What do you do when a pandemic hits your latest video project squarely between the eyes?

My response to the 2020 Corona Virus Pandemic was to get creative with a bit of lateral thinking and carry on! RFP were right in the middle of planning some great promotional film projects for MASH (Manchester Action on Street Health), but the lock down struck and all the restrictions that went with it, meaning we obviously couldn’t go to MASH and shoot their videos after all; but we also couldn’t just give up, so we changed the focus, tweaked the method and got back to work.

The only way the project could continue was if MASH actually shot their own video material, so that was the answer, MASH would shoot their own videos but RFP would still plan and edit the material into the videos we now have. Learning this new skill and quickly was clearly going to be a challenge, but not an unsurmountable one. Firstly, RFP produced an information pack, outlining the new project’s aims and objectives, the fundamentals of shooting video; camera skills, composition, essentials of lighting and sound, and a list of questions. The new version of this project grew to include 4 to 5 Manchester based charities including MASH, Back on Track, Inspiring Change Manchester (and 1 or 2 others still in the pipeline). The aim was to share how the pandemic affected their work and transformed their processes, enabling them to safely continue the work they are clearly, all totally committed to.

Although we could not deny the utter devastation of the pandemic it was really important to us that the films be largely positive and optimistic. The films would serve as a peered learning tool for all charities and appeal to a wide audience of service users, volunteers, staff, funders and others in their circles. Each charity receives their own short film and a second film incorporating all those involved discussing their pandemic highs and lows, what they’ve learned and discovered, how they continued to work and what made them stronger and even more determined, in spite of Covid19.

Although we are still in the process of producing this project it has and continues to be a great passion for us and a thoroughly worthwhile mission. The stories of dedication and commitment to the people these charities support and the creative thinking they have had to employ to continue is simply incredible, in the face of the disastrous Covid19 pandemic.