The Brief

Produce a fundraising film to drive awareness of Alexandra Palace’s renovation and encourage donations

What we did

We still remember the feeling we had the very first time we walked through the doors of Alexandra Palace’s Victorian Theatre. Despite being dilapidated, cold, dirty and a total health and safety hazard, there was something incredibly special about standing in a space that, for the past 100 years had been completely locked away from public view.

Of course nostalgia aside, filming in a 100 year old theatre with no electricity, light, or central heating presents its challenges. In order to show any of the theatre, it had to be lit. This involved running huge lengths of cabling from areas of the Palace that had modern day electricity, all the way through to the Theatre. We then used a combination of Fresnel and HDMI Lighting to sensitively cast light on the cavernous interior, as well as a few smaller Dedo-style lights to pick out smaller details. We didn’t want to blast the theatre with light, nor did we want it to look perfectly lit. Doing so would have taken away the dark, mysteriousness of the space which set our hairs on end on first view. It was painstaking & backbreaking work, but to know that we were now part of history and taking part in the next 100 years was a real privilege.

All footage was shot on steadicam, allowing us to achieve glamorous sweeping shots of the stage, the treacherous seating area and the beautiful victorian, albeit failing, ceiling. In parts, the floor was so uneven that at times even the steadicam struggled to maintain a smooth flow. It was important to shoot in as high a resolution as was possible in order to future proof the footage for the next set of generations, hence all footage was filmed in 4K.

The reaction across social media was one of shared awe – That this incredible building could have been lost in time for so long. There was a real sense of excitement around bringing it back to life. As momentum gathered, the resulting film was used extensively throughout the renovation campaign which helped to raise in excess of £28m+ in donations and which featured widely across all UK tabloids. Here’s our piece of the history.

The Final Cut

The Kit List

C200

Canon Primes

Movi M15

Fresnel & HDMI Lighting