Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh approached Swift Films to help revamp their online video output.

We’ve been working with the school since 2015. In this time, we’ve created videos on a wide range of subjects; from the tennis and golf academies, to stand alone videos about rugby, life as a junior and the Academic Leadership Team.

We’ve also produced a ‘Headmaster’s Welcome’ video as well as a bespoke aerial film.

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Merchiston is widely regarded as one of the finest rugby playing schools in the world, and they were keen to showcase this in a dedicated video.

For the rugby video, it was important to show players of all ages, but also to put the viewer in amongst the action. We spent a good deal of time out on the training pitches with a 3-axis gimbal shooting smooth, slow shots.

To tell the history of the game at Merchiston, we enlisted the help of former teacher and head Scotland Coach Frank Hadden. The video also features contributions from former pupils who went on to play rugby for Scotland, including Duncan Hodge, Roger Baird and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.

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The Golf Academy

The school's golf academy video was produced at same time as the rugby and tennis academy videos.

The golf academy video was structured by shooting master interviews with staff and pupils alike. Filmed at Kings Acre golf course in Edinburgh and at the school, Merchiston was keen to showcase how the pupils in the golf academy are able to dedicate many hours to playing golf to a high level without sacrificing their classroom studies.

The golf academy video features both aerial footage and extensive shots of the practice and driving range.

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The Tennis Academy

Merchiston's prestigious tennis academy is home to 19 players aged 11-18. The tennis academy is ranked second in the world for schools tennis.

Filmed over the course of a few weeks at Merchiston and Craiglockhart sports centre in Edinburgh, the video shines a light on the routine of some of the brightest up-and-coming tennis stars.

On publication of the rugby, tennis and golf academy videos, Schools Guide Edinburgh described them as, “The best videos we have seen promoting a school’s sporting excellence.”

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Merchiston Juniors

The Merchiston Juniors video needed to be fun, fast-paced and provide a true reflection of what life is like as a junior. We came up with the concept of having different words or activities to represent each letter in the phrase ‘MERCHISTON JUNIORS’.

We wanted to feature lots of boys in the film, so we created 17 large wooden letters – one for each letter of the phrase ‘Merchiston Juniors’. This helped to create a distinctive visual motif.

At the end of the film, all of the letters are held by pupils up thus revealing what the phrase spells.

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'It's Time for Sport' - Fundraising video

The first video that we worked on for Merchiston was produced to coincide with the launch of a fundraising campaign for the school's new sports facilities.

We interviewed over 30 pupils to find out what they liked most (and least) about the school. The video reflects that sport is one of the most popular things about school life. The video builds to a crescendo before revealing what the new sports facilities will look like in situ.

The end of the film was painstakingly produced through Computer Generated Imagery overlaid onto bespoke aerial footage. We wanted to see the buildings come alive on screen as the camera flies past.

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Merchiston Aerial film

We produced a dedicated aerial film of the school to showcase the magnificent grounds and prime location at the foot of the Pentland Hills.

Filmed in the autumn at half term, we were able to capture some beautiful autumnal colours. Filming at half term also allowed to have free reign of the campus whilst the pupils were off site.

The shots in this film will also be used across future videos for the school.

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An Outstanding Education

We produced a short video for Merchiston entitled 'An Outstanding Education'.

The video comprised of simple motion graphics and live action footage and communicated key facts and statistics about the school.

The video is used on social media to promote Open days and other promotional events at the school.

“We have found Swift Films to be extremely professional and accommodating. They are great at making constructive suggestions and know how to get the essence of a company across in a very short promotional film.

I would have no hesitation recommending Swift Films to support your next video project.”

Tracey Gray, External Relations Manager, Merchiston Castle School.

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