Location, Location, Location

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In order to ‘Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen’ I wanted to let my audience see a place in a different way semantically rather than just see the space within it in its physical form. The space in the final case being a place in my memory and hopefully the audience’s mind rather than a place in the location.

Before I made my final decision I came up with a few ideas for places that inspire me to film in. I immediately ruled out places that I felt were too clichéd such as the park, my home and city as I felt the emotion would be more difficult for me to recall for me in the first place as anything that the audience had not felt before.

My first idea regarding where to film was a library, in light of recent headlines where books are being burnt to save money I thought about how I could portray this darker truth within my sixty seconds. I decided that layering the footage of the library with that of an older burnt building would allow me to achieve this when I have more time to play around with it.

I thought of other places that challenge my own perception of space and looked to the skies. When I look to the skies I often think more philosophically and I wondered how I could project this onto an audience but felt that this interpretation may be lead to too broad an interpretation to produce one specific or emotion that was different.

I eventually decided that an effective way to explore a place in memory as I had originally hoped would be to film in a place associated with a distance memory. A sweet shop.

I will not disclose names but a particular sweet shop in which I wanted to film in was my first choice. I made the fatal error of assuming that getting permission to film there would be easy and rang them up with a big optimistic smile on my face. I was referred to the shop next door who owned the shop who passed me onto the trust that owned the shop, who then forwarded me to onto the enterprise of the company, who then forwarded me onto marketing, who then forwarded me onto someone who specialised in student films who gave me the number of the shop itself again. Needless to say I felt lost.

Although stressful this was still an educational experience for me. I realised how easy it is to get lost in a big business’ system and looked into independent toy shops. This turned out to be the much better alternative.

Not only were the owners of ‘I used to have one of those’ much easier to get permission from but they were grateful for the publicity. As a filmmaker its nice to be able to do that little bit of extra good other than just going down the entertainment route.

As a local rather than a chain shop the second I walked through the doors in York Road, Birmingham the atmosphere hit me straight away as homely. Unlike any other indie or even larger business shop I had seen before the colourful rows of sweets and nostalgic toys made it a dream for the child within all of us.

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The space presented me with obvious emotions of temptation and reminded me of a bygone childhood. I knew these emotions within a place would be expected however and wanted to see how much I could warp this idea and challenge myself.

The movement flowing throughout the toys and the sounds coming from them became a great inspiration for the movement of my piece. In the bright shop which is usually booming with happy children and laughter the stillness became unnerving and I chose to focus on this within my film.

Although in our brief we were instructed not to use music I thought some of the sounds that were in the shop were very atmospheric alone. A musical tie with run down batteries became the creepy undertone to the visuals.

Heading closer to home turned out to be an enlightening experience. Working in a place that would not usually be used for filming before gave me the responsibility of using lighting, sound and colour to project the atmosphere of the place. By twisting the normal response of the place to allow the audience to be in a whole new space was exactly what I wanted to achieve.

Even the most obscure of places can be used within film to evoke new emotion.


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