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Making a Film

The idea of making a documentary film can at first appear rather intimidating and the thought of funding the process, prohibitive.

What we try to do at Lonely Tower Film & Media is to make this fantastic approach to sharing stories: straightforward, exciting and professional. We take care of all aspects of the production process including assistance with funding grant applications.

The groups that we have worked with in the past are passionate about sharing the stories of their local area, they have produced exhibitions, leaflets and books all as a way to spread the word about what they have discovered.

History and heritage is something that we not only have a great deal of experience in, but something that we personally love. To work with such dedicated and wonderful people is a joy.

Initial Discussion

What typically happens is that we sit down with a group to discuss what they’ve been doing and how a documentary film might help in either creating a whole new project, or as a way to build on work that has already been done.

During this discussion we also talk about possible funding; most groups are eligible for grants to cover the full costs of the process. The Heritage Lottery Fund have been incredibly supportive with our past projects, meaning that the production of the documentary has come at no cost to the heritage groups themselves, with enough left over to fully promote the work and cover ancillary costs.


Making a film can sound daunting, and expensive! Here we give you some guidance on the process and how you can even apply for funding to help tell the stories that matter to you.

“From gently guiding us with helpful suggestions at the beginning of the process, to professional courtesy and efficiency when we asked for last minute additions and changes, Lonely Tower were so helpful with every part of the project.”

Janet Robinson, Sunderland City Council

Let’s Chat

A conversation costs nothing and can open up so many doors. Get in touch with us and we’re happy to meet up and discuss your ideas.


Funding would be the first task to complete, and to help with this we would produce a comprehensive ‘application support document’ to aid in gaining the funding. We would also talk about and agree on the aspects of the story we’d like to cover and possible scenes, interviews and locations we might film. We’d also chat about how other local people / groups can participate in the process to create a truly involved documentary.


Once funding is approved the filming process is usually competed within four months and typically runs like this:-

Agree story aspects

Conduct Interviews (experts, members of the heritage group etc)

Film locations and any re-enactment

Write script

Record script



Final edit to completion.


The film is then used to promote our heritage and share the fascinating stories of our past in creative and exciting ways and something that the community involved can be rightly proud of.