Pears Building Induction Film | Willmott Dixon Construction

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the challenge

We have worked with Willmott Dixon on a range of video projects over the last few years, including construction time lapses, project case studies and films for conferences. However, nothing we have produced for Willmott Dixon has come close to the challenge of sensitively handling this concept.

Senior Operations Manager, Matt Adams approached us after our name was put forward by a colleague of his.  Our task was to film and produce an induction video for operatives arriving on site.  It would accompany the site safety briefing. The key message to communicate is that the Pears Building is not just ‘another building project’.  Rather, it is a research and treatment centre specialising in immunotherapy, and unlike any other in the Europe.

The video should welcome new operatives to the construction site, but handle the shared subject of life-changing illness with respect.

the approach

The Pears Building is situated at The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London.  Because of the partnerships and interested parties involved, it was important that we engaged with them from an early stage.  Namely, the Royal Free Charity, Willmott Dixon Construction personnel and University College London all needed to be abreast of our intent, to deliver a successful product.  After meeting with Matt and his team to identify exactly what they needed, we struck up dialogue with Philippa Hutchinson.  As Communications Manager for the Royal Free Hospital, working closely with her was key to ensuring we had appropriate access to the right spaces and people.

It was important to make the video personable, relatable and impactful.  We interviewed Matt and his team about family and friends who have lived with, or are living with a life changing disease or illness.  The goal is to make a connection with the viewer.  Every worker contributing to the new Pears Building should feel invested personally in its construction, above and beyond their respective trade.

Three key facets to the video were filmed across two visits to site.  We sat down with the Willmott Dixon team and chatted about their experiences.  This was emotionally quite challenging as we took the time to really talk with each person firstly, audio/video capture second.  We conducted our interviews with research professors and captured our ‘B-roll’ on the second day.  We had drafted up the skeleton of the video by this point so knew exactly what we needed to shoot.

the result

Our first draft received positive feedback in terms of tone, length and emotional impact.  We knew we were on the right track going into the next round of edit changes and the final video is on brief.  Although construction had already started when we were first invited to talk about making the induction film, it has proved nonetheless invaluable to existing and new staff alike.

We again extend our thanks to Matt Adams and the Willmott’s team.  Also to Philippa Hutchinson and the Royal Free Hospital team.  And finally to Chris Burgess, his Royal Free Charity volunteers and to Professors Emma Morris & Lucy Walker for their time.

It is awesome – I love it.
Thank you very much for you and your teams’ hard work to date – it has been great to work with you.”

Matt Adams – Senior Operations Manager at Willmott Dixon Construction.



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