So, I’m really excited to tell you that I’ve just finished editing my first major film of the year ‘Inside The Reveal’ A film about Heart & Sold’s latest exhibition, ‘The Reveal’ held during World Down’s syndrome week. The experience was very exciting, thrilling and tiring all at the same time! Also, I have a NEW Agi K productions facebook page so please hop over and like and share. (This will replace my old one)
So, here is the film
….now to tell you all about the filming!
What’s the film about? It’s about Art! Specifically it is about an amazing exhibition on London’s Southbank that took place a couple of weeks ago. So, something I love and with my mum being an artist and art teacher I’ve had a lot of in my life and Magdalena and I and our big sister spend a lot of our time hanging out at galleries. But it gets better, Heart & Sold is a great organisation which promotes artists with Down’s syndrome from all over the world. It was founded in 2012 by Suzie Moffat who is mum to 3 children, one of which has Down’s syndrome. It’s a great organisation as it’s all about the art…not the Down’s syndrome.
The making of ‘Inside The Reveal’
So, this was my first big film project this year. I LOVED making this documentary it was SO brilliant an event with wonderful people and felt fresh and new. I was so happy to have been asked to make this film. And, it was a new kind of documentary filming for me as I was commissioned to make two films documenting a live event. No chance to go back and re-shoot! One an under 5 min. promotional short that needed to be filmed on the Monday and edited on the road with minimal equipment ready to be broadcast live as part of the 321econference the following Sunday. The other a longer short that I had freedom to make how I wanted with certain elements specified. It taught me a lot about working for someone else, about collaborating and communicating, suggesting and checking out ideas as I am used to working mostly on my own a lot. How to grow a film with ideas changing as I went along from what happened and also making sure I included everything Heart & Sold might want. Like bringing the brand into the film and all the thank yous and sponsors credited. I also realised the limitations of my basic cameras and no audio equipment (which I’ve tried to fix with days and days of audio adjustment and effects and editing and funky subtitles in places back home) I’ve also increased my technical skills, using photoshop to bring Heart & Sold’s brand designs and Paul Moffat’s photographs of the artists into the film.
It took a LOT of planning beforehand. Sorting out permission to film notices, thinking about what Heart & Sold might want and asking questions. I got out my pen and storyboarded all the shots I needed to get, I had to think about memory capacity on my cameras and took notes researching all the artists that I wanted to interview beforehand. And I had to adapt and change ideas and plans as I went along.Next time I film something like this I would book time slots so I could get really good interviews, (as well as proper audio and lighting equipment)I would have liked to have interviewed the artists and families in their own homes too, so we could take more time to talk.
Behind The Scenes We arrived at 11am on the Monday, and as soon as I stepped in the car it was all cameras out filming everything and anything, that could be used in the film(s) I was making of The Reveal. I was carrying cameras and tripods on record in both hands as we walked down the street. We had to arrive early so we could film everyone setting up and hanging the paintings, it was flat out filming without breaks capturing everything and making constant decisions of where to stand to get the best angle and shot. Audio was also a great difficulty as I didn’t have a mic, so afterwards editing was a real pain of sound equalisation, enhancing and adjusting…Especially as we were filming on three different cameras which all have completely different sound and picture qualities.
I had invited artist and art commentator Gemma Ireland to share her thoughts with us on camera about the exhibition early afternoon. I love Gemma’s art and am always inspired by her knowledge and enthusiasm when she talks about art. I love her sense of humour and I just have a great time in art galleries with her, she took me to see Rothko’s work last time I was in London and her apartment is full of colour changing lights that Magdalena and I love to play with as she explains about light colour mixing to us. I knew she would be the perfect person to talk about the art for the kind of film I wanted to make.
I filmed solid till 3pm where we quickly escaped to grab some lunch/dinner then were back at 4pm to start filming as people arrived. I was also excited because a few artists were coming before hand so I could interview them for the short film. I had lots of fun meeting the artists, and it was really interesting interviewing them! They all had fantastically unique artwork and every artist was different from the next.
One of the first artists to arrive was Josephine Goddard. Josie told me she was a ‘story painter’ and had an amazing painting of all the Harry Potter films combined, she had separated the different films by background colour, and had collaged, stuck on and painted the characters on. It had to be one of my favourite paintings in the exhibition, especially as I am a huge fan of Harry Potter myself! (; What struck me most about Josie’s work was how different they looked from on the computer screen. This is because the colours are unbelievably vibrant and there is SO much sparkle in them. Seeing art for real is SO different from on a screen or in a book, the textures, the brightness, the size.
