I’ve been spurned into updating my blog by a call from the BBC about Grierson for the Radio programme Cafe Culture, the film has recently screened at the Glasgow Film Festival and a researcher from the show arrived here…so a little bit of evidence that someone has been reading it. Hurrah.
The last 5 months has mainly been dominated by family stuff which, if I was of a business mind, and were it not so common place, and had I been a national journalist….would probably have recycled as an ongoing series of articles in the Guardian (I like to imagine it being lauded as by turns humorous, angsty and touching).
Beyond the home front though I have been otherwise involved.
One of the bigger projects that I have been undertaking is research work around participative practice with Artworks Scotland. The results of this will be published in various forms in early summer.
This has brought me into contact with some really striking work being done in the field of Education in four of Scotland’s local authorities. I will be blogging more about this later in the year.
In particular, and as a spin off from the research work, I have done a spot of work with Di Naylor and Paul Collard of Creativity Culture Education. A bit of an experiment was conducted with Paul and Di in using video as a feedback tool in evaluating creativity. This was carried out as a nail biting day long session in the offices of Creative Scotland in partnership with Education Scotland where six two minute films where made on the spot to be played back to the subjects of the filming. The stills, directly above and below are taken from a couple of these films. It was a useful reminder, to me anyway, of how quickly things can be turned over where this is a requirement, and how technology has finally caught up with its initial promise.
Throughout December and up until the present I have also been making work for Crossroads Caring and Real PR. Initially planned as two 5 minute films, we now have arrived at five 5 minute films, with a variety of case studies and overviews of the kinds of services that the charity offers. Its been quite amazing to see how people cope with life at its most challenging and has been a real privilege to see how people care for their loved ones in need, often with very little back in return in terms of interaction. I’ve been shooting mainly on a canon 7D for this project and using a slider which allows for short tracking shots. I’ll be posting some moving image material from this soon, but until then here are some stills which shows the variety of situations I’ve been filming in. Working in small spaces with vulnerable people, in the past there would have been something of a compromise between quality of image versus intimacy of material – again the technology has allowed filmmakers to move moved beyond these concerns. I’ve also been doing some camera work for Media Co-op - it has been great to be part of an actual crew with call sheets, scheduled breaks and even someone on sound!
Back on the domestic front I’m pleased to say I’ve also completed the challenge, 28 Drawings Later. This participative project was initiated by painter and former employee of Hopscotch Films, Victoria Evans, and invites people to submit a drawing a day across the month of February. I like to think across the 28 days I had something of an improvement in my drawing…but am still tethered to in a style which could perhaps be categorised as Late 20th Century Higher Grade Comprehensive! It is great to actually participate in an arts project, albeit remotely, and reflect on what some of the terms that pop up in the Artworks research: creativity, engagement and of course risk.