guided and trained by staff at the Koestler Trust and the Southbank Center with Helen Sandler assisting as curating project coordinator. Their final selection of artworks was chosen from over 5000 pieces of visual art created by offenders.
I filmed the 12 magistrates over five days and constructed the film in the edit using the recorded dialogue. I selected the films music tracks from the hundreds that are submitted to the Koestler Awards by offenders, secure patients and detainees each year. This video was edited using Avid Media Composer. I enjoy the whole film-making and editing process for these type of films – an observational documentary type film with no set performances or scripting. The story comes together as I listen to the sync sound in the edit and build up the narrative in sound.
Videographer producing charity films
A copy of the film was uploaded to Vimeo and YouTube. It was sent to all the UK’s prisons, secure institutions and youth offending centres. In my opinion, the film helps to illustrate how art can be used to help educate and rehabilitate offenders. The Koestler Trust uses the video as a promotional and marketing video to help explain their work to new and existing supporters and also to secure future funding. If you would like any help with your video production, please get in touch.