National Trust

National Trust
Children Playing inside Rainham Hall

Our Client

National Trust logo“Thank you to Elstree Film Design for facilitating an engaging and inspiring digital workshop for young people aged 13-18 years old at Rainham Hall. As part of our major Heritage Lottery funded project, we commissioned EFD to help us deliver a week-long youth led initiative, that would result in a virtual tour of the building. Our creative, young participants benefitted enormously from Rob and Sam’s expertise, and developed new skills over the course of the workshop. The final output is a wonderful short film about the history and architecture of the Hall created by local students, many of whom aspire to careers in filmmaking.”

Sally James – Creative Programme Manager, National Trust.

Watch the video


The National Trust approached us to facilitate a five day digital youth workshop based at Rainham Hall. The hall is a Queen Anne merchant’s house built in 1729 by John Harle, a sea captain (1688-1742). It is located in the centre of Rainham Village in the London Borough of Havering.

The primary aim of the project was to invite young people in the area to come into Rainham Hall to learn more about this fascinating historical building in the heart of their community whilst learning new digital filmmaking skills. A secondary aim was to create a video to be used to show visitors parts of the building and exhibitions that they might not be able to see normally. This may be because they can’t get to Rainham Hall and they are looking online, or because they have difficultly accessing those parts of the building due to a disability.


We worked with the Trust to plan a filmmaking workshop for 12 teenage young people drawn from three local schools to maximise the project’s community reach. We created and sent out a ‘Skills and Experience Audit’ to the schools to give us an idea of the participants level of knowledge and ability. We then planned the week according to the data we received back. We devised a schedule that allowed the group to undertake all of the main areas of film production including idea generation, script writing, storyboarding, filming, and editing. We provided all of the filmmaking equipment and classroom resources that the group would need throughout the week.


During the research phase of the project we discovered that many inhabitants had occupied the hall over the years. We chose six of the main phases of the Hall’s history and in pairs our group produced a short 30 second video for each phase. The pairs researched, scripted, planned, shot and performed in their videos themselves. The videos, or vignettes, added up to make a 3-minute overall video, which the group then screened to National Trust staff and teachers at the end of the week. The video is now being used on the Trust’s website.