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Things are continuing to move at a great pace, and on Tuesday night our cause received a huge boost when a whopping 55 TV professionals came to our open evening. The aim was to tell them more about our charity and, of course, pick their brains for even more exciting, innovative ideas on how we can raise the money to build a home for abandoned babies in Uganda.
I felt quite daunted to begin with – we didn’t have a clue how many people would turn up, and I was so nervous at the thought of standing in front of my former peers and doing a presentation. But I needn’t have worried – Producer’s, AP’s, Editors, and Researchers from Big Brother, The Friday/Sunday Night Project, Richard & Judy, MTV, Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor turned up in force, giving us their time and their love.
It was the perfect opportunity to talk about the Child’s i Foundation, and work out how best we can utilise their invaluable skills of creating engaging content to help us build our worldwide community of supporters. We had amazing offers of not only coming out to Uganda to film video updates, but also to join our ever-growing team and help us with contacting celebrities, copy writing, PR and organising events, including a treasure hunt and even a speed-dating evening. We also drummed up volunteers for Aunty Pat’s knit-in, and a couple of brave souls will actually be running the 4800 miles from London to Kampala (it will take 10 months… we’ll keep you posted!)
All in all it was a hugely successful evening, and we can’t wait to get started on even more brilliant ideas.
Pictures of the evening were kindly taken by Colette (see them in the Flickr group) and a video filmed by Miranda and Ros will follow shortly…
Oh. My. God. I have just had the most brilliantly productive meeting with Richard Osman and Clare Pickering, Head of Production at Endemol. Having worked there since 2002, Clare (so very nicely) informed me I was ‘part of the Endemol family’ and asked me for a wish list of things they could do to help us with the project.
Tentatively, I suggested we could use a Z1 camera, tripod and Sennheiser microphone – basically £5,000 worth of kit…
“That shouldn’t be a problem”, she replied. “Anything else?”
“Erm, well, we really need an edit suite…”
“That should be fine. Do you need anything else? What about tapes? You’ll need tapes?”
“Yes, we’d love tapes. I’m currently paying for tape stock”
“I’m sure we can dig up some tapes for you.”
Wow! I’m overwhelmed by the sheer generosity of this – it’s going to mean we can film videos of our progress and keep all our supporters updated, I love being part of Endemol’s family, and I’m so proud they can now be part of ours.
I wanted to give her a big hug, instead a ran out of the building and performed my best riverdance routine outside the lift. One of my finest performances.
I love the videos we have been produced so far. Thanks to our Producer / Directors Miranda Glasser & Ros Coward, our editor Jamie Shemold and Jack Edney at The Farm for generously giving us a free edit for the day and Ad Ahmed and Max Newson for the City Boy VT.
Today we signed off our logo. It is absolutely brilliant. It was designed for free by Bruno at Endemol GFX and Andrew (Head of Creative, Endemol Digital). We have spent the last few months going through the design process. They’re used to designing TV titles and graphics to very tight specifications, so my brief of “A logo which doesn’t look too charity, nor too corporate, and feels warm and engaging, but not too childlike” was an interesting one, to say the least.
Everyone is really pleased with the final product. Here are some of the sites that provided inspiration…homemade, collaborative, non-glossy, non-corporate, ingenious, interactive, fun…
The USP of the Child’s I Foundation is that we are harnessing the power of the internet to connect, engage and inform supporters.
As my web skills extend to being able to check the weather and being addicted to Facebook, I urgently needed to put together a team of experts to make this happen. Step forward Kirsty Stephenson, Matthew Knight and Nick Hall at Endemol Digital. They are now our digital team, who will be using open source tools, web 2.0, image hosting, video streaming, community tools, social networking, crowdsourcing and micropatronage. And no, I don’t know what they mean, either – except that, thanks to them, you’ll all soon be able to see exactly where your donations are going and how they are saving lives.
I have a lot to learn and incredibly relieved to have such an amazing team on board.
I had a meeting today with the Creative Director, Richard Osman and he said Endemol would be happy to support our project.
Endemol is the massive production company behind Big Brother, Deal or No Deal. They are very big on giving to charity and produced formats including Only Fools On Horses, Celebrity Scissorhands, Soccer Aid and Comic Relief Does Fame Academy and raised money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, UNICEF, NSPCC, BBC Children In Need, Cancer Research and Great Ormond Street Hospital amongst recent recipients.
I have worked at Endemol since 2002 working on BBLB, Big Brother, Celeb BB, Fame Academy, The Games, The Salon and Upstaged. In 2006 Sally Braithwaite and I went out to Kenya to film the effects of a 4 year drought for Merlin and Endemol provided the kit and the edit. The video raised tens of thousands for a stabilisation centre and emergency humanitarian aid.
So I’ve found myself back in (none-too-sunny) London with high hopes of setting up the Charity. My first port of call is my former employers, Endemol UK, the creative brains behind Big Brother and Deal or No Deal. I’m here to pitch my idea to Richard Osman, the Creative Director. I’d love to get them involved and I think the meeting went well. Now all I can do is cross my fingers and hope for the best.
But do you ever think fate sometimes steps in when you need it most? As I headed out of my meeting, I stood waiting for the lift alongside a well-dressed lady who looked somewhat familiar. We got chatting over her nice tan, and I went on to tell her that I should have one, too, as I’d been in Africa for 8 weeks but there’s not much time for sunbathing when working with orphans. She asked me what I’d been doing and I went on to outline my idea as we went down five floors.
What I didn’t realise was I was pitching to the formidable Deborah Meaden of Dragons’ Den fame, and I’d unintentionally performed a classic ‘Elevator Pitch’. I told her I needed to raise £1 million in 6 months and people had told me it was impossible – but I thought it was do-able. At around the second floor, the penny dropped and I realised who she was. She assured me that, with passion and determination, anything was possible. She also said she’d be interested in finding out more!
I sent the proposal off and will follow it off as soon as I have all the documents and experts on board. I really hope she remembers me.