Since starting RGR Film Productions and getting in to making videos and taking photographs I have always wanted to make a video about the City Of Sunderland. This is the place I was born and raised and now work. Finding time to make this video for my own personal work was hard as other paid project got in the way. I was lucky to get a contract for Peter Heron Estate Agents who are based in Sunderland. They wanted a couple of videos making showcasing the city, which would be shown to people thinking of moving to the area.
This give me the opportunity to get out there and find the best shots I could to show the best parts of Sunderland. I worked with Contrapunto on this project who helped to organise the project, find all of the places we needed to capture and also get all of the permission we needed. The worked Contrapunto did, made my job easier because it allowed me to just go out and capture the shots I needed, which is what I like to do the most.
Sunderland was split in to two separate videos as Peter Heron has two branches, one on the south side in the city centre and one on the north side of the river in Roker. Focusing on the two different areas helped give two different styles to the video. The city video has a higher tempo, with the costal video being a lot more relaxed. The music has a big part to play with the style of the video and choosing the track was not easy.
Both videos were filmed during January and February 2014. We had great weather for that time of year as there was not much rain and no snow so this made it a little easier. There were a few cold morning sunrises and windy trips up to the top of Penshaw Monument, but I always had a hot flask with me. I did have fun shooting these videos, for one of the shots I was on a high diving board at 4:30 in the morning, which is something that I never thought I’d be doing.
Technically I tried a few new techniques with my camera that I have been wanting to use for a little while. One of them was to shoot with a different picture style, cinestyle was the one I chose. It allows you to shoot flat, the image looks flat and washed out, but it allows you to retain the highlights and shadow. Also I experimented with HDR Video which is a great feature to have and was used for the shot at the top of Penshaw Monument.
These videos have been out a little while now and shared on various social networking pages. They have had a mixed response, some people have said that I have only showed about 5% of Sunderland and some people have said that it is refreshing to see something positive about Sunderland for a change. I have lived here all my life and yes some places in Sunderland are not the nicest, but I have also travelled a little, around Europe mostly and I can say there are not so nice places everywhere. I am not saying Sunderland in the best place in the world. Hopefully one day with the work that I do I will be able to move somewhere else, whether that is in this country or another. This is one of my dreams because I would love to see the world and make films all over the world, but I will always be proud to be from Sunderland.
I have worked with many business and organisation in Sunderland and I can say it is on the up. People are really trying to make things happen here and some of them are shown in the videos. I could have easily of gone out and filmed the bad things in Sunderland and that video would properly would have getting more views, but what would be the point. Thinking about all of the bad things is just a waste of time and energy, why not just focus on being the best you can be.
I would like to make another video about Sunderland, but this time focusing on the people from Sunderland. Whether that is people who have local business, work in Sunderland or just live here. I have a style in mind I would like to try and achieve so hopefully in a couple of months time I will have another video about Sunderland.