Silver Screen Stephanie

It's been a little while since our last post on here and this is partly due to the Easter holidays. However, the main reason is that the team has been extremely busy working on the first ever University of Bedfordshire cinema advert!

The success of our new corporate film coupled with the fact that our Vice Chancellor was extremely keen to get us advertising in cinemas built to this project - which became a real team affair. We had four weeks from conception to deliver a finished 30 second cinema advert complete with online campaign. Ready, set, GO!

Overall, I'll say that we're very pleased with the finished result and below is the rough process of getting an advert like this made:

Firstly we needed to select a production company. We had a number in to pitch their ideas to us and the VC and were very pleased to award Spectrecom (who we worked with during the corporate film) the contract. Their original pitch focussed on a student in an interview situation. However, we felt that we wanted to depict someone already in work and excelling due to them coming to Bedfordshire. This all took shape really well and was meticulously storyboarded. We then began our search for locations, extras, and of course, a STAR!

The decision was made that we first wanted to give our current students a chance to audition as it would add authenticity and be a great addition to their CV. We sent out the call to our Performing before the Camera and Theatre and Professional Practice students and shortlisted the best applicants for a day of auditions. The standard was extremely high and students from both Bedford and Luton applied. However, one girl stood out with a breathtaking reading of a monologue from the film Annie Hall. We were therefore very happy to give the role to 3rd Year Theatre and Professional Practice student Stephanie Pearson for the four day shoot.

Once we had organised a strict schedule for filming (comprising four of our campuses, a live graduation scene and a large number of extras) we were ready to start shooting. The planning was definitely the toughest bit so as not to disrupt any lectures but also to effectively showcase our fantastic facilities. It all paid off though, as the shoot went extremely smoothly with plenty of time to refine each shot and make the most of what we had at our disposal. Take a look at the gallery of production photos below for an idea of how the advert was crafted:

Whilst all this was happening we were also finalising the cinema bookings, clearing the music licence and liasing with the BBFC in order to get the film rated. This also proved a very smooth process and the edit was locked after just two days of refinements leaving plenty of time to negotiate with record companies and get the advert rated as 'U' - Suitable for all!

That's me! Abusing my privileges
(as usual) in a cameo as a lecturer
This whole process has been extremely enjoyable (but VERY tiring) and is a real eye opener as to the amount of work that goes into creating something of high enough quality to be shown in the cinema. What we were particularly pleased with is the way the project took shape as a true collaboration and it was almost like we were all one team. Stephanie, as the lead actress, could not have been more professional and we're sure she has a bright future ahead of her. She even said that this experience has shown her what she wants to do when leaving the University of Bedfordshire!

If you want to watch the advert in the cinema for yourself then take a look at the schedule of where and when it will be running and if you are fortunate enough to see it then Tweet us using #bedscinema. Also, if you like the music, we've been granted the licence to use it by our old friends Various Cruelties again!

The final part of this project is to monitor it's effectiveness, which is where the online campaign comes in... that's a blog post for another day though...
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