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T.E.Brown in Motion – Visual Poems

“I’ve spent the last three months working on a project about T.E.Brown”

Named the Isle of Man’s ‘National Poet’ it’s surprising that so many people don’t have the foggiest idea who he was. I made it my mission to propel Thomas Edward Brown into the conciousness of twenty-first century Islanders.

wide emily cook and john Kenneugh T E Brown recording resize

John Kennaugh in the recording studio with Emily Cook at DAM productions -Photo by Dave Armstrong

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

My aim was to create a series of ‘Visual Poems’ taking the words of T.E.Brown recording them and illustrating the voice over with moving image.

In Spring 2014, I approached the Arts Council with an idea, which they swiftly got behind through an Island of Culture 2014 grant, which made the project possible.

I recorded audio of both traditional Manx Speaker John Kennaugh as well as local children reading the works of T.E.Brown, written over 130 years ago. It’s rather magical hearing T.E.Browns words spoken through the voices of today’s youth. Following the audio recording, I went out on film shoots and collected film footage to illustrate the content of the audio recordings, from which I edited the poems as short films using the audio as the narrative.

Images from the recording studio at DAM productions

Images from the recording studio at DAM productions

My aim is to get these visual poems shown in local schools as part of the Manx curriculum, to take the words of the 19th century and deliver them through the most immediate medium of today, moving image, making the words more accessible. The idea was to create a trans-media learning tool for the viewer, merging the boundaries between written poetry, film and spoken word. It’s a true celebration of the arts. We made sure to provide a version of each poem with subtitles, to ensure the content was accessible as possible, as well as display the written words alongside the spoken words. I feel this enriches the experience and gives a greater appreciation for the poetry.

Throughout the process, we gave regular progress updates, including the following video blog from the edit suite after having just been on a shoot down Dhoon Glen. Any of you who have walked down Dhoon will know it’s quite a trek, especially with filming equipment!

When  constructing the  various edits, we remained aware not to have the cuts happen too quickly, as unlike another film where visuals are king, the moving image we laid on the time line was there to support and add to the spoken words rather than distract. We also edited in a way that the cut points supported the rhythm of the poems, again adding another layer to T.E.Brown’s poetry.

Happily, my project has been met with enthusiasm from both the department of Education and the Arts Council who have been very supportive in nurturing my idea. It’s been great fun and extremely rewarding working on this project.

We got out to some superb locations during the filming for this project

We got out to some superb locations during the filming for this project

THE SELECTION

My main focus was always on finding poems about nature and location, celebrating the natural beauty of the Island. It’s wonderful how much of the content of the poems matches the Island surrounding us today. For instance,  Dhoon Glen  has changed very little, if at all, since  T.E. Brown wrote ‘The Dhoon’ poem about it 130 years ago. I find this utterly inspiring. The Island is so unspoilt, I hope others are encouraged by this project to get out and celebrate the Island through poetry, photography, spoken work and film.

The five poems were chosen to provide a significant enough range of content, in order to appeal to various ages.

 

A Still from each of the five films

A still from each of the five films

 An example of one of the Poems

‘COWS’

 

 

I hope next time someone mentions T.E.Brown to you, you can now say, yes that’s the Island’s National Poet! Rather than say, Isn’t that the dude with the road works cone on his head at the top of Prospect hill?

 

This Blog was written by Emily Cook for Reel Vision Film Productions

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Vaginas, Men and the Isle of Man -Interviewing the actresses of the Vagina Monologues

On Thursday 20th – Saturday 22nd March 2014, a Celeb studded cast descend on the Gaiety Theatre’s Stage for the VAGINA MONOLOGUES (By Eve Ensler) as part of a Parker and Snell Company Production. 

Reel Vision‘s Emily Cook interviewed Kym Marsh, Lisa Riley and Sue Holderness ahead of the Show’s opening night.

From Left: Sue Holderness, Lisa Riles, Reel Vision's Emily Cook and Kym Marsh.

From Left: Sue Holderness, Lisa Riles, Reel Vision’s Emily Cook and Kym Marsh.

The Parker and Snell Company describe it as; “THE ULTIMATE GIRLS NIGHT OUT” the poignant and hilarious tour of the last frontier, the ultimate forbidden zone, The Vagina Monologues is a celebration of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery.

