Wowmedia Creative Director produces A/V for historic Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier Launch – watched by the Queen!

11 07 2014


Way back in my first post (2009) when I produced the A/V for the HMS Clyde launch,         I joked about working on the Carrier launch.

Five years on, I was given the job of Creative Director for the Queen Elizabeth Naming Ceremony. This involved working with the Aircraft Alliance Partners in designing the show and producing all of the animated and video content.

It was a fantastic day. The Queen named the ship, the bottle smashed and even the Scottish weather held back the rain until after the show.

This project involved a large number of people, from government, our forces, industry and musicians – all of whom worked tirelessly to produce a quality, polished show and I feel very honored to have been part of the team.

You can view the entire Naming Ceremony here:

From the outset, I wanted to tell the story for the Carrier build using real comments from the teams of people who had deigned and built her. I filmed over 70 employee interviews at various ship-building and partner sites across the UK in just 5 days, often setting up and breaking down a portable green-screen studio 3x a day. You can see an number of the full length interviews at:
Many thanks to anyone who took part in these interviews, your stories and work on this historic piece of British engineering are truly inspirational.

I then used sections from these interviews to build an audio narrative. Mixed with time-lapse footage that we’d collected across the sites, this demonstrated how the QE was built. The video was used in the ceremony before the bottle-smash:

The other story to tell related to the QE Carriers future. Why the UK needs such a state of the art Carrier, her technology and what her roles are likely to be during her 50 year lifespan. This video includes interviews with Admiral Sir George Michael Zambellas the First Sea Lord and Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford. This video played post bottle-smash.

I also produced a number of supporting video/animated clips that played along with the people videos as entertainment before the show:

For all those techies…… I used a Canon EOS C100 to film all the interviews and B-Roll – the image detail is just amazing from this little camera making green-screens (even using a pop up green studio in a tiny portacabin next to the Tyne) . All the 3D was made using 3dstudio Max. The interviews were edited in Adobe Premiere CC and the multi-layered stuff was composited in  Adobe After Effects – for speed and as a general all-round package you can’t beat it!

Finally, a mention must also go to my soundman David Tozer for putting up with me for 5 days whilst driving the 1000s of miles on our dockyard tour and always smiling (most of the time through his teeth).

Thanks for reading. Mark.



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