This was a short promotional film commissioned by the Newcastle International Film Festival to build anticipation and advertise the inaugural event in 2018. We teamed up with local actor and producer Craig Conway to deliver a fun, presenter-led walk around the town centre to help set up why Newcastle is the perfect place to host a film festival. Being an actor, Craig had no problem with learning the lines (which he had written) and delivering them in a fun, upbeat tone to the camera. Once we divided up the paragraphs we needed to cover, we used our knowledge of previous film projects in the city centre to find good locations for each section.
For this piece we kept things lightweight and went with our Glidecam gimbal and recorded audio via a radio mic, which was very effective to help us move around easily as we had quite a few areas to cover. As well as the pieces to camera we had to film quite a lot of supporting footage, and we got extremely lucky with the weather (though we had a contingency day planned in case of rain). This broke up the piece and illustrated the important points the script was making about the city being perfect for any filming production. We made good use of the Castle Keep illustrating historical production value, and footage from beautiful Tynemouth showed off the coastal environments nearby. A highlight was being granted access to the Vermont Hotel’s roof, where we got some great views of the river and castle. Once the sun set we returned to the quayside and got some great shots of the spectacular bridges lit up with their floodlights.
We love filming in the North East of England; our director Steve lived in Newcastle for ten years and we have completed quite a few projects there, so it was a real pleasure to help promote the area through this film. The festival was a huge success. The inaugural event, which took place in various locations across the city in 2018, saw filmmakers and industry experts descend on the city – many for the first time – to watch new work, share experiences and check out the region’s potential for future cinematic flights of fancy. With its range of locations – coasts, countryside and cities – the North East offers infinite possibilities as a big screen backdrop and already two new film projects have been inspired by it.