So the video is nearly complete at 50 mins! Just a few credits at the end to finalise. It is being shown publicly on 12 March and 12 April in Dover’s Silver Screen cinema…. eek.
I’ve even managed to get the blurb together:
Watercress and Daffodilsis a video by Clare Smith which explores the parallels between the structural laying bare of Russell Gardens as it is about to undergo a major restoration project as part of Dover District Council’s Kearsney Parks project. It also reveals a a personal story connected to Kearsney Court Gardens, of which Russell Gardens was once an integral part. An underlying thread is the idea of the garden as a healing and restorative space.
Kearsney Court gardens was designed as a setting for the original Kearsney Court house, by the Edwardian landscape architect, Thomas H. Mawson (1861-1933), and Russell Gardens is a very rare example of Mawson’s work, open to the public in the south east.
The title of the video Watercress and Daffodils takes its name from the fact that the nameKearsney is derived from the French cressonnière, a place where watercress grows, the presence of daffodils at Kearsney Court gardens. Moreover, in 2013, a new daffodil was developed in his honour, the narcissus ‘Thomas H. Mawson’, in the Netherlands to celebrate the first 100 years of the Peace Palace at the Hague, the gardens of which were designed by Mawson.
Hope, if you are reading, you had a good Christmas. For me it was squeezed between hospital visits but managed to see both sides of the family, thought it meant 600 miles in 4 days. Also managed 2 parties at home!! Or get-togethers with good friends ….
And then I also managed the first fine edit of the video… and it is now under an hour thanks to some critical feedback at the 1.5-hour stage.
I managed to cut 30 mins easily as I’d inexpertly left in way too much narrative.
But thanks to the expert eye and experience of Benjamin Hunt, a young film/video maker here in Dover, it is now a lot sharper and even shorter – on its way down to 45 or 40 mins – and I’ve learnt loads.
So the good news is I am responding to treatment which means I get to have another 6 cycles of chemo and then probably maintenance chemo… I guess it means I have a bit more time and although I will have to live with a lot of uncertainty, I can anticipate being reasonably well for a while. Having done 6 cycles now, I’ll manage the next 6. There is a kind of rhythm to the side effects….
The film edit is coming along and I am paring back the sound and footage. I know with the internet it could be any length and watched for as long or as short a time as the viewer wants, but it will definitely benefit from a tighter edit. I think it’s something like 3 hours at the moment … eek!
It is so hard to make this film into one that is not a documentary – it feels like a bit of a tightrope. I am trying to have a narrative through the sound and a different narrative through the images or at the very least not match image and dialogue so that the final narrative has to be pieced together somehow.
I have been working on editing the film and realised the other day that the split between the once unified Russell Gardens (now public) and Kearsney Court Gardens (private) is something the film will explore – both topologically and psychologically – or at least I hope that is what emerges through the edit.
I am also interested in the hedges, a continuation of my interest in borders (that can always be breached)…..