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For the first time this year we had a situation where YouTube blocked three videos we produced for attempting to “profit off of a sensitive event”.

More about that later.

When Catholic Health first approached the Jasper Picture Company and detailed that they wanted a video expressing their gratitude to their staff, it was up to us to work out the best way forward.

We edited together clips from a past St Vincent’s shoot, combining slow motion shots of hospital staff and presenting this to the Catholic Health team as a tasting platter of what we thought was a good way to get the message across. They loved it.

As a result, the pre-production was simple. Without any speaking or a voice over, the emphasis fell on the filming and editing afterwards. 

This had to be one of the more intense video production experiences of the year. Over the course of two days we held shoots in St Vincent’s hospital, an aged care facility and a COVID ward at Mercy Health, at the height of Covid in Melbourne.

Our videographer Matt stepped out into an active Covid ward in Mercy Health in Werribee. Dressed to the nines in every form of PPE you can imagine, he spent an afternoon following nurse Alicia around the ward. 

Speaking to her gave us a new level of respect for hospital staff working during COVID19. She was having a nosebleed everyday on account of daily Covid tests and spending 8 hours in restrictive protective gear.

In total we produced 3 videos. One was based in the hospital, another an aged care home and the third was a combination of the two. We met and filmed 8 workers, ranging from frontline nurses to environmental service workers and catering managers.

Video editors Matt and Emel each worked on the clips. The slow motion shots of the workers were combined with clips of them going about their jobs, with patients, cooking and ensuring the building was COVID safe. 

It was once they were uploaded that they met their biggest challenge. 

Catholic Health Australia uploaded them to Youtube and then attempted to boost them, to spread the message of gratitude further. Upon doing so, the request was rejected for attempting to “profit from or exploit a sensitive event”. 

Catholic Health then realised this related to a mistaken belief that the videos were attempting to misuse the Covid tragedy, despite their real purposes of thanking workers putting themselves at risk to help Covid patients. 

This ruling was appealed and the videos remain in circulation however, they have not been as promoted as Catholic Health may have wanted. Despite this, the videos have hundreds of views each and have been able to highlight the gratitude felt by Catholic Health towards their tireless staff.

Want to see what Youtube thought was so heinous? Click here to see the videos Youtube tried to block.