Where my film took me...
home and away
It took me a long while to decide what to do my film on and what form it would take (you can read more about my indecisiveness via my blog) but in the end I decided to film in Calais where I was volunteering. This, as always didn't go entirely according to plan, which then unexpectedly took me to London to film some more...
A few weeks ago I ventured to Calais with CamCRAG, a convoy group from back home, to volunteer at their warehouse. Having never met anyone going before, and not really knowing what to expect as there is little information and photos about the site online due to the need to keep it secret from far right groups, I was pretty nervous. The Friday morning came and I woke up feeling feverish and not my best – the worst timing for illness to settle. I arrived at the hostel late that evening – it was the coldest night I have ever experienced, having not quite worked out how to turn the radiator on and it being minus degrees outside. I made a pocket of warm air and lay with my head fully immersed under the covers, and didn’t really sleep…
Waking early Saturday morning, I felt even worse than the day before, and aching all over I didn’t really feel like working in a freezing cold warehouse all day. I layered myself up to combat the -3 temperatures outside…I felt, and looked, like a small hippo with 6 layers including 2 coats, and of course my reflective jacket. At this point, I was worrying a bit about the filming side of the trip, nobody else had cameras and I didn’t want it to detract from my working, despite knowing I was filming for everyone's best interests. The warehouse was much bigger than I had expected, and so many smiling faces - it was such a warming experience. Everyone was there to do good, despite the freezing conditions! It was very well organised and I’m concerned my film won’t be able to do the whole thing justice!
Refugees Welcome & Anti-Racism March
The Refugees Welcome and Anti-Racism march in London became quite a big event in the creation of my film. It has enabled me to give another aspect to support the work done in Calais and show other ways in which people are speaking out and doing something positive by acting on behalf of those that may not be able to have a loud voice themselves. Sound was vital to the creation of this environment and I hoped I managed to capture this in my film through the emotive chants and the samba band that were prominent throughout the day.
This was the first march I’ve been to and will 100% be going to more – it was such a positive environment and again seeing so many people from all different backgrounds gathered together in one space speaking out about something was emotional. Filming in this environment had its challenges but was a learning curve for me. It was such a fast paced environment that things were coming and going so quickly and moments happening that I missed and can’t be replayed again. My hands let me down again too… I seem to have a way of summoning the cold weather whenever I want to film!!
Again, as with the warehouse in Calais, my experience was so positive that my biggest issue and fear with filming here is thinking that I can’t ever justly retell and capture the emotion and feelings that I experienced in being there. A camera doesn’t do it justice, and my skills aren’t of the right level to bring it even close. .