5 Shortlisted Cannes Lions films we love...

It’s Friday and Cannes Lions is nearly over for another year. The shortlist for the film category is out so we thought, what better way to spend the day than sifting through the shortlist (well most of them) and sharing the 5 films that really stood out for us. So, out of the 271 nominated films that made our Friday, here's what we thought.






Congratulations to all - we hope to see you on the beach in Cannes next year!

APA Masterclass

This week, Rebecca Groves The Distillery's Production Manager writes about her recent experience at the APA masterclass.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the APA’s Masterclass, a week-long intensive training course that covers all aspects of production. It was a fantastic chance to learn from top producers and industry leaders, as well as meet peers, make new friends and play around with big, expensive equipment.

We learnt a lot about how different areas of production work together, how to plan a schedule, and how to set up and run a budget. New skills which were soon put to the test as I production managed the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal for famine in East Africa, just a month later.

During the two week appeal, part of Team Distillery moved into the DEC’s office at King’s Cross, where we created over 200 pieces of online content. These ranged from videos, to gifs, to live streams, all of which were made to spread awareness and ultimately help raise money. My role as production manager was to keep the post-production team happy, assist with running the in-house studio schedule, and liaise with our creatives and shooting team. I also helped manage content from the DEC’s member agency charities, while our producers managed teams in Somalia and South Sudan, and an extensive creator outreach programme.

With so much going on in such a short space of time, our shooting and post-production schedules had to be meticulously managed and kept up to date. At The Distillery we make platform-specific content, a practice which we continued throughout the appeal, so we had to build time into our schedules for creating many versions of each piece of content. In our in-house studio we went live on Facebook every day; on one particularly busy day we actually produced 8 live streams (much caffeine was consumed.) 

We made so many films during the appeal, but this is one of my favourites!

It was amazing to be part of a team that helped to raise over £50 million for such a great cause, and the skills I learned from the APA Masterclass really helped us get there.

GANT, Google NEXT 2017 & The Distillery London...

Google Next is Google’s biggest event ever; bringing together over 4,000 people to the ExCel centre to learn about the future of Google’s latest platforms. The event is held across 3 days and consists of keynote speeches, interactive exhibits and immersive experiences for everyone from executives, customers, partners, developers, IT decision makers, and Google Engineers.

Our latest collaboration with the Google team was being launched here too – on Google Cardboards!     

At the end of last year, we were invited by Google to tell the story of how Google G-Suite transformed the workflow of the iconic brand of Gant during the launch of their new concept store. For us, the perfect medium for a behind-the-scenes, access-all-areas insight into the heritage brand was 360 video. The audience would be immersed in the whole story from start to finish, from the design office witnessing the creative process unfold, to the factory seeing the shirt being manufactured and finally at new store opening for the first time.

GANT loved the idea of being under the many lensed spotlight of 360 camera rigs, so we worked closely with their shirt team to co-ordinate the story, filming and access. Opening a flagship store can take a year. GANT were doing it in three months with one team working seamlessly (forgive the pun!) across three countries to meet incredibly ambitious deadlines. Using a small team we shot in all three locations; Gant HQ in Stockholm, their manufacturing factory in Porto and their flagship store in London. Mathew Wood, at the time then Gant’s newly appointed Creative Director provided a voice-over with the right balance of intimate insight in to the company vision. We interviewed him in Stockholm HQ just after he returned from a hectic 24 hours of back-to-back meetings in New York about the next season’s fabrics. The fashion world is always a season or two ahead.

360 shooting is unusual because you choreograph the action, but then during the actual filming have to go and hide out of shot. We must have looked to be the wierdest film crew the GANT team had ever seen. Experiential viewing is also a lot slower than normal 2D film; so the experience of a 360 director is vital to not only select most engaging placement for the camera, but to create the right pace for viewing.

The final film’s YouTube release coincided with the NEXT event whilst a shorter cut down teaser ran in a Facebook campaign and a panoramic still was used to generate excitement on twitter. And NEXT for us – we’ve just returned from our latest 360 VR piece that combines the two worlds of Kenya and Newcastle in a very innovative way. (And it didn’t involve any hiding!)

That's a wrap


It's been an incredible year for social video. Instagram launched stories to much success. Snap lost its chat and Twitter opened up its moments. For us, this was the year live streaming really came into its own and VR turned heads.

We have been privileged to be able to weave these incredible mediums together for effective content plans that hero brands, charities and individuals that fill us with hope and optimism.

From ‘stopping the cracks’ with Oxfam and sharing Barberology's incredible growth with Google to ‘Collaborating For Good’ with influencers, and telling a plethora of personal tales detailing heroic deeds, we’ve been enriched by working with clients who see the value in championing stories that are both creative and authentic.

