Auguri

January 9, 2013

Auguri !  I wish you a happy new year…

I was commissioned to make a second film on the Bosco della Ragnaia during wintertime so I went there last week  to shoot the first sequences. As I was filming very early morning, I took pictures of this series of thoughts engraved by Sheppard Craige in the garden. They might become my motto for the coming year.

 

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The short documentary on the Bosco della Ragnaia I shot in May is online. The film was commissioned by Sheppard Craige, the artist making  this incredible garden, to keep the record of the place as it was in spring 2012. It was really nice to work with him as he gave me full freedom to shoot the documentary.  He didn’t want to be in the film, but I finally managed to convince him to record his voice and to appear very briefly in a sequence.

I have done radio documentaries for France-Culture and BBC Radio4 and this is my first try at doing a documentary film on a garden. It is not an easy thing as a garden is very quiet, doesn’t move much. It is all about contemplation and slow movement. I wanted the film to be also a portrait of an artist.

My friends Bernadette Dupont in Belgium and Laure in Paris, who are both producing movies, gave me useful advices during the editing and several friends photographers or working in the design field sent me also their views on the first versions I made. Thanks to everyone!

I know I will keep going on with the Bosco as Sheppard already asked me to shoot a second film, something very different,  next autumn and winter. I am also looking forward to shoot films on other gardens.

 

 

I spent three days shooting a film on the Bosco della Ragnaia in Tuscany. I shared my time between the Campo (the field) and the Bosco (the wood) and interviewing Sheppard Craige, the American artist who is building this amazing place. Fortunately, the bad weather lasted only one day and overall, I was lucky to get some beautiful images and record peaceful sounds.

 

A camera set for a time lapse sequence. The placard reads : ” Thanks not to touch me, I am taking pictures. Grazie! ”

 

Sheppard Craige (L) and I getting ready for an interview

 

Carrying the equipment around the nine-hectare garden

I am busy preparing the shooting of my first documentary on a garden. Sheppard Craige, the artist-gardener making the Bosco della Ragnaia, commissioned me to make a film on his garden. The Bosco della Ragnaia, is one of the most fascinating contemporary garden in Italy, with Craige designing it far away from clichés and as a piece of art and above all far away from all ‘deco’ trends.

I have done several radio (sound) documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and the French cultural channel France-Culture, and I am often shooting videos on news subjects for the Agence-France-Presse (AFP) but this will be the first time I will work on both sound and image for a documentary on a garden…I have started recording sounds and interviews a while ago with Sheppard Craige and the shooting is planned for May.

A garden photographed in winter with a dull light, a grey sky, when night was almost there. The images don’t show the garden as its best in terms of loveliness, but tell about the mood of the place, a garden where the visitor can explore his inner thoughts…

 

The heritage group “Associazione Porcinai” held its annual meeting on Saturday in Pietro Porcinai’s studio near Florence. I was invited to show a few pictures and talk about my work.

I met many great historians and architects I didn’t know, the team I worked with on the project of the garden of “La Cupa”, all or them very nice people. The weather was very dull, but in the middle of the afternoon, the sun broke through the clouds. I took advantage of this short time of strong light to catch reflections of trees and the Florence’s landscape on the windows while everyone was listening to the speakers…

I will keep on taking pictures of other Pietro Porcinai’s gardens in team with the “Associazione Porcinai”, which is doing a great work.