Today marks a milestone for Beyond the Point; it’s 5 years to the day since we established the website.
Since the beginning of the year we have been transferring articles, photos and lots more content from our old site to our brand new one. Our new site is centred around an interactive map, allowing our visitors to view what historic sites are all around them. This intense process has been hard but worth it!
We found that what our site really needed was a way for people to easily see all the reams content we have at once. Basing the old site on a blog template, people might often have neglected our place listing tab for only the few recent places featured on our homepage. Now you can see them all at once on our map. Our new look puts hundreds of historic locations right at the heart of our website and includes sites further afield including London and Colchester.
As part of this relaunch we wanted a new video to tell people exactly what Beyond the Point was about and it was my task to create something that was cost effective, could be filmed quickly and was engaging to explain what Beyond the Point is about.
For this video, I started off with the soundtrack. This isn’t something that I’d usually do although when I came across the track on Audio Network, it instantly clicked. I wanted the video the tell the story of Beyond the Point and how it’s evolved over the five years.
The opening sequence is key. If you don’t engage people within the first 10 seconds then they won’t watch on. The very first shot was filmed from a drone flying through a corridor. Initially I’d considered a timelapse at an abandoned site although the movement in the opening sequence makes it more dynamic. The corridor is also quite an unusual place; quite long and modern yet full of grime and decay. This then cuts to a pan at Dover Castle and then a shot at the Essex Police Archive; all giving the viewer a sense of the variety of places that Beyond the Point features.
The BTP boys are then introduced as we are (arguably) as important as the locations. These shots (and most of the others) were shot on the GH4 with a Lumix 35-100mm lens. The sound was recorded via the RodeLink Filmmaker Kit. The low down shot gives a sense of exploration and the nature that Liam is talking about and the first shot of both of the BTP Boys talking is wider than the rest in the video as it introduces us better. Linking to me is a two shot of us walking into an abandoned factory followed by the slow motion over-the-shoulder shot. The slow motion shows were included to add a sense of you being there with us.
Various shots then follow. We filmed at the pillbox, well, factory and old tunnels all in one day roving from one location to the other. At the one minute mark, the music gets more dramatic and rightfully so the shots should too. We cut back to the derelict hospital and feature various shots, all wide and all moving. The shot of the light flaring at the camera was specifically scripted. Also it’s only a minor thing, it makes the shot a lot better rather than just two guys walking.
All of the shots of Liam and I talking are static as the most important thing about the shots is what we’re saying and the footage that follows. A slider shot or one with movement may have been distracting.
The final shots that we filmed were of the filming being done and the slow-mo shot at the end. From 2:18 the music builds up, becoming more dramatic and energetic. The cuts here are much quicker between the variety of shots and it finally ends on a moody shot of the two of us looking at the camera. This was scripted to be a normal two shot of us looking down at the camera although it was windy on the day so we make the most of it! The video now appears on the homepage for new visitors to the website.