Sunday, 27 April 2014

Obstacles ahead and experiencing the national day of the English, St George´s Day

27th of April, St George´s Day, the English National Day.....Moss Side of course had no clue, see we went into Picadilly Gardens and spent a couple of hours contemplating if this would be of any help for the documentary. Not really. All cliche´s. A fake cigar smoking Winston Churchill, American World War Two jeeps, Scottish bagpipes (not English), cheerleaders (not English) and...yes, really, really crap. I saw two or three non-whites, very few young and yes, I lack words.....


I am still experiencing problems with the sound...and I realized my mistakes. This is due to lack of training in between films. I have changed cables, bought a Rycote Deadcat...but still not good enough...and I have realized why. Wrong channel, not changed it manually and I have run it all on automatic. It just ain´t as good as manual work! At least i have located the problem, see what I can salvage...

Just a month to go before it is time to leave and I am beginning to panic. Still no partner for sure, though I hope i have discovered another gem, just like Tanya Holm. 


And I don´t have a stroller, not all the gear needed and I am far from happy as regards to the material I have and now I have to head down to London and "waste" time, but I will get inspired though....And, my wife is in her most important moment of her research and the girls, they are demanding but easy. I want to be with them, but have to do this. This is a tough time! But privileged...

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Doing the details, being a dad and suffering from the Lutheran presence on my right shoulder

It seems people are taken an Easter break. Complete void of anyone out there, which in a way is good, because finally, I will have time to do some more research figure out a kit list, find one or two more sponsors and rest the cameras for a little while. Honestly, lately i have been more tired then ever and going to the gym three times a week has been a struggle, but I have done it. Moss Side takes so much energy out of me, well, the whole family, it is such a demanding place, so interesting, so much happening and since everything is on board with the finance and so on, I have to produce the best of the best. And, knowing this makes me dead tired! At times I hate that Martin Luther on my right shoulder, who I have dragged with me since birth and suffered endless feelings of guilt since. And when  know people have invested in me, very little compared to most productions, I feel i have to offer my life on a plate. What to do....this will never change. A bit tiresome for the family though, having this husband and dad who always have to offer his life for his work....

Eva is home from school now, but I did a deal with my researcher, who´s son is home, so she is looking after my girls today, who likes her son!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Exciting to say the least, but also some worries

Filming in Moss Side is harder than i imagined. I fully understand that people worry for the camera, considering everything they have been through as regards to bad media, some of the worst I have seen and that far too many want nothing to do with the police. In fact, I have been lately, especially today, accused of being an agent for the police, which I don´t like at all. people really get upset and aggressive at times. this will take  a lot of intelligent handling and picking the right people to help me.

I have two new people as part of the team. Eugenio a film maker from Sicily, who takes life easy and relaxed which helps a lot, his girlfriend Klara from Romania. And yes, a researcher, Anastasia from South Africa, which will help me two months before we set off. They´re all very needed.

People have also started to ask me to be reimbursed, which initially surprised me, but I, once again, understand. life is really hard, In many ways, Moss Side is no different from any poor area of the world. Sure. I have to say, since I arrived, nothing have been -well, a bit- as I expected from England.

I have a slight worry living in a hood I am documenting. There´s a bit of a threat, but I might be imagining. But at the same time, this feeling is what makes me wanna do this all over again!

Monday, 14 April 2014

First rec tour: The Peak district and Edale

I have just returned home after probably the most important part of an Expedition, figuring out a route and hopefully getting a good start. Both on the Expedition in itself and most importantly, the documentary. So, I hired a car, brought the whole family and headed off into the Peak District, which is amazingly close to Moss Side and Manchester. The distance is around 50 km:s as the crow flies and it is two completely different worlds. Great both of them in their own ways.

Due to an old friend, Olly, we ended up in the most stunning of environments with some of the nicest and most inspiring people on all levels, Tom and Kirsty, who most English would place on some kind of a British upper class ladder, but as most of my perceived ideas about contemporary Britain, it has changed a lot and for the better. This couple, their great big house and the environment, was just like a dream for my family and it was a slice of paradise for a couple of days. And coming back to Moss Side and our tiny, little dark house woke us up to reality again. This visit really gave a perspective and I can see that our time in Moss Side is probably one of the most important in our lives so far. And it was great to meet old friends and talk about...England! A country I like more for each day of passing!

I am really, really tired, today, but have so much work ahead of me. At times I feel vulnerable being everything from researcher to film maker, but such is life. A very privileged one! I need to get some serious filming done before the weekend. Easter holidays now. No end to holidays! Yes,  am under great usual! But at least the film is on board!

