Behind the scenes of the FitzRoy films

10th February 2017

FitzRoy wants everyone to have a voice, so we were thrilled when the people we support agreed to tell their stories. In our new FitzRoy videos, they share how important the things many of us take for granted, are to them: independence, learning new skills, making friends, and having fun. The crew who made the films found working with the people we support a life-changing experience. This is what they said.

“We wanted the videos to be authentic to FitzRoy and the amazing work that they do, so it was a natural decision to feature the people FitzRoy support. Whilst this felt the right thing to do, I knew it could be a challenge. There’s a lot of waiting around to get the right shot. Would our stars understand and have the patience to do things over and over again to get it right? Would they enjoy the experience?

It turned out, I didn’t need to worry. All the people I worked with were absolutely amazing. They gave up their time and opened their homes to us. They were patient and dealt with our requests with humour and grace. They listened to our instructions and followed them to a tee. When we changed our minds about a certain shot, they were more than happy to accommodate – and not with a shrug and a sigh (as sometimes happens) but with genuine enthusiasm and a real sense of wanting to get everything exactly right. 

Despite two very cold days, time challenges as we battled with losing light, accessibility issues, and train strikes, it was one of the most rewarding shoots I’ve done all year. This was down to the brilliant people. Thank you, it was a pleasure to work with you all.”

Tarryn Paul, Director

“I was excited to work with FitzRoy on a meaningful project, but I completely underestimated how humbling and heart-warming the experience would be.

During the planning we visited several FitzRoy services to meet the people they support. At first I was slightly apprehensive, but my awkwardness quickly slipped away, replaced with a warm glow. I felt emotionally charged and wanted to produce something exceptional for these wonderful people.

Our first day at Rural Skills was a visual delight, but I was unsure how much direction Anthony, our star for the day, would take. I wanted to make him comfortable and understand his needs. I quickly realised how helpful he was, with no ego, only patience and a desire to get it right. There was a moment during filming when I helped a lady up from her chair; she took my hand in hers and allowed me to guide her. The trust she placed in me was incredibly moving.

The next day we were in Colin’s home and I wanted to make sure nothing would upset him or leave him feeling confused. Like Anthony, Colin was welcoming. His fabulous sense of humour and excitement was infectious. When we filmed the goodbye hug I welled up. We were all caught in the moment and Colin’s personal story was emotionally tangible. I went home exhausted but happy.

On the final day we met a great group of youngsters. They were all enjoying themselves and very easy to direct. The shoot ended on a real high but I felt a sadness that it had come to an end. I had met some inspirational people and was genuinely amazed at the level of commitment and passion from all the FitzRoy staff. The people who starred in the films were warm, gentle and giving, I won’t forget them!

Thank you to the FitzRoy team for the opportunity to work on what was not only a great project but an emotionally rewarding experience.”

Janice Kalsi, Creative Director

Click here to watch our new FitzRoy films. We hope you enjoy watching them as much as we enjoyed making them.