Blog : North Devon

Be a Badass

Be a Badass

I have seen some really inspiring films about women recently – and more often than not they are being a badass.

To me, badass doesn’t mean they are arrogant, ego-driven, or that they set out to hurt people. Badass means being authentic.

When you’re a badass, you feel confident, powerful, grounded and you stand up for yourself and others. You have a deep connection with your true self and you stand by your power.

Sometimes though, I find it hard to be badass. I often shy away from confrontation and the whispers of my gut. Even though I can’t always act out what I viscerally feel to be true, I do listen to it.

I need a chain of events to escalate the feeling, and often I let the chain break; I think it takes me quite a lot to feel confident.

For me, confidence is a fragile, elusive and vulnerable essence – the kind of confidence that isn’t fronted with aggression and ego. Instead, this is the ‘I’ve got your back’ kind of confidence that takes the presence of a wall, built up behind you to stop you from tumbling down if you get knocked.

My job really pushes me to be vulnerable and can often highlight to me a lack of confidence.

So why on earth do I make films?

Well, it doesn’t mean that, just because I can lack confidence, that I don’t believe that one day I will be ‘confident’. I put myself in difficult places to learn, to feel, and to respond. Some people may see that as a punishment – but I see it as a way of life.

I may change down the line, but right now I want to be better, stronger and more connected to myself, and my way of progressing is to put myself in an uncomfortable place, outside of my comfort zone.

It doesn’t matter how people connect, show authenticity or feel confident, whether it takes a piece of clothing, a religion, a mindful practice, or affirmations. I personally have an antique Japanese silk coat that gives me confidence!

As long as we acknowledge that there is a part of us, no matter how small, that does offer a spark of confidence, this is enough for now.

Go gently and nurture that knowing.

 

 

Boot Camp for the Soul

Boot Camp for the Soul

North Devon is perceived by many as a hard place to make a career and life you love. This is why a lot of young people move out – to go live in a city or a place that is better established for connections, creativity, events and jobs.

I love living in North Devon and I want to tell you why.

North Devon produces ‘Makers’, people who see potential and make stuff happen, whether it be events, musical gigs, community groups or creative projects.

A lot of people have the perception that North Devon is sleepy compared to South Devon or Cornwall. I combat this perception through searching, asking and creating.

  • If there isn’t a group for something that you love, Search for other people who also enjoy your passion.
  • Ask people what they want from a group.
  • Create the group.

Not every group flourishes, but you’ll never know till you try! North Devon has great spaces to hold groups, including village halls, art centres, theatres. Remember, people often have to travel a long way to be a part of something so, like most things, promoting your group/event and creating a buzz of excitement, is really important!

North Devon is stunning, raw, gritty and a blank canvas. Some people see the blank canvas as a negative, but a blank canvas is a source for potential, with endless possibilities.

North Devon hones people’s passion-  a Boot Camp for the soul. People who love to live in North Devon are people who have determination, drive, stamina and a passion that is shaped by the surrounding beauty, rugged charm and silent remoteness.

Many people live a happy, fulfilled, passion-driven life in North Devon, if you are not one of them, take off your shoes and go for a long walk on one of North Devon’s beaches. Put on walking boots and hike in one of it’s many woods. Or stretch on your wetsuit and go for a refreshing swim in a North Devon harbour. You may just realise that North Devon has the space to allow your mind to wander, wonder and to figure out what it is you want and need from life.

Feature Photo credit: Wend Baker “Wuzzy Point, Westward Ho! North Devon”

Title Credit: Pete Yeo

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Confessions of a Film Maker

Confessions of a Film Maker

I find it hard to remember that no one starts at the top.

Not many people, if any, try their hand at something for the first time and have an amazing business within the first month.  Like anything it takes a lot of learning.

It’s hard being at a level you are not happy with, but this also sparks the drive to progress.

People who seem to get great quick, often have years of experience that aren’t always connected to their new found talent. They have a background in being able to sell their ideas, they are able to market themselves well, they are good at branding, networking, or have a specific skill set that creates a good foundation for their new work.

Being the person going through every step, making every mistake and not getting things right every time can give you a perspective that you’re not very good. But if you want it, you don’t give up; you spend more time learning, listening, adapting and watching out for what you do want and where you want to be.

Smoke and Mirrors.  If someone looks like they have it all sussed out and they are great in every aspect of their business, it has more than likely taken years to achieve this and/or they are great at the magic illusion of smoke and mirrors. They make everything look great on the outside whilst they learning and make mistakes away from the public eye.

The word excruciating comes to mind when you put work out that you know could be better, a website that doesn’t live up to your vision, or a blog where you wish your grammar was better! You need to embrace this exact moment, sit with it, however uncomfortable and learn from it. It doesn’t prove you’re not worthy, you’re not talented or you’re not good enough.

Everyone has horror stories, where they mucked up, made a big mistake, but this is what makes you who you are, your business what it is.

Also remember how who see the consequences of a mistake is just a perception, you could see it as the end of your business or you could see it as a quality control gage. Ever mistake you make, your quality control gage becomes more attuned. You simply work towards not making that mistake again so that future work is smoother, easier and more enjoyable.

