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Winchester's Cinewessex a roaring success

It’s been a highly successful summer for Cinewessex, culminating with a number of collaborations on some very well-known programmes. Amongst a whole host of household names, one has had particular significance for Cinewessex’s financial director, Nicky Davies. Nicky is particularly pleased that the company has been asked to work on Roar, the children’s wildlife show, produced by Endemol for CBBC.

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Roar first aired in 2006 and its format of a mix of fun and conservation has proved to be a big hit with its young audience. From Monday to Friday, viewers follow the everyday lives of animals in wildlife parks and witness everything, from cleaning and feeding, to new babies and arrivals of rare species. They also get to know the keepers who are dedicated to looking after them. Children can get involved either by applying to take part in the programme, or by playing the on-line Roar wildlife game on the CBBC website.

Up to now, filming has taken place in Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks in Kent. The newest series, however, will be taking a look at the animals in Longleat and it is for this series that Cinewessex will get involved. The company is hiring out two DSR camera kits to production company, Endemol, for four months in total, from the last week of June to the end of October.

Nicky, who has four young children of her own, said: “I’m especially pleased to be involved with Roar as it resonates strongly with my own childhood experiences. I remember when my father told me he’d been asked to work on a children’s programme and took me with him when he went to film it. I was so excited and impressed that he was working on something that I actually recognised. It feels like a little bit of personal history repeating itself as, in much the same way, I think I’ve finally managed to get a bit of cred with my own children!”

Out on Location with Cinewessex

Who can resist watching what UKTV’s Claire Laycock memorably referred to as “pure property porn with the added bonus of some juicy celebrity gossip thrown in”? Reality television, in particular about homes and home improvements, has long been a firm favourite with viewers and a Winchester company has been heavily involved in filming three of the nation’s favourites.

The team at TV and video facilities company Cinewessex have been lucky enough to sneak a look ahead at a couple of these very popular shows - UKTV’s Fantasy Homes and Celebrity Fantasy Homes.  Over the next few months, camera crews and sound recordists from the company will be kept very busy filming on location in this country and abroad for UKTV.

Cinewessex’s Head Cameraman, Chris Bowerman, said:  “It always gives the team a buzz to work on these programmes and this summer has been incredibly busy for us.  It’s great working behind the scenes - we get to see all sorts of things before the viewer - or sometimes things that the viewer will never get to see!”

Cinewessex, working alongside production company Splash, has also shot and edited the second series of spin-off show Celebrity Fantasy Homes, featuring well-known names such as actress and singer Toyah Wilcox, Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole, singer Mica Paris, Boyzone’s Shane Lynch and David Gest.

Kate Gibbard from Splash said: “These programmes and others like them are the lifeblood of our business. It’s very important for us to work with the right people to get the best result. We chose to work with Cinewessex again because the company has such an excellent reputation for reliability and professionalism.”

Over 200 web videos made for Lush Cosmetics

Production company Pictures & Words and TV and video facilities company, Cinewessex, have just completed filming and editing over 200 web videos for international company Lush Cosmetics.

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Lush is well-known as an ethical organisation which prefers to work with similarly-minded companies, so it’s a big compliment that it has chosen to work in partnership with these two local companies again.

The project, produced by Jeff Osment from Pictures & Words, involved filming and editing over 200 web videos by Lush employees, with the aim of releasing them over the internet on YouTube and Lush’s website. With its capability to film, edit, add graphics and encode films, Cinewessex was ideally geared up for the task. The timescale was tight - the project took place over just four days – and the team together with Head Cameraman Chris Bowerman had to work fast to meet the deadline. Because the films use real people, not actors, giving their own take on a whole range of Lush products, each film had a unique style, making the task more challenging but definitely more interesting and exciting to watch.

Cinewessex’s Editor, Scott Breckenridge said: “It was certainly a challenge editing so many films in one go but the team were well up to the task and worked flat out to get the job done. We have state-of-the-art edit suites at our offices in Moorside Place, so we knew we would do a good job and give the films a really professional finish.”

All the films have been distributed over the net and are already picking up positive feedback from viewers.

A project carried out earlier this year saw the companies working side-by-side in The Gambia, again spearheaded by production company Pictures & Words, to bring much-needed relief to highlight the work of the charity Fresh Start Foundation.

Cinewessex announces record week

Summer is traditionally the season when many businesses ease up a bit; staff are on holiday and sales figures can sometimes take a dip. Not so for Winchester-based TV and video facilities company, Cinewessex, where business has been booming over the summer months.

This July, the company had its busiest week ever with record numbers of equipment hires. In an industry where more than 12- hour days are the norm, Cinewessex’s camera department has been hard-pressed to keep up with demand; 25 cameras a day plus all related equipment such as lights and tripods, to be sent on location all over the world. That’s hundreds of pieces of equipment to track, not to mention keeping it in perfect working order, ready for the next shoot.

Cinewessex’s Facilities Director, Joe Conlan said: “It’s been crazy busy and something of a logistical challenge to make sure that everything is in the right place at the right time. Fortunately, I work with a great team who not only understand the pressures and time-constraints of the industry but also knows that nothing is more important than keeping the client happy.”

Turnaround times may have been tight but Cinewessex’s professional attitude and reputation for reliability has made it the first choice for fellow professionals all over the world and demand for the company’s equipment is expected to remain high for the foreseeable future.

Cinewessex invests in new Sony HD MiniCam kit

The new HD minicam is already getting rave reviews from professional camera crews such as those on Channel Five’s Fifth Gear. This tiny all-in-one camera system needs no extra equipment, making it light and portable – an immediate bonus for any film camera crew.

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The remarkable HXR MC1P consists of a small camera head and a handheld controlling unit with LCD panel and recording function. The unit is splash-proof, making it safe to use in wet outdoor conditions or when filming near water.

Despite its size, its cutting-edge technology allows users to record HD video in unusual conditions and from off-beat angles, making sports more immediate and exciting for the viewer – scenes filmed from the participant’s point of view, for example, or on board a vehicle in a motor sport. The built-in LCD panel on the main unit means users can play back and review material immediately after shooting.