College holds glittering video premiere for unique student created NHS Film

The film was the brainchild of North Middlesex University Hospital consultant anaesthetist Ada Ezihe-Ejiofor, who wrote and presents it. The production involved students from all levels of Creative and Media, Music Technology, animation and Theatrical make up at both the Tottenham and Enfield Centres. Delighted to be working on a real-life professional project with the hospital, the College eagerly took part.

Dr Ezihe-Ejiofor’s research showed that operations were being cancelled due to patients not following fasting guidelines. Also, some patients went without water for too long before their operation and awoke from it with moderate to severe thirst, leading to discomfort which sometimes increased their recovery time.

By June 2014 Ada had written the script and by August Conel College had come on board. By December 2014, the Conel students had their first in-depth planning meeting. In February 2015 the first shoot took place and the students continued to return to the hospital every Friday for twelve weeks to complete the filming.

“The important thing to remember” says James Jordan, Curriculum Manager “is that all the students who took part were doing this above and beyond their coursework. Students witnessed patients going under as they were put to sleep, they scrubbed -up and gowned-up to enter operating theatres to film live operations and organised multi camera shoots to make sure they gathered all the footage they needed. Over 1000 hours of camera crew time led to 50 hours of raw video footage, which was then edited over a period of 80 hours to produce the final 20 minute film!”

The completed, polished and professional piece was ready to view just four months after filming began.

College Director, Janet Gardner said: “This project was a fantastic opportunity to gain professional experience to prepare our students for work in industry. Our students have worked extremely hard on every aspect of the film. They benefitted from the experience of working to deadlines with a modest budget, plus this project enabled Conel to work in partnership to support the local communities which we both serve.”

Dr Ada Ezihe-Ejiofor said “I decided on the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London for its union of expertise. We know the College well and knew the students would embrace the project with the magical combination of intelligence, youthful energy and enthusiasm. Everything from the creative ideas, the project management, the animation and the music, have proved to be beyond our expectations and we are thrilled with the result.”

The film follows the journeys of four patients who act out the characters Ada created. Ada enlisted her cast principally from her colleagues working at the hospital. Emine, who is over cautious and does not drink enough water suffers dehydration after her operation. Make-up alone for Emine, played by Hospital Link Worker Bedriye created by Yolanda Shillingford took four hours to age the actress around forty years! Hassan who is confused by the fasting information provided to him, Kirsty (played by Junior Doctor Bryony) has a small snack and subsequently her caesarean section is postponed. Her pregnant tummy was achieved with the aid of a cycle helmet placed underneath her jumper, and finally Ranjika (played by Merline another hospital worker), a patient that follows the guidelines correctly and therefore has no harmful side-effects.

Creative Media Level 2 student, Thomas Bellas said “I feel really lucky that we were able to be involved in this project. I was in charge of organising the filming schedule and making sure everything was in place. At times it was very stressful but I’m really pleased with the end result. I now know I definitely want to pursue a career as a cameraman.”

Animation Level 3 student, Antonias Nikolaou added “I worked on all the animation in the film. Working on a real project, having people rely on you and strict deadlines that can impact on the whole process was a new experience for me but I enjoyed the pressure.”

Ada, who presents the film, also conducts the drugs used in anaesthesia like an opera illustrated by the animated dancing instruments of students Anthonios Nikolaou and Scott Naylor in a fantasy sequence of a grand opera.

Animation Level 3 student, Antonias Nikolaou added “I worked on all the animation in the film. Working on a real project, having people rely on you and strict deadlines that can impact on the whole process was a new experience for me but I enjoyed the pressure.”

The film, which provides an easy to understand guide of how anaesthetic works on a patient as well as the rules for fasting is now available to view on YouTube and it will also be released on DVD and distributed to hospitals and GP practices.

Students taking part in the making of the film were:


Ikhlaas Chetty, Thomas Bellas, Jermaine McLean, Shannon Geoghegan, Frances Olatunji, Sade Gaston


Yolanda Shillingford


Anthonios Nikolaou and Scott Naylor

Staff taking part in the making of the film were:

Sabina Narayanan - Production, Taner Hassan- Filming/ Editing, Tim Morgan - Story Board and Production, Debra Pluthero - Make-up

If you would like to find out more about our Creative and Media courses please click here:

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