Monday 23 October 2017

Four Media Production students from the University of Northampton have received high praise for a short documentary they made to showcase the work of a local children’s charity.

Adam Seal, Lucy Parke, Luke Sheehan and Charlotte Siddall teamed up with Northampton-based Thomas’s Fund – a charity that provides music therapy for children and young people with life-limiting illnesses or a disability – to produce a promotional film to highlight its work and celebrate its achievements in the 10 years since it was established.

Each student has a part to play in ensuring the filming ran smoothly; Adam worked as the director and editor, Lucy took on the producer role, Luke operated the camera and Charlotte was responsible for sound.

As well as filming the children in their music therapy sessions, the students also had the opportunity to interview Earl Spencer and Andrew Collins, author, broadcaster and critic, who are both patrons of the charity.

Adam Seal said: “It is truly hard to grasp the value of a charity until you see first-hand the work they do and when we started working with Thomas’s Fund, we were blown away.

“Our main aim when filming was to be respectful and sensitive as we were entering family homes to capture the therapy sessions and it was important to blend into the background so the children acted as naturally as possible. It was certainly a challenge but we were incredibly happy with the final results.”

Jan Hall, Chair of Thomas’s Fund, commented: “The final film was far more than we expected. It represents the work of the charity in a wonderful accessible way and we were extremely impressed with the sensitivity and professionalism the students showed when interviewing parents, carers, therapists and the children.

“Our work is not the easiest to capture effectively but the students demonstrated great empathy and patience during the process and those involved felt supported, comfortable and most importantly listened to.

“The film is a real credit to the students, the Media Production course and the University, and will be a great promotional tool to raise awareness and understanding of our work and fundraising commitments.”

Roy Wallace, Senior Lecturer in Media Production at the University of Northampton, said: “The Media Production programme at the University of Northampton is focused on positive social impact in the community and employability skills development for our students.

“The feedback from Thomas’s Fund demonstrates the capability of our current students to undertake a client brief in a professional manner and highlight the excellent work the charity does throughout Northamptonshire.”

The students also won the Changemaker University Initiative of the Year Award for their project as it embraced the University’s Changemaker ethos to effect change and social impact.

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