Category Archives: Anniversary

10 Years Old Today… Here’s To Another 10 – Message From Our CEO Chris Roberts

By | Anniversary, Interview | No Comments

Today marks InVision’s 10th birthday. In 2010, after more than two decades of working in television news at ITN and Sky News, I said farewell to journalism and began a different adventure.


Although this current year has certainly been challenging, I’ve no regrets about the change in career direction and have some memories from the past ten years that are a match for anything I experienced in 20 years “on the telly.”


I’ve directed a fundraising film in war torn Syria and worked with Sir David Attenborough on a climate change video. I’ve filmed experts tasting champagne that was a century old and worked with clients producing the most cutting edge technology. I’m particularly proud of putting together a team of talented people whose love of the art of storytelling matches my own. Thanks to Chris, Phil, Lucy, James, Martin, David, Simon and the many other camera operators and editors who’ve helped to create some truly memorable films. So what do the next ten years hold? Well Covid-19 has already forced us to adapt the way we support clients in delivering the services we provide. For almost six months now, all the media and presentation training courses we’ve run have been via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.


The filming side of things has been a real challenge and all the conferences and events we had in the diary from March onwards were cancelled or postponed. We are still filming with some clients (under strict Covid-19 protocols), but a real growth area has been training clients how to film video clips of themselves or colleagues on their smartphones and tablets. We then take the raw footage and polish it in post production with graphics and video effects. We’ve also been running a one hour “We are all TV Presenters Now” online course aimed at teaching people how to effectively deliver their key messages via a computer screen.


One message that has come through loud and clear from so many clients is the need for effective and engaging communications at a time when so many employees and stakeholders in general are worried about the future. It’s no good burying your head in the sand and hoping this is all a bad dream. The companies that are going to ride out this storm are the ones who are being proactive in talking to their staff and customers. Although a rocky few months still lie ahead, I remain confident that the next decade will offer up myself and InVision the chance to work with new clients as well as continuing to support the ones we’ve collaborated with over the past ten years.


Although I would rather not return to Syria, I would happily work with David Attenborough again for free. If Moët & Chandon decide to auction some more vintage champagne I could also be persuaded to return to Épernay.


Finally thanks to all of the clients we’ve worked with since 2010. It’s been a pleasure to help you tell your stories.

Looking Back – Moët & Chandon

By | Anniversary, Interview, Uncategorized | No Comments

The past ten years have seen InVision work with clients from Austria to Australia. One of the most magical assignments however involved us working underground in a cold dark cellar.
Moët & Chandon commissioned us to film a tasting session in their grand vintage reserve cellar in Épernay. This was no ordinary tasting however as it involved a selection of the finest champagne vintages from the past 100 years. The bottles were being chosen ahead of an auction at Sotheby’s.


Director of Photography Simon Elsbury had to light the cellars using specialist equipment that emitted no heat. The temperature needed to remain constant to avoid damaging the wine in any way. Some of the vintages were worth thousands of pounds a bottle.


We were thrilled with the final edit, as were Moët who kindly sent the testimonial below.


“A stunningly intimate and engaging film, the perfect result for our owned media channels and editorial too”

Looking Back – Aspinal of London

By | Anniversary, How To & Advice, Interview | No Comments

InVision has worked with number of global brands over the past decade but the series of films we produced for the luxury leather goods company Aspinal of London set us a new and exciting challenge.


The aim was to showcase the brand’s iconic Mayfair range of bags. The brief was to highlight both the stunning colours and the handmade craftsmanship that is required to make each piece.


Director of Photography Don McVey and filmmaker Kieron Jansch created a film set next to the Aspinal of London offices incorporating a range of cameras and lenses costing well over £200,000. Editor Lucy Croft-Wang then produced a series of stunning films that were used widely across the company’s website and social media channels. Both the bags and the films are things of beauty.

Looking Back – Heads Together

By | Anniversary, How To & Advice, Interview | No Comments

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England.


1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety anddepression) in any given week in England.


Source: www.mind.org.uk


Despite those truly alarming statistics, people suffering from mental health issues are often frightened to even talk about their problems because of the social stigma attached to mental illness. That stigma and discrimination often traps people into a cycle of despair they struggle to escape from.


The Heads Together campaign aims to break down those barriers to conversation to ensure that people feel as comfortable talking about their mental health as their physical health.
InVision was approached to produce the campaign’s launch video. The brief was to “Get the conversation started” and involved various relevant charitable organisations plus senior members of the Royal Family. Working closely with these multiple stakeholders we developed a storyboard that was inclusive, dynamic and engaging. The end video received enormous media coverage and successfully launched the Heads Together mission. InVision went on to produce dozens more films with the campaign, helping to break down the walls that have surrounded mental health issues for generations.

