Ben Nevis, the final stage of In the Frame

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In the Frame has been a hugely challenging project for me, I’m a short term goals man and I find it hard to stay focussed over long periods of time. When Joe wheeled himself up to me on the Lakeside in Bowness on Windermere 18 months ago I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. 
I had seen Joe around the Lakes but never spoken to him. Two blond, bearded, identical twin brothers are hard to miss! However I hadn’t seen him in a wheelchair with a large mechano style puzzle holding his leg together so I was intrigued to know his story. He told me he felt self conscious in a wheelchair and proceeded to recount his tale. After telling me about his accident he asked if I wanted to make a film, this was new to me, usually it was me pestering people. And so it began!

http://landandsky.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/in-the-frame-2012/

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Two weeks ago we summited Ben Nevis by the tourist path from the valley, there were a bunch of us there to support Joe, and two very excitable dogs. We had planned to climb Tower Ridge now that Joe was in much better form but the weather had other ideas as is so often the case around here, so we opted for the long walk. We knew the way down would be pretty punishing for Joe as that is when he feels more pain, so we carried Joe’s bike half way up so he could at least ride some of the descent and take the weight off his legs. We reached the top in heavy cloud with 100 other tourists passing by, it was an atmospheric scene as the wind whipped the cloud up and over the summit plateau. Tower Ridge was nowhere to be seen and we applauded our decision to avoid the climb. We shared a nip of whisky on the summit cairn and a quick hug. There was no song and dance, no deep emotional speeches, just relief and an appreciation of our surroundings.

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So In the Frame is in it’s final stage, a stage where everyone can relax…..apart from me as I have to edit the flipping thing. I  now sit in that funny place where I know I have some great material but I have nothing to show for it yet. It can be a lonely place because there is a lot of work still to do and I’m the only one who can do it. I really feel that with all it’s twists and turns this will be a much better film than it would have had it all gone to plan. We have all had time to ruminate, plan more thoroughly, relax and reflect on the project and Joe has had time to heal and grow. I hope all that comes across in the final ‘product’. I hate that word.

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Once again I must thank everyone who has supported this project either with kind words, bike riding, cake making, financial donations, emotional and physical support. We’ll see you all at KMF!

Jonathan Leech – Woodturner

 

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A little while ago I made I was commissioned to make a film for Pippa Murray about a green wood moulding process she had been developing. The film would be shown as part of a her final show at the Royal College of Art in London where she was studying. I really enjoyed this project, the topic was new and interesting and it meant I could spend time in the woods. You can see the film > here <

Since finishing this I have embarked on a project with Jonathan Leech, a friend of Pippa’s and old friend of mine. Jonny is a woodturner, creating natural edge hand turned wooden bowls which he sells over the web and at local craft fares, you can see some work on his site > here <

Jonny has been commissioned to turn an enormous 3ft wooden light shade for a new deli bar in London that Pippa is project managing and I have been on hand to document the process.

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We began the project in a rainy wood yard near Kirkbride with an uncut lump of Ash which was gradually cut down and shaped, ready to be mounted on the lathe at a wood yard near by.

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The turning process took around two and a half days as the lump of ash gradually reduced in size and took shape. A specific piece of the tree was chosen so that the double grain would be visible in the finished piece, the shade became more and more beautiful as the grain of the wood began to show.

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We hope to carry on filming this week to capture the finishing touches on the shade and then I will be on with the edit. Once finished and shipped down to London we plan to film the shade in its new home and the whole process will be complete. Plucked from a wind blown tree in a Cumbrian field to be the centre piece of a contemporary urban deli in the big smoke, pretty cool I reckon. Watch this space!

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Sprint Mill Sessions

The Way You Used to do – Paddy Rogan from Dom Bush on Vimeo.

I feel myself drawn to document music more and more, it seems like one of the most fundamental elements of life. When we are born our bodies are set to rhythm of breath and heartbeat, and we continue to chase the rhythm of song and drumbeat as we grow, mastering instruments that can add melody and manipulate the rhythm all around us.

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The concept for the Sprint Mill Sessions was born out of many parties, gatherings, evenings in the woods with friends. I wanted to capture that moment, when out of the hum someone picks up their guitar, a hushed silence spreads and the melody rings out. I have many talented friends so this is a fairly regular occurrence when people get together. So I gathered people, many I knew and some I didn’t for a night of music around the fire in the hope I could re-create some of the magic of those nights. I think we succeeded.

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Alongside musicians and a willing crowd we had a 4 man crew. Myself, Tomo and Simon on Cameras and Ben recording live sound. I never hoped to achieve perfection, I wanted to create something real and live that could be easily edited and released gradually as the months rolled by. A live video album of talented local artists. It has been a joy, new friendships have come from it and ideas for more musical films, what could be more perfect?

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There are 8 Sprint Mill Sessions all together with one still to come, they are on a dedicated Vimeo channel and you can visit them here – SPRINT MILL SESSIONS

Enjoy and thanks for checking in!

 

The world’s greatest blogger?

Alas I am not. A lot has been going on since I last posted and things are beginning to take shape for the year ahead. After settling in to business I have found Facebook to be an easier platform to post my recent work and musings so if you are keen, head over there and stay updated. I hope to get back to the blogging soon.

Here is the Land and Sky Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/landandskymedia
and my Vimeo page – https://vimeo.com/landandskymedia

I will leave you with the finished Edgeland project of which I am very proud, it was a real joy.

Edgeland from Land and Sky Media on Vimeo.

School of Adventure – Alpkit Big Shakeout

Last year I was lucky enough to be part of The Big Shakeout at Thornbridge Outdoor Centre in the Peak district. I was there to document the event for the team at Alpkit, and to enjoy the film, music, outdoor activities and friendly banter on offer. I even ended up in a late night rock jumping competition with Johnny Dawes! I went with my 6 year old, Leo and my partner Hel, and we all had an amazing weekend, with activities tailored for everyone. The events and activities for kids were especially good. The highlight for me was standing round a roaring fire with a bottle of fine ale listening to this man, Rick Warren singing the blues – 

There is no way we would miss The Big Shakeout this year and I’m very happy to say I will be running one half of an Adventure film and photography school with Alex Ekins, a talented and well respected climbing photographer.

The course will be tailored for keen amateurs who hope to take their skills up a notch or two. Together we will capture the many activities that will be ongoing thoughout the weekend. As well as many ‘on the go’ topics that come up, we will look at:

~ What kit?

~ Using and protecting your kit in harsh environments.

~ Basic capture settings and frame speed.

~ Composition.

~ Dynamic shooting – movement and style.

~ Engaging your viewers! Subjects and stories.

~ Behind the edit. What the viewers don’t see!

Participants will be expected to bring their own equipment along, preferably a DSLR or high end compact and lightweight tripod. As we all know though, it isn’t the technology, its the person using it. So if you don’t have a spangly camera, just bring something that records video and plenty of creativity and adaptability.

Here is an example of my work – 

My Own Hands from Land and Sky Media on Vimeo.

You can see a list of available courses at this years Big Shakeout here -http://www.alpkit.com/bigshakeout/schoolofadventure

And here is the video I made  from 2011, hope to see you there this year!

The Alpkit Big Shakeout 2011 from Land and Sky Media on Vimeo.