Heritage Lottery Fund: Changing lives – William’s Story

London is an amazing place to work but it’s always exciting when we get the opportunity to visit other places around the UK. I hadn’t been to Leeds since my friend got married there so it was lovely to visit again and travel out to the suburbs. Middleton Park is the sort of park that Londoners dream of, basically they seem to have fenced off a forest to protect it from the city. We were there to visit the Young Archaeologists’ Club and William, one of the members who had won Young Archaeologist of the Year.

Miggy Park, as locals call it, has received several rounds of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund which has enabled the park to explore its mining heritage and build a visitor centre that includes a flexible space that is both a cafe and community work space. The archaeologist club has grown out of a series of HLF funded programmes and was incredibly popular, with the parents as well as the young people, and we were nearly bursting out of the room. After the session William and his family showed us around the park they have grown up with and William pointed out some of the work they had completed as part of the funded project. Take a look at the final video here:

Although a flying visit, it was a real pleasure to once again visit a corner of the country that we might otherwise never have encountered and see how much pleasure people are getting from parks and heritage on their doorsteps.


Hitchin along…

Last week Chris and I jumped on a train to Hitchin.

We had been asked to make a promo video by fantastic photographer Alexa Loy. We’d worked with Alexa before and loved her photographs so we were very happy to be invited to join her in her very cute home and go out on a pre-wedding shoot with her.

We immediately fell in love with the tiny bundle of fur that is her kitten. I have no natural affinity for cats but this little kitty stole my heart straight away.

The couple that Alexa was shooting were also lovely. Sam and Caroline had mixed approaches to being photographed. Sam was a total natural but Caroline was slightly more nervous. Alexa’s friendly approach soon had Caroline relaxed though and they had a great time in front of, and behind the camera.

acapmedia filming wedding photographer Alexa Loy
Aaron films Alexa, framed by an arch in the park

Caroline brought her bridesmaid Martha along for the day out too. As well as being a very dedicated Maid of (dis)Honour she also made a very good runner helping us lug our filming equipment as we all trailed round the park like a hippy band tying ribbons to goal posts and tying up Sam and Caroline in gold sequins. We also had an affinity due to our shared experience in the world of theatre. Martha runs http://www.littlesomethingtheatre.com and was telling us about her craft work and puppetry.

After all nearly losing our digits to the cold on the outdoors shoot we headed back to Alexa’s for some lunch, tea, cake and kitten time.

acapmedia filming Alexa Loy's pre wedding shoot
Alexa leads Sam and Caroline around the park whilst Aaron films

As it grew dark we said goodbye to Sam, Caroline and Martha and set up to interview Alexa in her bedroom come office where we were entertained by the antics of kitty some more. Even when she was naughty she was too cute to be grumpy with despite her occasionally holding proceedings up. Alexa was nervous, as most interviewees are, but she was really great on camera and gave us far more useful material than we could possible use in the promo.

acapmedia filming Alexa Loy with the Panasonic Lumix GH2
Alexa Loy doing a great job whilst being interviewed by acapmedia

I had such a great time editing down her sincere reflections on why she does what she does that I may include them as a separate post once we have completed and launched the video.

Suffice to say we all worked very hard but it was a fun, friendly and productive day but we certainly didn’t envy Alexa for having to shoot a wedding the next day! When I got home all I wanted to do was curl up on my bed just like kitty did as we left.

Sleeping cute kitten
Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr

Keep your eyes peeled for Alexa’s promo video, coming soon…