"Safeguarding Adults" Wins a Learning Excellence Award 

Extra pleased that this 5-part learning drama I edited for Nice Media and NHS Health Education England has won a LEA award in the Healthcare category. The Learning Excellence Awards celebrate achievement from across the learning and development sector.

This was an exciting project to be part of as both editor, and camera operator. Commissioned by HEE, the films make up the dramatic element of an important learning course on safeguarading vulnerable adults. The purpose of HEE as an organisation is to support the delivery of excellent healthcare by ensuring the workforce has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours. Certainly a purpose we can all get behind. 

The story centres around a meeting following the violent death of Sofia, a vulnerable young woman who had been trafficked, pushed into addiction, and threatened into sex work. The sensitive subject required a lightness of touch, and during pre-production director Tom Hickmore cleverly steered the project away from any re-enactment and towards the boardroom drama genre. In his in-depth case study of the project, he explains how in a learning context retrospectively imagined situations have a greater effect on the viewer: 

"By showing a multidisciplinary team discussing a death, each professional watching will be able to reflect on how they might have found themselves in this situation, and of the impact that the death would have on them."  
Tom Hickmore

Director Tom Hickmore on set with some of the crew and cast after winning the award.

This pivotal meeting scene was developed together with a subject-matter expert. It was also book-ended by vox-pops character interviews, sharing hopes and apprehensions, as well as post-meeting reactions. For these the project made great use of our central London location, with scenes in the underground car park, corridors, restaurant and meeting rooms. 

The constraints of the budget required a lot of creativity and agility, so the muti-disciplinary meeting scene was cross-shot on three cameras, two of which handheld and one locked off for plating out booms in post. The shoot was planned carefully with diagrams to ensure adequate coverage. Luckily, I've got some great hand-held keyframe sequences ready to go to shake up that last camera. The 6-person dramatic exchange offered some challenges in the edit, but all went well and a couple of dubbed lines later, we had a great cut. Continuing further down the versions, we graded in a high-contrast inky/icy look rendering the meeting room cold, and the light focused on the characters. 

As the rest of the course content developed, Sophia’s story became a narrative that was used to attach a lot of the learning onto. This was a nice affirmation for the learning capabilities of drama. The course was deemed to be a great success, not only in terms of user response, but also in how quickly and efficiently it was created from a blank page thanks to cross-team collaboration led by Alison Potter, and realised by Nice Media.

Access to the course is free here.
Tom Hickmore's in-depth case study here
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