Unite Students

Hayloft Point and Parkway Gate



Revolution Viewing

Content Type




The Brief

We were commissioned by Leeds-based agency Revolution Viewing to produce property showcase and lifestyle videos for Unite Students’ brand new London and Manchester student properties.

The goal of these videos was to promote these properties to prospective international students, especially those in China, who were considering studying in the United Kingdom.

The concept was to convey the student experience of those staying at Unite properties, not only showcasing the premium features of the properties – including luxury studio flats, cinema rooms, and private study spaces – but also the cities themselves to give a sense of the student culture therein.

The Shoot


Pre-production on this project was extensive, lasting close to three months. We went through seven rounds of storyboard and script amends before receiving the client’s sign-off, after this, we moved straight into casting. We secured permits from several borough councils in Central London, which took around six weeks to secure and carried out recces of each of the potential filming locations.

The major challenge that we faced at this stage was deciding how best to show properties that had not yet been built. We liaised with Unite’s student team and decided that their Leeds property most closely resembled their new properties, with elements of their Bridgewater and Artisan House also fitting the aesthetic. The establishing shots of the properties would be created as CGI elements in post-production.


These videos were shot over five days; two days in Central London, two days in Manchester and one day at Unite’s White Rose View property in Leeds. We recruited our friend Aiden Metcalfe, a Leeds based DoP, to shoot the content, working alongside our internal team. Members of Revolution Viewing served as Production Manager, 1st AD and Production Assistant, helping with client management and scheduling.

The most challenging aspect of the shoot was implementing the match-cutting style that the client was keen to incorporate. To achieve this, every final shot was captured and placed onto a reference monitor during the shooting of the following scene to ensure that the shots matched or that they could effectively transition to the next sequence by other means – for example, using slider shots across pillars to block off the frame and allow us to slide into the next scene.

We used a combination of gimbal and handheld shots throughout this shoot, making use of the Sony PXW-FX6 and PXW-FX3’s touch-tracking and autofocus tools to ensure that subjects remained in focus and to allow for automated focus-pulling. We shot several hyper-lapse sequences, especially in and around Manchester, to establish key areas of the cities and to add another visually striking aspect to the content.

The shots of the subjects at key landmarks were more spontaneous and run-and-gun in nature than the property shots to abide by our permit restrictions, with us utilising a skeleton crew and a more stripped-down setup.

The Edit

Editing of this content was carried out by our post-production team at our York Studio.

We worked closely with Leeds-based animation and CGI studio Rebel Digital to build the CGI assets for the videos, extensively storyboarding and shot listing the sequences to ensure that the lighting and camera movement mirrored the live-action footage.

We suggested incorporating text graphics during the post-production stage to add further context to the visuals and the copy was developed and written by Ether/Awe’s internal team, based on Unite’s brand guidelines and property decks. The graphics templates were then sold to Unite for them to utilise on all future video campaigns.

We delivered forty assets in total for this package, including a 16:9 and square version of both main videos, 30-second cut downs in 16:9, 9:16, and square, and Mandarin versions of each of these videos. We also produced Audio Described versions of all of the English language and Mandarin videos.

The Results

All in all, this was an incredibly successful project for Ether/Awe.

We were able to effectively execute the match-cutting style that was laid out in the brief, utilising techniques such as frame matching and masking to achieve our goal.

Rebel Digital’s CGI worked well to showcase the unfinished aspects of the property, effectively combining with our live-action footage to give a comprehensive overview of the property’s features.

The client was incredibly happy with the the content package, which was released in full across summer 2022.

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