Lost & Found

by Jo Keeling


Back in September I embarked on a short digital video making course at ffotogallery in the Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff. I've always been interested in different ways to tell stories and now, with plans to launch an iPad journal, I wanted to learn how to make and edit my own short films so that I could get the most from interviews with creative people doing awesome things.

I knew I wanted to make a film that explored new ways of experiencing the world - perhaps a story about overheard conversations, how to never walk the same journey twice or the change of perspective you get by looking up in a city. I met up for an excitable breakfast with Kathryn John, whom I’d previously enjoyed working with on Pretty Nostalgic, and she told me about her love of collecting lost items – from seaglass picked up on winter beaches to battered soldiers found swept up against city curbs.

A year earlier I'd found a post on Kathryn’s blog about a beautiful video created by film maker Andrea Dorfman and poet/singer Tanya Davis called How to be Alone. I wanted to produce a film that had a similar effect – something that inspires you to experience a shift in perspective, and encourage you to be mindful of the wonders of everyday things.

The course was challenging and so worthwhile. Surprisingly, it seemed to have more in common with storytelling and creative writing than photography – and it was fascinating to see storytelling from another angle and to learn how to build up layers of meaning through images. Showing not telling is something I try to use everyday when writing, but it’s a whole other kettle of fish thinking about how this works visually.

Over a few weeks of filming in December, Kathryn and I had a lot of fun chasing the low winter sun around Clevedon Pier and splashing sticks in city parks to move rubber ducks in and out of frame – and I think both of us (Kathryn in particular) got a lot out of the experience of delving deeper into what makes collecting feel good.

I didn’t post this on here at first because I felt shy about sharing my first film (that's what happens when you watch something 100 times in Final Cut Pro). But since then, it’s had some lovely feedback, so I thought why the heck not? So, bearing in mind we’re new to this... *deep breath* what do you think?


Massive thanks to Kathryn John for sharing her story. Since starring in Lost & Found she’s signed up to do the same course this term, so here’s to many more collaborations in the future!