I wanted to approach the Hill project In a different way to previous film work I've done. Rather than have music and people speaking to camera leading the films I've tried to keep it as 'natural' as possible by using only sounds and images from the locations and have narration to explain the visuals to hopefully try and better represent the atmosphere of the hill..
Concentrating on different industries in the area has given me a huge amount of audio and visual material to work with.
I spent one of the days filming at Longcliffe quarry on the Via Gellia. The hot loud and dusty workplace was a challenging and impressive environment to film in and the process of working with the rock is incredible to watch. I was lead around by a site manger and interviewed him about working on the site. He told me about the strong family ties and community in the business, how there are fathers and sons working together and some people have worked there for over 30 years.
It's nice to see an industry that has shaped the landscape of the local area still thriving and I'm glad I had an opportunity to see the inner workings of it close up. Hopefully this vignette will show people an area of the hill they might not have seen before and might make them think about how the area in which they live was shaped around this and other industries.
Griffe Walk Farm is a difficult place to find at 6am, after turning off the main road at the Viaton sign and getting to the factories at the end of the road I spent a good 5 minutes circling the whole site trying to find the small track that takes you over the top of the hill. Eventually I found it and headed down into the hidden valley behind, passing the Llamas and continuing on to the buildings at the end of the track.
I found Ian wading through a sea of pretty relaxed looking sheep in one of the barns, some occasionally getting up, doing a little circle and scratching at the ground.
In the few hours I was there I managed to capture 3 births... one difficult one where Ian had to help the process by reaching inside a pregnant sheep and pulling out the two tangled lambs.
It was quite a gruesome process with the swinging of the newborn lambs to get the liquid out of their lungs but a very special thing to film and something that a lot of people might not have seen before.
Ian was kind enough to do an interview with me about how his family came to farm on this land and what he likes about the job and living on the hill itself.
This film a is a rough draft of some of the footage and sounds I collected whilst filming, I'm hoping to add more to this with Ian working over Harboro rocks and rounding the sheep up.
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