We asked Sue Holderness what the Vargina Monologues are all about and why should someone go to see it?

‘It’s about VAGINAS!’, Sue exclaimed, ‘It’s been so popular because, it is moving but basically this show is FUN’ ‘ If you’ve missed it, make this the time to you see it, it will be something that you speak about for years to come”

Sue Holderness Still Image from the Interview

Sue Holderness Still Image from the Interview

It’s not just for Females, as Lisa Riley told us:-

‘Men do not be afraid, at all. This show is for every body. I think men will actually learn stuff, which is a good thing, so we really encourage a lot of men to see the show’

Linsa Riley (Emmerdale/ Strictly Come Dancing) Still from Interview

Linsa Riley (Emmerdale/ Strictly Come Dancing) Still from Interview

Kym Marsh spoke with great fondness about the Isle of Man;

‘I used to come to the Isle of Man a lot when I was a little girl, my mum and dad used to bring us down to watch the TT every year’

Kym Marsh (Coronation Street / Hear'say) Still from Interview

Kym Marsh (Coronation Street / Hear’say) Still from Interview

Full Exclusive Video Interview Produced by us, here at Reel Vision Film Solutions:-

You can get Tickets from the Parker and Snell Company Website CLICK HERE

Behind the Scenes Shots:-

Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses) Behind the Scenes

Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses) Behind the Scenes

Kym Marsh ( Coronation Street / Hear'say)

Kym Marsh ( Coronation Street / Hear’say)

Lisa Riley ( Emmerdale / You've been framed)

Lisa Riley ( Emmerdale / You’ve been framed)

The Power of Home Page Video Embedding

Is there anything more annoying than video content that starts playing as soon as you arrive on a home page? Especially when you can’t find which tab the video is coming from!

On the other hand there is something ever so powerful about embedded video content that leaves the impetus of clicking play with the viewer.

By way of example:-
Over a year ago Reel Vision produced two videos for the Courthouse Bar and Restaurant / Nightclub in order to show the venue as both a day space and a night space.

courthouse image

The viewer is presented with the content and a play button. It is their choice to click it. As humans we like having the feeling of choice.  With video content, we are far more likely to watch the film to the end if we have owned our viewing by deciding to click play.

The Courthouse’s London based web designers worked with us at the development stage and we spoke about how the video content would work with the rest of the site.

The aesthetic placement and the way the video works with the rest of the site seamlessly is a key bonus. The web designers considered the video’s placement as part of the over all site construction and layout. So many times one sees video embedding as an after thought.

Expandable information:- The amount of information available to the website’s visitor is also greatly increased by placing a video within the home page. Once they click play, the content opens up like a Russian doll, meaning they can access huge amounts of information without having to navigate away from the home page.

The Courthouse’s use of Video Marketing and home page embedding is some of the most effective we have been lucky enough to have our videos part of.

This blog is being written now as The Courthouse is  about to re brand as ‘Buddy Rocks Bar and Diner’ – we wish the management every ounce of luck with their new venture.
The Courthouse ‘Late Bar and Club’ Video
The Courthouse Bar and Restaurant Video

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Chris Jones helped realign our creative outlook

BY EMILY COOK -Director of Reel Vision (www.reelvision.net)

“The creative community on the Isle of Man has a fiercely pounding heart that beats at its bravest at the Isle of Man Film Festival.” Chris Jones 2013

Reel Vision's Emily Cook with Chris Jones

During the 2013 Isle of Man Film Festival I took part in the Guerilla Film Makers Master Class lead by Chris Jones. We were so fortunate to have Chris not only come over to the Island but as the event was supported by PokerStars, it was more accessible to the public than ever.  Chris’ master class regularly sells out in the UK and is popular amongst both experienced film makers and those who are newer to the craft.

Within the first hour of the two day workshop, Chris encouraged everyone to basically hold a mirror up to ourselves, challenging everyone within the class to look at their individual motives for getting involved within the Film Industry. In many ways this process acted as a personal deconstruction of every individual within the room, which over the next two days, meant that Chris could refocus us all from our foundations. Nothing was on a superficial level. Chris went deep.

As we all applauded Chris at the conclusion of the workshop, I felt not only refreshed, but creatively refocussed. It was as if Chris had realigned my creative spine. Providing a new strength, drive and vision.

