Happy New Year! Here is our first Down on the Farm update for 2019. With such a variety of topics and stories - and a whole year in which to make their films - our film makers are currently at different stages of production. Some are still working on research while others have already begun filming with their chosen farmers. Here is a selection of reports and snippets to keep you up to date ...
ALICE BOLLEN - LEIGHTON, FARMING WITH NATURE
I am pleased to say we completed our first day filming on Saturday 12th January. Myself, Rem, Judah and our niece Izzy met with Leighton and his partner Jill at the Hartland Abbey gardens to film their first garden clearing session of the season. We were very lucky with the weather as the day started out bleak and wet but cleared by the time we arrived, and we spent two hours filming as Leighton and Jill cleared away last years growth and began digging tomato trenches in the polytunnels.
We also filmed Leighton planting the first seed onions of the year at his home in Stoke, where he explained to us how applying different techniques to growing seeds offers different results. He was very pleased to note that the first seed onions have taken only three days to germinate, so a promising start to the season. There is no work yet to be done on the beehives but in the next two weeks Leighton will be pruning apple trees and planting the first potatoes.
"Why farming? "Of all the careers a young woman could go into, we're really keen to explore this question. As female filmmakers with an interest in social change we're really inspired to be working with Olivia. As a small scale no dig farmer and member of the Landworkers' Alliance, Olivia has a distinctly political edge to her work, which we wish to capture through this portrait of a market gardener in North Devon."
Holly and Jo, Black Bark Films.
ARIEL PINTOR - THROUGH JOSH'S EYES
The first shoot for Through Josh's Eyes took place between 3rd and 6th December 2018. I think it was very successful, on several counts. Most importantly, it consolidated my relationship with the film's subjects, the Jeffery family. I was 'embedded' in Lower Brownsham Farm for the duration, observing and sharing in the Jeffery's daily routine and comprehensively documenting all aspects of their life and activities in and around the farm.
I felt we grew to like and trust one another quickly. For my part, my first stay at Lower Brownsham Farm confirmed what interesting - and welcoming - people the Jefferys are, as well as the visual richness of their farm as a film location.
My initial concept for the film, to portray the working/family dynamic of Lower Brownsham Farm through the POV of its youngest tenants Josh, Steven and Charlotte, played an important part in this first shoot. The individual interviews and scenes I filmed featuring the boys and their baby sister have already given me plenty of good material to present themes central to the farming experience.
"The filming of the lambs and the daily routine of the Balsdon family at the start of lambing will take place in January and this will serve as a way of showing the small workload in the early stages and when the shoot in March is completed there will hopefully be quite the strong contrast between the start and middle of lambing season when it comes to the work that is undertaken."
Michael Balsdon, Film Maker
FLORENCE BROWNE - LOCAL MEAT BOXES
I had a brilliant time doing my first stint of filming at West Ilkerton farm in the autumn - the depth of knowledge that Chris, Tortie and Sarah have on their animals is amazing, and will be a challenge to get everything into my 5 minute film!
We went out to visit the herds in the landrover, and saw deer at the same time which are frequent visitors on the land. Nothing gets past Chris, and he has a keen eye for detail on the animals' wellbeing as he checks up on them. We also visited the local abattoir at Combe Martin to pick up meat to be sold at the Lyn Food Fest the next day, and it was great to see this stage of the meat-box process and the team effort that goes into labelling everything round the kitchen table when it's all brought back home.
I got some lovely shots that evening as the sun was setting of Chris doing the rounds on the farm and feeding his beloved rams, and I was also lucky enough to 'help' sample all the types of beef to be sold the next day at dinner time!
LINDA MASON - LIFELONG FARMER
I arrived one sunny morning on 9th October, to a very welcoming Rose. We spent a few hours having a cup of tea and talking about the farm. We then went on a walk around the farm, (with the dog) I was impressed at how fit Rose still is, and she still was climbing fences to get around. We visited the older cattle out in the fields and Rose enjoyed sharing stories about living in Devon all her life.
When we got back from our walk Rose started to get ready for feeding the young cattle that are in the sheds, they have to be fed twice a day, still by hand (the machine they were going to invest in did not work). This is truly a partnership, and with her husband (Freddie) they fed the twenty-three young cattle.
I began filming the young cattle and the feeding routine; Freddie enjoyed sharing about their life as farmers. This first visit was to get to know Rose and Freddie and for them to become comfortable with me filming them. I spent the rest of the afternoon with Freddy visiting the older cattle in the fields, they both have such a lovely relationship with their animals, and I could see how much they cared for the cattle. The cattle are very inquisitive and enjoyed exploring me with my camera, many trying to eat the camera straps!
"Wayne doesn’t claim to be unique in his farming practice and ethos, but when pushed he would say that his environmentalist practice and organic production make his farm unique. In particular, he pastures his cattle along the picturesque marshlands and sand dunes of the North Devon coastline.
