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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.

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.

Jaywick Begins

While Karen was watching her weather tollerant NGS visitors wander round a wet Lawson Park garden at the weekend :-(  I was getting sunburn with the crew in Jaywick, filming the summer fair and finally beginning what felt like making the film rather than research ...

I'm not sure quite what made the shift for me (could have been the pumped feeling caused by lack of sleep and mountains of technical last minute preparation that I now have come to only associate with making films!) but I'd like to think it was being back with our crew from the last two films - Production Manager Lisa - James, DOP - John Podpadec, Sound - Paul Baker, and (of course) Tim Olden. This weekend we even had an extra pair of hands with a runner (luxury indeed) James Gilpin one of my recent graduates from the Royal College of Art.

The chaos of the summer fair kept us all on our toes ... and we even managed to try out some nice shots either side of the main event on our new DSLR (largely the cause of my pre-production lack of sleep!).

It feels good to be making another film and we even have a new webpage & Blog to celebrate. The picture is John and I - the clapper board is sadly not just for effect, in the world of the DSLR synch sound is a distant memory.

Team Jaywick Escapes
Photo: Tim Olden

Black Bunting

Here's the Jaywick Escapes stall at the Summer Fayre - I was very pleased with our black bunting, we even matched the award-winning majorettes.

Silver Supremes Majorettes
Photo: Nina Pope

Clacton-on-Sea's mesmerising carpet bedding

Jaywick Escapes

...is our working title for our consultancy / lead artist-ry with Essex County Council in and around the shabby but very interesting Essex town of Jaywick, where we have been asked to develop new proposals for improving the town's green spaces.
Earlier this week I spent a night in neighbouring Clacton-on-Sea where the seafront has a fairly recently revived Edwardian garden full of traditional carpet bedding, which is so lurid that - as our project colleague Crispin said - "it does funny things to your eyes".
As a girl brought up in a Scottish seaside town, I have an abiding affection for this most unfashionable horticultural habit, unsustainable and frankly crass as it may be to buy thousands of tender, freakish plants from Holland, nurse them along in the reluctant British summer only to compost them just a few months later. I also think bedding now has a historic legitimacy, just as the more decorous revived knot gardens have a place within certain restoration projects.
Of course Jeff Koons has used bedding to great effect in works like his giant 'Puppy' but I don't know what if any place Victorian / Edwardian era bedding has in the American cultural or social past, what it speaks of there.
We haven't found any stretches of bedding in Jaywick though there are some very colourful planters here and there, and some very charming private gardens. There is something about the lavishness of the Clacton bedding, its sheer bling, in comparison, that speaks volumes about the status of these neighbouring towns...

Jeff Koons 'Puppy'