Pre lockdown filming: Creating ‘This Time’, the Harmless 12th anniversary celebration film

Hi my name is Georgie and alongside my role as Driver, I also volunteer where I make most of the film and media content for Harmless and The Tomorrow Project! I started working with them a couple of years ago as a student, and now I work full time creating content for their social media, website and events.

The variety of work I get to make in this role is all part of the fun of working here & it’s rare two days look exactly the same. In the last few months I’ve been making lots of content from home, so here’s a look back at a day-in-the-life of a Harmless film I made in 2019!


To prep for the shoot I check over all my notes & paperwork, and send a quick message to my actor to confirm the time/location for the shoot with her. We’re filming in the afternoon, so I get on with some editing for a few hours. I began working on this project a couple of weeks ago with Caroline & my DOP Jane, I find it really useful to talk out my ideas with other people – and it’s really exciting to see a project move so fast from initial mind mapping to filming!


Jane arrives & we use this time to ensure everything we need for the shoot is packed up. Got to remember having batteries charged, SD cards cleared, shot lists printed or sent to phones, and equipment in order.


Arrive at our meeting spot near Lancaster Royal Infirmary. I say hi to Catherine (my actor) and go over my plan for filming with her, including double checking the costuming we’d planned between us in advance.


Start filming along the Lancaster Canal tow path. We’re filming with some gorgeous natural light, and Jane tries a few things at the beginning to find the ‘look’ I want for the film.


As we’re filming in public – and don’t have a multi-million dollar budget to lock off the whole town – we have to do a few takes sometimes to get shots without awkward passersby on the path.


We planned our filming route as a big loop, winding our way round the back of the train station up to Lancaster Castle – our main shooting location. The content of this film is quite intense, so between us we made sure to keep the mood light and fun as much as possible. The way up to the castle is quite the hill so we had a little break before moving off again. I used this time to double check I got what I wanted at this location, as well as checking in with Catherine and Jane that they were happy with everything so far.


Heading away from the castle back towards our interior location, we used the journey through the city centre to get some extra footage.


After climbing our second hill of the day to get back the house (Lancaster is very hilly), we took a snack break before shooing the interior house and car scenes.


That’s a wrap! We were able to film everything needed for the film in one afternoon – always happy when things all go to plan. After filming, me and Jane do the boring bit of packing down any equipment and putting batteries on charge ready for the next shoot. We also do the most important bit of transferring all the files onto a computer and external hard drive.


I remember to eat something!


Time to start the edit. From the outside (and sometimes the inside too) this can be a really slow and boring process, but seeing what’s in your mind actually come together is really exciting! I begin by selecting the best take from each scene to use in the edit, and start throwing things together. Often it takes a few goes to get the right style you’re looking for on a fluid/mood piece like this, so we experiment! A trick that often works is building the visuals around some music, and a gorgeous cover of The Smiths by John Housley – a late friend of the Harmless team – fully brought it all together.


I send over the first draft to Caroline to get her feedback – an essential step in the post production process!


When everything for the film is cleared by the bosses, I upload to the youtube channel. On other projects I also make sure to caption all dialogue to keep things accessible.


I message Catherine and Jane to say thanks for everything they put into the film, and send over a link for them to see the final edit.


My day is done! You can see the film, which was shown at Harmless’ 12th Anniversary Celebration Event, here: