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The Dream Team - a rare meet-up in person in Glasgow

What an A-Team

It's with a heavy heart we say bye bye (temporarily we hope) to the inimitable Sally Hodgson & Jen Skinner (L and R with me in this pic) who have worked with me on all the The Closer We Get distribution & outreach for over a year.

A HUGE thanks to both for putting in extraordinary committment, energy and focus an a number of big and very challenging impact initiatives: For 'See Beyond Stroke', they got training based on our film out to over 700 carers across the UK! They also managed the get me and the film in front of the UK Stroke Forum and a number of other big events.

If you'd like to know more about that side of what we do with the film, or would like to read the Impact Report we just finished on the impact of this work - do have a look here.


You Heard It Here First!

Stoked to be having a flash sale on this coming Mother's Day!

Another great design from Koby Barhad

Releasing Film No. 4 !

We're thrilled to have some dates at last for the forthcoming release on digital and DVD of The Closer We Get - thanks to everyone who's been getting in touch to ask when!

DVD available from Sept. 5
Vimeo-on-Demand from Aug. 31
Pre-order both from from Aug. 1st

Southend-on-Sea screens 'Bata-ville: We Are Not Afraid of The Future'

We're thrilled when our first film gets a big screen outing !

As part of Focal Point Gallery's splendid show, 'The Peculiar People', Bata-ville screens in Southend Film Festival at 2pm on Saturday May 21st.

Details can be found here...

Still by Nina Pope, compositing by Damian Shields

The Closer We Get

The pedal has been on the metal these last few weeks on our new film The Closer We Get, and at the end of March we welcome once more Karen's niece Zoe to intern on this next phase of the film's life.

We're still at Splice in Shoreditch where people are beavering away finessing audio and final picture tweaks, and upstairs at Intermission Film, an incredible trailer has emerged - we cannot wait to show you it next week, we think you'll love it.

Lastly I have to flag up the great work of designer Koby Barhad (working on our film poster) and Damian Shields who has been doing our digital compositing - look at this wonderful picture below!

Karen & Maria very muddy whilst working on 'Tomorrow, Today'

Bye bye Maria D

Our latest intern Maria has recently finished her post with us and wrote this little report. Whilst we don't offer formal internships, If you think you might be able to bring something to Somewhere as an intern do get in touch with us.

I’ve spent a very exciting few months working for Somewhere and now sadly it’s time to say goodbye. My tasks involved anything and everything from finding the copyright to a Winnie-the-Pooh sticker to digitising tapes to making cob buildings.

I’ve approached Karen when I started looking for an academically assessed internship in the creative industries as part of my Masters programme. Having met her at the Floating Cinema 2013 (which Somewhere curate and program) wrap-up party I remember thinking I wanted to find out more about the organisation; and I did just that. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the different experiences I took part in while working with Nina and Karen, which often provided a practical counterpart to my theoretical academic knowledge gained at lectures and seminars. Through helping out on a variety of tasks related to the now-almost-finished feature documentary The Closer We Get, I’ve learnt a great deal about the film industry: how laborious editing a film can be, especially when faced with hours of raw material if making a documentary; how bureaucratic the process is, with permissions and licenses for virtually anything; how expensive filmmaking is, partly due to the music and other rights fees.

If I had to choose my favourite memory, it would have to be the day spent in Cambridge on the NW Cambridge building site, where Somewhere were working on their Tomorrow, Today scale model. I learnt to operate a digger, found out how cob is made (part sand, part clay, part straw) and how strong a material it is, I got to get out of the city and breathe some fresh air while spending the day doing physical work, I met volunteers from various backgrounds brought together by their engagement in the project. For me, that’s what working in the arts is all about: you never know where the project might take you, what skills you will develop, and who you will meet. Finally, the idea behind the model is beautiful in its simplicity; it is the combination of past, present and future.

I wish Nina and Karen best of luck in their future endeavours and look forward to hearing about them (and watching the final cut of The Closer We Get).


Boat Life - it's intense

I practically never leave the floating cinema at the moment as the programme is very intense. Despite a few hitches with a lot of floor mopping and sporadic downpours, we are generally having a fantastic time. I highly recommend our screening tomorrow night of the work from Fugitive Images - especially if you are local to Hackney.

I think the highlight so far for me has been A Smaller Sound, A Bigger Crowd by Ian Giles which took folk song and a fictional tale deep into the heart of Docklands. During the first performance we scooted past the biggest boat ever to moor in the dock and came into Middle Dock via a raised bridge in the road. I listened to the sound of Sam Lee's ballad and thought how beautiful it was to focus just on his voice and the story of the Docklands Bell, below the city workers looking down from the bar terrace above. On the other side of the dock we were serenaded by a small group of hand bell ringers - their modest sound managing to pierce and interrupt the dominant culture and noise of the literally towering surroundings.

You can see more images of Ian's work here.  

Eli the Oriental kitten - Photo Marc Henrie

Everything you need to know about genetics you can learn from your cat ...

So says Dr Leslie Lyons (School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California) and a few months ago we were chatting about how you might try and show this visually. One idea we both really liked was to show a series of cats all with the gene for Blue colouring (ie. the same gene in all the cats) but with wildly different body types. So this Saturday with the expert help of Marc and Fiona Henrie (who are known to most of the 'cat world' as THE leading animal photographers) this is what we tried to do!

Many thanks to Audrey Newsome and Chris Wood for allowing us to set up and do this (in the judges room!) at the Eastern Counties Cat show - to get this many Blue cats together outside of a show would have been really tricky. I didn't know exactly which Blue cats to expect - I felt pretty sure we would get British and Russian Blues of course but on the day the range exceeded my expectations. I was very surprised to find a Blue Sphynx (hairless cat for the non feline-o-philes) who made a wonderful comparison to a pale Blue persian and the dark Orientals.

In the end we photographed the following lovely cats, I'm really grateful to all their patient owners for working with us:

Tricia Palmer lent us 'Alfie' (Tishkabar Avalon) her British Blue,
Janet Hirst lent us 'Eli' (Toghar Once in A Blue Moon) a very cute Oriental kitten,
Fran Armitage lent us her wonerful adult Oriental 'Spockie' (GR CH Chapelrose Ohmeohmy),
June Davey lent us 'Polly' (Palchinno Pineapple Poll) her pretty Persian,
Claire Bandy lent us Phoebe (CH Troika La Bayadere) the Russian Blue,
and Yvette & Steven Wilson lent us their amazing Blue Sphynx 'Kuzma' (Kuzma Katzakiora Grand Sphynx IMP)! 

Of course we photographed each cat separately - now the job is to join them all together ... the image is going to be shown in the window of the Wellcome Trust later in the year as part of an ongoing exhibition called What If curated by Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby. Fiona came along to help on Saturday - it was her first cat show so she was in at the deep end! It was also part of our on-going research for a new documentary focussing on the world of cat breeding.


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.

Exmoor National Dress on the catwalk in Newcastle

I'm pleased to see that my film, costume and portraits are going on show as part of 'Triparks'
ACAdovetail, Amy House, 61 Blandford Square (in front of the Discovery Museum),
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4HZ

Exhibition runs from 4/11/09 - end of March 2010

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9-5pm (occasionally closed for lunch) / Entry is free

For more information: contact: Helen Ratcliffe, (01434) 685040,

A project initiated by Aune Heads Arts

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