Did you know? The 1st November 2013 was the day that Southpoint Films started trading as a limited company. Which makes today our 10th birthday!
10 years. Can you believe it?!
It’s been a wild ride. We’ve survived Brexit and Covid, as well as all of the usual bumps and potholes that most small businesses are confronted with along the way. And we’ve still managed to arrive here without spilling any of the passion and ambition that was brought onboard back on day one. (What can we say? Camera operators are very steady-handed!)
When big milestones like this roll around, it’s hard not to take a pause and look back at how far we’ve come. At this point, it would take a short novel to write about every notable experience. But for the sake of brevity, we’ve been through the years and picked out one of our favourite projects from each year.
Each one captures part of the broader story of Southpoint Films. They aren’t just videos or live streams; they’re a piece of our history and every project has contributed in some way to where we are today.
So, we thought what better way to celebrate this significant milestone than to sit down and reminisce about some of the projects that have really stood out for us* over the last 10 years!
(*At least, the ones we’re allowed to talk about – anyway!)
2013 – PMI Synergy for Provek’s The PM Channel
Our list starts with PMI Synergy, which we filmed many times on behalf of Provek’s The PM Channel. Hosted at Central Hall Westminster in London, it’s one of the UK’s biggest project management conferences.
We filmed PMI Synergy in 2013 on the 8th November, a little over a week after launching Southpoint Films Ltd. Although it wasn’t the first project we undertook as Southpoint Films, it was the first project that was completed and invoiced for by the new limited company. This would surely be enough to make it our de-facto highlight of the year… But!
There are even more reasons why PMI Synergy holds a special place for us. Not only was it a calendar staple until 2019, but we worked with The PM Channel to broadcast the 2014 edition of the event live online for the first time. In 2014, that was quite a novel and boundary-pushing achievement. Especially in the lower budget corporate world!
The 2014 event marked the start of Southpoint’s foray into professional live streaming. We won’t spoil the rest of this post, but you’ll soon see where that small, early seed of innovation took us over the years!
2014 – Inspire Enterprise Academy Campaign for Carswell Gould
One of our favourite projects of 2014 was a promotional video series that we created for Inspire Enterprise Academy with our client Carswell Gould. The academy took a new approach to educating school children, mixing traditional education with real world work experiences. It was a bold concept, and we were delighted to work on this campaign which captured the academy’s forward-thinking approach.
While the academy ultimately struggled to gain traction, as it required students to change schools in Year 9, many of the school’s philosophies have made their way into mainstream education. It was truly ahead of its time.
What has endured, however, is our relationship with Carswell Gould. Although this wasn’t our first video project together, it was definitely the first of our bigger campaigns together.
Since this project, we’ve helped Carswell Gould with all sorts of video projects. From award winning videos that creatively promoted an international removals company, to Innovate UK’s KTP Awards in 2022, to campaign and event videos for a multibillion, multinational design and engineering conglomerate.
Our relationship with Carswell Gould is a testament to the power of creative collaboration.
2015 – JISC Royal College of Music
One of our most exciting projects in 2015 was a live stream we produced for JISC, a national provider of network and IT services for the education sector. If you’ve ever connected to “Eduroam” on a university campus, you’ve used one of their services.
Our job was to live stream a conference where JISC and their partners were demonstrating low-latency live streaming technologies. To show this, the event was hosted at the Royal College of Music in London. It featured musicians from all over the world performing with each other remotely, in real time. A pianist in London was able to play live with a violinist in Germany, for example.
This concept may not seem that revolutionary in a world pushed online by the Covid pandemic, but in 2015 it was truly groundbreaking to witness. There was no mainstream technology capable of delivering such a thing at the time. Timing is critical in music, and even a small delay could have thrown the professional performers out of time with each other. Yet the musicians were able to play perfectly in sync, despite being on different sides of the world.
Although we can’t take credit for the success of the musical performances, which were handled separately, it wasn’t lost on us that we were tasked with live streaming a conference about a new, revolutionary live streaming technology… No pressure!
2016 – Robert Peel International
In 2016, we worked with Robert Peel International to produce a series of training videos to aid several newly established police forces in conflict zones in the Middle East. This was part of a programme funded by a coalition of western governments, who were providing support to the region. The videos were designed to teach modern British Policing principles, which are regarded as some of the best in the world.
All of the videos were filmed as dramatised scenarios, using actors, props and locations to help illustrate the lesson. As each scenario unfolded, the narrator would explain what was happening, giving tips and advice along the way. We also used a lot of on-screen text and motion graphics, too!
One of the biggest challenges with this project was filming it in a way that would resonate with our audience in the Middle East. For example, all of the videos were produced in Arabic – which meant many long days of voice-over recording and editing alongside Robert Peel International’s interpreter.
Overall, this was a fantastic project to work on. The dramatised style of production made our shooting days really exciting, and the extra considerations we had to make to our audience presented a unique challenge for us. It was never boring!
2017 – Venturefest South
2017 saw the launch of Venturefest South, the annual conference and exhibition celebrating innovation in the South of England. Since day one, we’ve been delighted to be involved with Venturefest South as a sponsor, and by providing our video services to the event.
Over the years, we’ve used Venturefest as a way to showcase our own innovations. For example, 360° VR video, live streaming, and even an online video management platform that we operated for several years.
At Southpoint Films, we see local innovation everyday through our amazing clients. And we deploy innovative solutions constantly in order to deliver great video content for them. Being part of this event means so much to us, and we’re proud that our relationship with Venturefest continues to this day.
