Senior Scientist Gill Hardy is the coordinator for the company’s Community Matters programme at Longbenton in Newcastle. This international initiative encourages P&G staff to take time off work to get involved with their local communities. For Gill and her team this means delivering hands-on workshops in local primary schools to get children as young as three excited about science. With over three hundred staff on site and only around fifteen regularly volunteering, Gill wanted to find a way to increase that number to meet the demand from schools and after meeting with Northern Stars Production, chose to use the emotive power of film to help her achieve her goal.
We worked closely with Gill and her team to understand the emotional and professional barriers faced by potential volunteers and then devised a ‘seeing is believing’ film that would reveal the sessions in school to be fun, informative and inspirational for the children. As the staff already received a large amount of internal communications it was decided that the film shouldn’t look or sound like a corporate communication, but instead should be shot in a simple, honest documentary style that would focus on the people and the situation.
The first challenge was to capture the excitement of a session in a primary school with children aged 3-8. As this had to be captured in real time, with no potential for restaging any of the activity or the children’s reactions, we decided to shoot with two cameras giving us enough scope and coverage to be able to cover everything effectively.
After a VERY lively shoot in school we travelled to P&G to interview Gill and four of the current volunteers – including some from the school session. The aim here was to reveal how the programme works, the commitment it requires from staff, and most importantly to share personal testimony from those who had already done it.
Gill Hardy, Senior Scientist and Community Matters Coordinator at the company's Longbenton site in Newcastle said: 'Working with Northern Stars has been fantastic. They were truly professional. Its inspirational to work with such a young group, they had such energy and enthusiasm and offered a service well beyond their years. They listened to our brief, offered many suggestions on how to capture what we wanted, wrote a comprehensive plan and followed up at appropriate times. I can only describe the results as a truly inspirational and informative film that will encourage the staff at P&G to volunteer their time to help in the local Community.'
The film will screen on the company's intranet in the coming months.
With only a week to go to Christmas, we decided to abandon the shopping and make a film to send to our friends.