Filming in a Hospital

I get to film in a huge variety of places (conferences, investment firms, even the home of Downton Abbey) but one place I haven’t filmed before was in a hospital.

Hospitals are scary places on the outside but on the inside, there are heroes working all day every day doing amazing things. In all of the noise of the “NHS” being underfunded and understaffed” my visit to the Royal Victoria Hospital I only saw and came across people who do brilliant work every day. Hard working, friendly with an inexhaustive compassion for what they do everywhere we went.

Outside the Royal Victoria Hospital

The Setup

Filming at the Royal Victoria Hospital was all a part of an on-going project with the RFEA (a brilliant charity who help veterans of the Armed Forces get back into meaningful and long-term employment after leaving).

Chris the Producer, from Maxx Design, and I travelled up to Newcastle the previous day so that we could be on location early to recce and to start our kit prep.

Lodgings for the night.

We were meeting Pete who is working as a maintenance technician was great and showed us all of the aspects of his job and how the RFEA has helped him back into work after leaving the armed forces.

The Shoot

I got to go behind the scenes into sterilisation rooms and see first hand some of the hard work that goes on at the hospital that we never really see. It’s normally all about the surgeries but all of the instruments and pieces of equipment have to be cleaned and prepared for the next surgery taking place and seeing 12 giant industrial sterilisers certainly puts into perspective the importance of the work that Pete and the other technicians do on a day to day basis – and Pete doesn’t grumble about it.

From his time in the military, the attitude that you develop is that you are told to do a job, you do it because that’s what you’ve been told to do – likewise, if Pete needs something doing, he expects someone to do it!

Photo by Sarah Stokes

One of the main aspects of this shoot was remaining mobile and being quick to set up when changing scenarios or locations within the hospital. I think we had about 12 different setups both inside and outside of the hospital. Breaking my kit down into 3 bags and a tripod is difficult at the best of times but keeping a portable lighting kit with me was the most important aspect.

Photo by Chris Billingham

I loved using my little wide angle lens when I was in smaller spaces as it really opened up the location to give a much broader picture of what goes on behind the scenes.

My little wide angle lens


We had a really great shoot “up north” and we came away from it with some fantastic footage which is going to make up some of the brilliant content for videos for the RFEA which will be coming out across the rest of the year.

What I didn’t enjoy (and I mean “didn’t” quite loosely here) was the 10-hour drive back from Newcastle to Newbury. Got to love the Northern traffic.