2018 – University of Southampton 360° Campaign
We were approached by the University of Southampton to produce an ambitious series of 360° VR videos to entice prospective students. The aim was to use the videos at UCAS fairs and similar events globally, to offer a glimpse into student life at Southampton.
In 2018, 360° VR video was very much a bleeding-edge technology. There were lots of things we had to learn as we went along. For example, since viewers can look in any direction, we had to carefully plan shots and even disguise our crew so that they would blend seamlessly into scenes!
Despite the technical and creative complexities, we were delighted with the final results and the videos were received really well by the students who viewed them.
And for us, the shoot was a blast. Because the videos were designed to immerse the viewer, we asked our cast to interact with the camera – who was given the nickname “Mo” plus an entire detailed backstory by the student actors!
2019 – John & The Hormones
If we were to run a competition to see how far someone would travel to visit our studio, John Davidson of “John & The Hormones” would win, hands down.
In 2019, John and his wife drove all the way from Glasgow to visit us to produce a music video for his band. We asked him why he’d travelled so far. John had phoned almost every green screen-equipped studio he could find in the UK, and we were the only one willing and able to help. We were amazed!
The video was filmed against a green screen and later composited with a virtual video wall featuring pictures of John’s late father. The song that John had recorded was a tribute to his Dad, and this was his way of memorialising him. It was all incredibly sweet!
John’s video was a lovely project to work on. And it remains a highlight of ours, if not because John came from so far away. After visiting us, we heard John and his wife had a lovely time seeing the sights of Southampton. Who knew we’d be contributing to the local tourism economy?!
2020 – ICE Co-Botics
In May 2020, we partnered with Industrial Cleaning Equipment (ICE) to support the launch of their innovative ICE Co-Botics Range. We’ve been providing video production services to ICE since 2013, so it was a delight to help them introduce the world’s first autonomous cleaning equipment range.
Despite the challenges of a COVID-19 lockdown, our team spent three days safely capturing these cutting-edge machines in action across various locations in London. The project involved creating a summary video showcasing the range’s benefits, alongside case study videos featuring client interviews and on-site footage from East London schools and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Our comprehensive approach extended to capturing images for use on the ICE website and in sales presentations.
As COVID-19 prevented in-person sales presentations, we recorded a presentation with ICE’s Managing Director, Mark Bresnihan, which amassed over 3,000 views within the first week of its LinkedIn and social media release. This digital launch successfully introduced ICE’s Co-Botics range to the world, which has changed the face of modern cleaning.
2021 – COVID Warriors
In 2021 we had the absolute pleasure of working with Lifelab at the University of Southampton to produce an educational video series about COVID-19. These videos were thoughtfully crafted to engage primary school children, aiming to demystify various aspects of the pandemic and the corresponding guidelines that we were all navigating. The videos spoke to children about matters such as vaccines, wearing a mask, and coping with anxiety.
This project held a lot of significance for us, as it allowed us to contribute during the early stages of the pandemic. Initially launched in local Southampton schools alongside interactive workshops, our videos garnered remarkable success. However, their impact resonated far beyond, as they were adopted by the RSPH (Royal Society for Public Health UK). The videos were then distributed to schools across the nation. If you have little ones, there’s a chance they encountered these videos during their school lessons!
As the pandemic started to become more manageable, the need for Covid-focussed educational materials declined. But the puppet and video based programme has continued. In 2022, the puppets were rebranded to “Health Warriors”. Their new mission? To support Primary school children as they learn about all aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
Undoubtedly, this project stands as one of our most creatively fulfilling projects, infusing education with a delightful dose of fun and imagination!
2022 – STEM Learning’s Protecting Our Planet Day
Where do we even start with this one?
How about “a live stream for secondary schools across the country, live from the Boaty McBoatface hangar at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton. With live link ups to researchers in Antarctica, the RRS Sir David Attenborough (at sea!), the producers of BBC Studios’ Frozen Planet II, a researcher at COP27 in Egypt, and researchers in rainforests around the world.”
As you probably gathered, it was an extremely ambitious and exciting event – which went incredibly smoothly!
In addition to the live stream, we also recorded and edited a full morning of parallel sessions for primary school students, which was broadcast simultaneously by the National STEM Centre in York.
It was such a proud moment for us to see all of the positive tweets and photos coming in from schools watching the broadcast and taking part in activities. In terms of pure scope and ambition, this definitely had to be the wildest project we worked on in 2022…and we loved every minute of it!
2023 – Boomtown Festival
After successfully delivering a multi-camera outside broadcasting package for Brockwell Live in London, we were thrilled to be called upon by the same production team for Boomtown Fair in Winchester, one of the UK’s top 10 largest festivals!
Our team provided camera packages for two of the festival’s main stages – Origin and Grand Central. Our task was to broadcast the performances from DJs and bands to the LED screens around the stages.
The hours were long, but it was worth it as we captured sensational performances by artists like Cypress Hill, Sister Sledge, Leftfield, Sub Focus, Shy FX, Peaches and Chase & Status.
Our Boomtown crew were incredible and despite the hard work, the experience was nothing short of amazing. Definitely one of the highest highlights of the past decade!
The last 10 years have been incredible for us. And in many respects, it still feels like we’re only getting started. So what’s next?
Well, that’s down to you. How do you want to use video to improve and grow your business?
If you’ve been part of our journey over the last 10 years, thank you so much for putting your trust in us. Just think what amazing things we could do together over the next decade!
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