We hope you’re looking forward to 2017 as much as we are. There are so many amazing stories still to uncover and as the platforms we work with continue to evolve, there will be new, creative and exciting ways for us to tell them. 

We will see you in January, fresh and ready to discover, distill and delight.

Happy holidays from all of us at The Distillery London


Our latest series of films for JustGiving highlights 4 everyday heroes who have made an incredible impact in their own communities by raising money on JustGiving, and whose actions have had far reaching ramifications.

They truly are #LifeChangers - it was a pleasure to bring these stories to life.

Keep an eye out for the supporting Tube campaign around London! You can learn more about these stories here.

Summertime and the Filming's Easy

With a rare ‘real’ summer in Great Britain, The Distillery London has left the M25 to capture many fun and interesting stories for a variety of projects.




From Newcastle to Cornwall, Wales to Brighton, it has been a busy and fun summer so far!  These stories are part of upcoming campaigns to highlight the real heroes using Customer products and services.  Authenticity of filming in the home towns of these heroes has added lovely realism and warmth, showcasing inspirational heroes on their home turf!

In short...Watch this space!!

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen the sampling of our past projects that have inspired us, do so now below!

Have a wonderful summer holiday and we look forward to sharing these projects and potentially yours in the autumn!  For more information do get in touch at info@thedistillery.tv

JustGiving Awards 2016- Open for Nomination

We're pleased to share that our good friends at JustGiving have their annual awards open for nomination here.  These awards focus on all the amazing fundraisers working hard at their hobbies or habits to make a difference for the causes they love.


If you fundraise or know of amazing fundraisers that inspire you and make an impact on a cause and/or community/individuals, nominate them!


Here's a look back at all the amazing nominees from last year's awards!


We're hiring! 2 month paid junior creative internship!

The Distillery London are currently offering a 2 month internship for a multi-disciplined social-video loving junior creative. This is a unique opportunity to work on live briefs for a wide variety of projects; from product launches to charity campaigns to developing in-house publishing channels.


The Distillery London creates multi platform video campaigns for a varied client list - from Google to JustGiving to The DEC. We are looking for an enthusiastic creative who wants to make their mark as a creative, working with an award winning team developing creative ideas and strategies.


Our creative intern will be someone who loves to tell stories through film in unique and new ways. You’ll be involved from brief, research, pitching and production stages - you love being challenged creatively, thinking through briefs and helping devise creative ideas that meet client expectations, using emerging tech and platforms in engaging ways.


We are looking for someone with a positive attitude, who is passionate about online video and trends, who is ready to learn from our high-performing team. You must be confident working in an informal but busy office environment. As an Intern, you will be the most junior member of our team and should be willing to get involved cheerfully in whatever we ask you to do.


A job is not guaranteed at the end of the internship, but the skills and experience you pick up with us will stand you in very good stead for a job in a creative agency environment or as an in-house creative with an organisation similar to ours.


To apply please fill out this form. Please note we expect a high volume of internships and we cannot reply to everyone who applies.

Attention! 4 Things to think about in your brief and other musings from eMarketer's London event

I had the pleasure of attending eMarketer’s Attention London event a few weeks ago.  Admittedly, it was the best content end to end I’ve seen in a convention in ages.  The learnings were high, the insights applicable and the arrival/future of VR is imminent. Though we had the pleasure of hearing current market trends from eMarketer, we also heard from Facebook and GE, but one of the most fascinating discussions was on the Neuroscience of marketing.  Below is the method suggested, which we agree, may be the process to go through when developing your creative brief.


At the beginning of your project, diagnose the pain.  Basically, what’s the insight?  How is your audience struggling currently without your product or service?  What is the human experience that we all know; waiting in queue for coffee, checking the board for the next Tube, or the unpredictability of the weather? Identify this pain first and not only on how much you would like to push your product. 

One pain we discuss is how to find your customers.  Here’s the reality - your customers most likely are on mobile and they are watching video.  YouTube/eMarketer reported in February that the average YouTube mobile watch time is 40 minutes!  Your pain doesn’t have to be how to reach your customers, it should be focused on your core product.  Video can play a vital role in reducing the way in which you can reach your customers, and look, they are watching on Mobile on YouTube!


The next step is to differentiate.  What are your competitors doing? How will  your messaging get through if you are emulating the market? How can you adjust your brief to make things seem new and unique, just like the product you’re using?  Facebook presented on the future of live stream and video, a day before they announced that anyone can upload a panoramic photo to their stream and the social network will turn it into a 360 picture.  Here’s one we took today in lovely Piccadilly Circus!  This is one way to be first on the market: utilising a new offering that customers are keen to play with.  This is only one idea on how to differentiate yourselves from your competitor.  Video has the ability to emote, shock, surprise, please and consider - while over 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s still the first place that consumers and companies are looking  to make decisions on their purchase path.  How can we help make your videos stand out while addressing the pain of your audience?


