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Photo: Nina Pope

What If? Windows

On my way home I took some images of our 'Cat Fancy Club' picture in the What If? windows at the Wellcome Trust on Euston Road. This show features different projects created by students, graduates and staff from the Design Interactions department at the Royal College of Art (where I work), each offering an alternative view of how science could influence our future. The purpose is not to offer predictions, but to inspire debate about the human consequences of different technological futures, both positive and negative, by asking 'What If…?'

There's more information about the show and other projects on the Wellcome website here.

Tony & his Sphinx Photo: Nina Pope

Super Supreme

I had a great day out on Saturday at the Supreme cat show - this year was the 100th anniversary of the GCCF who run the show so there were a lot of VERY elaborate decorated pens as well as the fancy cats! You can see more of the photos I took here.

My Sheffield Doc Fest

Last week Nina and I stepped outside the current Jaywick film edit to go to the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival, only my second time there and like all film festivals a heady mix of late night boozing and schmoozing, high-pressure funding meetings and inspirational film and talks.

Oh, and some slightly baffling presentations by TV commissioners who are using words like 'compelling' and showing a clip of something quite the opposite.

Highlights for me were meeting US grant awarding bodies and European TV commissioners who seemed genuinely in step with our language as film makers. Film-wise the fabulous Morwencol impressed, with a portrait of a brain damaged man who heals himself by making a model-scale world of his own life to 'play' in.

Great sessions by Penny Woolcock and Kim Longinotto, plus the success of Clio Barnard's innovative 'The Arbor' were heartening reminders that women over 40 are making some of the best and most original documentaries around. Go girls!

The gene for a blue coat at work

Wellcome to our Window

We have a new large-scale photographic work and video on show in the Euston Road window of the Wellcome Trust's HQ in London. It stems for our ongoing R & D on pedigree cat breeding, working title 'Cat Fancy Club'. The work is part of a long running project there curated by designers Dunne and Raby, we worked on the image with photographer Marc Henrie.

Viewable all night and day from the pavement! Warning - it may make you want to get a pedigree cat.....

Wellcome Trust
Gibbs Building
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE, UK
T:+44 (0)20 7611 8888

Thanks to William & Pam Stevens for the image

Wish us luck

With 53 hours of logged footage under our collaborative belt, if Doug (our editor) arrives back in the UK this weekend, we begin our 8 week edit for the Jaywick film at AIR on Monday - I can't wait.

Nina Pope with cinema legend Jack Cardiff

Nina with legend

Browsing through an old picture archive I recently found this nice pic of Nina at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2005 where we were with our first film Bata-ville: We are Not Afraid of the Future.

One of the perks of being selected for this festival was a dinner with the festival director and this photo was taken at ours, at which legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff (1915 - 2009) also attended. Being first-time directors and very green, we didn't quite realise that this was the legendary man responsible for pushing colour cinema in its early days, with credits such as Black Narcissus, The African Queen and Death on the Nile to his name.

If the two met now I'm sure a lively conversation about using the new Canon 5d on our new film would ensue - we'll never know!

Hello Sailor

Sailor Girls

Due to the largely self-shooting nature of our current film in production in Jaywick, documentation of Somewhere on location is rare as hen's teeth. Here, Nina has momentarily put down her smoking Canon 5D and I my Tascam audio recorder - tired and happy in the Sailor Boy cafe.

Our grant's gone Somewhere else

Recent bad news on the funding front, with the announcement that Screen East, one of our current film's funders, has abruptly gone into administration taking (probably) our grant with them....
However, we're undeterred and with some budget slashing (there always is some, with films, anyhow) we can make it to the finish line with our shoot finishing in the next month or so. The loss of this particular funder also dramatically affects one of our project partners, the East Anglia Film Archive, so we're having to rethink the archive-based elements of the film as a result. Let's hope necessity may be the mother of invention.

Harvest Festival at Abbey Gardens

The Friends of Abbey Gardens are hosting a Harvest Festival on Saturday the 11th of September to celebrate this years produce - anyone who came last year can tell you what a great day out it was! Free and all welcome ... more details and directions all here.

11am Bring your competition entries:
* Bake a garden-themed cake or traybake (to be served at 3pm, after judgingPlease mark your container with your name, name of cake and ingredients
* Build a plant portrait: a head or face made from fruit and vegetables. Label your plant portrait with your name and age
* Make a flower arrangement on the theme of 'What will the harvest be?' in own container (not exceeding 75cm h x 50cm w x 50cm d)

12 noon Harvest Festival opens
Garden tours, tea and cake throughout the afternoon

12-3pm Activities

1.30pm Cookery and tastings

2pm Live flower arranging (entries can be submitted to the competition)

3pm Competition judging

4pm Harvest Festival closes

Towering Heights

In contrast to the succeeding few days, the Outdoor Film Screening at Jaywick Martello Tower went without a technical hitch. Unless you count a very slow sunset as a hitch. We counted about 90 in the audience, despite the blustery weather - all enjoying a drink and nibble before we screened the East Anglia Film Archive material followed by some snippets of new footage. Some of the local stars were there, including young Mac, who was touchingly pleased to see himself blown up to such an epic scale!

May thanks to all who worked at the event and all who attended in support of what is surely one of the Tower's most successful enterprises - bring on a regular drive-in cinema at the Tower I say....

The next few days were spent filming around Jaywick, with Nina and I taking up our self-shooting roles rather than working with our regular crew. This baptism by fire included some very trying lens and sound level issues, but it was thrilling nevertheless.

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