Ephemera (for RM Vaughan)

Here’s a short film I made recently in memory of R.M. Vaughan, poet/writer/filmmaker/visual artist/critic/collaborator.

Richard Vaughan and I made twelve (I think) short films in the 90’s in Toronto. Many of them shot on Super 8, the first ones edited on analogue at Trinity Square Video, some of the Super 8’s edited in camera. Lots of times we’d recruit Laura Cowell on camera, and sometimes Roy Mitchell. There was one we made for Splice This! Festival where I did the audio and Richard shot the footage and only at the screening did we see it come together for the first time.

Richard was great at initiating projects and, through his vast and ever-growing circle of friends and colleagues, finding opportunities to screen our work. He’d hand me a poem and give me a deadline. At the time, a lot of it seemed random and rushed, but looking back I cherish the ephemeral nature of it, the ease, and having someone who wanted to make things with me. I was never quite sure why he chose me to work with and, to be honest, I don’t know why we stopped.

When I found out he’d died, I went to look through my box of our films and tapes. So much of it needs attention – mini DV tapes and BETACAM SP and VHS copies. And then there were loads of Super 8 reels that I started feeding through my projector. Some of them were originals of our films, some were reels from other projects – I even found some footage from my parents honeymoon. I was hoping to find some forgotten outtakes with Richard appearing, a bonus surprise incarnation that would counter the loss of his real self. Nothing like that was there, in fact there was no footage of Richard at all. I was the actor, the ham, the drag queen. His voice, reciting or singing, accompanied on the soundtracks.

There was a reel of footage I remember shooting but have no idea why, footage of Toronto, lingering shots of cute boys, faces of passersby full of intention, going somewhere or going nowhere. I shot the projection on my phone and started editing, adding words that popped into my head that express, in an abstract, RM Vaughan poetic kind of way, my scattered, shattered feelings.

flow2

flow2 film & music by machtman

WATCH FULL SCREEN! or ON YOUR TV!

(watch flow2 with audio description at the bottom of this page)

#ontheroadagain

i’ve been lucky to travel far & wide
in my various guises and roles
over the past few years

turns out i like to take pictures of water & birds
& bridges

ahoy to fellow travellers!

the shots, in order of appearance:

sky over vestfjorden, norway
river nene, northampton, uk
river alde, orford, uk
jogjakarta, indonesia
river alde, orford, uk
norweigan sea, vestvågøy, norway
jacques cartier bridge, montreal, canada
river nene, northampton, uk
norweigan sea, vestvågøy, norway
sky over vestfjorden, norway
jogjakarta, indonesia
river alde, orford, uk
ratcliffe on soar, uk
river thames, london, uk
river thames, london, uk
river thames, london, uk
river thames, london, uk
moscva river, moscow, russia
english channel, bridport, uk
river thames, london, uk
river thames, london, uk
decarie expressway, montreal, canada
lambeth, london, uk
lambeth, london, uk
river thames, london, uk
river avon, bristol, ukriver nene, northampton, uk
river avon, bristol, uk
clifton suspension bridge, bristol, uk
river avon, bristol, uk
serpentine, london, uk
river thames, london uk
mediterranean sea, malaga, spain
mediterranean sea, malaga, spain
river thames, london uk
norweigan sea, vestvågøy, norway
mediterranean sea, malaga, spain

Watch Awake online

A white woman holding a cigarette shares a laugh with a black woman at the kitchen table.
Alex Bulmer and Margo Cargill in Awake

If you’re within the UK, you can watch Awake, starring Alex Bulmer and Margo Cargill, online for free. It’s available on BFI player as part of their groundbreaking new collection Disabled Britain on Film. And while you’re there, check out the cornucopia of other great films – narratives, docs and historical material, captioned and audio described.

Follow this link: Awake on BFI player

Jogja 3 and beyond

More photos from Yogyakarta and the area around (and coastline Indian Ocean beaches of) Wonosari.

 

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If you’re using a screenreader, please go to my PHOTOS page to access the alt-text for these photos. And go there as well if you want to see all the Jogja/Indonesia photos I’ve posted to date.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Jogja 2

2nd set of photos from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Sept-Oct 2017.

 

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I’m selecting these photos as I go through them chronologically, with the perspective of a few months distance.  In my mind, they speak for themselves, so I’ve avoided captions unless I can think of something to say that the photo doesn’t already tell you. But if you have questions, fire away!

If you’re using a screenreader, please go to my PHOTOS page to access the alt-text for these photos. And go there as well if you want to see all the Jogja/Indonesia photos I’ve posted to date.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

A Wider Angle: the evolution and future of disability film festivals – Disability Arts International

Kate Lovell interviewed me for this article on Deaf and disability film festivals. Lots of food for thought.

Source: A Wider Angle: the evolution and future of disability film festivals – Disability Arts International

Awake at FilmFest Dresden

Wonderful week screening Awake at FilmFest Dresden and presenting a workshop in Accessible Filmmaking. Introducing an inclusive process that started with access auditing, nine participating filmmakers were challenged to create a short film complete with access features in just three days.

Day one looked at the representation of D/deaf and disabled people in contemporary cinema, covering both bad examples (from the pitiful to the heroic) to best practice where disability is just one aspect of the characters’ identities. Through a series of writing exercises, we came up with a scenario for our visiting “talent”: British actress Margo Cargill (Awake, Birds of a Feather, White Man Van) and Maxime D. Pomerleau (Prends Moi, Fubar Age of Computer) a fantastic Québecoise actress that we met at Look & Roll in Basel. Margo is blind and Maxime uses a wheelchair, so this was an opportunity to script disabled characters, and look at how the filmmaking process could be adapted to make it accessible for both of them.

Filmmakers preparing a shot

Day two was all about filming, and the participants brought all of their combined skills to the shoot. The improvised story took place in a hospital waiting room and gave us room to explore the differences in public and private health care in Germany. A row broke out! Just for the cameras, of course.

I quickly edited the footage back at my hotel room (while all the other participants attended festival parties – but I’m not bitter!) and Day 3 was about adding access features of captioning and audio description. This was the first introduction to audio description for many of the participants and they were engaged and curious how to incorporate AD into their own projects using standard or sometimes creative methods.  AD was written and then recorded, each person narrating a bit to create three separate versions. It was so interesting to then compare the different approaches – proving that AD is in fact an art in itself.

Director Michael Achtman with participating filmmakers, one holding a boom mic

The Barrier Free cinema (Kino Ohne Barrieren) programme at Dresden Filmfest was curated by Gerhard Protzchka. Coordination of the workshop was by Stefanie Forestier, FilmFest Dresden. Participating filmmakers included: Becky Hellwig, Caspar Schleicher, Christian Rabending, Pascale Grange, Franz Muller, Raoul Kevenhorster, Johannes Kurschner, Allen Lai, Hanna Prenzel.

 

Triptychs

The first recent triptych I made was from photos taken exploring Scotland with Margo Cargill as research for our new film, April in the Country. Lately I’ve done a few more April in the Country triptychs, but I’ve also been combining photos from other travels, sometimes combining different places into one triptych.

They’re like storyboards.  I love to see the new ideas that juxtaposition of one image with another creates, sometimes it’s psychological, sometimes formal, sometimes a mix of both. They leave a lot of room for people to come up with your own story or interpretation.

You can see more of these on my Photos page.Photos

You can purchase limited edition C-type prints of these photos, have them mounted or framed, and delivered to you HERE!