In January 2014 Glass Eye Productions is 10 years old after starting up to produce quality video and film projects, alongside the Business Link Scheme, which saw us, awarded 70% funding to buy our first camera kit, a Canon XL2. Although camera technology has moved on, we still regularly use the original audio and lighting kit and we haven’t stopped creating film for all types of clients and independent projects that have been showcased across the world on many different platforms.
Glass Eye started life in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, UK in 2004 based out of a 2000 sq ft mill unit, which saw us working alongside the Local Authority, Youth and Childrens Services to develop films about the diverse communities in the borough. One of our many projects included working with an South Asian Youth Group to develop a film around sexual health ‘Don’t Hate The Player, Hate the Game’ alongside Youth Services and Sexual Health Workers, the film was showcased on BBC Blast and noted as one of their favorite entries. Other work saw us producing many other shorts with the Youth Services, Housing and Health Authorities, which saw us working with other organisations such as M6 Theatre Company.
The past decade has seen major developments in digital media including the dot com bubble rapidly changed the world as we know it with companies such as Google and Amazon suddenly appearing, followed by the birth of Lo-Res online video that was brought to us by YouTube in February 2005 before it was bought out by Google for $1.65 million in 2006 to become the biggest online video search engine in the world, with more than 6 billion hours of video being watched each month. Not long after this we saw the TV set rapidly grow in size and quality, with the online, games and broadcast environments growing closer together to give us a multi-platform environment, using touch screen phones and tablets to consume media on the move through apps and mobile sites using 4G ultra fast data packages. BBC iPlayer, iTunes and Netflix we are now able to whatever media we wish, when we want no matter where we maybe.
Glass Eye has grown up against this backdrop of ever changing digital media which has seen a boom in social and digital media, no longer are we stocking up on blank VHS and MiniDV tapes, but with high speed broadband we are able to upload our films to a platform which will reach a potential audience of millions on YouTube and Vimeo in a matter of seconds. This has opened up a whole new world for both our clients to use as a platform and also as a form of distribution for independent filmmakers.
Advertisers and organizations are now reaching customers in unparalleled and innovative with TV Adverts becoming short films, being used as the hook alongside online and social environments to draws customers into engaging with the brand, such as with the John Lewis Christmas Commercial. This creates a two-way, instantaneous conversation through the use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs, giving the brand customer loyalty and vital statistics.
Our independent work has been produced on a variety of formats throughout the years with storytelling at the centre of everything we produce. Work includes both short film and documentary such as ‘The Farmhouse’, a documentary about a farmer that lives in the middle of one of the busiest and highest motorways in the UK. This film appeared on the BBC website and received recognition from film festivals both in the UK and USA with Exposures and Wisconsin Film Festival as well as broadcasts on Channel M and a write up in The Observer. Our work has taken us to some extraordinary places and doors we could have never dreamed about, in 2009 we were asked by charity Agapao to follow them and their work in Jinja, Uganda to profile the amazing work they do. The film followed the journey of one of their disabled volunteers, Stephan Pautard who went to participate in one of their programs.
Technology is changing at a rapid pace and the industry is becoming ever more accessible to the independent filmmakers to produce high quality content with the use of DSLR and Cine Digital Cameras, recording directly onto SD card formats, revolutionizing the digital workflows, in the process saving time. Editing software from Apple and Adobe allows the average user an extensive toolset for post-production at our fingertips giving production values at a fraction of what it would have cost previously. Video production is no longer just for broadcasters and TV advertisers but for independents and organisations who Google are now encouraging to produce their own quality content to enhance Search Engine Optimisation.
The past few years has seen founder Danny Lomax, awarded with a prestigious Arts and Humanities Research Board Scholarship to study a MA TV Documentary at the University of Salford followed by a PGDE in Education to focus the company further within the factual and education sector. As well as a major commission working on Lower Falinge with Rochdale Development Partnership, our work has expanded into other local authorities such as Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust documenting dance and park building projects over a period of a year. We were asked back by the new Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group, which saw us work with students at Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale to produce 40 patients and professional’s online podcasts, which were launched at the College in front of senior managers and distributed on YouTube and doctors surgeries across the borough.
Our work with housing authorities has expanded with further commissions with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, the countries largest housing mutual organization in the same year Rochdale, the home town of the original Co-Operative Pioneers celebrated 100 years of Co-Operation. We also produced online content Irwell Valley Housing as continued working within schools providing film development workshops empowering young people to be able to create digital content for their schools. Following on from this we will be doing a series of workshops as a guest lecturer across the pond in 2014 with the Honeywell Foundation to work with two of their schools in the Midwest.
Going forward in our new Salford home, by MediaCityUK, we have a number of documentary and film projects in development, which we are looking to distribute through both online, festival and other platforms. We pride ourself on providing education opportunities for learners of all level, which also adds to our own knowledge. This year we are working closely with the University of Salford and their MBA students to develop a solid business plan that will see us take advantage of the growing digital economy and the future advancements taking place.
Through creating documentary and film for distribution on the many different on and offline platforms as well as branded and online film content for both large and small organisations, we believe that we are in a strong position to carry on creating engaging and quality storytelling that is of value to the ever growing audience and our valued customers.