Wayne wants to promote organic, environmentally friendly and sustainable agricultural produce, but he can see that cost is the lowest common denominator and a lot of people in Britain can’t afford this type of lifestyle." James Cox, Film Maker
Our next update will be in April 2019 when we will bring you more news from Down on the Farms.
In the meantime if you want to follow us and the project on social media you can find us here:
Facebook: North Devon Moving Image CIC
Twitter: @NDMovingImage #downonthefarm #northdevon
Over the next year we will be bringing you updates from our Down on the Farm film makers who will be 'out in the field' in north Devon creating a very special collection of short documentary films.
THE FILM MAKERS
Congratulations to our film makers!
Ariel Pintor from Somerset
Alice Bollen from Devon
Florence Browne from Cornwall
Holly Black & Joanne Barker from Bristol
James Cox from Devon
Linda Mason from Hampshire
Michael Balsdon from Devon
The commissionees were selected by an independent panel of professionals, from the film/tv, heritage and environment industries, out of a field of over 40 applicants aged between 18 and 72
James - As political turmoil surrounding the Brexit result takes hold with cheaper, lower quality products set to be imported from abroad, affecting the future of British agriculture; farmer Wayne Copp is preparing to face Brexit and ready his children as they prepare to become the 5th generation to work his farm.
Linda - Rose Manning was born in 1945 and has been in farming all her life. Rose is the eldest daughter of 3 girls and she took the role of future farmer in the absence of her parents having a son. Lifelong Farmer will be told through memories of Rose, through informal conversations whilst she is working with the animals and in the kitchen.
Florence - The film will focus on the Eveleigh family's recently begun 'meat box' scheme, an enterprise which sees them take their own livestock from their farm on Exmoor to the local abattoir in Combe Martin and produce high-quality meat boxes which they can then sell. The focuses on the importance the family place on a small, local abattoir, as this is a crucial factor in the animals' welfare but is often overlooked by the general public.
Holly & Jo - All Down Farm’s produce is eaten within a 20 mile radius of the farm. By engaging with their wider community, market gardeners Olivia and Henry believe not only does this help to strengthen the resilience of the farm itself but also helps rebuild local food networks, links and relationships - links that were once at the core of rural farming communities.
Michael - The lambing season on Michael's family's farm. Focusing on Michael's Mother, Sister Mel and her 3 year old daughter, this inter-generational perspective exemplifies the importance of women in the continuation of farming life.
Alice - Smallholder Leighton was brought up by the ‘make do and mend’ generation. He spent his childhood embracing nature and making the most of all it had to offer. This reflects in the resourceful way he farms today.
Ariel - Wife & husband team Tina & Dan Jeffery fulfilled a life's ambition three years ago: to run their own farm. The National Trust's award to the Jefferys of the tenancy at Lower Brownsham Farm meant a challenging, tough new start “at the deep end.” "Through Josh's Eyes” aims to tell the story of the Jefferys, their hopes and struggles as relatively new tenant farmers, from the point of view of their children.
"Rose has been farming all her life and now even in her mid seventies she is still caring for the young cattle and supporting on the farm. I will tell Rose’s story through her daily routines on the farm and in the kitchen baking, as she prepares food and reminisces about her life. Lifelong Farmer will weave together archive material, intimate and personal recollections of being a woman in farming over many decades."
North Devon Moving Image was approached by the Life on the Verge - Biosphere project to create some short promotional videos to raise awareness of their work. We spent time with project coordinator Clare Manning and Life on the Verge community volunteers at Fremington Cutting on the Tarka Trail and the village of Knowle near Braunton.
Life on the Verge is working with communities around the North Devon Biosphere to develop knowledge and skills for conserving and improving their road verges for wildlife. It was great to see so many people of all ages coming together in the name of nature! See the three short videos below.
North Devon Moving Image CIC are offering one local charity the opportunity to have a free promotional video produced by young people at Petroc in Barnstaple.
We have received funding from the Wace Family Fund (via Devon Community Foundation) to work on a digital media project with young people who are on the Entry to Employment and Careers Skills programmes. The young people will produce a short video and additional clips for social media to promote a local North Devon charity. The project will run from the beginning of November 2017 until March 2018, culminating in a screening ceremony to which stakeholders and press will be invited.
If any local charities are interested please could they contact me, Amanda McCormack, by email firstname.lastname@example.org with a summary of the work of their charity and a named contact by Friday 20 October 2017. We will then put all the proposed partners forward for the young people to select who they would like to work with. We will then invite a representative from the selected organisation to meet the young people and give them an idea of what they would like the promotional video to do for them.
To give an example of what the short film could look like please see our recent project in collaboration with the Encompass South West youth homelessness project, Streetwise http://www.northdevonmovingimage.org.uk/youth-homelessness---streetwise-north-devon--torridge.html
We have just spent a stopmotiontastic time with members of the North Devon Forum for Autistic Spectrum Conditions & ADHD creating some Incredible Inventions!
