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films

27 Mar

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Screenings: One Square Mile

March 27, 2017 | By |

ONE SQUARE MILE – a new artist film commission by myself and Chris Paul Daniels, screens at the following events and festivals:

8th April 2017 – screens as part of ‘Under Construction’ at Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham, UK
9th April 2017 – screens as part of ‘London Overground’ at Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham, UK

Winner of the Northern Artists’ Film Commission.
Psychogeography meets Open University in this surreal instructional video for sociologists, film-makers and of course property developers looking to “rightly read an area”. Employing a variety of film-making techniques, ONE SQUARE MILE hints at the rich diversity of urban spaces whilst demonstrating the absurdity of trying to represent them in any meaningful way.

Featuring soundtrack by Graham Massey.
One Square Mile was co-commissioned by University of Salford and Quays Culture.

Previous screenings:

April 2017 – Synthetic Ecology, Brighton, UK
March 2017 – HOME, Manchester, UK
January 2017 – Airspace Gallery, Stoke, UK
December 2016 – Lightwaves Fest, Salford, UK

31 Jan

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INHERENT PROCESS @ FABRICA GALLERY

January 31, 2017 | By |

My short film KNITTED HORSE FIREWORK is exhibited as part of a series of artists films looking at artistic processes at FABRICA Gallery, Brighton. The works are being exhibited in the window of FABRICA from 20th – 28th February, and will also be part of a special screening and artists talk with curator and film-maker Jayne Wilson on 1st of March.

The full programme is 30 minutes long and can be seen here.

JAYNE WILSON
All That Mighty Heart (9:22mins)
Hey Presto! The Secret of Sound Travel (2:01mins)
As You See (7:50mins)

SAM MEECH
Knitted Horse (1 min)

SELLOTAPE CINEMA
Fairburn Conspiracy (1 min)

JOHAN RIJPMA
Descent (1:26 min)

STUART POUND
Lindy Hop (1 min extract)

THOMAS KYHN ROVSING HJORNET
Disciplin og Fylogenese (1:42 mins)

KATE GOODWIN
Dawn of the Rainbow (2:53 mins)

25 Nov

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One Square Mile @ Lightwaves Fest, Salford

November 25, 2016 | By | No Comments

ONE SQUARE MILE – a new artist film commission by myself and Chris Paul Daniels, premieres at LIGHTWAVES festival in Salford, from 9th – 18th December. The film is one of four artists films that have been curated as part of the Northern Artist Film Programme, which is in itself part of a much larger festival of digital art works that will be installed in and around Salford Quays

At 7 minutes, our film is mercifully short, but incredibly rich, comprised of a variety of film-making experiments and techniques that aimed to canvas the diversity of spaces within our One Square Mile ‘area of investigation’, whilst at the same time highlighting the absurdity of trying to represent and quantify a place as complex as Salford and Media City. The film was shot over 3 months, using a questionable research methodlogy that produced many hours of fantastic footage, that was then distilled down to it’s final form. Psychogeography meets Open University only to be co-opted by the  Re-Generation Game. I am extremely proud of our ‘film baby’.

One Square Mile was co-commissioned by Univeristy of Salford and Quays Culture, and will at some print, I believe, be screened as a pre-feature short at HOME, Manchester.

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09 Apr

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Noah’s Ark lands online

April 9, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

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My film Noah’s Ark is finally online. It’s taken 3 years, but you can now see the film, kindly hosted by North West Film Archive, and shared both on this site, and on the project website. The film was made as part of a residency at NWFA in 2010 set up by Abandon Normal Devices, and features the contributions of Nathan Jones (text) and Carl Brown (music)

Why has it taken so long?

The film is made up of over 70 separate sources which each had to be cleared for use. All were cleared completely fine, apart from one clip (90 seconds) of the Manchester Museum, the rights of which were held by Granada, who had conditions on its use. This section appears before the main film. but it is one of my favourite parts. It features a poem about the Dodo by TS Elliot, as well as shots of the animal exhibits in the museum, and a Museum staff member who provides a cautionary tale about preservation.

