History & Architecture
Landscape & Nature
As part of both my desire to expand my skill set, and also to help preserve the memories of the village I’ve grown up in, I’ve decided to research and document the Parish of Woodgreen. This will look (in the form of a mini-documentary) from its inception, to the present day; focusing on history, nature, and the people. I’d also like to explore the effect that WWII had on the village, but also touch base on other, lesser-known events and stories that villagers wish to share.
I think it's important to share the stories of those people that make up such a lively community, and what better way to really be "in-the-moment" than through the eyes of a camera lens. Being able to clearly record both audio and video means I can capture everything I need to make a compelling look at the history of a place, and the people who call it home.
As a 26 year old who has lived in the village all my life, I’ve come to realise how little I know about the village I’ve grown up in (and I’m sure I’m not alone!). Truth is, due to the way the village was established, very little has been documented. In fact, so far, I've only come across one book about Woodgreen. So to build upon this knowledge, and bring it into the 21st century, I've chosen Woodgreen as the subject for my first foray into making documentaries.
I want to be completely transparent with this project; and whilst I have invested in some equipment, I will essentially be working alone, on zero budget, and with little experience. That said, I have always worked alone on everything I do; from filming, producing music, taking photographs, and editing videos. In fact, this website is a portfolio of just some of my work.
In order to tell the story of the village and its people in a genuine and natural way, I would love to have informal chats with people in front of a camera and microphone. This could be done either inside the interviewee's home, or outdoors; as I have equipment that deals with both situations. As such, I like to think I would be as flexible as possible; whether you would only wish to answer a few questions outside, or tell an entire story in your own time in the comfort of your own home - the choice is yours.
Any footage gathered can then be edited by me; as such, you can ask for certain aspects to be removed if you wish. I will always try and reduce the amount of audible/visible hesitations; so don't worry if the process doesn't come naturally for you. As they say "Just fix it in post!". In any case, don't forget; this will be an informal process! I'm looking for genuine stories and memories told in a natural manner.
A mixture of informal interviews, stories, and factual segments; all interspersed with 1080p HD footage of the village or surrounding area. There will be full and clear audio; ambient sound, narration, and of course the interviews and stories. There will also be custom music that I will compose and produce to accompany the documentary!
This depends almost entirely on how many people come forward to tell their stories; as such it could be anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour long! I'm less worried about length, than I am about producing an interesting, high-quality documentary.
I will be producing the vast majority of the documentary by myself (if not all of it!); from filming, sound, music, research, editing, and graphic design. The only exception to this will be finding someone reliable and enthusiastic enough to interview people, so that I can concentrate on the technical side of it (i.e. camera work, audio set-up etc.).
As I'll be pretty much the only person involved in the production of this whole documentary, it is likely (even with the best research and planning) that things will go wrong from time to time. Whilst I will do my utmost to reduce the chance of this happening, I cannot rule such issues out. In the event a recording doesn't come out as intended, or you are not happy with an aspect of it, I will likely either ask to re-record it at a later date, scrap the segment entirely, or try and cut around the issue. Hopefully, none of this will happen, but it's worth mentally preparing for such eventualities.
Any footage will only make it to the final edit if you are entirely happy with the result. Due to logistics, I can't promise to send an example of your appearance for your approval, but I will do my best. I suggest mentioning anything you don't want included before it makes it to the editing process, as re-editing the documentary will not be something that can be done without a lot of time and effort.
For the vast majority of cases, I'm happy to find someone to narrate on your behalf. Obviously it would feel more natural if it came from you, but I completely understand if you don't feel up to it. You can always tell a story or give information to me in writing (see the contact details section to find out more).
I'm looking for anything relevant to the history of Woodgreen. Perhaps you used to run a business in the village (i.e. you helped run a shop), or maybe you can tell me about a historical event that was celebrated in the village? Or maybe you can tell me what life was like in the village in the old days, and can recall some interesting/funny stories of your youth. Perhaps you can tell me about past generations of your family that lived and/or worked in the village?
Immediate examples that come to mind include the work of the Verderers, Forestry Commissioners, and anyone involved in the conservation, restoration and management of Woodgreen or The New Forest in general. I'm also specifically looking for first-hand accounts; perhaps you had a strong hand in the campaigning for the community shop? Perhaps you had a hand in designing a building that closely follows New Forest design principles?
Again, realistically I'm looking for anything relevant to the history of Woodgreen. Old photos of buildings, Woodgreen in general, or events in the village are the obvious ones; but I'm open to anything - especially ones I'm able to physically use in the documentary itself. Even if you have an old photo of a cricket match in the village, that will be useful to help put the community into context. Other formats will be equally as well received; from video, to old documents and books.