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“Filming a Record of the Voyage on a Clunky SVHS Camera”: Director Alex Holmes | Maiden


Whenever directors watch their own films, they always do so with the knowledge that there are moments that occurred during their production — whether that’s in the financing and development or shooting or post — that required incredible ingenuity, skill, planning or just plain luck, but whose difficulty is invisible to most spectators. These are the moments directors are often the most proud of, and that pride comes with the knowledge that no one on the outside could ever properly appreciate what went into them.

So, we ask: “What hidden part of your film are you most privately proud of and why?”

The hidden part of Maiden—a film about the first all-women crew to take part in the Round the World Yacht Race—of which I am most proud is the beautiful, sensitive and revealing camerawork of Jo Gooding. Jo, a relative novice to ocean sailing, was the cook onboard Maiden and, as everybody had to adopt a second role, she took on responsibility for filming a record of the voyage on a clunky SVHS camera. Jo is a woman of remarkable emotional intelligence, patience and bravery, and all of that shone through in the use she made of the camera. We, the filmmakers, and you, the audience, are the beneficiaries. Her camerawork records not only the excitement and derring-do of this amazing crew, but slowly reveals the unbreakable bond that forms between these women as they take on the world. Only those who study the end credits closely (where Jo gets a shared credit with the 2018 cinematographer Chris Openshaw) will realize it was largely her eye that captured this beautiful adventure.

Sundance Responses 2019

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