Looking back – Invictus

By | Anniversary, Communication | No Comments

The Invictus Games Foundation aims to use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. Its launch Patron was Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, and with his leadership and media pulling power the Games have been an enormous success on many levels.

An InVision production team led by James Munro covered not only the Games themselves but produced a wide range of promotional films to boost both the Games’ audience and public awareness of what Invictus is aiming to do.

Looking Back – Human Appeal

By | Anniversary, How To & Advice | No Comments

The film project from the last ten years that differentiates InVision from almost every other video production company involved us travelling undercover into Syria at the height of the country’s bloody and brutal civil war.

We were commissioned by the Islamic charity Human Appeal and posed as aid workers to cross the Turkey/Syria border.


InVision CEO Chris Roberts, (ex ITN and Sky News), and Cameraman Simon Elsbury then visited various camps, makeshift hospitals and aid distribution centres to capture the images we needed to tell this heartbreaking story.


The film above is a two minute wrap video and is narrated by Chris Roberts. This video, and various others we produced from footage recorded on the trip were then shown both on television and at fundraising events raising millions in donations.


We’re immensely proud of what this project achieved, even though the civil war itself raged on. Even now civilians are dying on a daily basis. What the film hopefully illustrates is our ability to tell stories in an engaging, powerful and emotive way, even in the most challenging of environments.

Human Appeal continue to do important work and right now are in need of donations in order to help those that have been left homeless by the deadly blast in Lebanon; the blast killed 170 and left over 300,000 homeless – if you wish to donate please do so through their website. 

www.humanappeal.org.uk

Looking Back – Corpus Christi

By | Anniversary, How To & Advice | No Comments

One of the most historically captivating projects InVision has worked on over the past decade was a film we produced for Corpus Christi College in Oxford. The College commissioned the video to lead a fundraising campaign to build a new wing for their library.


The brief was complex and involved multiple College locations. We would also be filming priceless books and manuscripts that were rarely shown in public. Finally the College wanted an alumnus, Book Historian Paul Quarrie to present the film, despite his admission that he didn’t watch television and didn’t even own a TV set.


We began with two days of location research in Oxford, identifying both filming opportunities and the people who would bring the story to life. We then spent a day working with Paul Quarrie on his presentation skills and editing the rough script the College had given us. Only then did filming begin.


Our budget was limited but the College wanted the film to have the look and feel of a high end BBC documentary, albeit one with a running time of under ten minutes. Although Paul Quarrie may not inherit David Attenborough’s TV crown, he took onboard all our advice and was a passionate and incredibly knowledgeable presenter. He, the College and the InVision production team were all delighted with the end film

InVision Turns 10 – Message from our CEO – Chris Roberts

By | Anniversary, How To & Advice, Uncategorized | No Comments

September 17th marks InVision’s ten year anniversary. Although the current work climate is somewhat challenging, I’ve enjoyed the adventures of the past decade as much as the 20 years I spent working on the TV News frontline. And no-one has tried to shoot me with my InVision hat on. Apart from the film we produced in Syria….but more on that later.


Setting up a business in 2010 was far from easy. Companies across the world were still reeling from the financial crash of 2008 and communications budgets were being slashed. Approaching clients in the hope of securing work was also a very sobering lesson for me on a personal level. For 20 years I had called people or press offices with the opening words “Hi. It’s Chris Roberts here from ITN/Sky News.” Even if they didn’t really want to talk to me, I was part of the media establishment and that meant they had to respond in some way. Cold calling or emailing when you’re looking for work is a completely different game. If I’m totally honest, I estimate less than 10% of the work InVision has delivered over the past ten years was actually generated by that kind of approach. 20 plus years in the media however had given me, and other members of the InVision team, the opportunity to build up a network of contacts across a wide range of industries. Those connections gave us a “foot in the door” and the chance to develop and grow working relationships.


I thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane this month and revisit some of the film projects I’m most proud of from the past decade. In my TV career I was handed a diverse variety of assignments and it’s been the same story with InVision. There was one month for instance where cameraman Simon Elsbury and I went from documenting the extraordinary work being done by an aid agency in Syria to filming in the Moët & Chandon cellars in Épernay. I’m immensely proud of both of those films but the contrast could hardly be greater.


We’ve helped charities raise their profiles and raise millions in donations. We’ve worked on campaign issues such as climate change and mental health. And we’ve filmed with luxury brands and celebrities.


We’ve evolved so much as a company over the past 10 years and continue to adapt in these changing times. We are supporting clients by delivering media training via Zoom/Microsoft Teams. Camera crews have also gone through Covid-19 training to ensure we offer the safest possible environment when filming. It’s been a rollercoaster at times and I’m sure the next decade will have its highs and lows as well. What will remain constant however is the love of storytelling that I, and the rest of the team at InVision bring to the work we do.


Chris Roberts, InVision Founder and C.E.O.