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Breakfast
with the
BFI

Being brave with creativity is what Patrick Russell of the BFI loves about corporate film.

Patrick is the British Film Institute’s National Archive Head of Non-Fiction, and over the past 17 years he’s had the chance to see some of the best of British documentary and non-fiction film-making.

Speaking at Embolden’s Breakfast Briefing, he urged corporate commissioners to embrace the world-class creativity and skill that exists within the UK film industry.

Patrick cited our award-winning Counter Terrorism films as an example of this, as well as a film that used dance choreography and stunning cinematography to tell the story of domestic abuse for Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service.

While more and more clients are creating in-house Film & Video teams to produce the routine ‘talking head’ pieces, creative agencies like Embolden will always be needed for the more creatively complex, longer-lasting work, he said.

Great Western Railway

Image from Scenes on the Cornish Rivieria, 1904. Courtesy the BFI National Archive

The audience was treated to some of the sector’s earliest examples of corporate film. Possibly the earliest surviving work is the 1904 travel promo for Great Western Railway. Staying with trains, we watched the wonderful and iconic Night Mail, featuring the words of W.H. Auden.

Corporate film has come a long way from these honourable founders, but the message is unchanged: Film is one of the most powerful ways to show audiences new possibilities and old worlds. It can entertain as well as educate. It can change how we think and behave. We ask our clients to trust us, to enjoy the creative process, and to be brave and be bold!

 

Counter Terrorism film

Counter Terrorism film

 

Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service

Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service

 

Great Western Railway

Great Western Railway

Night Mail

Night Mail

 

Rebecca Denholm, Embolden Head of Film