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Case Study: Covering the Ebola epidemic

Video Production Canberra Case Study

Case Study: Covering the Ebola epidemic

Newcast Studios: Canberra video company tours the Australian treatment facility to capture its mission in fighting the Ebola epidemic.

The Ebola epidemic that hit Western Africa in 2014 was one of the greatest challenges humanity has faced in decades. There was incredible pressure from the public, NGOs, and health workers willing to assist in the fight, but the Australian Government refused to support the relief effort. An Australian response would also critical to show our support, and to gain invaluable experience on how to treat the virus. Because, should it ever reach Australian shores, we would have to face the heartbreaking disease. Eventually, in a snap decision, the Abbott Government awarded Aspen Medical the contract to fight Ebola in West Africa. Aspen Medical then trained a team of health professionals so they could send them to one of the worst affected areas at Hastings airbase in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

And the end result? Take a look for yourself:


Lessons learned: document your story from the start

Newcast Studios filmed the training in Canberra. We conducted video interviews with the doctors and nurses and they told us their hopes and fears for the journey ahead. The tour to Sierra Leone lasted 10 weeks and Newcast Studios organised a camera crew to capture the last weeks of the mission. Using a list of news contacts, Newcast also assembled an Australian camera crew. Michael Duff (originally from Canberra!) based in Freetown lead the way in capturing the last days of the Australian mission.

The crew arrived soon after a high number of deaths had occurred at the base. The medical professionals saw the worst of the epidemic, so they told the crew to be as unobtrusive as possible. Our crew connected with the workers as they got to work capturing the daily procedures of life on the base. The interviews filmed there were moving and personal, Newcast captured stories of the PPE inhibiting the worker’s ability to treat patients, as well as the horror of the sheer volume and indiscriminate nature of the deaths. A rare illustration of life for those who were there, in the Ebola ‘red zone’.

What was the return on investment for Aspen Medical?

Newcast Studios assisted Aspen Medical to document their story, through to the final cut and subsequent Video News Release. Marketing and Communications Director Eamonn Quinn engaged Newcast as the media partner to create multiple outcomes. To capture, produce and edit for internal and external comms, and to share with our network of journalists and editors. Having your company’s content featured in the media offers huge returns on marketing spend. We quantify your potential marketing spend by the type of media, the reach and the accompanying editorial. With every project, we look for future opportunities the content we create can deliver. Content of this nature also has a multitude of possible end uses. Newcast’s work was able to deliver Aspen Medical the following outcomes:

  • 12 minute ‘directors cut’ documentary
  • 6 minute shareable documentary or Video News Release (VNR)
  • 1:30 VNR
  • News articles on Fairfax Media,
Potential outputs:
  • Internal comms: encouraging staff to feel proud of where they work
  • External comms: for media, competitors, contractors
  • Content for future tenders or contracts
  • Video for recruitment of future workers
  • Content for increased sense of corporate and social responsibility

Newcast has played a key role in developing our story. Their style is collaborative which allowed us to be creative and develop stories, but they also know when to pull us back and make sure that the result fits with our brand. Aspen Medical is a global business and has to source camera and sound teams in remote places. Newcast managed that process brilliantly – working with the overseas teams and also ensuring they understand what we want. In creating our video around the Australian response to Ebola in West Africa, Newcast showed us they have a deep understanding of what is needed to create stories that connect with a wide audience – the public, stakeholders, clients and also the media.” Eamonn Quinn, Marketing and Communications Director, Aspen Medical

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