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It’s safe to say that nobody was prepared for what 2020 threw at us, but despite unprecedented challenges, we still had an amazing year at Astor Film Productions. Here are just a few of the best bits.

Off to a great start

We kicked off 2020 with some great projects, starting off with a number of adverts for Hull-based tech company Moodbeam. Showcasing their exciting new health wearable, we produced a powerful narrative advert, as well as some helpful how-to-use videos. The relationship we established with the team at Moodbeam was one of the most rewarding aspects of the project, and we can’t wait to work with them again.

Sporting successes next at the University of Hull, as we were given the opportunity to work with Team GB, creating a number of videos for the team as part of a collaboration scheme with the University. We had great fun capturing sessions with aspiring students, and meeting the talented athletes gearing up for the next Olympic Games.

 

Warming up

With the year in full swing, our next job took us to the world of home heating innovation. Tasked with producing an advert for heating technology company iHelios, we showed off their incredible infra-red heating system with a slick, narrative advert.

Next up, we ventured into the world of narrative film, starting with a horror film directed by Astor’s very own video producer Ed. The Nightshift was a 70s inspired vampire tale that gave us the opportunity to experiment with some creative lighting and other visual techniques.

It was back down to Earth for Jack Grewar’s short film Boxer; a gritty biographical picture written by and starring professional boxer Harry Matthews. Boxer’s tale of betrayal and redemption took us to a number of exciting locations across the city.

Locked Down

As the pandemic loomed, it looked as though our luck was about to run out. The lockdown threatened to bring our work to a grinding halt, but we didn’t give up that easily.

Like the majority of the country, the office, and the remainder of our post-production work moved to home. Even confined to remote working, we managed to produce a couple of great new adverts for Moodbeam, by adapting to new crew and location restrictions.

Going Live

As restrictions eased, things were looking up. We teamed up with events company HPSS to bring some amazing live performances to thousands of viewers from the comfort of their own homes. With artists like Jai McDowall and G4, we were a little starstruck! With live music under our belt, the next stop was live theatre.

Unable to take his educational stage production on tour as planned, producer David Chafer turned to us to help immortalise the play on film. I Love You, Mum. I Promise I Won’t Die was a powerful true story that broke our hearts time after time, and quickly became one of the most memorable pieces of work for us to date.

Things continued to improve as the year progressed, and we were hired to produce a video for Hull City Council’s Annual Housing Report. Travelling across Hull and speaking to tenants from a variety of backgrounds was a great experience, and we’re hugely proud to have helped the Council produce the report.

New gear, new me

2020 may have been a nightmare, but it was also the year of 12K. We were lucky enough to be one of the first companies in the country to receive one of Blackmagic’s new 12K Ursa units, and we could barely contain our excitement. While the camera hasn’t yet been utilised to its full potential, we’ve still been able to put it to the test.

As luck would have it, our final shoot of the year happened to be another short film. Hired by award-nominated director Monique Nagra to shoot her new psychological drama Unanswered, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put 12K to the test. After the three-day shoot, we were thrilled with the camera’s performance, and the mind-blowing level of detail the sensor captures.

 

Looking forward

We’re confident that 2021 is going to be the best year yet for Astor. With our new range of equipment and some fantastic jobs lined up already, there’s a lot to look forward to.

So bring on 2021. We’re ready, are you?

 

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