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  • Writer's pictureCraig Sinclair

"Someone to lean on" wins Video of the Year at Press Awards

The Edinburgh Evening News' Craig Sinclair was announced winner of the Scottish Press Awards 2020 Video of the Year.

I am ecstatic to have been nominated and shortlisted, let alone win Video of the Year. My post-titled video Someone to lean on is the story of Shirley Riese - a young mother who suffered an aggressive attack of multiple sclerosis (MS). The attack left Shirley completely immobilised from the chest down and unable to care for her son and small farm of animals including her son's Shetland pony, Whinnie.

As she began the long journey to recovery, she retreated to fields to be near her animals, where Whinnie even helped be a part of Shirley's rehabilitation. Before long Whinnie would let Shirley lean on her as she learned how to walk again.

It was a great story shared to me by MS Society Scotland, that had a compelling and emotional relationship between two characters as they defied an impossible challenge. The story also raised the grave dangers of a disease that wasn't well known in society.

The story warranted the time and space to let the emotion dwell, and to make it stand out from other videos on social media it was given a cinematic look complete with a subtle camera movement and a vibrant colour palette.

The judges had these amazing things to say about what they thought of the video.

Craig Sinclair displayed exceptional production values that set it above a number of incredibly worthy contenders. What clinched it for the judging panel was how this entry focussed on a specific subject that touches the lives of almost everyone in its target audience area and told a new story at every twist and bend with passion and authority.

Filming the video is always my favourite part of the storytelling process. I was given a warm greeting by Shirley, who introduced my to her partner and her menagerie of animals including the adorable Whinnie.

To capture the emotion and drama of the story, the key to locking the emotion is to keep the structure of the shoot very simple. I started with Shirley's interview. All credit to Shirley who was very relaxed and articulate and a great storyteller herself.

Filming in 4K video allowed me to punch-in on the image during post-production at moments of impact in the interview, which allowed me to use my visuals at specific points throughout to support the story. Motion played an important role during filming of the mini documentary to drive the style and tone of the video, as well as dictate the pace and emotion of the story.

Here are some of my favourite stills from the final edit.

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