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The idea

Produce a short film featuring well known public figures and celebrities from film, television and sport wishing the Royal Marines a Happy 350th Birthday.



We had just two weeks to approach celebrities directly or via contacts, agents and other intermediaries to deliver the brief and capture the footage.  Then compile a running order, source a suitable track, edit and deliver the project to the Navy's media team based on Whale Island in Portsmouth in time for the 350th Birthday on 28 October 2014.



Whilst we had the capability to visit and film on location time was against us so the use of anything from mobile phones, camcorders, webcams and feed from studio setups to 'self film' were all used hence the wide variation in picture and sound quality.

Drama / The Ones That Got Away


Bear Grylls managed to deliver his clip in short order, it was received the same morning that the request was sent out.  We did not expect to receive the Prime Minister's clip as he was heavily involved in managing the emerging Ebola crisis at the time.

The short film was uploaded and published on the morning of 28 October 2014 whilst we were still in the edit cutting three last minute submissions for the full length version: Alex Jones from The One Show who had recorded her piece on set the previous evening; Dan Snow who was in France and had problems with internet access and the BBC Breakfast duo Bill Turnbull and Naga Munchetty got their clip to us that very morning. 

It was a great shame that we could not include or get footage from everyone who we approached.  Kate Silverton managed to upload a lovely tribute whilst holding her youngest but sadly the frame rate was so low it could not be included.  We even managed to track down Sir David Attenborough off the coast of Australia on the Great Barrier Reef but in spite of a valiant effort on the part of Atlantic Films it was just not possible to record and get a clip to us in time.



Although the original idea was to cut a really short film the response was so overwhelming with many providing real messages of sentiment we decided to cut 2 films with the first acting as a trailer or 'teaser' for the second full length version.  The advice to the client was to upload both films to their YouTube channel and feed links to all online platforms including websites.  In the end their choice was to embed both films in the Royal Marines' facebook page and the shorter in the Navy News' facebook page.  Both films were uploaded to YouTube later that day.

The effect


The effect was instantaneous with the hit rate in excess of 20,000 per hour in the early stages.  The figure eventually amassed over 400,000 views across all platforms. 

With the 'Views' on both films actually exceeding the number of 'Likes' that the channels have it is easy to see just how effective a good video is to reach numbers beyond your current following.  The figure for the number of followers for each page can be seen as 'Likes' just under the page name, to see the number of 'Views' for each film click on the thumbs up/comment/share icon at the foot of each which will take you to the page where the current figure is shown.

A link to the films on the YouTube Channel is here.



Not only was it a huge privilege and a lot of fun to undertake such a venture we are immensely grateful for the input from all those involved. Afterall it is not everyday that one gets the opportunity to produce a film with the likes of Bear Grylls, the Prime Minister David Cameron, Harrison Ford (as Hans Solo from Star Wars), JJ Abrams (Producer Star Wars VII), Phillip Schofield, Amanda Holden, former England cricketers and now commentators John Emburey and Angus Fraser, Ross Kemp, Vernon Kay, Paul Anderson, Tom Hardy, the cast of Emmerdale, the Blue Peter presenters, documentary maker Chris Terrill, Caroline Quentin, Dan Snow, Bill Turnbull, Naga Munchetty, Eamonn Holmes, Ruth Langsford, England RFU Captain Chris Robshaw, England RFU World Cup Winner Lewis Moody, former Royal Marine and now broadcaster Monty Halls, The One Show's Alex Jones and Superman himself Henry Cavill.  Wow! What a line up!!  Many went above and beyond their normal remit in an effort to contribute and help make this film possible.  Thank you.