Getting comedians to do crazy things in front of the camera is all in a day’s work for a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) media graduate.
Duncan MacLeod will be responsible for capturing all the official footage of the Leicester Comedy Festival, which started on Wednesday (7 February).
It is the third consecutive year that Duncan and his business partner Dan Flanders, who founded Crosscut Media, have impressed organisers to win the prestigious filming contract.
It means they will be working day and night to film events and capture comedians backstage, and take responsibility for the festival’s social media channels.
Duncan said the comedy festival is one of their ‘highlights of the year’ and they were proud to be involved.
He said: “It’s really exciting as it’s such an uplifting opportunity for us.
“We try out new ideas and it really lets us produce some creative content. We ask comedians to do lots of crazy things.
“We have a great relationship with festival organisers and we work together to create content that is both engaging and in keeping with their brand".
“It’s a great feeling to be involved as the festival gets bigger and better each year.”
Their preparation work started about three months ago as they drew up a schedule of what they wanted to cover and which comedians they wanted to talk to.
Instead of simply interviewing comedians, they have also devised a number of onscreen games, such as Trump or Guff, Pimp My Pancake and Cards Against Comedians. They will then share the exclusive content on the festival’s social media channels
Duncan said: “There’s a lot of preparation work as we have to go through the brochure page by page to plan what we are going to do.
“Then there are also lots of 12-hour days during the festival; it’s a month we don’t really see our girlfriends! There is often a quick turnaround so as soon as we’ve done the filming, we then have to do the editing.
“It’s hard work and it really keeps you on your toes but it’s worth it. We love it, we get a real buzz from being part of it.”
Duncan, who graduated from DMU in 2012, says his day-to-day work includes a lot of what he learnt on his BSc Media Production degree.
He said: “I learnt all the basics at DMU. The campus has now grown and improved so much and there are great facilities; it makes me jealous I’m no longer a student.”
Crosscut Media continues to maintain strong links with DMU as its editing suite is at The Innovation Centre. And the company’s Production Assistant is DMU Media Production Master’s student Jordan Dean and several DMU students also volunteer with them.
Duncan and Dan met as teenagers at college as they had a shared love of media. After university, they initially worked as freelance video producers on corporate projects and weddings.
They then set up Crosscut Media and got their big break when they won the contract for the festival for the first time in 2016.
Find out how DMU is involved in the Leicester Comedy Festival
DMU launch kicks Leicester Comedy Festival off with a bang
DMUlocal programme finds Leicester’s funniest school
Last year Crosscut Media’s hard work was recognised with a Contribution to Leicester Comedy Award.
Looking to the future, Duncan and Dan hope to continue their relationship with the Comedy Festival and it is their dream to open their own studio and hire a couple of employees.
DMU is the Higher Education Partner of the Leicester Comedy Festival.
For tickets or further information, call 0116 456 6812 or visit the Leicester Comedy Festival website.
Posted on Friday 9th February 2018