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Paul Baker & Dr. Rob

Living without the Tudors

Yes I can hardly believe it after months of work we think the film is finally finished! It's taking some getting used to living without the Tudors as we have now spent what feels like most of the time since we left Kentwell last summer re-creating those three weeks every day in the edit suite!

A huge thanks to Sue Giovanni for her patient work guiding us through the on-line at VET and to Patrick Morgan and Alan Cronin at The Sanctuary for our amazing 'first grade' experience. We felt a rushing sensation of 'there's no way back from here' as we watched Patrick spin the strange 'grading globes' interface and lovingly tweak the depth of each and every one of the films already luscious HD shots.

Obviously the biggest thanks goes to Doug and Tim though ... they have lived with us as Tudors and directors for the long haul ... the edit and music are a credit to them.

Lisa lovin' her coif


It’s taken me until arriving in Japan to manage to write anything about ‘Tudor world’ AKA Kentwell where we’ve spent the last three weeks … mainly due to the sheer scale of unpacking incurred post 1578.

BUT before I begin on all things Japanese I did want to flag up an official thanks to our fantastic crew who made it through the shoot still smiling despite rather trying conditions at times. No one wants to film people when they don’t want to be filmed – and with upto 500 Tudors living at Kentwell over the three weeks, there were bound to be some who didn’t want to be followed around by us…

So thanks to John Podpadec and Paul Baker our SW dream team who came back for more after the rigors of the Bata-ville bus, thanks also to Emma our runner and local problem solver and a big thanks to the project production manager Lisa James. Recruited just pre-shoot and new to Somewhere and the Tudors she did an amazing job of dealing with us all!

John, Emma & Paul

The football doesn't feature much ...

... in the Kentwell world of Tudors, where we've now been for about 10 days, trying to both take part (as usual) and film (not as usual!) Here you see Karen reaching a new re-enactment high ... or low depending on how you view it ... as she finally cracks and goes to the pub in Long Melford in full tudor gear, unable to face another wrestle with that lacing and gown in the rather small 'timelock' between 1578 and 2006 - a space we have become all too familiar with.

10 more days to go & I might have to burn my kirtle at the end, much as I love it, this summer weather is not suited to wearing wool no matter how many Tudors tell you it is!

Karen feels the fear of our new Z1 vs Digibeta
John Podpadec's steady hand of instruction to her left!

Feel the fear ...

It's now only one week until we start to shoot our next film at Kentwell Hall (living as Tudors for three weeks) and finally, with this imminent deadline, we seem to have reached a format and camera resolution. Here you see us comparing our new 'small' HD camera (a Z1 for camera nerds) to the picture on John's Digibeta that he shot Bata-ville with - all this as as part of our rather overwhelming preparation/crash camera course with him today.

John will be (thank God) filming most of the event but for the 15 odd days that we can't have the crew there Karen and I have to go it alone, at last that boom pole and radio mic. we've owned for years might potentially see the light of day.

Not satisfied with using one new camera we've at last resolved that John will use the Varicam (Panasonic's super delux HD solution) for the first time ... unlike us he seems remarkably unphased by this ... I guess he doesn't also have to practice his Tudor and start a limning this week ... "By Saint Luke".

Rory's Auntie Kate
With thanks to Rory's Mum!

Technology - brings out the best in People?

A million thanks to Miles Tudor who spent his Friday lunch time patiently going through every menu on his Panasonic HVX200 with me ... this camera is truly amazing, a sort of computer/camera hybrid where you don't record onto tape and can play back instantly what you've recorded, including beautiful slow motion etc.
Sadly the cards it currently takes only record 8 mins onto each and at a shocking 1K each you can't afford to have many spares to hand. It doesn't look like the right camera for our next shoot but it does look like the future of filming for somewhere! Miles hires his out (with him as operator) if anyone else wants to give it a whirl I can put you in touch.

Onto a more basic technology we're trying to make a ***?? (what the hell are these seaside follies called!) for the WW II Fete at Kentwell next weekend and I am experiencing some level of frustration with my rather rusty making skills. The technology of paint is not bringing out the best in me. The project has flushed out some fantastic images from my friend Rory though - of his Aunt Kate & chums ... See the Sometime Later Blog for others.

Also do see 'We Make Money Not Art" for a great interview with Rory stretching right back to our days at the Bartlett together when Somewhere (and many other London-based-digital-art-groups) operated out of my office and one of London's first Internet connections that came with it!

Summercamp! showed at the beautiful Paramount
One of Austin's collection of unique cinemas

Summercamp! & Kentwell

We wrapped up our SXSW stay with one of our festival highlights Summercamp! (which sadly I can't track down a website for, as it had a lovely animated credits sequence I was hoping to see on the web). The directors Bradley Beesley & Sarah Price are obviously friends of SXSW, and had apparently run a development session about the film at a previous conference - which sounded interesting.

Anyway they and the film received a warm reception, including the rather goofy intro they did leading the audience in a camp song! The film is really nicely shot, and you feel very close to both nature and the kids portrayed. I won't give the plot away but let's just say of the 100 kids there they picked two of the best to follow - especially the heart breakingly quirky Holy Stevenson.

We were especially interested in the film as it's obviously a 'walled city' doc in the same way as our film about Kentwell will be - or indeed as the Bata-ville bus was. At the final Q&A we were all ears for how they'd dealt with parental consent (97/100 kids parents agreed) working with the camp hosts etc. Anyway an enjoyable film - if it makes it to the UK go along and transport yourself back to cubs/brownies.

Sadly our day went rather down hill once we departed on a delayed flight from Austin, I won't bore you with the details but let's just say American Airlines will not be the future Somewhere airline of choice. We eventually managed to crawl back to London via Chicago & Manchester just in time to unpack our Tudor costumes for the first Kentwell open day.

This is where everyone who wants to attend this years main re-creation event has to go along to Kentwell for the day and queue! For lunch, costume checks, Tudor nicknacks, and the infamous interviews with Patrick - head of the 21st century Kentwell Hall. These interviews dictate both your acceptance and your role - and no one is excused - hence our decision to detour to Manchester rather than miss the event.

So we made it, and it was fun to see everyone we met last year ... Somewhere is still on schedule to shoot the crazy 'Kentwell Summercamp!' that is the Tudor re-creation.

Our Somewhere @ SXSW film festival snaps are now available for the curious in the background section of the site.

Please don't make us sing the Summercamp! song ...

Sometime Later Production Still
Danny the page

Coming Soon ...

Sometime (a bit) Later .... !

Bless Dorian Moore for his continuing patience with us as we try to wrestle the expansion of the Sometime Later site under control. Hell bent on producing painted Limnings for the interface Karen and I have (as usual) horribly underestimated the time taken for hand-made production items. I think we might get the site live this weekend though, to feature a wealth of video material shot at Kentwell Hall this year in both 1942 and 1569.

I may Blog further regarding the interface for this site once it's live ... suffice to say it has been something of an interesting design challenge and prompted a Web 2.0 vs bad early interactive CDrom interface debate between Dorian and myself!