oratorio of hope.
Highlighted as London’s Borough of Culture for 2023-24, London Mozart Players were celebrating all things Croydon with two flagship performances of the Oratorio of Hope, a brand-new commission that put the Croydon community at the heart of the music.
To start the performance off they wanted a film that would set the tone for the evening. It had to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and community of Croydon whilst grabbing the audience's attention. BearJam were brought in to bring this concept to life.
Community and collaboration were key, in order to tell the story of Croydon’s cultural vibrance and to keep it authentic. First and foremost we collaborated with Corydon’s Poet Laureate, Shaniqua Benjamin, who had been commissioned to pen a poem for the evening. We recorded her performing her poem and used this as the backbone of the edit.
We wanted a snappy and energetic edit, incorporating as much diverse footage of the varying art forms, places and people in Croydon. To get this we orchestrated a call out to local artists and cultural touchpoints in the city; asking for any and all current footage they had as well as collaborations with local students from the Brit Academy, local filmmakers, locations and artists willing to feature in specific shots. Fortunately, the people of Croydon were enthusiastic and provided great opportunities and access to great local locations, people, footage and opportunities.
BearJam spent 4 days filming the different elements in various styles, inviting local students along for the filming days so they could get valuable work experience. We mixed our footage with the result of our local call-out. This resulted in a fantastic array of different styles, our challenge was to keep it authentic, diverse and impactful.
We adopted different post-production techniques to bring all the footage in line and keep it consistent whilst still vibrant. Once this was all paired with Shaniqua's poem, a lovely sound design and a stunning grade we ended up with a film that really did live and breathe what Croydon represents.
Finally, we were privileged to attend the event and see our work played at Fairfield Halls in front of a sell-out audience.
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