The third brief process is to demonstrate the gain. As it turns out, your brain hates to lose.  The idea that a loss has taken place makes it stubborn and unhappy.  The brand challenge is to demonstrate how your product has addressed the pain, in a differentiated way, to have your consumer (applicable in the b2b space as well) win.  GE spoke about their project last week named #droneweek, where over one week they livestreamed 15 minutes of behind the scenes video, via drone, straight from various strategic locations across Brazil ahead of the Olympics.  By allowing their customer to view this epic footage at extraordinary heights, they felt they were seeing something unique and special (which they were).  It’s not always necessary to show drone footage (though our Master Distiller may disagree) to show the gain of your campaign/product and this was a hyper special endeavour.  However, it demonstrates how far you can go in your creative process, and how excited you can get your audience to be, by showing that differentiated proposal in an exciting way.  


Lastly, take all of the knowledge above and try to appeal to your customer’s reptilian brain. Now this is a much larger conversation than can be addressed here, but here are the basics as I understand it.  There are 3 parts of the brain, the ‘oldest’ part, is known as the reptilian brain.  This is the part of your brain that is always on as well as responsible for your basic instinct for survival.  This part of your customer’s brain (and yours) is inherently self-centered.  It will pay attention when it applies to them, and if you have already demonstrated a pain and gain that is applicable to this customer’s brain, you’re far along.

It likes visual stimuli and visual contrast makes it engage.  Here we reach the potential of VR.  Creating a stimulating experience that allows your reptilian brain to step into a specific experience engages the brain and thought to fully immerse into your product’s capability/messaging.  Again, to appeal to this part of the brain you may not always need 360 VR experiences (and again, our Master Distiller may disagree) but it does allow for a unique opportunity to share your experience.  

Thank you to eMarketer for the great content and for reinforcing what we here at The Distillery London always believe; know your user  - their pain, their needs, and what puts them at the centre of your messaging. Know your product - why is it different, why do people care, how do people gain from what you do and then put them together in your brief.  From there, creativity takes over to make/produce the magic moment your consumer engages and connects with your content.

If you would like to talk more about applying these practices to your content strategy, give us a buzz @ info@thedistillery.tv

#PoweredbyPeople Part 3

This is the third installment of the #PoweredByPeople campaign.  For the whole story, check out the first post here and the second post here,

The final #PoweredByPeople campaign for JustGiving has gone live over the past few weeks. The campaign kicked off by asking JustGiving fundraisers what motivates them to go to the amazing lengths they go to, to raise money for the causes they care about. 

It was great to see the hashtag spread across social media, with user generated content (UGC) flying thick and fast as people shared their (often very) personal stories. In the lead up to the London Marathon we helped produce personalised content for each of the runners who ran the Marathon. Their personalised videos showed messages of support from their Just Giving Pages.


Bringing together just a few of our favourite stories shared across platforms, UGC drove the final segment of content for the campaign. From Facebook native video, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter video, we've utilised the features of these different social video platforms to bring this multi platform campaign to life. Using users stories, the films feel authentic - something we strongly believe that needs to be the cornerstone for any social video campaign.

As the #PoweredByPeople conversation continues, it shows that for so many passionate fundraisers and crowdfunders, the finish line of the marathon is just the starting line...

We're Hiring! Creative Producer 3 Month Contract to full hire

We’re riding a serious growth curve which means we need to bring in a brilliant creative thinking Producer.  Warning: this is not your average 9-5, and we never aim to be.  Hours may be long, each day will be different, but if you have great ideas, are agile and love custard tarts this may be the place for you!

Creative Producer

If you’re a creative producer who loves online video, enjoys the challenges of developing awesome creative and can juggle a number of projects simultaneously, then read on.

Reporting to our Master Distiller, our creative Producer will be responsible for ensuring the continued smooth running of The Distillery client projects. This includes creative development, content production and client management for our diverse range of clients.

More specifically, the role entails the following:

Creative thinking

We need someone with experience creating and developing award winning online video strategy,  who can deliver that strategy through original thinking and creative content.

You’ll need a deep understanding of online video platforms - YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, Instagram etc. And be able to manage the creative process from taking a brief to final delivery, naturally, this means you need to be full of be great ideas (or have a black book filled with contacts who you’ve worked with to develop great ideas in the past) and want to bring to life excellent video content creation.

Client facing

Part and parcel of delivering great work is making sure clients get what they need and enjoy working with us. We need someone who wants to work with clients in partnership and to take pride on being the best we can be in terms of making clients happy and successful and truly fulfilling the work our clients ask us to do.

Project Management

We work on all sorts of different social video content projects with clients including Global NASDAC listed companies and not for profit charities.

You’ll need an eye for detail, be commercially minded and have a desire to be profitable and to see where we might be more profitable without letting quality and creative discipline slip.

