The Horniman runs a very inclusive volunteer programme providing public facing activities and experiences for their visitors helping them to engage with the museum and garden collections. Engage in nature, it is also Engage in name. The Engage Programme was started five years ago in 2009 and to mark this anniversary we were invited to make a short film explaining the work that was shown as part of the celebrations at an Afternoon Tea in the Pavilion of the Horniman Gardens.
With so much to cover we had a packed day giving is a real insight to the variety of opportunities available to volunteers. We were able to see, not only how much the visitors get out of their interactions with the hard working volunteers, but how much the volunteers get back by speaking to former volunteers who are now employed – both at the museum and in other organisations.
Luckily we had really beautiful weather which really helped capture the feeling and atmosphere of this successful addition to a wonderful museum.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep your eyes peeled for Alexa’s promo video, coming soon…