Great to finally see our Illusions project come alive onstage.
After a red eye, a missed connection and a nearly severed finger, I staggered my way through the winding streets of Lisbon just in time for the screening of Derby & Groma at the Temps d’Images festival. This tired Canadian appreciated the warm welcome Portugal.
Playing with toys and shooting shadows for Illusions with collaborator Corinne Merrell.
What can you do with a white room, a camera and a six pack of beer? You can have a lot of fun making a music video for people you love. Malcolm Fraser and Stacey DeWolfe, aka The World Provider had all the right moves that night and Yannick Grandmont was the perfect party helper.
Today was my last day of work on the feature film production of The Little Prince. At this desk for the past year I have been surrounded by chaos, hijinks, and so much incredible talent. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I now know that it takes a community of designers, builders, sculptors, animators, shooters, producers, and many more to bring an iconic character to life on screen. The stop-motion team, helmed by mastermind Jamie Caliri, was an extraordinary bunch of people who, with limitless amounts of skill and determination, achieved this goal with aplomb and artistry. I will miss this family; it was an unforgettable experience, helping raise this little prince.
Sometimes my films have adventures without me. Timbre screened at Liverpool Cathedral’s Lady Chapel with a live score by musician Jonathan Hering in a special A/N/D Festival event programmed by the Manchester collective Video Jam.
Electronic Voice Phenomenon is the alleged communication by spirits through electronic devices. When I was asked to contribute a piece to the Pop Montreal special event called Voices From Beyond: The EVP Project, curated by Kier-La Janisse, I spent more than a few hours down the internet rabbit hole of documented EVP cases. I love the one about the apparatus called the Spiricom where the spirit of a deceased physics professor transmits verbal instructions on how to improve the apparatus but then sidetracks into a conversation about carrots and sauerkraut.
For my piece, I decided to do something with an old radio I own which I always thought had some kind of extra-ordinary connection to the past. I discovered the model was from 1949 and imagined it had the power to somehow tap into that year, transmitting fragmented bits of audio-visual feedback from a conversation between two ill-fated lovers. The installation looked something like this:
And the film, with the grace of my go-to source for archival footage, archive.org, went something like this:
Heading to Toronto for the premiere of Derby & Groma at the 2013 Hot Docs Festival. Thank you Dan Popa for the beautiful poster design.
I was quite excited when I heard that there were plans in the works for a day dedicated to Delia Derbyshire and even more excited to be invited to take part. Along with a screening of The Delian Mode, the day included a symposium of guest speakers, a listening session of rare Derbyshire tracks and new commissioned musical works inspired by the DD archives held at the University of Manchester. It was fantastic to see a packed venue of Delia enthusiasts including a few familiar faces who had helped me during the making of my film.
I had some fun live-remixing visuals from my archives to accompany musical performances composed by Ailís Ní Ríain and Caro C, whose piece Audient, my dear is seen here:
After the initial event in Manchester we took the show on the road with stops in Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle and it has been confirmed: the UK has a lot of love for Delia. I’m sure she would be tickled pink.
I pride myself on being quite organized in advance of filming, reserving a special place in my brain for logistical details. For the Derby & Groma shoot in Montreal, everything was coming together without a hitch. I had managed to book one of the city’s only authentic 1920’s theatres as a location and had cast the perfect D&G stand-ins; Faye & Bryant Lopez, a dancing duo partially from Buenos Aires who already had their own traditional Argentinian dance costumes! There was however one thing I didn’t see coming: HURRICANE SANDY. Ruining much more than my plans, Sandy touched down in New York preventing our director of photography, Lee Towndrow, from travelling to Montreal. My dream team bucked up and rescheduled for a few weeks later. We may have lost our original shooting location but, in the wake of a natural disaster, things could have been much worse.
Behind-the-scenes images by Jules de Niverville and final frames by Lee Towndrow. More amazing stills by Lee here.