Inspiring Self Builders
Client: The Daily Telegraph Homebuilding and Renovating Awards
Project: Contest Submission for Inverdart Boathouse in Devon
When you want it done right, the saying goes, you have to do it yourself – including getting the home of your dreams. This practice is called “self build,” even though most of these homes come together with some measure of support from architects, contractors, and/or builders.
For more than twenty years the Daily Telegraph’s annual Homebuilding & Renovating Awards has recognised the United Kingdom’s finest self builds and renovations. There are 14 categories of recognition and an overall winner of the contest.
Homebuilding & Renovating wanted to capture the magnificence of Inverdart Boathouse in Devon, with a professional video.
Our Role in the Project
The video needed to showcase the beauty of Inverdart Boathouse for the awards, but also tell the story of the build. The video shoot only had a half-day schedule, so the story was crafted on-the-spot. The top messages that quickly emerged were:
- Self building is always a journey. In the case of Inverdart Boathouse, this was a journey of 14 years for the homeowners, David and Annette Southwick. Its location below the cliffs at the mouth of the Dart Estuary presented extraordinary challenges to building.
- Learning from others’ experiences. The nature of self build is self education. Learning from the Southwick’s experience was a key message of the project. Given the difficulty of the project the Southwicks had many lessons to share. David Southwick has been quoted as saying if he had known what the project would entail, he might not have taken it on.
The strategy for this video was very different from our video for the NUDURA Corporation. That project had the luxury of several months for strategising, planning, and filming.
There was only half a day available for shooting Inverdart Boathouse for the Awards, and only so much planning could occur ahead of time. Seeing photos of a location and reading a contest submission write-up are not the same as experiencing a location firsthand and speaking face-to-face with its builders.
Once on location, Regen Media was able to uncover the interesting stories that could be crafted into a cohesive, informative, and interesting narrative.
Challenges & Solutions
The main challenge for this project, aside from the compressed timeframe, was the location.
Beautiful, remote locations come with their challenges for building. There’s a reason the project took 14 years. The Southwicks had had to pour concrete uphill, learn special Mediterranean planting techniques to prevent soil erosion, and figure out the most effective methods to get building supplies to the site.
The film crew also had to figure out how to get their equipment to the house for the indoor and some outdoor shots. To fully capture the spectacular birds-eye view of the Inverdart Boathouse, a boat was chartered. Getting a steady shot from the boat took some effort as well.
It’s easy to see how Inverdart Boathouse won the 2013 Homebuilding & Renovating Awards. The resulting video truly captures the self build story of Inverdart Boathouse: the challenges of the terrain, the reasons the owners persevered, and the stunning result of 14 years of effort. This self build can inspire other builders who find themselves getting into more than they bargained for. Keep going. The Southwicks did and look what a beautiful home they have to show for it.