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Meet the Makers - with Nova Studios

25 June 2024

Hull film makers Nova Studios have collaborated with the Yorkshire Post on a series of documentaries looking at the work of makers and craftspeople in Yorkshire.

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The last in the series is a peek into the lives of Brian and Sylvester, compass makers at B.Cooke & Son Ltd on Market Place in Hull's Old Town. The theme of this episode is all about traditional skills and knowledge and the process both of compass and instrument making and also the passing down of these valuable skills to the next generation. 

Brian has been with B. Cooke & Sons since 1968. He has been in the business for over 50 years and by his reckoning, he 'only' has another 20 years to go. Sylvester, who met the company through IT contracting work, has since developed a passion for traditional instrument making and is learning from Brian and his colleague Norman. 

This video is stunning and provides a glimpse into a craft which many people would not even know existed. Great work from the team at Nova Studios. 

Nova’s Matt Stephenson said: “We’re longstanding Bondholders, we work closely with Future Humber, and we’re always really proud to be playing a significant role in helping leading businesses and organisations to promote, Hull, East Yorkshire and the Humber region. But in the 15 years since Nova was established, the business has grown and our reputation has spread much further afield - and our recent partnership with the Yorkshire Post reflects that. It’s been great to work with them and  to supply some great storytelling content with high production values that match the prestige and quality of the Yorkshire Post itself. We’re really looking forward to doing more with them in the coming months and years.”

Matt explains more about how the collaboration came about: "We wanted to produce some purely editorial content that would allow us to not only spread our wings creatively, but also show our skills to a wider audience. 

“Barney and I both have a background in journalism – I worked for The Guardian and the Hull Daily Mail as a columnist and feature writer, Barney has an MA in journalism and has worked in both news and features – so newspapers are close to our hearts and we’re pleased to keep the journalistic skills honed. In fact, it was my ex-Hull Daily Mail editor John Meehan who introduced us to the editor of The Yorkshire Post.

“The idea we presented was to find the best craftspeople in Yorkshire, document their work and find out what makes them tick. We knew we’d find visually rich material that our cinematographer Callum Mitchell would love working with, as well as interesting stories to get our teeth into.

“But more than that,” explains Matt, “the Meet The Makers series is about people who create work that stands the test of time. So much of what we see and buy is instant and disposable – we wanted to identify Nova Studios with craftspeople who use their creativity, intelligence and soul to create something that is meaningful and lasting; it’s the same approach we take to our own work.

“It was a privilege to produce work for The Yorkshire Post which is so rooted in the region and has such a reputation for enduring quality – it’s the perfect platform.”

Catherine Scott, editor of the Yorkshire Post Magazine said:  “This has been an inspiring project to work on and we have been blown away by the quality of Nova’s work. The films they have produced are essentially The Yorkshire Post Magazine in video form – profiling the human stories of inspiring people from our area.”

You can watch all of the Meet the Makers series at Meet The Makers - A Nova Studios & The Yorkshire Post Collaboration on Vimeo