Felting on film

It’s been a strange weekend, as I’ve been followed round by an Italian film crew, recording my every move and conversation.

It started a few weeks ago, when the co-founders of Makerhood, Karen and Kristina, and I were asked to do an interview for a documentary about changing work patterns. Giulio Robino, an Italian journalist and photographer, won an award for his last documentary Toxic Europe, on the link between organised crime and the dumping of toxic waste.

Now he is working on a project about how, in an era of high unemployment, people are looking at other ways of working – going part-time or freelance, and doing voluntary work or trying to supplement their income by setting up their own small-scale businesses. Apparently, as a “freelance worker in the hard industry of culture” (as Giulio puts it) and doing voluntary work with Makerhood as well as trying to sell pieces I make, I am an ideal candidate to feature in this documentary!

Setting up the gear

So on Friday morning two guys turned up with all their gear to film me making a felt pot. Davide, on sound, seemed a bit disappointed that felt-making was not a particularly noisy process, the loudest sounds being the occasional squeak from non-soapy bubble wrap! His eyes lit up, however, when I picked up the electric sander. “Fantastico!” he exclaimed, as he adjusted the volume control.

It’s funny how a process that I’m so familiar with suddenly turns into a mass of fingers and thumbs in all the wrong places! I also explained that the rubbing and the rolling is quite a long and laborious process – but at least the repetitive nature will give them lots of footage to choose from when editing.

Saturday was a much longer day. I’d organised some Makerhood pop-up stalls in Brixton Village, so the crew arrived at 8am to film me packing up my suitcase and leaving the house, walking down the hill and through the middle of Brixton. I definitely felt rather embarrassed, as people kept staring and wondering who I was!

They continued filming throughout the day as we set up the stalls and took them down, talked to customers and even sold a few items. 🙂  They also did some filming at Cornercopia, a great shop and restaurant in Brixton Village that focuses on locally produced food and drink.

Thanks to the unhelpful and somewhat short-sighted attitude of the market management, most of the filming had to be done from inside the shops looking out. When ESP and I had lunch at Cornercopia after I finished my morning shift on the stalls, he found it very disconcerting to be eating while a camera was trained on him from inside the shop! And of course I was  miked up, so I had to be careful about what I said throughout the day and remember to turn the microphone off when I went to the loo! 😮

All in all, it was quite exhausting, and I’m happy to sink back into anonymous obscurity. I haven’t seen any of the footage, so I’m hoping I don’t look too fat or incompetent in the final edited version!


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