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 ...
"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.
"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
North Devon Moving Image is delighted to be working with the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon to create a collection of oral history films for their new social history gallery. The gallery which will be housed in the new wing, currently under construction, will be laid out in five themes and we will be producing one film for each theme.
The first film, focusing on The World of Work, features Russell Maynard who worked as an apprentice cabinet maker at Shapland and Petter in Barnstaple in the 1950s. Russell kindly welcomed us into his workshop where he not only showed us the wonderful pieces he is working on now but a collection of work dating back to his apprenticeship days. One beautiful wood carving Russell has goes even further back to when he was ten years old and it is this piece that Russell believes helped him win his apprenticeship at Shapland and Petter.
We are currently researching film subjects for the remaining four social history gallery themes; Hatched, Matched & Dispatched, Town & Country, Highdays & Holidays and House & Home. If you know of anyone who would has some great stories to tell, a fascinating collection of artefacts, photographs or home movies and would like to feature in one of these films then please do get in touch.
RUSSELL'S FILM COMING SOON...
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!
Florence Browne from Cornwall
Holly Black & Joanne Barker from Bristol
James Cox from Devon
Linda Mason from Hampshire
Michael Balsdon from Devon
Joanna Ryan from Devon (edit - Jo joined the fold in July 2019)
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.
(edit July 2019) Jo - The film is about grazing sheep on Northam Burrows Country Park. It will focus on farmer Ronald Griffey who has grazed sheep there for over 40 years and the rewards and challenges this gives him. Northam Burrows is an unusual landscape rich in plants and wildlife. As common land, it has a long history of grazing rights. Ronald and his family have a strong connection with the burrows and grazing sheep there. Ronald’s father had grazing rights on the burrows, and Ronald’s son now helps him.
"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."
Educational Charity Into Film invited North Devon Moving Image to a creative challenge... to support a group of students at Great Torrington School to make a film in a day!
Written and created by the students, aged between 12 and 14, "Missing" is a chilling drama: "When Lucy goes missing, everyone is trying to pin the blame on others. But while they are doing this, they are completely blind to the reality as to why she’s gone."
The students threw themselves wholeheartedly into the task and demonstrated their creative skills both in front of and behind the camera.
Amanda McCormack, lead film making facilitator for the day, said "For any film to be successful you have to start with a good story and the students wrote a brilliant one! The young film makers and actors were really professional in their approach to creating their film in a day and I think you'll agree that their hard work has paid off". Click below to watch the film on the Into Film Shorts YouTube channel.
Into Film puts film at the heart of the educational and personal development of children and young people across the UK - supporting schools to run film clubs, providing educational resources and training for educators. If you want to find out more about running a film club or to see what else Into Film has to offer, visit their website.
Community film making organisation North Devon Moving Image CIC (NDMI) is partnering with the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon to share a collection of short films about farming heritage in north Devon.
NDMI is calling for film makers to apply for a £1,000 documentary short film commission, Down on the Farm which will produce six short films about farmers and farming in north Devon. The resulting films will be on show at the new social history gallery being created as part of the Museum's £1.8 million Long Bridge Extension.
Museum manager Alison Mills says "Farming is of course the foundation of life in North Devon, and of our wonderful landscapes, but the everyday aspects of this work are not well known to our increasingly urban populations. As working practices are changing and many farmers are leaving the industry now is the time to record our area’s practices and peculiarities to enable people learn about and engage with our local heritage."
Amanda McCormack, Creative Director of NDMI says “We work with local people to create, collect and share short films about north Devon and our projects give individuals and communities a voice whilst celebrating our local heritage.”
“An important part of NDMI’s remit is to support and nurture film making talent and Down on the Farm is our very first film commission. Thanks to our funders, each successful applicant will receive £1,000 to produce one film sharing the heritage and promoting the work of farmers and farming within the boundaries of North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve, including the coastal Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
The selection panel, comprising members of the TV and film industries, as well as farming and environmental organisations, will be looking for the most engaging stories and fascinating characters with the spirit of north Devon at their heart. Applicants will need to demonstrate strong story telling skills, creative outlook and examples of previous work.
Amanda added “Our consultation for this project drew out plenty of farmers with great stories to tell, so if you are a film maker from outside the area we can put you in touch with willing subjects. We will also have local volunteers on hand to act as location managers and researchers if needed.”
For all the project and application information visit northdevonmovingimage.org.uk, email Amanda McCormack, Project Manager email@example.com or telephone 01271 860610.
The closing date for applications is Wednesday 1 August 2018.
