Legacy of a Pioneer: Professor Desmond Julian

BHF Scotland | Documentary


The British Heart Foundation Scotland embarked on a momentous journey with the launch of the Professor Desmond Julian Annual Research Lecture. In celebrating this inaugural event, they sought to honour the legacy of Professor Desmond Julian, a pioneer in cardiac care. The challenge presented a launch video that resonated with a diverse audience, encompassing medical professionals, researchers, donors, and the general public. This story needed to be both informative and emotionally engaging, capturing the essence of Professor Julian’s contributions while intertwining the mission and vision of the British Heart Foundation. A crucial aspect of this endeavour was to make the content accessible and inspiring, encouraging viewers of varying familiarity with cardiac care to recognize and appreciate the pivotal role of research and the British Heart Foundation in this vital field.

Trailer | Legacy of a Pioneer: Professor Desmond Julian


Leveraging our extensive experience in collaborating with the British Heart Foundation, we envisioned an ambitious project that would resonate both at the event and with a global online audience curious about the remarkable advancements in cardiac care. Our proposal was a documentary titled “Legacy of a Pioneer: Professor Desmond Julian,” designed to weave the historical evolution of cardiac research with the captivating personal story of Professor Julian. A man who was the first to establish a Cardiac Care Unit in Edinburgh. This factual documentary film was crafted to be both emotive and informative, striking a balance that would appeal to a wide range of viewers.

In addition to the documentary, we suggested a silent digital display video for the event, serving as a precursor to the main content. This display was conceptualised to visually narrate the progression of cardiac care from the 1960s to the present, setting the stage for the documentary. Our content strategy was designed to captivate viewers intellectually and emotionally, fostering a profound connection with Professor Julian’s enduring legacy and the British Heart Foundation’s critical ongoing research in Scotland and beyond.

Full Documentary | Legacy of a Pioneer: Professor Desmond Julian


The execution of this project required an extensive exploration into the history of cardiac care, focusing particularly on the pivotal role of Professor Desmond Julian and Scotland’s significant contributions to the field. Collaborating closely with the British Heart Foundation, we conducted extensive research, interviewing individuals from Julian’s era to present-day beneficiaries. The production spanned multiple locations, including a special meeting with Julian’s wife, Claire, who provided personal insights and his autobiography.

We also spent time delving into online and library archives to ensure we could effectively paint this picture of the past. In juxtaposition to this, we worked with the BHF and Golden Jubilee Hospital to secure access to film modern day cardiac care which was truly valuable to highlight how far we have come in cardiac care.

Initially planned as a 7 minute documentary, the compelling story expanded to 15 minutes, supplemented by a 1 minute trailer. The post-production phase was intensive, with meticulous editing and review processes, ensuring clinical accuracy and respect for Julian’s legacy. This collaborative effort resulted in a documentary that was not just informative but a heartfelt tribute to a cardiac care pioneer.

Digital Display Loop | Legacy of a Pioneer: Professor Desmond Julian


The premiere of the documentary at the Professor Desmond Julian Annual Research Lecture was a momentous occasion. Our team had the privilege of attending the event, surrounded by leading figures in heart and circulatory disease research and care. Watching the documentary on the big screen in such an esteemed company was an extraordinary experience.

The documentary’s reception was overwhelming, both during the event and in subsequent feedback. It effectively set the tone for the lecture series, highlighting the critical importance of ongoing research in heart and circulatory diseases. It provided a unique opportunity for those familiar with his work to gain deeper insights into his contributions and for those who knew of him only by reputation to appreciate the depth and impact of his legacy.

The documentary went beyond storytelling; it offered a window into the relentless pursuit of medical advancements. It illuminated the journey of developing the tools, techniques, and medications that are now pivotal in aiding those living with heart and circulatory diseases. This project was not just about honouring a pioneer; it was about inspiring a new generation of researchers and practitioners, and fostering a deeper understanding of the relentless effort behind every medical breakthrough. Now launching online, we can’t wait for others to learn more about the legacy that Professor Desmond Julian left behind.

Having worked with the team at FoSho STUDIOS for a number of years I have come to know the high-quality product and service they deliver. However, during the development and delivery of the Desmond Julian Annual Research Lecture, the team were nothing short of exceptional.

From ideation to delivery their ambition, expertise and support were second to none, from supporting people with lived experience to tell their story to helping world-class researchers bring to life Prof Julian’s legacy their work was both professional and personal.

The final product was beyond all expectations, it was quite simply a very high-end documentary that told the story of Prof Desmond Julian from all angles culminating in a piece of work that was both emotive and inspiring.

It is an old cliché of going above and beyond, however, their management of the project, the budget and the final product was simply outstanding.

David McColgan
Head of BHF Scotland

British Heart Foundation Scotland


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