This weekend I joined the DBA Theatre team as photographer for their Cinderella Ball to raise money for local charity Archie’s Smile.
The Ball was to start with a stage performance so I arrived to the venue a few hours early so I could watch the dress rehearsal and capture a few photos without an audience in attendance.
I’m so pleased that I was able to do this as it gave me a much better idea of where to stand to get the best pictures later in the evening and I will try and do this from now on at any similar events I am hired to work at.
After the dress rehearsal we had some unfortunate news. The stage lighting people could no longer make the event and so all we had available was the venue’s ceiling lights combined with a few party lights the DJ had. As I was already at the venue there was little I could do and I was really kicking myself for not bringing additional lighting, as the corner we were set up in to do carriage photos was really quite dark. I positioned the carriage under the lights the best I could, redirecting a few overhead ones, and crossed my fingers that I could “fix it in post”.
Thankfully I was able to rescue the photos in LightRoom but it meant two days extra work and has taught me to always prepare for the unexpected. Next time I will be bringing LED lights with me just incase, along with extra batteries, chargers, sim cards, lenses, lens caps……..
Making the same journey for the umpteenth time I glanced out the window and wondered if I ever really pay attention to the world going by outside. I normally pass the time on the train scrolling through Instagram, catching up on Facebook or replying to emails and messages on my phone. I rarely bother to really look at the scenery passing me by and it got me thinking about how much we miss on our regular journeys through life.
Right now in the town where I live many structural changes are being made. Once buildings are knocked down people often complain about places being missed, but do we ever really appreciate the architecture around us until it is gone?
This lead me to thinking about viewing my journey each day a little more clearly and trying to watch and appreciate the small changes around me.
When I view the world through the viewfinder of my camera I notice so much more beauty in every day things so decided to start using the camera on my phone to document my daily journeys. After a few days of taking photographs I switched to filming my journeys, using a small gorilla pod on the train table to steady my shots.
It was really interesting to see the differences each day and I found that on uploading the footage to my macbook each night and replaying it that I noticed even more differences in the journey’s landscape as each day went by.
While working on this project I came across some photos I took a few years ago when, inspired by the work of Alvin Langdon Coburn, I made my own vortograph and attempted to change my view of the world by photographing places and objects through it.
I wondered if this project was merely a continuation/progression of that last one and decided to attempt to film my next train journey through the vortograph and see what results I got.
I’d used the vortograph to film through once before in the subway scene of my first film Trip (2015).
I’m hoping that the film I’ve made will help to change how we look at the journeys we make every day, help us to spot changes in the landscape and value the architecture and scenery around us before it, inevitably, disappears.
After working through the script we soon released that we would need quite a larger budget for this film than others we have worked on. We would need a budget for locations, travel, props, dolls, catering….. just for starters!
We discussed different methods of money raising and decided to opt for crowd funding. I researched various different sites that offered crowdfunding facilities and Indiegogo seemed to have the best reviews online and offered Paypal as an option and only took a small administration fee.
I set up a page for our film using a photo of the mouse we are having made for us and shared it daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with the rest of the group reposting or retweeting links too.
Then wrote a blog post advertising the campaign and contacted several local newspapers and radio stations to see if they would run the story. UnCOVered agreed to run the article for us.
A group of ten Media Production students at Coventry University have banded together to try and raise $500 to fund a new project, showcasing a mix of still images and cinemagraphs to create an exciting new form of animation.
The project started when the second year students were introduced to Maddy Ryder, a third year Creative Writing student, who had just finished writing a script called ‘The Story of Toys’. Set in the future the script tells the story of one mouse’s struggle through everyday life in an oversized world. Influenced by George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, as well as recent current events; the story depicts a world that has become uninhabitable by humans. Following their evacuation to other planets, the abandoned, now redundant toys find themselves new jobs, not so dissimilar to our own.
“We hope ‘The Story of Toys’ will be a film to make people think as well as to entertain them.”
The students need to raise funds for their ‘cast’; essentially a large selection of toys and a one of a kind handmade mouse toy who will take the leading role in the film, so they have set up an Indiegogo crowdfunding page to try and raise the money required.
“The people and students of Coventry have been amazing helping us with donations. One lady even donated some dolls for us to use as ‘extras’ on set. But we still need to raise more funds and if anyone can donate, or even just share our campaign on social media, we would be most grateful.”