About

Based in Cambridge, I’m an award-winning, independent film-maker and photographer. I specialise in working with vulnerable adults, including the homeless community, those suffering from incapacitating illnesses and their carers.

Combining independent creativity with a caring and discreet manner, my aim is to film the people others don’t see and in doing so to help put creativity back into the community.

Clients have included Jimmy’s Cambridge, a night shelter supporting the homeless community; Headway North West London, a charity helping those affected by brain injury; DanceMoves, run by Filipa Pereira-Stubbs to advance the therapeutic benefits of dance; Memory Notes, a community of singers affected by dementia; and Cambridge Community Arts, a charity that makes creative learning accessible to all.

In 2011, I was the winner of the East Anglia Digital HeroesAwards for my work with the homeless community in Cambridge.

Please email me at toby@marmaladepanic.com if you’d like to commission me for any photography or film work or to discuss your ideas.

For general enquiries please complete the form here

The Process

Photography

When I photograph people, my goal is to reveal the selves that are hidden from them. I take natural, high quality portraits in a reassuring setting and never photograph parts of people they don’t want me to.

Portrait photography is also the foundation of my filmmaking. Doing portraits introduces people to me and the camera, as well as helping me get to know them. In addition, seeing hi-res, professional pictures of themselves helps people to feel comfortable knowing what they will look like on film.

I am available for all photography commissions, including portraits.
 

Filmmaking

I use photography to build trust, which is crucial for filmmaking. The kind of work I do often requires patience and sensitivity and I’m always mindful of individual situations. I make sure to work closely with the relevant organisations and their staff to support the people I’m filming.

Once filming starts, the subjects of the film remain in control of the process. If they still don’t want to be in front of the camera, I work with them to find creative solutions, on one occasion placing a camera on the person’s dog.

I don’t do things by template and get personally involved in my work. Each film is tailored to the business, organisation or individual with whom I’m working and involves lots of talking and sharing of ideas. I undertake the editing process in collaboration with the customer and offer up to three test edits per film, providing a personalised password for private access to unfinished work.

My films are often used for publicising organisations and can deliver a return on investment. When I work with charities, over time I see a difference in people’s behaviour and many become eager to be involved, with the growth in their self-esteem being evident. This aspect is also important, and the films my aim is for them to provide a cathartic and creative experience for those making and seeing them.

Original Music

Music is an intrinsic part of film, but finding the right soundtrack can be a major headache.

As a street performer, singer songwriter and guitarist who has performed in venues across Cambridge, I have turned these skills to composing music for film.

Many of my films showcase original soundtracks made especially for them and choosing this option also circumvents copyright issues.

Benefits of using a small, independent filmmaker

I'm highly portable, being able to transport all my equipment using a bike and trolley in and around Cambridge being environmentally friendly. My overheads are low and every project is personally important to me in a way that would be impossible for a larger film company to achieve.

None of this comes at the cost of production quality, and all films are shot in high definitionand can be shown on a large screen.

Discretion is key, and nothing will ever be uploaded to social media without the full consent of all involved. Everyone who participates in the creative process is credited if they want and films are password protected to keep them private until they are ready to be shown.

Testimonials

- Jane Rich, Director, Cambridge Community Arts

“Cambridge Community Arts has commissioned a film from Marmalade Panic every year from 2015. Initially this was to raise awareness of our work but it soon became clear that the benefits were far wider. The film became an important recruitment tool. Firstly for new beneficiaries, hearing directly from others about their journeys encourages often quite anxious people to engage with us. It has also been a very useful introduction in staff and Board recruitment. A short film is far more powerful than a written case study to catch the attention of funders and plays an important role in our fundraising strategy both in making applications and providing evaluation.

We work closely with Toby at the end of our courses to conduct interviews with participants sensitively, creating a safe environment for people to share their experience. This process is of huge value to those being interviewed. It allows people to tell their story, helping them to understand and believe the positive changes in their lives. The experience of being filmed and watching themselves on film adds value to their personal journey, demonstrating their increased confidence.

Social media demands video content and Toby has re-edited materials so that they can be used flexibly in a variety of campaigns.

I will continue to invest in films by Marmalade Panic, as they provide huge value for money with a far greater return than the cost. I could not recommend anyone more highly suitable to work in the charitable sector with potentially vulnerable people. Toby has an artistic eye and creates beautiful films but more importantly he takes the time to see the person being filmed and gives them the respect and space they need to capture their story.”
 


- Filipa Pereira-Stubbs, Director, DanceMoves

“I have had the great pleasure and fortune to work with Toby Peters for nearly five years now. We have run workshops together, we have devised projects, we have made films together. Toby is a compassionate, sensitive and highly skilled filmmaker. He unvaryingly shows himself ready and able to rise to the challenge of documenting and recording creative processes, intimate moments - moments that can only too easily become invisible or forgotten. He is wonderfully reliable and hardworking, but more than that he hugely relishes the projects he works on and the people he works with, bringing important and productive reflections to the table. He has the exceptional ability to be very alive and responsive to people and yet maintain a light and quiet presence. We have worked with populations that have a high degree of fragility and complexity; invariably people relax around him, feel safe, and become confident in front of the camera.

I trust and value his opinions, and his knowledge of film making. Toby has very high standards, investing in much time and energy in order to create professional, beautiful films. His films have been shown on big screens such as the Arts Picture-house, where they have delighted audiences. Working with Toby allows my projects to be seen widely and with delight, helping them become successful ambassadors for the work I do. His films have been fundamental to my being able to develop the programmes I devise and deliver, bringing the work to the attention of commissioners, stake holders, managers, as well as participants’ families and friends, and communities.“
 

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