By Meg Egan
I love watching documentaries, but I’ve never stopped to think about how they were made and just how much effort goes into them. It’s fair to say we’ve had a baptism of fire with one of our assignments, which involves working in teams to film legends of the industry, and create a documentary about them. Some of these legends include MT Rainey, Tony Brignall and our very own Alex Taylor.
My team has been assigned Sir John Hegarty, which has given us the opportunity to not only meet the man himself but some incredible industry figures who have worked with him along the way.
The enormity of the task didn’t hit us until we sat down to transcribe and edit hours of footage from the various interviews we had filmed. It was clear it was going to take a lot of trial and error, and several edits, to cut down so much great video into a 20-minute documentary.
There were a lot of learning curves along the way too, such as making sure everyone’s phones are off to prevent interference with the microphones, ensuring you have several camera angles and the interviewer not interrupting the person being filmed (oops). We’ve also realised that maybe we should have thought more about filming some b-roll footage to link shots together.
Nevertheless, we’ve finally started to get first edits of chapters finished and the film is finally starting to take shape, especially after a masterclass with Rob M, which showed us that Premiere Pro should be used over After Effects for video editing, as it makes your workflow far quicker and more efficient.
We have chosen to explore different aspects of Sir John Hegarty’s personality and what has made him so successful – his ideas, his character, the people he has kept by his side, his honesty and his ability to reinvent himself.
During the course of the filming, we have met with the likes of Robin Wight, Rosie Arnold and Dave Trott, who have shared some interesting anecdotes about working with John, including visitors being asked to sit on a black sheep statue in his office at BBH, how he jokes about God being an unreliable partner in his new vineyard venture in France, and secret parties being held in his office while he was working in New York.
It has been a real privilege getting to know so many industry legends and spending time finding out what made Sir John Hegarty to successful. I am still amazed at how he can turn his hand to anything. The Garage is Soho seems like such a perfect fit for him, as each day he has a new business coming through the door for him to make a success; we last heard from Rosie Arnold that he was talking about putting the ‘fun into funerals’.
Sir John Hegarty truly is a remarkable and inspirational person, who has always zagged while others zigged. I can’t wait to get our final edit done show our documentary to the world.