Shoot Diary – Filming At Vindolanda

Discovering the Magic of Vindolanda: A Roman Adventure with The Connected Set

Hey there, history buffs and adventure seekers!

Does our intro to this Shoot Diary entry sound a bit like Ben Shires?

Maybe it is because we had the pleasure of spending a bit of time on set with CBBC’s legendary presenter! Yes, you read it correctly, we had the opportunity to work with the amazing Ben Shires! And we can only confirm that he’s as wonderful in real life as he is on screen. So, what shoot was it you might ask yourself? This one is special as it took us on a whirlwind journey through the ancient landscapes of Vindolanda!

In September 2023, we had the absolute pleasure of teaming up with the fantastic folks of The Connected Set, a Brighton-based production company bursting with creativity and enthusiasm. Commissioned by CBBC to produce new episodes for BBC Teach Live Lessons, TCS brought Ben Schwartz on board for editing a couple of their episodes, including the one about the Romans. And since we’re based somewhat close to location, Ben had the opportunity to go along to the shoot and familiarise himself with the footage ahead of post production.

So what was the shoot like? Imagine lush greenery, majestic ruins and a dash of ancient mystique — the perfect backdrop for our escape into a world long gone. Led on screen by the dynamic duo of presenters, Ben Shires and the amazing archeologist Raksha Dave, The Connected Set embarked on a quest to solve a ‘history mystery’ and uncover the secrets of Vindolanda’s Romans.

Now, here’s a few fun facts about our very own Ben Schwartz, the guy who not only edited the episode but also spent some time on set to create aerial shots & BTS stills. With a childhood spent  in Germany where Roman ruins are a regular sight, Ben’s passion for history runs deep. He’s been intrigued by Roman culture from the first time he learned about it in history class and he even studied Latin for a few years during his time in secondary school! So when he found out that he was going to work on the Live Lessons episode about the Romans, he couldn’t contain his excitement!

The main shoot was tightly scheduled across a few days but the team on site as well as the cast and crew made it a truly enjoyable experience. Raksha, Ben (Shires), our actors and everyone from the Vindolanda Charitable Trust made it a brilliant shoot to remember. From swapping Roman trivia to exploring the old Latin language – every moment was filled with joy and discovery.

As we say, “Valete!” (the Latin word for ‘goodbye’) to everyone at Vindolanda, we’re gearing up for our next big adventure. So, stay tuned for more Behind The Scenes stories as the next productions are already scheduled.

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