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Updates from Maritime Film UK’s Rob White, TV producer, reporter and camera operator with 30 years’ experience at the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN

Boat Nation

20 October 2014
Maritime Foundation

On the way to Pendennis Worldclass Superyachts in Falmouth, to complete filming for our Maritime Foundation Maritime Media Awards keynote film, ‘Boat Nation’. The awards come every year, celebrating those in the media who’ve done the most to drive home the importance of the sea and sea trade to Britain. With 95% of everything we use – reckoned by volume – coming to us by sea, it’s a vital message, especially with a shrunken British merchant fleet and Royal Navy. For sure,  the Silent Service is re-tooling with some spectacular kit like the new aircraft carriers, the Type 45 destroyers and the Astute class submarines, so though small it’s still a force to be reckoned with. The awards aim to encourage journalists, writers, film-makers and internet operators to do more on the maritime. We reckon they’re having a real impact.

'A Smashing Success'

16 October 2014
Jubilee Sailing Trust Tenacious

Always a kind of nervous moment, checking with a client how a dedicated film went at a special event…so had to steel ourselves before asking how the fund-raiser we’d made our Jubilee Sailing Trust film for was. But all well and the flattering headline is how the Trust’s CEO Duncan Souster described the impact of the movie…so, relief! It’ll be up on this website shortly. The main thing is, it did what they needed and deserved, and their suggestions for changes worked well, too – a major plus in working with clients because it increases the sense of ownership to which they’re (obviously) entitled. Now, a new project to work on for the JST – take a look at this film:

Hilarious and really well made… Jon Woods at the Trust has asked for something similar tailored to them. Excellent!

Nellie’s makeover

10 October 2014
STS Lord Nelson

Poor ‘Nellie’ (as the Jubilee Sailings Trust’s team affectionately call their tall ship STS Lord Nelson) isn’t looking much like this just now… because she’s having a major overhaul in the Port of Southampton. The location is a bit of a comedown from the places she’s been in her last 2 years at sea, like Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Sydney: right next to a mountain of scrap metal awaiting export! We went on board to interview two crew members for our JST film: Luis Otero from Uruguay, and ‘Stretch’, from New Zealand, who sold up lock, stock and barrel, to  go to sea with the Trust. ‘Nellie’ needs her refit after 2 ‘Sail the World’ years at sea, and she’s certainly getting it, with maintenance teams at work under the leadership of Captain Barbara Campbell. Quite a makeover.

CEO in vision

07 October 2014
Duncan Souster

We always build in at least one ‘Changes’ day to the edit, so no problem when Jubilee Sailing Trust come up with some thoughts. They’re good ones – what they propose will improve the movie, and deliver more for the Cator family, for whose big fund-raiser this film is being made. Also we all agree a snap decision to ask Duncan to close the film (most important moment of all in terms of delivering their message.) But where? Luck of lucks, Tenacious is in port nearby – but about to leave. We make it in time and Duncan turns in a strong performance. Fighting the light though, which is fading fast – the location overshadowed by Southampton’s huge Ocean Terminal. A lighting rig would be great, but there’s no time! Get it done, then film Tenacious gliding sweetly away to sea.

“The strongest one so far”

07 October 2014
Friend of JST

First viewing of our Jubilee Sailing Trust film… deadline just over a week away now. To get cracking, last week went: Alton (Hants) on Monday, deepest Staffordshire on Tuesday, Plymouth on Wednesday and Chepstow on Thursday. No complaints – it was fun. The Trust are very appreciative and supportive, with their team on the project led by Sarah Webb, Head of Fundraising, and Jon Woods, Head of Sales and Marketing. One plus for us all is that their HQ is only 10 minutes’ drive from Andy’s edit suite. Always a nervous moment when you first show, but the feedback is great, with new CEO Duncan Souster describing our film as “The strongest one so far- goes a long way in encompassing what we do.” Similar praise from Sarah and Jon. Blushes and thank you! But there’s more… see next blog…

Care for Casualties

06 October 2014
Mike Smith

To Winchester to interview Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Smith for our Jubilee Sailing Trust movie. Mike runs ‘Care for Casualties’, which looks after injured servicemen from The Rifles., who are always in the front line when things get rather loud and full of bangs. That also means they’ve had their full share of casualties. Mike’s organization looks after those who’ve taken a hit for us – and he’s helped a lot of injured guys go to sea with the Trust, including Kyle Baker (October 2nd blog.) Heaving with rain so we film inside the regimental museum at the barracks. Interesting, go visit if you’re down that way.

P.S. If you need the loo at the museum, you’re directed “through the First World War” (!) They mean their WWI display but just for a moment you think you might give nature’s call a miss!!


03 October 2014

It may sound like a motorway, but in fact it’s a monitor – which, come to think of it, may in turn sound like an old-style school prefect! To avoid more confusion then, let’s call her what the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) call her: a ‘Coastal Bombardment Vessel’. This is HMS M33, in Portsmouth Dockyard, one of only two surviving warships from the First World War. Small ship, big guns – her role was to fire at enemy shore emplacements, often supporting the army. She’s doubly significant because she’s also the last warship left to have taken part in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915: Winston Churchill’s plan to attack Turkey from the Mediterranean, through the ‘Dardanelles’ narrows leading to the Black Sea. NMRN have big plans for M33 – and we might be involved. Watch this space…

The Rifles at sea!

02 October 2014
Kyle Baker

Filming Day 5 for the Jubilee Sailing Trust. We’re with a guy who we all owe a lot to: a soldier called Kyle Baker, formerly of The Rifles, who saw service in Afghanistan – and like many of his colleagues, paid a very heavy price on our and the Afghan people’s behalf. He was shot in the back while on active duty, suffering severe injuries that he still lives with – and post-traumatic stress disorder too, with its effect of putting you right back where you were, feeling just what you felt on the day the bad things happened. But Kyle says that sailing in both the Trust’s ships has helped him get his life going again – even (maybe specially) the scary bit of going up the mast in a rough sea.

Here’s to The Rifles, and all our servicemen and women.

About Rob

Rob is a TV producer, reporter and camera operator with 30 years of experience at the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN, in news, factual and documentary production. He is a four-time award winner, whose awards include a coveted Royal Television Society award for his work on Channel 4 News. His association with the Maritime Foundation goes back to 1995 when he won the first Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award for a series of reports that led to a major documentary on the loss of the bulk carrier Derbyshire.

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