Almost 8 weeks have slipped by since I left Wooda. It was pretty hard to leave, having established an incredibly productive working pattern & made such great friends with the farm & all who dance in it. Not to mention the beautiful landscape that one could wander off into at a moment’s notice, way beyond the chaos of the studio.
My time at Wooda was unreservedly positive. Even falling down the studio steps had its fun moments. I achieved what I had promised to myself & Wooda, that being the editing of my debut feature film, Follow The Master. But I took much more away with me ‘just’ that.
Most valuably I have drawn from the experience a renewed sense of confidence in how I go about my film making & indeed my day to day life, which can be summarised as just get on & do it. There’s a lot of talking & speculation & cowardliness around film production & it has got to stop. Wooda gave me a generous slice of time & space to get on & simply do. This was a rare privilege & I consider myself very lucky to have been selected for the residency.
The final weekend was spent preparing for a private screening of the ‘96% completed’ film to family, crew, friends & co. Tony Hill turned up with some pals which was a great surprise & pleasure.
Max managed to get an article about it in the local parish magazine, The St Genny’s Gazette. I was particularly delighted that it appeared on page 3, right in the spot where one might ordinarily expect to see St Genny’s Gazongas.
The screening took place in The Barn at Wooda. As dusk fell a mighty wind & a freezing fog whipped up (no, really, it did – I assumed it was Grandpa Eric). Gary & Max lit braziers which burnt furiously & crazily, setting the scene a la Jarman’s The Last of England.
Despite the little technical ghosts in the machine that somehow secretly reorganised a section of the film before the presentation (to my amusement & Nick’s abject horror) the screening was a singular success.
The music to my ears, seemingly sung by many, was that the film was uniquely bizarre & yet open-hearted & accessible & that it could even be a bit longer. Nick & I had erred on the side of ‘not boring people’ & had cut the film dead at around 65′. So this was good news. We could hang out a bit.
Gary & Max had prepared the most amazing spread of food for all assembled which was a beautiful & tasty way to round things off. Drink flowed. Lucy danced. I tipsily kissed Cal & Morgan good night. Thank you, Wooda. Can we do it all over again please?