Watch 'Memories of Mayfield II' here: vimeo.com/78283304
'Memories of Mayfield' is a film project that I started in June of 2011. The premise of the documentary was to capture the elderly residents of Mayfield on video, and their experiences of how Mayfield, as a village, has changed. I interviewed many different people, all of whom have their own theme within the piece. This is my first full length film.
Filming had started in June of 2011 and was finished by December of 2011, and there was a hiatus in the production as I studied for my A level exams. In the summer of 2012, I started on the editing. Initially I had 20 hours of footage and b-roll, a humongous amount to refine down to just 40 minutes. I chose this running time so that each interviewee would have roughly the same amount of screen time, and so that the film would feel fast paced and not overly long. I edited the film in just under two weeks, although it took just over a month to reach the final cut, due to minor alterations and inconsistencies within the sequences of the film. I shot the majority of the film on a school hired Canon XM2, a camera that still used Mini DV's. Over the summer of 2012, I acquired a Panasonic Lumix FZ48, and was able to shoot some of the b-roll in 1080p HD, although the majority of the film is actually in SD. I edited the film in its entirety using Final Cut Pro X.
My two favourite parts of the film are the beginning and the end. I chose Frank Sinatra's 'I've Got You Under My Skin' to accompany a montage that introduces us to all of the cast. I hoped to address the style of the film through this introduction, and to let the audience know that the film will be more of a relaxed and nostalgic piece, rather than a factual view of the history of the village. For the ending, I chose Yo - Yo Ma's version of Bach's 'Suite For Solo Cello No. 1', that I think fits perfectly with the sequence.
I then planned on screening the film. On November 22nd 2012, I set up a showing for just the interviewees. The film was met with many congratulations and commendations. I did receive some advice on the colour of the text during the ending, and how the film should come to a conclusion. I took these comments on board and changed the text from white to black to make it more legible against the white cloudy sky, and added in a final sequence to accompany the last minute of music, that contained pictures of the interviewees, taken by my sister, Molly Durman.
My next goal was to screen the film to a larger audience; the village. This meant hiring out the local community hall, organising teas, and meeting the head of the Mayfield film society, to discuss the projection of the film. I advertised around the village, using posters and flyers, and with the help of one of the producers, Chris Lyle, had several articles put in the local yellow pages, as well as two county newspapers.
I screened the film to nearly 300 people on December 1st 2012. This audience was by far the largest I'd ever shown any of my work to, a large figure of people that I hadn't even imagined would've turned up (see picture below). The film was met with laughter, admiration for two of the interviewees that sadly passed away during the production process, and a large round of applause when the screen turned to black for the last time. I then took over 50 DVD orders which I am now in the process of burning myself, using my Mac. I am also going to donate a copy to the Historical Society, so that the film can act as a time capsule for those in the future.
Overall I was very happy with how the film turned out, the premiere, and the reactions to the documentary. I took the film from inception, right up to distribution stage, and have learned alot about the different stages of filmmaking.
Cast (in order of appearance):
- Don Ticehurst
- Berenice Blurton
- Dennis Blurton
- Brian O'Connor
- Cynthia Baker
- Dorris Cloutt
- Wynn Hemsley
- Eileen Honeysett
- Joan Redford
- Magaret Smith
- Suzanne Staniforth
- Mary Vockins
- Mary Hammond
- Bert Ashdown
- Pat Fitzgerald
- Sheila Humphries
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COPY OF THE FILM IS UPLOADED IN A LOWER RESOLUTION THAN THE NATIVE COPY.