Mandi and Dotty from North Devon Moving Image (NDMI) delivered the three day claymation animation workshop in the bright and spacious Kingsley Room at The Burton Art Gallery and Museum in Bideford (thanks for looking after us Burton at Bideford people).
We delivered a brief to the workshop participants to create a short animated story solving an environmental problem (or come up with their own idea to make the world a better place). They worked in parent/child and individual/enabler pairs to come up with an invention, write a story and script, create characters, sets and props. We had a huge pile of fabulous resources from North Devon's WOW Scrapstore (£7 a bin bagful for members) and lots of colourful Newplast modelling clay to ignite their imaginations and then each team animated their films using iPads and iMotion or iStopmotion apps. We think the results are quite wonderful! Take a look at the video clip below.
If you know a group who would like to take part in a workshop like this please do get in touch.
We have had a busy two weeks here in Instow with our first ever NDMI Academy summer schools. Week 1 was a live action drama film making workshop for 5 young film makers aged between 10 and 13. The creative team devised their own story and with our support they wrote, directed, acted in, shot and edited the film He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (see below to view the film). The crew learned loads of new skills and worked together perfectly, coming up with great ideas and making time to listen to each other and let everyone's voice be heard with a brilliant result!
NOTE: The technical kit used was our Sony NX3 camcorder, Rode microphone with boom pole and deadcat and Sony Vegas to edit. Additional film making exercises were carried out with the use of our iPad Air, iOgrapher case, iRig pre amp and the professional Rode microphone.
NDMI Academy Summer School week 2 was an animation workshop for 5 talented youngsters aged between 7 and 11. This was great fun and we were so impressed by the creativity and patience of all our young film makers. They began the week getting to grips with the technical equipment and then recorded interviews with each other to form the basis of the film sound track. They went on to design and create their characters, props and sets. The animating was a great challenge as the audio was already recorded and the characters needed to move to fit the voices - we don't take the easy route here - and it definitely paid off as the result, with authentic interviews is really entertaining and the animation is brilliant! Take a look at the film below.
NOTE: The technical kit used was our iPad Air in an iOgrapher case, iMotion app, Rode microphone, iRig pre amp, Newplast modelling clay and Magneflash LED lights (great because they don't get hot and dangerous!)
If you are interested in film making workshops for your family, group, school or yourself please do get in touch.
A team of young people in North Devon are getting set to create a series of promotional videos for local charities with the support of North Devon Moving Image.
Thanks to grant funding from Wace Family Fund via Devon Community Foundation North Devon Moving Image (NDMI) is delighted to announce the launch of the Barnstaple Youth Social Action Project.
Chantal Tonks, who works with young people on the Careers Skills and Entry to Employment programmes at Petroc in Barnstaple, says “I am really excited to be working with NDMI again; the relationship between our young people and NDMI has been very successful in the past with some excellent results. Our current cohort who are returning next year are looking forward to the opportunity of working with NDMI focusing on an area that they feel passionate about.”
The young film makers will work in small groups, each choosing a charity close to their hearts. They will work together over the next year to learn and develop their communication and digital media skills, producing a series of short films for the charities to use as presentations and for distribution via social media.
Class 4 and Mr Kent welcomed us to St Helen's CofE Primary School in Abbotsham for a predator and prey themed film making workshop.
The young film makers researched, planned, wrote scripts, produced predator and prey puppets, performed, recorded, edited and reviewed their short film all in a day! We used an iPad, Veescope Live greenscreen app and iMovie to produce their short film: Wild Shorts - Predators. Click on the Youtube clip below to view.
This workshop was part of North Devon Moving Image's Wild Shorts project. To find out more visit the Wild Shorts film competition page on this website.
What a beautiful day to be learning about wildlife film making at Northam Burrows!
As part of NDMI's Wild Shorts project, we ran a one day intensive wildlife film making workshop in partnership with Torridge District Council at Northam Burrows Country Park in North Devon. An enthusiastic group of aspiring wildlife film makers with a wide variety of skills came together to learn the key principles of good film making and fieldcraft.
Starting with an introduction to the history and natural environment of the Burrows from Ranger Mike Day and a walk and talk with local wildlife expert Warren Collum the group familiarised themselves with the variety of habitats and species of the area. They were then introduced to the process of creating a storyline and building a storyboard for a film before going out and getting some hands on experience of shooting video on location.
There was plenty of opportunity throughout the day for the film makers to get personalised tips from our professional film makers and the final step was a brief editing tutorial to conclude the process.
With thanks to our funders North Devon Coast AONB, Fullabrook and Tarka Country Trust who enabled us to offer this workshop at an affordable subsidised rate.
We're now looking forward to some fabulous entries to our Wild Shorts Competition from these newly skilled film makers!
Keep up to date with all the latest news from NDMI Creative Director Amanda McCormack.
North Devon Moving Image CIC
Amanda McCormack, Creative Director
telephone: 01271 860610
North Devon Moving Image CIC is a Community Interest Company Limited by Guarantee
Community Interest Company No. 8737215
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