When organisations fail people and society get damaged
Everyone behind the creation of The Testing Point are united by a belief that “we have to do better” which is why we were all motivated to commit time and money to starting an important conversation about honesty and courage.
We want to see The Testing Point as a critical part of induction and training programs; we want boards to use it to challenge themselves and we want anyone who is committed to being better and doing better to be able to use it to help them make their case.
Written by Nigel Paton and Michael Herlihy
Michael and Nigel worked together for many years in a variety of head office and business roles at ICI. Subsequently, Michael became General Counsel at Smiths Group, Senior Independent Director at Imperial Brands plc, and an Independent Director at the John Lewis Partnership. Nigel worked as a Non-Executive Director of a NHS Mental Healthcare Trust, completed a Masters in Creative Writing and sits on the Trustee Boards of two charities.
Whilst at ICI, they worked together on personal development programmes, and continued afterwards to collaborate on projects, including the development of a workshop focusing on things that inhibit people from thinking or acting independently.
An Accidental Creation
In 2020, the natural progression was to find a way to record all that work. Rather than write a powerpoint presentation or a book, they decided to make a film. In November 2021, together with what was by now an extended team, they committed to funding the project from their own resources. Over the next year, to their amazement, they made it, with professional actors, six main locations, a full crew, a host of extras and an original soundtrack. And all because they thought they had something to say. The Testing Point is the result.
“We’ve got something to say and we would like people to hear it.”
Directed by Benjamin David
“Given my experience in the corporate sector, the lessons of The Testing Point resonated with me in a way that I felt I HAD to be involved. Michael and Nigel really had ‘something to say’ and I wanted to be a part of that”
Through a connection with Michael Herlihy, Benjamin was brought on board to support the development of The Testing Point into a shootable film, before later being asked to direct and later edit the project.
He was the perfect choice to direct the film with his mixed performing, directing and business background. Performing from a young age Benjamin trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts youth theatre program, the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, which launched his professional acting career in Los Angeles where he also served as a script consultant for a tv comedy pilot greenlit by Nickelodeon (TeenNick).
On returning from the US, Ben switched paths and pursued a corporate career at Smiths Medical, where he took on progressively senior roles over a 15 year period. Prior to The Testing Point, Benjamin was a lead actor, writer, editor, and producer for the award-winning short film ‘The Rough Gig’.
Benjamin has now left his full-time corporate job to continue pursuing acting, writing, directing, and teaching full-time. He is also currently part of the sketch comedy double act ‘Hill & Jones’.
Produced by Jessica Pearce
“We can’t expect the future generation of leaders to behave differently without strong role models and leadership for them to look up to”
Jessica is a producer and actor, who came on board as production manager in the lead up to filming. What started off as a serendipitous recommendation to get involved for a short period of production, quickly turned into a real identification with the values of the project and she decided to continue on throughout the post-production process.
Before transitioning into the industry by training at Drama Studio London in 2020, Jessica completed her BSc Management at Warwick University and then worked as a Strategy Consultant for Capgemini Invent. Her experience in the corporate world, even in an early-stage position, gave her insight into the kind of behaviours that go on, and just how difficult it can be for junior members to speak up.
She’s currently continuing to build her portfolio as an actress and producer, under her independent production company focused on women’s voice in film. She’s currently working as an Executive Producer on three short films, including an international project with Argentinean writer Malena Pardo.
The cinematography team was led by Dana Ben, Director of Photography, and supported by Ross Yeandle, Cinematography Consultant, Camera Operator & Gaffer. Dana is a talented young filmmaker with prior experience directing short films and documentaries. She is currently studying at the University for the Creative Arts. Most impressively, Dana was almost 8 months pregnant while filming The Testing Point! For more information go to www.danaben.co.uk. Ross is a UK based Director Of Photography with over 30 years experience crafting beautiful images. With a background as a commercial advertising stills photographer for over 20 years, he moved into shooting commercials and drama as a cinematographer a decade ago and has built a long resume of feature film, short film, and commercial work. For more information go to www.rossyeandle.co.uk
On-set sound team
The on-set sound team was led by Richard Fox, Sound Lead, and supported by Jacob Evans, Sound Mixer. Richard, who is also Dana Ben’s husband, is an actor and producer as well as an on-set sound professional. He is currently studying at the University for the Creative Arts. Jacob is an experienced on-set sound lead and mixer with training at the University of West London and the National Film and Television School.
The film score was composed and produced by Sam Herlihy and Anthony Theaker, with final score mixing completed by Anthony. Although this is Sam and Anthony’s first feature film score, they have worked together on a number of musical projects over the last twenty years. Their wide-ranging works, working alone as well as in tandem, span a number of genres including orchestral, instrumental, electronic and song-based compositions.
Atlantic Cedar Commercial Team – Led By Brian Jones & Pru Parkinson
Having met at Harvard Business School on the prestigious Advanced Management Programme, Brian and Pru have worked on a number of transformational and leadership development projects together over the past 10 years. Having spent considerable time understanding the dynamics and impact of people and personal behaviours in the work environment they are both fully behind the principles behind the Testing Point and keen to help it reach its target audience.
“The Testing Point is a valuable asset in our work to help leaders get better and we are enthusiastic to see just how far-reaching its impact will be”
Brian Jones is a highly experienced executive, speaker, and entrepreneur with a background spanning multiple sectors. Through Atlantic Cedar he actively assists business leaders in solving their business problems and achieving their aspirations for their businesses and themselves. His 40 year career includes 15 years on the executive boards of FTSE100 companies. His 9-box framework for inspiring “followship” has helped and inspired hundreds of professionals in multiple geographies to become better leaders. When Michael Herlihy, a former colleague, explained the vision of the Testing Point to him, well… he couldn’t resist.
Pru Parkinson has thirty years’ experience in media marketing and communications with a particular expertise in managing strategy and organisational change to combat digital disruption. She has a particular interest in blending creativity with business imperatives, helping teams understand the importance of agility and managing ambiguity. Recent projects have seen her focus on championing changes in working environments that reduce the opportunity for abuse of power and workplace bullying.
as Richard Moss
as John Miller
as Jane Perrin
as Susan Alogosa
as Sir William Brown
as Alan Gower
as David Blackett
as Grace Thompson
as Holly Thomas
as Kat Oldfield
as Emily Taylor
We want organisations and educators to engage with us
The Testing Point is an entertaining drama, but it is not on general release. It has been designed for use in organisations to help people overcome the barriers that hold people back from voicing concerns at critical moments and in high pressure environments.
If you would like to know how you can see the film and use the supporting materials, please get in touch and we will discuss your needs with you.