Durham University

Do you remember the first time you saw Durham?
Durham University Logo

Title: Do you remember the first time you saw Durham? Alumni Relations film

Delivery: Alumni online film

Talent: Creative, voice-over, filming, direction, post-production

What was the brief?

Durham University’s Alumni Relations Office approached us looking to produce a film that would encourage alumni to reconnect with the city and the university long after graduating.

The film needed to recreate the emotions alumni felt when they first set eyes on Durham Cathedral, (normally on the way to their interview) as they approached on the train from the south.

This stunning view of the city and the cathedral, which appears as the train passes over the viaduct, is often accredited as the point at which alumni ‘fell in love’ with Durham.

With this in mind, our concept needed to place this awe-inspiring view at its heart.

How did we approach the brief?

In collaboration with Durham’s Alumni Relations team, we decided to focus the film on the point at which alumni return to Durham for the first time since graduating, many years previously.

With an alumnus character at its fore, the film brought out the emotions and nostalgia associated with revisiting your university city after many years and coupled it with an emotive voiceover narration.

The narration used a quote from American novelist Nathanial Hawthorne, who beautifully reminisced about his first sighting of Durham Cathedral in ‘The English Notebooks’.

In it, he claims to have never before encountered ‘so lovely and magnificent a scene’. We felt this sentiment was fitting for the film and its target audience.

With such a poetic voiceover the visuals needed to have a filmic, dream-like quality, making use of slow motion and soft lighting to create a piece that would encourage nostalgia of first seeing the cathedral and the city.


We delivered the film earlier this year to great reception, with it gaining over 5,000 views on YouTube alone in its first few weeks.

The university’s Alumni Relations Manager, David Williams was extremely happy with the result:

“…We have been very pleased with alumni responses to the film. It is coming up to 7000 views and, over time, I think we will get into the several tens of thousands… We are actually so pleased with the result that we are entering it into an industry competition…”

We loved working on the film and are embarking on further projects with the university later this year.


Director: Alex Kerr
DOP: Peter Ford
Editor: Alex Kerr
Producer: Clemence Bartram
Creative: Danielle Wilmot
Account Manager: Oliver Knight

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