Delapré Abbey has stood at the heart of Northampton for almost 900 years. The historic building was abandoned in 1999 and left empty. Its complete destruction was fended off by the Friends of Delapré Abbey until its restoration began in 2014 (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Northampton Borough Council) with its doors finally opening to the public in 2018.
The team at Delapré wanted a fresh, engaging approach, ensuring its visitors, young and old felt the Abbey was open, approachable and most importantly ‘ours to explore’.
They were looking for a promotional video to go on their website to make people aware of the newly opened building and drive visitors to this exciting experience. They also wanted an introductory, factual video to play in the foyer when visitors first arrive to give a brief introduction into the history without being too formal and stuffy.
As our relationship grew, we were then asked to assist with creating a series of illustrations which were printed and are now used with a mutoscope and an additional video taking us back in time to introduce visitors to the Nuns in the early days of the Abbey.
Pen was set to paper. Concepts and illustrations proposed and the final product was bought in on budget.
Working alongside the Abbey’s Visitor Experience Manager AR Media helped identify which of the Abbey’s attractions were best to feature in the website video. We then went on to organise the actors, extras, setup and plan the day of the shoot. A full day was then spent staging and filming to create the live content reel as a teaser of all that is available to experience at the Abbey.
On the day, AR Media supplied featured actors and worked alongside 25 of Delapré Abbey’s volunteers. With a tight schedule, a lot of people to juggle and much to cover the day had to be organised and move at a fast pace.
The resulting video now sits proudly on Delapré Abbey’s website which helps drive interest and ultimately new visitors to the Abbey.
With so many different historic families and events making and extending the buildings into the Abbey we know and love today there was quite a story to tell. From the Cluniac order of Nuns to the Tate’s, the Bouverie’s to becoming a war office, the building even came under the watchful eye of King Henry the 8th. Cramming 900 years of colourful history into three short minutes seemed like no mean feat but then AR Media are used to facing those.
The team at Delapré armed AR with a mammoth list of facts and our task was to write a script and create an animation ‘‘In the style of the Horrible Histories’ and the timeless ‘Monty Python’.
Luckily AR Media have comedic script writers in house along with our resident illustrator and animators, all of whom are great fans of both styles of storytelling.
As our relationship with Delapré strengthened and these projects neared completion, we were also asked to step in and help with some other work.
Delapré Abbey are all about taking visitors back into the past and quite fittingly wanted to make use of an ancient form of videography by creating illustrations to use on a mutoscope. Victorians used to create cards that flipped around as a handle was turned to portray moving images. Our in house Illustrator created a series of 50 images to flip and tell two interesting stories from the Abbey’s past. The first captured a Nun from the Abbey going out to help Soldiers during the Great Battle of Northampton and the second set of images were of opposing Horsemen making their attack.
The Abbey was originally constructed nearly 900 hundred years ago, specifically for the Cluniac Order of Nuns.
To enhance the visitors experience, the Delapré Abbey team were looking for some video to be projected on one of the old walls, opening a portal for them to catch a glimpse of the Cluniac order of Nuns in the Abbey.
AR Media used our in studio green screen to create a captured moment in time as the ghostly forms of the Nuns moved through the old chapel.
We approached AR media with a project to produce an introductory video for the soon to be opened Delapré Abbey. From the start they were brimming with enthusiasm and ideas for how to meet our brief, working closely with us on its development and taking account of our required outcomes for the video including the tight budget. Working with them on the project was an extremely satisfying experience; they kept closely to the timescales whilst accommodating client changes and revisions and importantly keeping to the agreed budget – the end result was a fantastic video that exceeded our expectations and a development process that was probably amongst the smoothest and most enjoyable commissioning project undertaken at Delapre as part of the restoration project. In fact, we were so pleased with AR Media’s work that we turned to them when we had some issues with other projects and they were able to step in and successfully complete those too – to the very highest standard and providing excellent value for money. We can highly recommend AR Media – they were a joy to work with.
Vikki Pearson – Visitor Experience Manager