Our new Filling Up film for Drowning Prevention Week 2014, aimed at 11-15-year-olds, is meeting with high praise. Written by HROC, produced by Chrome and with special effects by Artem, the film recites the story of a young boy who gets into trouble in the water while out with his friends.

Here we take a behind the scenes look at how the film came together.

Click here for behind the scenes footage of the film.

What HROC said:

“Right from the very outset, we thought there’d be a couple of significant hurdles to overcome if the film was to turn out how we’d envisaged. First, we needed to find a production company that felt the same kind of passion and enthusiasm for the project we all felt – a group of people who would take it to heart in the same way we had. Second, we needed a child actor who could not only memorise a two-minute script but also deliver the performance of his life while being repeatedly immersed in ever-colder water. Thankfully, we found Chrome. And then we found young Jack Kane. Let’s be honest, we couldn’t have done it without Chrome. They hooked us up with the incredible people at Artem and, between them, they took ingenuity and problem-solving to new levels to conquer the raft of technical issues. As for Jack, suffice to say he went from being our biggest worry to the very least of our concerns. He absolutely nailed it. Everyone here at HROC is thrilled by the end product. The film is perhaps even more powerful and impactful than we’d hoped and we’re sure it’s going to deliver exactly the right kind of message for the Royal Life Saving Society UK during Drowning Prevention Week. The creative team behind it both have kids in the target group it’s aimed at, so it’s a subject very close to HROC hearts.  Hopefully, we’re speaking in a language they understand and connecting on some level where it can make a real difference.”

What Chrome Productions said:

“Creating a film for the Royal Life Saving Society UK for Drowning Prevention Week was a real privilege, especially with such a strong and compelling concept from HROC, but it also came with some pretty substantial production challenges. At Chrome Productions we strive on the logistically challenging and complex shoots and we really had to think outside the box on this one. We knew that the effect had to be done in camera, CGI wouldn’t cut it here. We had to find a way to control the rate at which the water rises around the actor, timing it to a script and hitting various different water heights at specific lines in the script. Furthermore, due to the fact we were recording live audio, we had to find a way to raise the water silently. We came up with the idea of lowering the actor into a tank of water at exactly the same rate that we lowered the camera. Given that we were shooting into a white background, we knew this would hide the movement and give the effect that the water was rising, rather than the actor being lowered. The guys at Artem special effects did a wonderful job on the tank and the lowering mechanism and worked tirelessly to convert a hydraulic motorcycle jack into a platform that held both the actor and the camera, which could then be lowered into the water simultaneously. We also couldn’t have made this happen without our amazing actor, Jack Kane. He was extremely well prepared and soldiered on through numerous dunks into our tank, which began the day warm and ended the day freezing! A real trooper and talent to burn. We’re really happy with the way the film turned out and really hope that it delivers the invaluable message that Drowning Prevention Week carries.”

What Artem said:

“This project was for a charity, we wanted to ensure as much of their spend appeared on screen. We needed to find innovative ways to produce a safe and effective method of submerging the actor and the camera into a tank of water, while still providing a quality result. Since all the action takes place in the tank it was practical to build the set on Artem’s spacious back-lot in Perivale. Drawing on resources from our extensive stores department we were able to make a strong 1500mm deep water tank filled with warm water. A hydraulic platform was modified with a comfortable seat, quick release harness and adapted to carry a waterproof camera. Artem technicians working with director Stephen Parker carefully coordinated the camera and actor Jack Kane as they were lowered into the water timed with delivery of the emotive script. All at Artem sincerely hope we have contributed a little something that saves a few lives.”