You’ll need to have a proven experience bringing together all of the various elements required for complex shoots, in a range of environments, both quickly and efficiently both on time and on budget.

Clearly, we all need to know what’s going on with live projects; being efficient and communicative around project management is as important as the project management itself. So, your ability to work independently while communicating with stakeholders at key moments during the process is tremendously important.

Other elements we’d love you to have but that aren’t critical are YouTube Certification and it would be grand if you’ve managed live streaming over Hangouts & YouTube and worked with high profile online influencers.

Lastly it would be great if you had some FCP skills and you’re ready to travel!

What we’ll give in return:

A great, interesting working environment in a creative business which is growing quickly and doing brilliant work located in the heart of Soho.

Pay circa £30,000 - £35,000 per annum depending on the level of your experience. Initially we are offering a 3 month contract with the view to moving to a full time contract.

Please send us a 1 page cover letter (including links to your work - please include at least one campaign link, your favourite project you’ve ever done, and one project you liked, but in hindsight you would change what?) along with a short CV to jobs@thedistillery.tv.




Spring Time Inspiration

As we duck between April springtime showers and we anxiously await the May flowers, we’ve had the opportunity at The Distillery London to pull together just a few of our highlights in the past year.

From Nepal to Richmond Park, from cupcakes to collaborations, from James Bond to Superman, it has been a mighty enjoyable endeavor. The following demonstrates videos that have been viewed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other email or event marketing campaigns.

Each represents a different audience being championed, educated or engaged with; and in some instances all three! We have loved every minute of creating all of these videos and campaigns.

So please, sit back, relax, enjoy and do let us know if we can help bring your video strategy to life!

Collaborate for Good

A few Thursdays ago, The Distillery London had the pleasure of hosting an event for the DEC called #Collab4Good.

The aim of the event was to bring together YouTube influencers and educate them about the DEC and the unique way they work in order to launch an appeal when disaster strikes.

By building a hands-on collaborative environment, YouTubers had plenty of time to mingle and make new connections with creators they normally wouldn’t have a chance to meet. The theme of the event was definitely ‘Together’ as this is how the DEC brings together 13 leading UK aid charities in a crisis. Collaborate 4 Good celebrated that spirit by linking together YouTubers to use their platforms for good.

If this doesn't spell C-O-L-L-A-B then we don't know what does... #throwbackthursday #throwback #tbt #Collab4Good #instagood

A photo posted by the distillery london (@thedistilleryuk) on

It was amazing to see the videos produced by creators on the night, from vlogs to stop-motion animations! We’ve included some of our favourites below.

Thanks to all of the Creators who came in to participate, educate and collaborate for #Collab4Good!

If you would like to #Collab4Good in the future, please get in touch! Also, if you attended and we have missed some of your work - please share it with us at info@thedistillery.tv!

How a global company is giving back

Recently, The Distillery London headed to sunny Madrid to highlight the amazing technology company, BQ. The result was this stunning video commissioned by Google to show how Google Apps for Work has transformed how BQ innovates, educates and inspires people with technology.

BQ is a company made up of wonderfully warm, bright and innovative individuals that not only care about their work but are deeply socially conscious about how their work can help change their country and their world. They have a dedicated innovation team that are allowed to go off and create whatever they want without KPIs, deadlines or boundaries with the sole aim of allowing that team to dream the impossible and then see if they can use technology to make it possible. e.g mind controlled robotic arms for survivors of African genocides that have lost limbs.

At first glance, this is a story about how successful BQ has been at making mobile phones, but what makes BQ and this story so unique is that they are exploring and using their knowledge to create innovative and future changing technology like 3D printers, robots, applications, body sensors etc...

They have a higher aim and a much more difficult goal than just to be a profit making business. They want to invest back into their country, the next generation and ultimately educate everyone to harness the power of technology. They are completely open source and encourage the users that purchase their products to hack, programme, rebuild and recreate. They are truly committed to making technology accessible to all.

It’s no secret that countries of the southern EU like Spain, Portugal, Greece etc have undergone and are undergoing financial crisis, mass unemployment and poverty. This is well documented in press, economic studies, it’s not a revelation. What is inspiring, is a company like BQ not only surviving in such a climate, but flourishing and giving back to its community.

One of BQ’s unique problems is remaining focussed on their core profit making business and their more altruistic higher purpose and aims. Growing with stability. The journey of their core products (mobile phones, ereaders and tablets) is illustrated in the video case study but also their ambitions - 3D printers, robotics and why.

One of the main lessons learnt on this shoot was that a mobile company isn’t just a mobile company. If you give your people freedom and support and ethical business practices and goals you get the best out of them and may even be able to change the world.

If we were to give BQ a slogan it would be "never stop dreaming and never stop helping others". Not bad for a company that makes mobiles.