Archive for the ‘Video Production’ Category

Transforming Lives

During the last few months, I have had the pleasure of producing some video content for a Bradford based company called Industrial Services Group (ISG).  They are a Supported Business, owned by Bradford Council, but self sustaining with financial budgets and targets to meet just like any other business.  Their main characteristic is that they employ people with disabilities through something called the Work Choice Programme.  It was a really interesting experience, as I had no idea companies like this even existed.

ISG manufacture windows and doors, and also create, fit and maintain festival lights for numerous clients across the country.  They were interested in producing a corporate video to not only advertise their services, but also to highlight the good work that they do helping disabled people gain employment.

We decided upon a format of four short programmes, of around five minutes each:

– Episode 1 would introduce people to ISG and how they work.

– Episode 2 would concentrate on their windows and doors manufacturing department.

– Episode 3 would concentrate on their festival lights service.

– Episode 4 would follow the journey of two former ISG employees.

We began shooting for them in December, as this was the perfect time to get footage of their Christmas lights on location.  But it was the filming for episode 4 that I found particularly insightful.  We interviewed two former ISG employees, who had been through the Work Choice programme, and who had now gained full time employment as a result of completing the scheme through ISG.  Despite the disadvantages that these people faced, they have overcome these and now have regular jobs.  This was really inspiring to see, especially when learning their stories.  If you watch nothing else online today, have a look at episode 4 by following the links below.

We wrapped filming around March and submitted the final product to them in April, which can now be viewed on the ISG website, on my video production page, or below…

 
Episode 1: Intro to ISG

 

Episode 2: Windows and Doors

 

Episode 3: Festival Lights

 

Episode 4: Transforming Lives

CCTV Footage To Be Monitored Live?

Let’s talk Big Brother. No… not that tiresome show on Channel 4 which we all say we hate, yet still watch so we all know what our mates are talking about.  I’m talking about the REAL Big Brother.  I’m talking cameras on every street corner, every supermarket, every car park, pretty much any public place that you visit.  Let’s face it, cameras are now everywhere.  But surely they are only there to secure our safety or protect against crimes, so they can only be beneficial… can’t they?

The growth in the use of CCTV footage in criminal investigations has seen a rise in the amount of prosecutions, particularly over the past decade.  A good example is the use of systems in the London borough of Newham in 2006, which nearly tripled the number of arrests compared to the previous year.  But while this form of evidence is usually called upon retrospectively, CCTV footage could soon be monitored live, thanks to a new company who are starting to pay for volunteers to watch cameras and report any crimes that occur.

The value of the use of CCTV cameras has been met with a difference in opinion, with some police officers still criticising London’s CCTV network and others complimenting them as a crucial tool to catch criminals.

One U.K. businessman has pitched an idea to stream CCTV footage over the web and get volunteers to watch the images live.  Tony Morgan of Internet Eyes has recruited “watchers” who will receive a cash prize of up to £1000 for spotting the best crime over the previous month – and approximately 10,000 people have already signed up.

The volunteer would have a series of camera feeds on their screen, and if they witness anything suspicious, or a crime being committed, then they simply click the “report” button, to report the crime as it happens.

Example of what a “watcher” would see.

A similar scheme is carried out in Texas, where volunteers can register as “Virtual Deputies” and monitor the Mexican border from the comfort of their own home.  However, civil rights campaigners are rallying against the proposals to begin the scheme in the UK, as they insist people are already being watched too much in Britain.

But if one is doing no wrong, then surely one should have nothing to worry about.  The whole concept is designed to make us feel safer, at very little personal cost.

Obviously, everyone who signs up to be a “watcher” would have to be securely checked out.  As long as the volunteers who will be watching us are put through a stringent application process, then the question we should really be asking is what harm could this cause?  If it is going to be beneficial to the arrest and prosecution of more criminals, then surely this can only be a good thing?

I suspect the decision to either abandon the idea, or go ahead with live monitoring of CCTV will take some time to be made.  The company plan to launch early this year, but currently are delayed due to certain stipulations that have arisen with the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) whose guidelines the company wants to ensure they are working within.  So those who oppose the idea still have time to make their feelings well known.

But as for the people worried about privacy, bear this in mind.  There is a hypothetical statistic from the 1999 book “The Maximum Surveillance Society: The Rise of CCTV” by Gary Armstrong and Clive Norris which states “a person can be captured on over 300 cameras each day.”  This statistic has since been mistakenly quoted as fact in many news reports.  However, the fact remains, no matter how many cameras watch us throughout our daily lives, they are still there, watching us and recording us, so does it really make a difference whether they are being monitored live or not?  The overall benefit is the fact that crimes may be responded to much quicker than if the footage had to be relied upon retrospectively.  CCTV images are monitored live in supermarkets, so why not roll this out on a bigger scale?

I’m all for personal privacy, don’t get me wrong.  But if you don’t want to ever be seen by anyone then go and live in a cave, because there is literally no escape from them now.

If properly policed, live monitoring of CCTV could be of much value to the UK public in terms of immediate safety and early apprehension of offenders.

On that subject, one of the services I provide is forensic video and audio enhancement and restoration. If you have any recorded footage that you require enhancing, cleaning up, or just preparing in a suitable format for presentation in court, please do not hesitate to get in touch. All enhancements and prepared work is supplied with a forensic report suitable for presentation in court.

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