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Precious Oil TV production

Raymond on Pukatawagan Cree ReserveSeveral years ago I was offered the opportunity to take part in a one-day course with a video company in Belfast. The morning session was all about the technical side of TV, how it was transmitted, etc. Although I was surrounded by Media Studies lecturers from colleges around N. Ireland, it was myself who asked about three-quarters of the questions.

In the afternoon we were divided into three groups and shown how to operate an analogue edit suite. We were then given some rushes of a car rally and asked to edit them into a 2-min film. I instantly fell in love with the whole idea of video editing and found it very hard to let others take over the equipment.

TV and video editing seemed to be something which naturally followed on from editing a magazine (and two books!). Producing and presenting a radio show for 7 months, (1993 - on 96.7 BCR, now Citybeat), was also good preparation for TV presenting.

A few months later I was contacted by a television producer from Holland, who was keen to make a program about Northern Ireland for the ‘Frontline’ series on Netherlands channel, Evangelische Omroep (EO). I spent a week, (well paid!), with the Highway Productions team - pre-production & planning, filming and presenting on a 30-min documentary - broadcast later that year.

In 1999, as a direct result of recording my first album at The Cellars, I was asked to produce a corporate video - ‘Regenerating the East’ - for Landmark East, a not-for-profit company in east Belfast. Since then I have been developing a few smaller video projects which we hope in future will become TV documentaries.

Meanwhile, my daughters, Kelly Fitzpatrick and Connaire McCullough, have been pursuing their own careers. Connaire graduated from Queen's University, Belfast, in 2004, with a BA (Hons.) in English (with Cultural & Media Studies). She then completed a 1-year (NVQ 4) course in Newspaper Journalism: Writing at Belfast Institute and, after completing a 6-month course/placement, is currently on contract with BBC Northern Ireland - currently working in the BBC archives.

Kelly had previously gained a GNVQ (Advanced) in Art & Design and a City & Guilds Cert. in Photography. She also partly completed an HNC Cert. course in Photography. In June 2006 she completed a 2-year HND (Diploma) course in Media Writing, at Belfast Institute - specialising in Cinematography and TV Production; and has just completed a degree in Professional Development from Dundee University.

This seemed an opportune time for us to combine our separate skills and to make Precious Oil Productions into a fully-fledged TV production company. We are currently developing a slate of around six different ideas for documentary programs and series. These are intended to produce positive, wholesome programs that inform, educate and challenge the viewer.

Precious Oil Productions Ltd became a Limited Company in November 2005 and currently we have a one-hour TV documentary in post production (for broadcast), currently entitled, ‘Broken treaties!’. Part of this documentary was filmed in Northern Ireland (2004) and Manitoba, Canada, (October 2005) and the remainder in Manitoba in April 2007. We took delivery of our new Final Cut Pro Studio Edit Suite in July 2008, and hope to have the documentary ready for broadcast later in 2011.

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