In my video ‘A Grand Mother’ I wanted to convey the feelings of pride and delight that my family felt when we discovered that our grandmother / great grandmother had signed the Suffrage Petition over 100 years ago. As the story is quite personal in nature I wanted the approach of the video to reflect that so I filmed it in one continuous take as though the viewer had popped around for a cuppa and was sitting at my table while I told them the story of Mary Edith. Another reason I wanted to tell the story in a ‘conversational’ and ‘low tech’ kind of way was to prove to myself as much as anyone that the huge amount of digital information on the web is available to be interpreted and presented in such a way that it becomes personally involving and meaningful storytelling. It seems to me there is an incalculable amount of information in the cloud but it’s just a means to an end if we can’t find the personal connections with it to bring it to life and give it real value and meaning. Although the story of ‘A Grand Mother’ is quite a personal family story I think the importance of ancestors and family is universally held and as such I hope it will resonate with many. As the whakatauki says “Ui mai koe ki ahau he aha te mea nui o te ao, Māku e kī atu he tangata, he tangata, he tangata! Ask me what is the greatest thing in the world, I will reply: It is people, it is people, it is people!” ‘A Grand Mother’ is the first edited video I’ve ever made – I just got my digital video camera a couple of months ago. It was great fun to research and make, and most of all I’m really pleased that I made it for my family to watch and keep.
by Candy Elsmore
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