Personal Video projects

‘Ode to Manny’ – a love letter to Greater Manchester

We may be divorced from the sun, but we got soul in the prenup.

Ode to Manny by Jamie Swaby

One of our goals for 2024 was to make more space for the stuff that doesn’t pay the bills. The voluntary work and passion projects that excite us and flex our creative muscles. The stuff that makes a difference to people, the planet and our beloved local community here in Manchester.

With that in mind, it’s a pleasure to introduce Ode to Manny. It’s a spoken word film, a love letter to Greater Manchester. Jamie Swaby, one of our team of video producers, took inspiration from his personal relationship with his home town. He used a mix of new footage and stuff we had on the cutting room floor from various client projects. We hope you’ll agree this is a very special piece of work.

So put some headphones on, get comfy, and prepare to be reminded of why we all love this city.

The passion and creativity displayed in this film is what we aim to bring to all our paying work as well. If that sounds like something you’re up for exploring, please send us a message and let’s start the conversation.

Full transcript:

There’s an intoxicating allure to this city.
There’s an essence to its people that can’t be extracted and sold,
Built upon bedrock enriched with the blood and sweat of the hardest working.
In clubs, in alleyways, from dusk till dawn’s debut,
Melodies blend, nights never end.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though.
In fact, those two are hardly ever about.
Still, we stand tall and proud, angled towards the east,
rooted down by the trunk.
We may be divorced from the sun, but we got soul in the prenup.
In the mosaic of faces that graces our streets, diverse hues intertwine,
Painting a tapestry of unity, where every shade contributes to the pulse of her heartbeat.
We’re not always on the same page, but we are a city united, echoing the rivalry that’s part of our vibrant design.
And yeah, it’s a little bitter outside.
It’s like that most days.
Trust me, our kid. You’ll get used to it.
We’re known for canals, but we’re renowned for markets, hustle, basslines, train lines, tram tracks, kebabs.
So don’t believe what they say about her.
It’s not always grim up here.
Undeniably gritty.
Infinitely vibrant.
A city that echoes a symphony of people,
Forged with a spirit of transcendence,
Embracing the warmth of its unshakeable soul.

By Ben Horrigan

I've been producing digital content since 2012, primarily for flagship BBC brands like Blue Peter and BBC News. Now I run Studio 91 Media, a video production agency on a mission: to create content that is good for platforms, good for people and good for the planet. When I'm not behind a camera, I can often be found playing cello at weddings or riding a three-wheeled cargo bike called Babs.