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  • Writer's pictureChris Baker

DENS - UpCycle

Dens UpCycle

Having known of the fantastic work Hemel Hempstead based homeless charity DENS have done for years, Big Head Content’s Chris Baker was pleased and excited to hear about their latest social enterprise program, The Bike Project. The BHC team wanted to find out more, so started by dropping in on a Thursday afternoon to see how the program worked.

After the first visit it was clear that the Bike Project offered far more than just repairs. It gave a place for a group of like minded people with vastly different backgrounds to come together to create a community based on helping others. It was somewhere that volunteers could generously share their expertise with people willing to learn skills to positively impact their own lives. Whether you wanted a cup of coffee with some welcoming faces or you were in need of a bike repair (or even a bike in the first place!), The Bike Project was there for anyone who might require their services.

Having continued to visit over December and January, the team got to know the community and understand the day to day routine. They admired the way in which the Bike Project team were able to create a professional atmosphere within the enterprise whilst dealing with a rough and ready warehouse unit and limited resource.

With the huge merits of the project being obvious and the requirement for further support and awareness of their services needed, BHC set out to help in the best way that it could, by creating a promotional film to help shout about the amazing work being done.

After developing a creative plan, the production team set about planning a filming schedule and shot list.The main goal being to demonstrate exactly what the project is and how it delivers far more than just bike repairs.

Chris Baker and Marcus Petre filmed across two days, shooting a combination of interviews with contributors as well as documenting the day to day running of the project in a relaxed, observational stye. The latter allowed for informal conversation whilst the structured interviews ensured the informative answers had clear audio and a detailed explanation of the service.

The other goal was to capture the true character and faces of real people who in another environment you may walk by on the street without noticing. Marcus as Director of Photography was able to compose dynamic and beautiful images whilst operating in a confined working space with little control of what was happening around him. The addition of the slow motion footage aims to demonstrate the key skills being used by The Bike Project team in more detail.

After filming both at the project and at the local park, BHC were able to start editing, adding graphics and designing the audio before colour grading the whole piece, finishing the complete project within two weeks.

The film premiered at the official launch of The Bike Project at the start of February and will now continue to be used to demonstrate the amazing work happening within the project.

If you would like to find out more about the charity, please visit


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