#RidiculouslyGood Coffee: Cafédirect

We were recently commissioned by Cafédirect, the UK’s largest 100% Fairtrade hot drinks brand (and recently became the UK's first B Corp certified coffee producer!), to produce two pieces of content.

The first brief was to create a new brand film to tie into the launch of their new brand look and feel, whilst also educating the audience about their history and ‘alternative’ business model, as well as promoting their hashtag #RidiculouslyGood.  The second brief was to raise awareness of Cafédirect’s partnership with Hario V60 by creating a piece of how-to content which demonstrates how simple it is to use a V60 coffee maker.

When approaching the brand film, the main challenge was how do we fit in all of Cafédirect’s brand history into a 90 second film, without turning the viewer off.  To solve this, we worked closely with our Cafédirect client to pull out the key moments, whilst keeping our creative hats on to ensure the film would be fast-paced, not too heavy with business jargon and visually appealing.  

The final film combined existing footage, with graphics, stock footage and special effects, you can take a look at our handy work below:


Producing the V60 film gave us the exciting opportunity to become coffee experts in our own right!  

We worked closely with Cafédirect’s very own Coffee Q Grader (essentially a coffee boffin!) and visited their roastery to ensure we had a thorough understanding of how Cafédirects coffee is grown, what makes it so special and how best to approach a V60 coffee maker.

This new insight into coffee ensured we were fully briefed for the production of the how-to video.

As this was a how-to film, we recommended that the ever-popular ‘top-down’ filming style was used to clearly show how you use the V60.  We broke the steps down in 5 easily digestible and easy to follow pointers, and tested it ourselves ahead of the filming day.

The result was an informative, fun and easy to follow how-to film, take a look below:


Make sure to follow our V60 film when preparing your next pot of coffee - you can even do it blindfolded after watching our film! ;)


Happy Pride!


Pride season is in full swing - we were at Cannes Lions recently and were lucky enough to catch some brilliant talks on the Google Beach on Pride Day!

One that really stood out for us was the discussion around why diversity is critical to us.


Our MD, Steve Wheen is a volunteer for PrideAM, an organisation championing LGBT+ representation in advertising and marketing.

As part of his role with PrideAM, YouTube launched Pride Brand Makeover on the beach at Cannes.


Pride Brand Makeover challenges brands and agencies to reimagine their work for more diverse audiences. You can learn more about the awards (which are open now!) on the PrideAM site.

Happy Pride from everyone at The Distillery London!



The Distillery at the Media Production Show 2018

Last week some of The Distillery team were at the annual Media Production Show! Every year the MPS hold great masterclasses and talks, providing insight into the industry for newcomers and veterans alike! As well as masterclasses and workshops, the MPS showcase some of the latest tech in the industry, from cameras and lenses, to servers and drones - even cosmetics!

Rebecca, Jay, Cristina and Rika headed over to attend some talks and here are some of their notes and quotes they took from the show!  


Rebecca (Production Manager super-star)went along to the MPS to see what's new in the industry:

The BIG Interview with Producer, Simon Chinn
Simon Chinn is a double Academy Award winning British film producer known for feature documentaries. His latest documentary, Whitney, will be released this year.

He talked about how he has seen the industry change over the last ten years, with streaming platforms like Netflix impacting the way shows are commissioned.For example, the team that comes with the project is now a much more important factor for commissioners than it has been previously.

Notable quote: “Find great stories and great people and you’re gold.”

JayEmoji (1).png

Jay is our Development AP - some thoughts from Jay about some of the masterclasses he attended: 

Factual Indies - State of the Nation
With presenter led factual it’s important to find new fresh and diverse talent. It’s important to look nationwide for stories and explore different regions when developing stories or looking for talent.

The Digital Success of C5
When working on factual content it’s important to have an emotional pull central to the narrative. (On scripted)
Sebastian Cardwell: “Lower budgets can breed stronger narratives and we’re looking for scripted that can be done on a tighter budget and delivered quickly to keep things relevant to the time.”


Cristina, our in-house editor/post-production whizz-kid-guru, was VERY excited about seeing all of the new tech at the show (she spent half a day admiring servers and finding out more!).

Cinematographer's Masterclass
In this session we meet two award-winning Directors of Photography, both with extensive experience of the British film and TV industry. They talked about their careers and the main differences of filming Documentary and Drama.
“I don’t think a cinematographer could survive just as a technician, it’s incredibly important to give all you can to the aesthetic of the film.”
“Ultimately it’s all about the story, it doesn’t matter what program is. We tell stories with light.”


Rika attended a Documentary Filmmakers masterclass, hosted by Will Strauss with Jim Greayer (Producer/Director), Polly Steele (Director/Filmmaker) and Jo Hughes (Series Producer/Editor, Ambulance, BBC One). Here are some great quotes from each of the speakers from the masterclass:

Jim Greayer
Jim is a writer and director in documentary and drama. He gave a small talk about the differences in directing and writing documentary and drama pieces:
"When creating a reconstruction/dramatisation documentary you must be clear what the purpose is. Filmmaking generally is about tapping into a human experience and human emotions; basically the human condition."

"If dramatisation can enlighten us about human emotion the way that pure drama does, then it becomes this valuable thing. History is important fundamentally and human behaviour hasn’t changed."



Overall, the team had an insightful experience at the Media Production Show 2018, and we'll be sure to attend again next year!

That's all from The Distillery for now!
Watch this space for some exciting projects we're working on!



British Media Awards: we won video of the Year!

Following our nomination earlier in the year, we are ecstatic to have won ‘Video of the Year’ at the British Media Awards 2018. We were up against some awesome finalist films from VICE UK, JOE Media and Alpha Grid. With such respected names in the mix, to have made it to the shortlist was an achievement in itself, but to pick up the award was an honour!

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 15.15.08.png

Our winning film was produced for VSO to encourage young people to sign up to their overseas volunteering programme.  To answer the brief, we devised a never been seen concept which involved splitting the screen into two 180 degree sections so that the viewer experienced life as a volunteer in Kenya vs. their life back home. We made this little film to explain a little more about what we did.

There was huge engagement with the target audience, reaching more than half a million people on ICS’s Facebook, over 115,000 views and created more than 2,000 reactions, comments and shares. 

You can learn more about the film here.

If you'd like to watch it on a headset, or want to talk more about 360 & VR, get in touch!

Travelling on Trash

Keep Cups. Paper straws. Recycled plastics in fashion. Something that is very topical, and very close to our hearts at the moment is plastic pollution. Travelling on Trash is our first short form documentary and one of the first original productions from Real Stories, because it’s an adventure woven around how plastics are affecting our rivers on a huge scale. 

Our film follows the journey of six young environmentalists who build a boat from recycled materials and single use plastic bottles to journey the whole length of the Mississippi river from Minneapolis to the Gulf of Mexico to highlight one time plastic use.

The Mississippi is not only the second longest river in the world and the largest in the US, it is also one of the most polluted. Over the 56 days they friends are battered by extreme weather, a bug infestation, boat breakages and meet the river’s inhabitants along the way.  

Do go and take a look - we’re sure it’ll encourage you to purchase your KeepCup.