What a week…

Well, the cameras are rolling and the whole team is very, very busy. Our film crew came over from Belfast to Scotland early on Tuesday morning and set straight to work — a 14 hour day of filming with some of our key characters in a windy west coast town. The development of the script (more of a schedule for each conversation really) carried on right up to (and past) the last minute… and we’ve all been emailing, texting and phoning around to think about what we are getting, what we’re not, what we need to focus on, how we can do it.

Our colleagues in the Scottish Prison Service did us a great service on Wednesday, allowing the crew access to Barlinnie where we continued the filming and had the chance to talk to and film both staff and prisoners, as well as some stunning visual images, of course. Thursday and Friday were spent back on the west coast capturing more visuals and adding some further interviews, before the film crew headed for home this afternoon. Next week, they head south to work with Steve and Raymond, as well as several others; the week after I’ll be working with them in London where we hope to connect with User Voice and Unlock, as well as some frontline probation practitioners. Then Shadd (always one for the more glamorous jobs) and the crew head off for the States, where we’ll be filming in DC and Baltimore.

It is very exciting but also, for crusty academics more used to the challenges of finding time to write, and to seeing that as our main mode of communication, it’s a big challenge to try to start thinking about how to make a film that can communicate what it needs to. What’s the right balance between dramatic versus mundane material? Between communicating complexity and clarity? Between what makes a compelling film and what makes a compelling argument?

Basically, it’s good fun, but it’s hard work.

One thought on “What a week…”

  1. Barlinnie’s had another film crew there recently. The Wise Group has posted a couple of brief videos to their YouTube channel relating to the Routes out of Prison project.

    ROOP Sept 2011

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