A collaborative effort went into producing KVH’s TRAININGlink maritime safety film “The Human Element,” which is now in the running for the ‘Safety at Sea’ category in the prestigious Seatrade Awards recognizing innovative maritime solutions. Film collaborators included the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency(MCA), which published a book of the same name in 2010; BP Shipping; Teekay Marine Services; the Standard P&I Club; London-based Pukka Films; and a script co-developed with book authors Dik Gregory and Paul Shanahan of GS Partnership.
But the film’s nomination is particularly gratifying for KVH’s maritime training producer, Chris Young, who says making “The Human Element” became a project with personal meaning. “I saw the book on the day it was released and it took almost three years to get from the idea to the film launch in Soho in March 2013,” says Young. “It was a difficult project to put together, but we persevered because I was so convinced it addressed a need.”
Young previously worked as a commercial photographer and also in the construction industry, and jokes that his time in construction actually gave him “good insight into how safety rules and advice are put into practice (or not, as the case may be…)”. His job as maritime training producer involves not only film production but also a considerable amount of research, and building relationships with shipping companies and maritime experts. He aims to produce four new TRAININGlink films per year, although that time frame varies depending on the scale of the project. “‘The Human Element’ and a forthcoming trilogy about ‘effective communications’ are drama productions, requiring considerably more time, effort, and expense to produce than a more traditional ‘presenter-to-camera’ or simple voiceover production,” says Young. “I normally have one title in some stage of production, then start to put together the next one after filming is complete.”
Young, a member of the Nautical Institute, a U.K.-based international organization for maritime professionals, has been with the company for more than 10 years; he joined Headland Media in 2000, then moved to Walport – now TRAININGlink – in 2010. TRAININGlink is part of KVH Media Group, which was formed after KVH acquired Headland Media in May 2013.
Even before the Seatrade Awards nomination, the film had garnered recognition in the industry. “It has important lessons for those afloat, and indeed, those ashore,” commented Michael Grey, a well-known British journalist who has authored books on maritime safety.
“We hope this film will encourage everyone in the industry, from the engine room to the board room, to take a look at how they and their colleagues behave and think,” says Young.