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Wednesday 18 March 2015

Competition winners' film to be featured on the BBC

Three students from BA (Hons) Media Production (Top Up) recently took part in ‘BBC Fresh’, a competition where young people were encouraged to submit short documentaries focusing on issues that affect them.

Emma Clingo, Jannis Döring and Solveig Uferfound (pictured above) jumped at this opportunity and produced ‘Together Alone’, a documentary which explored their own experiences of living away from their hometowns in both the UK and Germany, and the challenges that maintaining long-distance relationships can bring.

The film obviously struck a chord at the BBC, as it was hand-picked to be part of the project. Ella Clingo was extremely pleased that her team’s film had been chosen:

“Having the chance to get ‘Together Alone’ aired online through the BBC was a something we couldn’t miss – we knew all three of us would benefit from the experience.

“I didn’t think we would get chosen, but receiving the email to say we had made the grade really made all the effort and hard work we put into the production worth it. It was such a good feeling knowing our skills had been noticed!”

One of the long-distance couples who were featured in the film

Working as a professional production unit, the team also collaborated with students on different courses to produce an original soundtrack. Fellow Southampton Solent student Kingsley McGregor, from BA (Hons) Music Performance, was one of the students who worked on the composition. He has also seen success as a session musician for BBC’s ‘The Voice’.

The media students’ tutor, Roy Hanney, was the first one to suggest that the students enter the BBC competition:

“When I set the brief for the factual production course I was looking for something that would get the students to think beyond the curriculum and the confines of the campus. When I saw that BBC Fresh were looking for young people to submit short documentaries, I thought that it looked like an excellent brief.

“What I liked most of all was that they would be dealing directly with a big media institution and would have to comply with their legal compliance requirements for copyright and permissions.

“They would also be addressing a brief set by the BBC. If successful they would get their films shown on the website, with the further possibility to be screened on BBC Four.”

Commenting on why they chose to explore long-distance relationships, Emma Clingo said:

“We chose to document long-distance relationships because all three of us live away from our hometown, and have close friends here at university who were in long distance relationships.

“We knew it hadn’t been produced before and a lot of individuals at university could relate to the experience that our interviewees were going through”.

Solveig Ufer, the producer of ‘Together Alone’, found working on the documentary a positive experience:

“When producing this film we thought we would find individuals who had problems with being so far apart from each other, but in the end the interviewees ended up explaining how it made their relationships stronger, and created special moments when they were reunited.”

Paul Marchbank, who is head of media here at Southampton Solent University, think that as more of our students come from overseas, this issue will become more prevalent on campus:

“It is fitting that a number of these students come from a partner institution in Germany, and are currently trying to maintain long distance relationships themselves. As Southampton Solent University recruits more students from across the world, long distance relationships are likely to become an increasingly common phenomenon here on campus.

“To have their work posted by the BBC is a real accolade for the students, and exemplifies our aim to prepare students for hands-on roles in the media industry.”

‘Together Alone’ is told by four individuals, Rachael, Sebastian, Christian and Jacob. Their relationships are conducted across oceans and borders, proving that distance doesn’t have to have a negative impact on a relationship.

Watch on the iPlayer right now: