Our client North Yorkshire County Council needed a film to showcase its much lauded programme for children and young people on the edge of care. The “No Wrong Door” (NWD) concept is proving highly effective in preventing children from becoming looked after and as a result, the council has been identified by the Department of Education as an outstanding authority for children’s services. The council is now working with other authorities to help them roll out the programme to a wider area and wanted a film to explain how the scheme works in practice, both to support this work and to use at an event.
We’ve been making videos for a while now, so we understand that authentic, human stories have real “stickability” and, the council agreed with our suggestion that finding a young person to tell their story would have real resonance with the target audience. However, when the young person who’d agreed to take part then pulled out, we had to think of another way to tell that story. With the blessing of the young person, our solution was to use an actor to portray their NWD experience. With the event deadline fast approaching, we worked with key workers on the scheme to develop a screenplay that told that story in an honest and “real” way. And as this evolved, in parallel we began to cast for the main role and to clarify which staff from the scheme should feature. There was a lot to cover and a tight budget so we had to think of ways to work quickly, and cover what was needed in one day of filming. We suggested using autocue to help the team and actor deliver quickly so we could fit everything in.
Our plan in place, we filmed over a single day using 2 cameras and a drone across 3 locations. It was a long day, but we had great support from the team and the outstanding actor who we’d cast for the main role. We coached the staff on how to best deliver to autocue, reassuring them and putting them at ease. We filmed the pictures hand held in a “documentary” style, to make the film feel as authentic as possible. We also filmed footage to create 2 shorter films for other outlets. In post production, we edited the film in line with the agreed storyboard, adding appropriate music and grading the pictures. We also added graphics to emphasise key “take home” points for the audience, to really clarify the NWD offer.
From concept to delivery, the three films were ready in less than 2 months and NYCC were delighted with the results. Feedback included comments like ” a really powerful message’, and “What an amazing film, so very powerful and shouts out the NWD model so well!”. The five minute version also performed well at the D of E event it was produced for: “We have had some excellent feedback about it. People have commented on how professional the film looks on numerous occasions. Thank you for everything”