' The masterclass is an amazing opportunity for any film maker'

Click here to see Workshop Coordinator Rosie Grahame and myself (Fringe Festival Coordinator) speaking to the press about Chris Jones’ workshop in the days leading up to it.

Listen, do you want to know a secret………

By Graham Brunstrom

I’ve just watched Emily Cook’s film “Unkept” which is a collection of people’s secrets, anonymously collected and read out, face to camera, by actors.  This concept enables each secret to remain as such as although spoken out loud, they’re not attributed to the owner of each particular secret.  This, apart from keeping the anonymity, can also vastly alter the watcher’s perspective of each short statement lending more pathos or enlightenment to a particular ‘secret’ in some cases or bending your interpretation of what has been confided than if they were simply written words. 

My initial feeling after the first watch of this film was how isolated each secret appears to be, how alone we can all be in a crowd by the deepest fear’s or secrets we keep to ourselves.  The beautiful concept of the film in ‘outing’ each secret and yet protecting the owner of the thought and thereby keeping the secret intact and unspoken left me feeling unobtrusive and yet still a little voyeuristic in being party to ‘someone’s inner thoughts.  The second time I watched it I wondered if there was a thread because I noted a couple of innocent child like ‘secret’s to begin with and yet near the end one that remained with me was the mature lady explaining that ‘she’ (he?) was afraid of being forgotten by people who were close to her (him?).  I don’t know what order Emily created, or if any, each of the secrets could have been attributed to any of the actors, or more specifically and generically, any of us.  Who knows what goes on in the heads of people that you pass in the street, at airports and train stations.  What interesting ‘baggage’ we all carry around with us, thank goodness we don’t have to declare it along with the other items we do.   Although I first thought of the piece as being sombre, dark perhaps, the isolation in each thought.

Thinking of the film afterwards I kept returning to the secrets that appeared sad through regret, of not leaving a legacy, the thought of being forgotten, not being able to tell someone they loved them, and at that moment it made me think that perhaps the film is more inspiring because each small spoken item contained nothing that couldn’t be overcome or dissipated by having others around an indulging in each other, helping one another.  By living in the moment and not giving a breeding ground to the worry gene.

I remember form when I was young, something every mother tells an adolescent perhaps, the phrase “a problem shared is a problem halved”, that doesn’t necessarily make any secret a ‘problem’ but the little worries or thoughts we have and hold to ourselves can grow, nurtured by a fear, of rejection, of judgement perhaps, of revealing ourselves too much maybe?  Watching this film reminds me we’re all so similar.  I wonder would these secrets have been different if recorded from the occupants in a thriving metropolis, a tribal village in the Congo, a sheep station in the desert or a high rise block of flats in Glasgow.  Perhaps the material images would but perhaps the main hopes, regrets, fears would remain the same.  I do think it’s quite an uplifting film in that sense, that listening and watching Emily’s film should encourage us to live in the moment, to seize what we want and to say what we feel, to out our secrets and in letting them be truly “unkept”, free ourselves.  Mind you, if anyone asks me about this film I’m keeping that a secret so they have to buy it from Emily herself to find out.

Unkept on Facebook

Buy Unkept on DVD

A Reel Vision on Manx Radio

Reel Vision’s Emily Cook speaks to Ben Hartley at Manx Radio.

Throughout this week Emily Cook from Reel Vision Film Solutions will have a five minute interview each evening at 11.30pm

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Testing Testing 1,2,3

Monday 5th March 2012 at 23.30

 Emily speaks to Ben Hartley about the origins of both Reel Vision and her passion for Film and moving image.

Listen to Manx Radio Live

Tuesday 6th March 2012 23.00

On tonight’s …Manx Radio’s Late Show, Ben will be chatting to Emily about her how her interest in film making first began. We’ll also hear about Emily’s work in London and what brought her back to the island to set up Reel Vision.

Wednesday 7th March 2012 23.00

Tonight on Manx Radio, Ben will be chatting to Emily about Mannin Shorts, a scheme on the island to give budding film makers real hands on experience. Emily will also be sharing what kind of movies she likes to watch when she’s not behind the camera.

Thursday 8th March 2012 23.00

Tonight on Manx Radio, Ben will be chatting to Emily about Unkept, a short film she made last year which has received huge critical acclaim. We’ll  also hear about her future plans for Reel Vision.