Lester Magoogan was also one of the first artists to arrive, I loved his drawings, and had seen a lot of his work before on the computer as he has a great website. He has a great unique and humorous style of line drawings. He was as great as his art to interview! I had so much fun as he talked with so much expression and loved describing his art and how he gets his ideas and wants to draw the emotions, feelings and characters. There was a special surprise as it was actually Lester’s BIRTHDAY at the private view, you can see the wonderful cake and Lester getting a slice in the film! It really helped me having him come early so I could chat for longer and before the private view began. I’m really glad I asked Suzie to ask if any of the artists could do this. And as you can see Lester and Josie feature a lot in the film as I managed to get great interviews with them because of this.
Because the exhibition was still frantically being set up in a hurry ready for the Private View which was now only an hour away, you can probably hear an awful lot of banging and loud noises and nervous chatting in the background…hence why I had to get close up shots of the artists – just for the sake of the audio! Sometimes things like this can bring out results that are more fun and it made me get playing around with the editing more and how I could make the subtitles like the art of the artists. I love editing and effects.
The artists had come from all to be at the exhibition. Rachel Handlin came all the way from Hawaii! Rachel takes beautiful photographs, one of my favourite photos of her’s exhibited at The Reveal was ‘Paintstorm’ which was a colourful photo of lots of muted multi coloured paint splattered everywhere. It has a feel of Rothko about it.
David Kenward also exhibted beautiful photography. Specialising in close up photos, and one of my favourites was a macro shot of a flower.
I loved meeting Christopher Lodge, and talking about how he had created his Owl painting, which I loved, especially the blown up version of it. Unfortunately I couldn’t use the audio in the film as the live band was playing.
I wasn’t able to interview Katie Rickersey with her vibrant paintings, John P Kelting with his artistic portraits, as he was in America.. or Teniola Olojo in Nigeria with his dancing lines…but hope to in the future as they all have very interesting work. Savraj who represented Teniola (and Akinola, his brother) allowed me to interview her though which was great.
I kept going back at Richard Cloake’s ‘Swords’ painting, at first I loved the simple yet so expressive lines. And then I saw the sad expressions on the characters, and got a completely different message to what I first had seen, I’ve never seen sword fighters with such sad faces before, and this gave out a whole new meaning which I loved.
I loved Fiona Stevenson’s colours and energetic brush strokes, her work had so much depth, you could look into it and into it and see it differently each time. They looked great in prints too. I would have liked to have had longer to speak to Fiona, and also Tazia Fawley you can read Tazia’s blog here but time was limited and the music was very loud! Tazia’s paintings were full of colour and abstracted landscapes, which I found joyful to look at.
The best part of making this film was BEING there! It was so exciting and interesting to meet everyone at such a happy event. It was full of celebration and smiles. I made lots of new friends and so did Magdalena. Here’s a lovely photo of her with Rachel Handlin, the artist from Hawaii. Magdalena really loved looking at all the art and I had to put her talking about the shapes and textures and colours in Josie’s paintings. So after an exciting week in London, filming and editing and seeing friends (I met up with my friend Sam and made a music video with him during the week as well You can see it here!) and playing in the parks (the blossom had just come out!) with Magdalena and finishing the 5 min.promo ready for Heart & Sold’s 321econference presentation on the Sunday, I came home to edit the main film. Which I finished TODAY! This has turned out to be 17 minutes long. I wanted to include a lot to make it come alive so people seeing the film could feel, think and see what I was feeling, thinking and seeing from being there for real.
Some of these things that struck me that I aimed to bring out in the film were:
The happy celebration, the friendliness, the happiness, the strength and determination and voices of the artists, the love and support of their families, the excitement, the characters of the paintings, the colours and shapes and lines, the incredible quality of presentation and hard work from Heart & Sold and all the little details that made it really special, like the artist’s postcards, badges with the picturehook, brochures, from the hanging of the exhibition, to the powerful photographic portraits of the artists by Paul Moffat to the live music and organisation of Brad Snelling and the clever brand design by Matt Maurer I wanted to show what it meant for the artists to have their work exhibited in London and to have it sold. I really hope my film captures what a brilliant organisation this is and helps Heart & Sold to get sponsorship to continue with the next tour and grow and grow. Maybe one day when my little sister, Magdalena has grown up she will be exhibiting her artwork with Heart & Sold, if she carries on drawing and painting everyday like she does now.
Don’t forget to go to Heart & Sold’s website as you can buy the artists original work and also prints! Buy Art
And if you missed the link to watch my film, just click here: ‘Inside The Reveal’
On my next blog you’ll hear how I’ve been working with a singer to create her official music videos for two of her songs…