Documentary Films

Another great way of telling people’s untold stories is by documentary film. However, like books, it’s time consuming and only for the discerning. The advantage of film is that you can get people’s character across, if you have the right approach. Laurentiu Calciu, our experienced filmmaker, has developed his anthropological and documentary approach at the National Film School near London. He is brilliant and getting across character and showing the extraordinary within the ordinary.

Here are some of the documentary films that we have produced:

The Land is Waiting

the land is waitingBackstory: a one-hour observational documentary about a Romani-Gypsies family in Northeast Romania. The film tells the story and daily life of Mihai, the eldest of ten children. Many Romanians believe that Romani-Gypsies don’t care about school, study for university or work the land. This film shows one family doing all these things and thus, in an indirect way, based on real stories, challenges prejudice. Unusually, the film was popular among the Romani-Gypsies themselves and it won 4 prizes at international film festivals.

 

After The Revolution

after the revolution documentaryBackstory: Romania’s Communist Government was overthrown in 1989  and the country was plunged into chaos. A few weeks after this violent revolution Rupert Wolfe Murray and Laurentiu Calciu started recording what people were saying on the streets of Bucharest. This is a pure observational documentary, or cinema vérité, consisting only of the voices of people on the ground. Despite the absence of a narrator or main characters, the film is compelling and has been shown many times on Romanian TV.

 

The Earthquake Passed Through Us

the earthquakeBackstory: we made this film for a World Bank funded project in Romania that raised awareness about earthquake prevention — giving personal stories from survivors, testimonials from experts and crucial advice for people about how to prepare. For those interested in finding out more please look at this article we wrote on the subject.

Although this film is only available in the Romanian language, it’s worth looking at the opening shots which are from the big earthquakes of 1941 and 1977. It is also a useful example of the kind of public information film we can make for organisations.

 

Short Videos and Promos

We have made over 50 short “testimonial” videos which fit well into websites and social network channels. Our approach to making videos is to show the character of the person speaking and let them get across their message in the most compelling way possible — without the special effects that are often used to create an artificial impression.

Here are some examples of the short videos we have made:

David Charkham

We made three presentation videos for David Charkham, a therapist to rock stars and actor (the photo is from The Imitation Game).  This video is a good example of what we aspire to: someone telling his life story and offering nuggets of useful observations to anyone interested in addiction and how one man overcame it.  In this video David Charkham describes how difficult it was to come out of rehab and deal with ordinary life.  This final video is addressed to people who may be “drinking or using more than others”; David Charkham says that “there is a way out” for people who are trapped in the vicious cycle of addiction.

Castle Craig Hospital

For several years we made over 30 short presentation videos for this leading British rehab clinic including Ten Minutes on Trauma, a short statement about the effect of addiction on the family and this question posed by a therapist: Why do people come into rehab? These videos were used to illustrate specific pages of the website, for example detox, and we also translated them into French, Dutch, Romanian and Maltese.

Films We’d Like to Make:

We are keen to make many more films and videos with like minded people who believe in the value of telling the fascinating “untold stories” within their organisation or family.

There are three types of films we plan to make in the future:

  • Untold Stories for Families and Organisations: interviewing staff or family members, curating the fascinating gems from the chatter and presenting all this in a series of short videos or one full-length documentary film.
  • Training Videos: we have an original formula for making training films that are different from anything currently on the market. Get in touch for more details.
  • Documentary Films: We plan to return to the long-form documentary film format that we used in the past. All we need is like minded people who see the value of telling their untold stories in film format.

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