It has been a fantastic experience to be part of a collaborative project between the LSM and MACE (Media Archive for Central England) because I could do what I love best and produce creative content. My industry passion is producing programmes on whatever platform, and this project was to promote the archives held at MACE into a DVD series. There are nine DVDs and each is based on a city in the Midlands. As part of the LSM teaching team, I had multicultural Leicester which can be traced back almost 2,000 years – thankfully the archives only dated back to the 1920s!
It was an enormous task, as you can probably appreciate, because initially it was searching and logging footage that I had not shot. My programme making in broadcast did stand me in good stead to meet the challenge I had set myself to find available pictures to complement the storylines. Easier said than done, though, because I had to create an engaging piece for the audience out of all the bits and pieces of archive film; some in colour, others in black and white, silent, voiced-over, different aspect ratios and so forth. My research on Leicester led me to develop it into key chapters to highlight its Roman history, its manufacturing legacy and the largest outdoor market in Europe which has remained on the same spot in the city centre for 700 years. Looking through the archives was fascinating from the changing face of Leicester’s iconic Clock Tower to moving images of the first BBC local radio station. There were locals like Gary Lineker working on his dad’s market stall and Sue Townsend talking about her writing inspired by living in Leicester.
I was spurred on to find a local person to present and narrate the DVD. Rosemary Conley CBE who has clocked up forty years of business in the city and county was the ideal choice. We filmed some new rushes with fitness guru Rosemary on location in the city on a cold, wet and windy day.Doing her pieces to camera took several takes, not due to the weather but because she kept getting stopped by shoppers in Leicester to greet her. I did not realise the extent of her fame and her love for the city.
I found out what a true professional Rosemary (who is not a presenter by trade) was to work with throughout the making of this DVD. She gave her time willingly to fully support this project and is pictured at her studios in Quorn recording the final voiceovers for this DVD.
‘Made in Leicester’ as well as the other DVDs in the series, were produced by LSM staff, are all listed on the MACE website under ‘Midlands on Film’.
Head of the Lincoln School of Media, Sarah Barrow, said: “This is a major and fantastic achievement, for individuals and the School. Many, many thanks to Andy McKay for managing the project as well as creating 3 of the DVDs himself – ‘Nottinghamshire on Film’ ‘Derbyshire on Film’, and ‘Worcestershire on Film’ – and to all the DVD creative directors: Zara Healy for ‘Rebuilding Coventry’, Janice Kearns with ‘Footprints in the Sand’, Neil Kendall’s ‘Shropshire Lives’, Mike Mason for ‘Regenerating Birmingham’, Emily Wilczek on ‘Snobs & Clowns’ and Radica Wright’s ‘Made in Leicester’. Also to those who gave huge support with editing and sound, in particular Steve Young, Andy Armstrong, Chris Hainstock and Ronnie Fowler. Finally, thanks to James Patterson who as well as being Director of MACE is also a member of LSM staff.”