Terri, A Personal Story of Hardship

Films for Charity and Welfare Services

Let’s meet Terri:

Brief – To produce a film that tells the emotional personal story of Terri’s experience with the University of Sussex’s Student Hardship Fund.

Films for Charity and Welfare Services have some of the most engaging and hard-hitting narratives. Because of this they lend themselves to the medium of film incredibly well, as they capture the audiences attention and create a close bond very quickly.

Terri’s world was turned upside down when, through no fault of her own, she and her daughter found themselves homeless shortly before one Christmas. They turned to family and friends for support immediately after the event but in the long-term she was determined to get back on her feet and to ensure that her studies wouldn’t be affected. This is where the University of Sussex’s hardship fund helped her and this film details her story and how the hardship fund helped her.

The project kicked off with a number of development meetings to work out the interview questions and visual content of the film. It very quickly became clear that the biggest hurdle we would have to deal with was the filming time restraints. As Terri has a young daughter she would only be available during school hours. This presented two issues, firstly we wouldn’t have long to capture what is a difficult and upsetting topic for Terri to re-live and secondly we wouldn’t have long to film the b-roll. All of this was taken into account and we devised a suitable and achievable idea.

As Covid was still a real concern amongst the population, our idea was to tap into the idea of a walk as it’s something that would feel at home with the audience. The other beautiful thing about a walk narrative is the idea of a journey which tied in nicely to Terri’s story. To enhance the creative treatment further we developed an idea where the filming technique would evolve as the story did. During the early stages of the story we see Terri in the background of each shot and out of focus. This is to represent the idea that Terri didn’t have a clear sight of the future and that everything was very confusing. As the story unfolds we gradually see Terri become clearer in the shots as her future begins to look brighter, resulting in the pinnacle shot where we see Terri each the ‘top’ and look out to her future.

The filming went very smoothly using a mixture of drone, tripod and gimbal shots. These production tools allowed us to incorporate movement into each shot in order to make the viewing experience more dynamic and to drive the story along. and Terri nailed the interview on the first take. Interviews are always a bit of an unknown, especially with upsetting stories such as this one. So, it was always our hope that the first take would be the best as any additional takes might be less authentic as Terri would have had longer to think about her answers.

To see how we could help you tell your charity or welfare stories please get in touch.

Project Time:

1 month

Price Band:



Contact us today to chat about your next video production.

× Send A WhatsApp