I managed to negotiate an exhibition license for screening the clip, at a cost of £350. Sadly the cost of extending that license to dvd and web was prohibitive (£1400). Because of this I have not been able since to share the film as a whole online. Prompted by the release of Aronofsky’s blockbuster version,  I’ve finally bit the bullet and edited Noah’s Ark – cutting that fantastic prologue out of the film in order to share the work. It’s a sad thing, but necessary. When a knot can’t be untied you must cut it off. Hopefully it doesnt impact too much on the enjoyment of the film – the images, text and sound are all extremely rich, and of course, you already know the story.

If there is one overriding message from my film, it is that often in order to preserve something we are forced to make choices about what must be lost. It is difficult, but hopefully those choices force us to reassess what is important, and those things we save will form the foundations of our future stories.

Hopefully the full version, reinstated with dodos, will be screened again properly at a later date (please contact me if you would be interested to do so!).

05 Sep

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FILM – Knit and Natter

September 5, 2013 | By | No Comments

The NEPHRA Knit and Natter group is based in New Moston, North Manchester. I began making this film last year, but only found time to edit it recently. What I’ve tried to do is give a sense of knitting the film together, by using four interviews and stitching together discussion of techniques and personal gripes, so that the final piece is an absurd narrative created through structure. It’s quite a formal approach to film-making, but I think it works well in this case, giving a feel of the knitting group, rather than an factual overview of it.

Part of the Knitting Digital project

01 Jan

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Our Club, Our Rules

January 1, 2013 | By | No Comments

‘Our Club, Our Rules’ is a short film about fan-owned club FC United. The film was created as part of the Moston Small Cinema project.

Soon after I began exploring Moston, it became clear that beyond the residents groups, Sure Start centres and knitting circles, there was also another community network with a strong presence in North Manchester. FC United’s plans to build their stadium opposite the Miners on St Mary’s road had brought about a range of opinions form the community as to how it would affect the area. FC’s network of fans was very active across Manchester, as was their community work with young people and disadvantaged, and yet the proposed stadium move was a controversial issue for Moston, with people as vehemently opposed to the move as other were hopeful of the opportunities that it might bring.

Being a football fan myself, but equally a cynic of how clubs have related to their local communities, I was intrigued to learn more about the ethos of FC united in relation to community. I attended two matches at the end of the 11/12 season, speaking to people about what the club stood for, and why they believed in it so much. I came away feeling that not only was the stadium a potentially very positive development for Moston, but simply the presence of FC in North Manchester was nurturing a kind of community activism that was really powerful and would have a positive impact locally. In addition, the alternative model of a football club run for the fans and the community seemed to chime with the model of cinema that I have been trying to explore with the Small Cinema project for the last four years. As much as I tried to remain ‘neutral’ as a film-maker, I was just blown away by the enthusiasm of the fans, and the vision of the club. Everyone I spoke to seemed energised by the idea of FC as a vehicle for change in sport, culture and community.

Roughcuts of the film were screened to M40 residents and FC branch members in order to share my process and also discuss my aims with the Small Cinema in Moston. As crazy as it may seem to build a cinema, I always felt that the FC network were far more crazy for building a new club, and so I think there may have been a common understanding. Indeed, many FC supporters volunteered their time to help build the cinema, and the FC network in general helped spread the word about what we were trying to achieve. The cinema couldn’t have been built had that creative, activist, community minded network not already existed.

The final film was screened on 4th November, before Looking For Eric, which featured FC united in the storyline. Actor Steve Evets said a few words about working on the film with Ken Loach, drawing parallels between the themes of Looking For Eric, (camaraderie, collective action, community, sport) and what had been achieved in Moston with the Small Cinema. It was a huge compliment, and much appreciated, but the groundwork for those things already existed in the community. FC seem to be tapping into the potential of North Manchester to be at its most radical.

Filmed by Sam Meech and John O’Shea. Edited by Sam Meech. Produced by Re-Dock as part of A Small Cinema in Moston.

(a dvd / blu ray of the film can be obtained by contacting sam@re-dock.org)

01 Jan

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Fine Casting

January 1, 2013 | By | No Comments

A film about language, craftsmanship, cinema and peoples’ stories. This is a short film about Shane O’Brien and his plaster casting business on Oldham Road, Manchester (‘Fine Castings‘). As well as being a fine craftsman, Shane is also fluent in 3 other languages (Spanish, Italian, French) and is a lover of world cinema, often visiting the Cornerhouse. Shane contributed to the Small Cinema in Moston project by creating the Oscars that were handed out to volunteers on the launch night.