Eye Film is an internationally operating independent production company with 44 years of industry experience and several prestigious awards to its credit, including one from the Royal Television Society and a BAFTA nomination. Clients have regularly included BBC, Channel 4 and ITV1/Anglia TV and the team are also proud to have worked with the likes of John Peel and Sir David Attenborough.
Originally founded by Frank Prendergast and Mike Coles in 1973, Eye Film, was named after a picturesque Suffolk town, where it was based in the late 70s. In 2008 the company moved its base to Epic Studios, where a team of 7 continues to produce high quality TV content and acclaimed corporate films under the guidance of managing director Charlie Gauvain.
Charlie told us a bit more about Eye Film past and present when we caught up with him last week.
Eye Film was not a stranger to Epic before your move to the studios. Could you tell us about some of your previous work produced here over the years?
We first used the facilities at EPIC (East of England Production Innovation Centre – or ‘Epic Studios’) back in 2003 when producing the TV series ‘Going Home’. In one particular episode we filmed bringing the presenter Nicholas Parsons back to EPIC where he filmed his famous show ‘Sale of the Century’ all the way back in the 1970s and early 1980s. Then, in 2006, we returned to use the studio for our children’s drama series ‘The Secret of Eel Island’. We created sets for the scenes filmed in the caves.
Of all the exciting projects undertaken by Eye Film since its launch, which are you most proud of?
That is a difficult question, there are many for different reasons! I am very proud of the work that we have produced for the land mine clearing charity The HALO Trust, whom we have worked with for many years. Not only is what they do vitally important to so many people, it has given me the opportunity to work in and visit places that I never would have otherwise. This year particularly I loved working on a BBC East documentary ‘Fishermen to Kings: The Forgotten Photographs of Olive Edis’. It was such a fascinating piece of local history and we were able to work on the project with renowned photographer Rankin as well as actor Bernard Hill.
How have you managed to remain successful for so long in such a competitive industry?
Change. We have tried to remain flexible, watching how the industry is evolving and adapting accordingly. We are passionate about what we do and are able to make everything from broadcast quality drama/documentary to corporate video projects and training. We love to tell a story.
Could you tell us a little about the current Eye Film team?
We have such a great creative team and enjoy working together. Everyone is prepared to go that extra mile and in this industry it is important, very little is 9 – 5pm! We have a permanent team of seven staff, with other great people joining us as and when a project requires it. Several of our team members we have recruited after they have trained with us during their time on a film/video training course, the Media Learning Company, we run with City College.
You are the aerial filming partner of our sister company Extreme Video. What do you enjoy most when working with drones?
The opportunity they give you to gain a different perspective. We have used the drones to capture everything from the beauty of Norwich Cathedral, to the grounds of Benenden School and to demonstrate everything from the size and scale of tomato growing operations in the county to magnificent offshore vessels! You cannot do this in the same way filming from the ground up.
Which Eye Film productions should readers be looking out for right now?
We have just had another documentary broadcast on BBC East called ‘Invented in the East: Making Waves’ and we several other corporate and school projects in production at the moment. Do visit our website at www.eyefilm.co.uk
What is next for Eye Film?
We have some projects oversees to look forward to later in the year, working again with The HALO Trust in Cambodia, heading over to Ireland and possibly then off to work with a school in Japan. We always enjoy working locally too and building new relationships with businesses in Norfolk, particularly running our regular video training courses at Epic Studios of course!
Keep up with Eye Film projects and news on the Eye Film Blog!