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Once Upon a Lockdown..



It's an odd experience, living and working through an historical event, isn't it?

Knowing that we'll be asked to speak in school history lessons in twenty, thirty year's time!


And while, to the unknown observer, the world seemed to stop: the media industry certainly didn't! Not while there's stories to be told, news to be broadcast, products and services to be advertised, and lessons to be taught! The show must go on, no matter what - and that's the same story here at S2Blue Towers!

Changing Rooms


View of St Martin's Studios
St Martin's Studios, Sale - an audio institution since the 1980s. A time when everyone drove either a red or a white car

Just before Lockdown #1 happened we took over the world-famous Studio 1 at St Martin’s!


Studio 1 at S2Blue Towers in the 1980s
The technology has changed but Studio 1 remains a hive of activity!

A million and one words have been sung and spoken in these walls, going all the way back to the days Alfasound Tapetrix – where the likes of Dangermouse and The Wind in the Willows were recorded, along with countless vintage jingles that defined the time! The technology has changed with the times, but the stories remain!


Studio 1 today
Studio 1 is ready to go when you are!

What We Saw in Advertising

March 2020, Lockdown #1, we saw all normal business stop. All projects we were working on suddenly had to change completely. Messages from advertisers "Business as usual" turned to "Still Operational", "temporarily closing our doors" turned to "delivery now available", whilst "your safety is our number one priority" remained a constant throughout.


Jake's work from home set up
Production Coordinator Jake's WFH set up.

Since then, it's been a rocky road of openings and closings. Commercials asked customers to follow signs and guidance from staff when visiting shops.


Services were served via Zoom calls. Events went digital.

Life found a way to keep going - just!

When you can't see family and friends, life can be difficult. But radio saw a huge boost in listenership! People up and down the country were using the radio as a way of having another voice in the room. Someone to talk to. Something to laugh at, something to sing along to, something to make everything feel a little bit better!

Lockdown opened the team up to new ways of working. Suddenly our dining tables and under-stairs cupboards turned into our desks and our studios!

But did the media ever stop? No. Not for one second. Because it can't! And the past year and a bit has shown us how incredible and dedicated each and every member of the Media Production Industry is!


S2Blue kids doing a voiceover job!
S2Blue Kids earning extra pocket money!

People Kept Learning

Whether it was a refresh to a code of conduct, a lesson on Equality and Diversity, or an animation guide on transitioning from Primary to Secondary school, learning hasn't slowed down! S2Blue provided voiceovers for everyone from Sellafield to the Samaritans; from Warwickshire County Council to the World Cancer Research Fund.


TV Studio filming
Recording on location with Electromedia

One of our favourite productions this year was in partnership with Electromedia. Working with Saffron Interactive, we helped produce videobot features of the Create Your Own Future project, that aimed at supporting the pool of workers looking to identify and work on gaps in their skillsets.


Saffron spent a very long time working on this with Nesta and TUC, and the results spoke for themselves!

Find out more about the project here!

Learning Technologies 2020 front entrance
The Learning Technologies Conference is a favourite of ours to attend!

Jake and Rachel enjoyed their time at Learning Technologies 2020 in London. And in 2021 we had a front-row seat to the insightful webinars on offer as the event went virtual. The team at Learning Technologies did a great job at this year's event, and we applaud them for how educational and fun it was!

Learning Technologies while working from home
Conferencing from Home!

Find out more about our eLearning productions


Julia's Work from Home Set Up, complete with lego
Julia had to share her WFH desk with her young son!

Oh, How We Sang..

We saw a lot of new radio stations launch over lockdown - and many took the opportunity to refresh their on-air sound! As exclusive agents for JAM and PAMS publishing in the UK and Ireland, along with offering our own resings from S2Blue & Steve England Studios and Alfasound, our singing department effortlessly arranged and performed a range of cuts and packages, despite pandemic challenges!


The S2Blue singing crew
Sometimes the "S" in S2Blue stands for "Singing"!

From full-station rebrands for Steel FM in Scunthorpe and LCR in Lincoln to individual resings for private collectors, hospital stations, and the BBC: our amazing team kept the world singing!

Did you know? We also do podcasts!


A very tidy work from home set up for Creative Director Gilly
Creative Director Gilly definitely did not spend 15 minutes organising her paperwork before taking this shot of her WFH set up!

Onward!

We will carry on as we always have here at S2Blue! It'll take more than a plague to stop our team from delivering the best quality audio possible to our clients.

With love from the S2Blue team!

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