Gongs showcase creative approach

Published: Monday 22nd February 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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A commercial photographer and film-maker whose clients over the last 25 years have included household name businesses is adding a new dimension to his services after success in a landmark awards scheme.

Paul Leeson Taylor partnered with creative contacts from around the region to challenge for The Gongs, the inaugural celebration of film and animation which took place at Kardomah94 in Hull backed by the Rank Foundation.

The team, which included Hull-based Land of Green Ginger Design and animator and film-maker Alex Twiston Davies, won two awards and three commendations in the eight categories.

They have already landed a commission as a result of the achievement and they are now showcasing the variety of a portfolio which features the delight of dance and music, and the despair of family tragedy.

“Dirty Nails”, a collaboration between Paul, Alex and Peter Hadfield of Land of Green Ginger Design, won the gong in the message category for the powerful portrayal of the true story of a 12-year-old boy who died after he was accidentally shot in the eye by a friend with an air rifle.

“West End to Hull”, produced by the FluxOne20 team which was formed by Paul five years ago to promote creative talent in and around Hull, tells the story of Italia Conti, the world’s oldest theatre arts training school, opening its first Associate School in the north of England. It won the gong for the best short film.

“Stroke-Estra”, which was commended in the documentary category, looks at a project set up by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the NHS and Hull City Council to provide rehabilitation through music for people who have experienced a stroke. Alex secured commendations in the animation category for two films promoting pop-up health hubs and the UK fishing industry.

The nature of the projects is completely different from the work which saw Paul and Peter become creative suppliers of choice to such organisations as Humberside TEC, BP Chemicals and Bird’s Eye Walls during the last 25 years, but many of the disciplines are the same.

They worked jointly and independently, progressing from graphic design and analogue photography and seizing the opportunities presented by advances in digital technology to launch new ideas.

Paul said: “My business grew from work which was industrial and commercial photography. It has always been creative and has always had an edge to it and evolving into film-making was a logical progression as technology changed and people looked for different ideas and different media. Businesses, police forces, charities and cultural organisations saw it as an effective means of getting their messages across.”

Peter’s status as an approved supplier to South Yorkshire Police enabled them to respond to a tender promoting a “Guns and Knives Take Lives” message. Using their experience of TV commercials and a creative storyboard they produced “Dirty Nails” – a harrowing story which became a key tool in the campaign.

By comparison, FluxOne20 was a fun project which featured such variety as Larkin with Toads, the HullBID Yum! Festival and an interview in which Lord Prescott revealed he played the part of Grumpy the dwarf at school.

Paul said: “We started FluxOne20 as an online leisure magazine and it brought together a lot of fab, creative people who saw it as a chance to try anything and experiment. Because we were working with new people it meant we were able to develop new ideas. We are still doing the mainstream work but these projects have added a new dimension to that.

“What the Gongs have done is help creatives and film makers by getting the backing of Rank, a massive organisation with a strong Hull connection. There were 80 films entered, and that shows we have a film industry which is gaining recognition.

“For the last five years we have been showing off some of the things that are great about this city but that a lot of people don’t know about. Our success in the Gongs – and the new project which we plan to unveil soon – underlines the fact that we have the talent in Hull to create great culture and to capture it.”

Malcolm Scott, owner of Kardomah94 and organiser of the Gongs, said: “Anyone who attended any of the awards evenings appreciated the high standard of film making that takes place in the Humber region.

“The feedback from those who entered, those who judged, those who supported and those who simply enjoyed an evening’s entertainment has been nothing but positive and to learn that already a film making commission has been awarded as a result of the Gongs is tremendous news.”

Published: Monday 22nd February 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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