Holy Ground

The Brief

The brief for this was dreamily simple, Stuart Holt, Principal of Javelin Block told us ‘you know what we do.  Make us something that fits us and fits the building’. 

The RIBA Award winning company don’t describe themselves as property developers and they decry words such as luxury, superior and designer. They do use words such as reanimation, restoration and integrity and this was evident in their approach to this project.

Our brief was to create a film that celebrated the Cometworks building and its pending apotheosis from a decrepit and disused building to 20 beautiful and authentic loft-style apartments. 

Fun Fact: In the middle of the 18th Century Birmingham’s Gun Quarter was the foremost arms producer in the world.

The Approach

Building on research provided by Javelin Block we developed a narrative informed by the  building itself and Birmingham, home of the industrial revolution. Built in 1831 it was originally a metal-pressing works. In the early 1900s it became a motorcycle factory and was home to the New Comet motorcycle which held the land speed record in 1914. It was re-purposed as a munitions factory in WW2 and had lain empty since the mid 80s.

In keeping with Javelin Block’s ethos we tracked down an original New Comet to feature in the film as well as genuine .303 calibre ammunition from the Second World War.

Ankle deep in pigeon poo and armed with one of the most comprehensive risk assessments we’ve ever done, the film was shot over two days using Lomo Anamorphic lenses to give an older, authentic feel to the film.

“We have always had an ethos within Javelin Block that meant we focused on growing organically without gimmicks and hollow marketing. So when Lee from Vermillion approached me about an idea for a short film about a restoration project I was about to start. My initial thoughts were absolutely no chance…..

However Lee and his passion and professionalism won me over so I left him to it.
 
What was produced absolutely blew me and all at Javelin Block away. We ended up sending it everywhere. It’s hard to quantify what impact the film had financially on the project, but I do know it was huge.”

Stuart Holt – Principal, Javelin Block

Winner: Best Promotional Programme
Royal Television Society 2017

The Result

The film was incredibly well received. The version you see here is, aside from one minor change, the first draft the client saw. As well as the RTS award mentioned above the film was one of three featured projects on adsoftheworld.com. The other two featured were directed by Spike Jonze and Guy Ritchie. The film was also a featured piece of work on several other sites that showcase creative work. 

We’re incredibly proud of this one.

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