Something for the weekend

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I woke up quite grumpy on Saturday having gone to bed late preparing a presentation. But as things turned out a great weekend unfolded, starting with giving a talk on ‘Influencing’ for the Mersey Side BME Legacy Project in Warrington. It was really inspirational to hear the incredible projects 13 women were embarking on to make a difference in their communities in Nigeria, Jamaica, The Congo and right here in the UK. In my 90 minute session we explored strategies for influencing to help turn dreams into reality. I drew on my experiences of several culture change projects that I’ve worked on over the past decade and experiences growing up in East London as the middle child of four – cos that’s where it starts!

After Warrington I headed back to Manchester. We’ve been house hunting for what seems like ages now, which means that most Saturdays are spent looking around other people’s houses. Its intriguing and frustrating at the same time – and must be for the vendors – strangers peeking into your life and your things. A week or so ago we thought we found the house we’d buy but then this week, on second viewing with friends, it turns out not to be the case. A fresh set of critical eyes helped us recognise that the house needed a lotttttttt of work to get it up to scratch. So – the search continues on that front…

Inspiration followed with Saturday night movie, Senna, by Director Asif Kapadia, at The Cornerhouse cinema. I absolutely loved the movie – it was a feature documentary charting the life and death of Brasilian formula one racing driver, Ayrton Senna. It was created entirely using archive footage from the Senna family, the televised races and footage from the cockpit and drivers’ meetings. It made for compelling viewing and my heart was racing watching it. I was excited to learn that the film had a writer (who was also the executive producer). I’ve been working as writer on another archive film, this time an artist documentary, Oxford Road. I imagine people might wonder what a writer’s role is on a documentary. For the most part its having conversations with the director about ways to structure the film to help with shooting and editing a series of incidents that happen along the road to give an impression of the people and sense of place and history as night changes to day. In this instance rather than write a script – I drew a simple sketch mapping out key events along the road. Each time we went out filming with a view to capturing key moments – like this Saturday night – between 3 and 4 am – we headed out to try and create a timeplapse to catch dawn breaking in order to connect one point in time in the middle of the night to early morning. I love filmmaking – it’s like solving a gigantic puzzle. After shooting what we needed I took some still shots before heading home for hot chocolate and bed. A last look at the sky and there was this aeroplane trail… I remember feeling the satisfaction of a great night out – and i guess that’s art for you, looking at the world and just being happy to have seen it and to try and capture something of its essence.

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