And, yes, Dana will join me and I will push her in a pram/stroller as London!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Somaliland clips

These are two clips I took at the Independence Rally in Sheffield. The first shows the difficulties not having professional help to film, Mustafa has a bit to learn...And the second a short interview!

 And the third trying the GoPro inside the striking Town Hall!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Great sensitivity in Moss Side: Some are scared for the camera

David Roache have shown me around his Moss Side today with Maine Road as the center of the walk. Great day in every way. We have touched all sensitive and non-sensitive issues, but my small Canon xa-10 confuses some people who think I might work for the council or some government agency, possibly the police or from the unemployment bureau and some feel aggressively upset. this of course is not new for me, but David was surprised, but he is a tough Irish fella brought up in the hood, so not easily intimidated and he does stand up for himself and me! But there´s no doubt that there´s a lot of aggressiveness hidden below the surface still here in Moss Side. Below is one of such meetings today, but, I can fully understand that people worry for cameras due to everything which has happened.

I am really, really tired after a very eventful day, thanks David!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

More time with a documentary

A bit of a rest from Dana for a few days, whilst her mum is looking after her. So I need to use those days for full time work! And I already know this England documentary will turn out both unique and make a difference to how we see England today. I have been to Sheffield for the Somalilanders call for independence, great experience! And I have set up contacts here in Moss Side, a place I like more by the day due to these exceptionally interesting and hardy people. I just came back from an interview with the headmaster at Eva´s school, which is such a good example of a very well integrated school.

There´s a lot of issues I need getting right because at times it is hard to do absolutely everything myself, from research to filming. So today i have tried out if the GoPro´s work well on chest and pram. And if Dana likes them, since she will be joining me heading to London!

My perception on what I want to do has changed quite a lot. Lars Säfström´s visit gave me perspective, no doubt! But from negative to very positive!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

An eye opener: Searching For The Sugar Man

Yesterday evening my wife and me fell in love again, but this time with Rodrigues as portrayed in the Swedish Oscar winning documentary Searching For the Sugar Man. We fell in love with this guy who has kept true to who he is, no matter what poverty he has experienced in the outskirts of Detroit and he has indeed inspired us to carry on the lifestyle we have entered since coming to Moss Side. A very simple, down to earth one with some needed parts of quality to do the job we wanna do.

Moss Side has changed us quite a lot! For the better. We take nothing for granted, don´t want riches or comfort and we never judge anyone anymore.

Do not miss this documentary! It is in many ways an eye opener and beautifully shot in a way I never could do!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Witnessing the first step of Somaliland becoming independent

I started working full time on the documentary on Monday when my great friend and co-producer Lars was here. It is really, really important to have many people involved in a big production like this one, to get perspective, input and other ideas. From how to film to what is important. I might not always have the same opinions, but I have realized that almost always, the ideas from somebody like Lars make a documentary better at the end. And he gave me a whole bunch of films/documentaries to watch, to get inspired and get ideas. One of them was the Square, which is incredibly good! It really has to be seen when it comes to freshening up ones photography, suspension and narrative.

I am still getting used to the kit again, it isn´t too bad actually. However, some of it, like the mike cables are all gone I realized yesterday and had to film with the camera mikes, which of course isn´t the best. And I wanted to figure out how to fully use the GoPros. They´re definitely best in "action" scenes, but can be used like inside Sheffield Town Hall, see below.

Yesterday I spent the whole day in Sheffield together with my Somaliland friends AR, M and M. And it was in many ways a spectacular day, first getting out of Moss Side for awhile, passing through Peak District and being part of a historical moment, when the Sheffield (manily labour) voted to become the first to recognize Somaliland as an independent country. Even though the UN has to take these decisions it is still a small step ahead. for me, it was great to be part of it. And, feeling a bot of an African feeling with the joy shown by the Somalilanders! I also realized the importance of finding a good camera person to help me on the upcoming trip. A new Tanya! I asked Mustafa to help me, when I got interviewed by Somaliland National TV....

So, the search continues for the right partner! In the mean time I have to update kit, make a list what has to be done to make the the best documentary ever from Britain! And get maps, figure out a route and get my interviews as good as they should. So far, people are too careful to share their inner thoughts of life around Moss Side! (I also need to learn how to proper edit on Premiere....)

I am really, really tired now and wonder how in earth I am going to find the right energy! BUT, I feel more motivated than ever to do a great doc about England and adding quality I haven´t used before to the film! In shallah!

And a GREAT thanks to Anders Nordgren and Scandinavian Photo in Malmö for supplying me with the two GoPros and other needed kit!