Amanda McCormack from North Devon Moving Image has been working as Artist in Residence with children from Appledore Primary School as part of the HLF funded Beaford Arts Hidden Histories project.
Hidden Histories is opening up the Beaford Archive of photographs by James Ravilious and Roger Deakins with a major photographic conservation and digitisation exercise.
To complement the work they have been doing on their Hidden Histories community trail, the children interviewed local people reacting to photographs of Appledore taken by James Ravilious in the 1970s and 1980s. They then recreated those scenes in dramatic tableaux to create ten delightful films celebrating both the work of Ravilious and the heritage of their village.
These young creatives loved finding out more about Appledore and following in the footsteps of James Ravilious. They developed new photographic skills as well as becoming film makers and, of course, the stars of the films!
To watch the films visit our Hidden Histories page. To find out more about Hidden Histories and look through the newly digitised photographs visit www.beaford.org and for more about Beaford's Community Trails project click here.
We have been having a fabulous time working with children from Appledore Primary School to create a series of short films inspired by the photographs of James Ravilious. We were lucky to have poet technologist Christopher Jelley joining us on set and he wrote us this lovely poem which sums up the exciting time we have had on this project.
Quiet on Set!
Appledore pupils with fidgets boiling
A torrent of ticks belays the impossibility of stillness
All made the harder as the quiet is demanded
Every shuffle squeak and squark gets branded
Caught on VT captured on film
Every noise and twitch baked in this kiln
Director calls 'Quiet on set'
Camera runs speed
Action filming is on
Then questions short and answers long
Of old Appledore deeds, careers and occupations
Gardeners, shop keepers and life boat stations
Pupils storyboard all these vocals
Memory of their tales through the lens
Connecting points spanning time tying ends
Nodes running back through to the local past
Which the pupils have re-lived as historic cast
Costumes, clothes, hats, wigs
Bloodlines caught on Amanda's camera rigs.
North Devon documentary maker Martin Kemp has won the very first 2018 ARRI Doc Challenge film competition for his three minute film, Where the Land Falls. The film sees Ed Strawbridge, a third generation dairy farmer at Down Farm in North Devon, looking at photographs of his family by James Ravilious. Ed reflects on how farming life has changed during his lifetime.
As a supporter of North Devon Moving Image (NDMI) and former film judge himself (for our Wild Shorts competition) we are thrilled that Martin is sharing his film with us for the NDMI collection.
The theme for the inaugural ARRI Doc Challenge was “Millennial”. As the winner of the competition, Martin received a cash prize of £3,000. “For me, having the chance to play with the ARRI Amira for three days was an unmissable opportunity. It’s a wonderful camera and I very quickly fell in love with it. The challenge to shoot and edit a film in just three days is certainly tough but it’s a great discipline. Plus you have the privilege of being able to make the piece you want to make without commissioning editors!” said Martin.
Thank you Martin and well done. A great film and doing the job that Ravilious did with his engaging photographs - preserving North Devon stories on film.
Young film makers at Petroc college in Barnstaple worked with Amanda McCormack from North Devon Moving Image (NDMI) to produce two short videos to help promote the work of Survivors Alliance North Devon (SAND).
SAND provides a specialist counselling service in north Devon for adults who have suffered from sexual abuse or rape. Supported by a grant from the Wace Family Fund via Devon Community Foundation; two groups of learners from the foundation learning programme at Petroc took part in the project. The learners chose SAND from a number of local charitable organisations who pitched for the free digital media support.
Director of SAND, Karen Black says; "We were so delighted and felt privileged to be chosen by the students to design a multi media campaign that would help raise our profile in North Devon. The whole process was made simple and fun by both the students and Amanda and we were highly impressed with the level of student interest and maturity relating to this difficult subject. We are over the moon that through this project many more people in this area will be able to receive help from Survivors Alliance North Devon CIC, and realise that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Chantal Tonks, lead tutor on the Foundation Learning programme at Petroc adds; “The project is really beneficial to our learners, not only to find out more about the services that are available to them in their community but to support an organisation that they have chosen to raise awareness for and to take responsibility for the way the project is delivered. When they see the final results of their work it gives each learner a sense of pride and achievement at completing a media project, that can seem initially challenging, but through learning new skills and working together they have created something that is creative and meaningful. “
Click here to watch the videos: http://www.northdevonmovingimage.org.uk/survivors-alliance-north-devon.html
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.
Keep up to date with all the latest news from NDMI Creative Director Amanda McCormack.
North Devon Moving Image CIC
Gareth Alvarez, Creative Director
North Devon Moving Image CIC is a Community Interest Company Limited by Guarantee
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