I confess I have made films that I am not happy with , I still have a business that I strive to be better, but I also do see how far I have come and how much more confident I am when taking on a job and how my work is progressing. I have a wealth of knowledge and an effective quality control gage, which arose from getting stuff wrong. The more you get wrong, make mistakes, the easier you find problem solving and the quicker you progress.

So when you next see a business and think, “I want to be as good as them or better”. Just know that they have been exactly where you are now, they made mistakes, rose to the challenge and progressed to create a flourishing strong business.

Embrace and cherish your mistakes, they are truly a very important part of progression.

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Maybe I am a collaboration kind of girl?

Maybe I am a collaboration kind of girl?

From the start of Shimnix I have been scouting out for a team. In my head a team meant many things, companionship, help, more minds, better ideas, bigger projects, faster learning.

Everything comes in time, so I didn’t go out looking hard for people to work with, I set in my mind that I wanted to work with like minded people and they then started to cross my path.

I noticed that great people crossed my path, but they weren’t always going to create a great collaboration. For example, they didn’t have the same interests or were on their own journey, traveling off in a different direction. I think following your gut in this instance is the best thing to do. If you don’t think you are going to complement each other then there is no point trying to work together.

Everyone knows that to many chefs spoil the broth, so you have to be able to work in harmony and not let ego get the better of you. Whilst talking about ego, yes I most definitely have one, as do most people! For me I can get rather bossy when I get my director head on. In a lot of respects this is important as the buck falls with the director but I have found that working with people who take direction well, but also bring me back down to earth with laughter is so important.

Last year when creating Sophie Sutton’s Music video for Futureless, I properly had to get my director head on. We had limited daylight, being in November, the temperature was cold, people were giving up their time to help and it had taken us months to pull the location, props, people together. It suddenly dawned on me that I had to take control of the situation, this strangely came as a shock and pushed me well out of my comfort zone. I did swear a bit but then stopped my swirling head and started to direct. Sam Dowden, who was a part of the collaboration, took great direction, but also added laughter and fun. This completely changed the mood and lifted everyone’s spirits. Sophie Sutton had also worked hard with us on the concept and was very much a part of the collaboration, this created a great atmosphere. Sophie, whose video we were making, was involved and therefore the pressure to act like I knew what I was doing wasn’t needed, I could be myself and muddle through without judgement. The mix of direction, laughter, hard work and nurture really created a great space and produced our first ever music video.

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Only great things can come from this.

I can be the director, however, I can be the assistant, I can be the runner, I can be the sound woman, I can be the editor. In every collaboration you may fit in, in a different way. Allow this to happen,  you learn so much from being different parts of the jigsaw puzzle.

I always try and get to know someone before I decide to work with them. Have a good chat, I soon know if we are on the same page.

I am always looking for new collaborations, they add so much energy and magic to my life and filming.

So maybe a collaboration will lead me to creating a Shimnix team, having said that I am enjoying finding new people to work with and my films, our films are progressing for it.

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No one said it would be easy.

No one said it would be easy.

When I decided to become self employed, no one ever said it would be easy. In fact, I had a lot of people warning me about the endless hours or work, the tax and account bore, the difficulty in taking time off to rest and holidays with no pay, the constant worry of where work would come from next…the list went on.

At the time I was 25 years and had never found any work situation that had made me excited and make me spring out of bed, (if that is even possible.)

I knew what I loved to do and that was to create, to make films. It made sense to me to make my work something that I loved to do, why do anything else?

For the first time, I felt the hunger. The hunger to learn every aspect of business to make this work, whatever ‘this’ was. I set out to make sure I had help where I had weaknesses. I went through The Princes Trust, The Bideford Bridge Trust and found lots of amazing courses with North Devon Plus, Princes Trust, Women do Business, School of Social Entrepreneurs and many more. I came out with a healthy grant, a 2 year mentor ship and better knowledge.

None of this felt difficult it came quite naturally to me to want to learn how to make a living from my love.

Something that has been very interesting and difficult at times was protecting my love. Once you step into Business territory you have many people telling you how to get sales, to market, to remove emotion, to hard sell, to get the biggest clients, to win, to trample your competitors. It becomes, you against the world, and the love is easily lost, is too easily forgotten. This is all good advice and often works in business, however, it doesn’t work for every business and I constantly ask myself why I am doing this, working endless hours, working hard to learn, to progress, to evolve and its for the love.

The love is the only thing that is IMPORTANT. If the love makes you money, great, if it simply makes you happy then that is more than enough.

No one said it would be easy and sometimes it’s not, but as long as you protect your love, then it is all easier than you may think or expect.

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Hickory Nines

Hickory Nines

Another beautiful evening, another marvelous sunset! I felt honored to film my second sunset in the same week. This time it was at Hickory Nines Cruel & Curious Art Exhibit. What a talent filled evening I shared with the other art lovers. My eyes boggled at all the amazing angles, light, shapes and beautiful curiosities to film. I had an excellent evening and will be editing a short film of the event soon. If you don’t know of Hickory Nines Art society then they are well worth looking up on the web and facebook. I look forward to editing the events footage and next years exhibit.

Tapeley Sessions

Tapeley Sessions

What a beautiful evening filled with fire, music, dance and joy. It was a wonderful experience to film such an event and I am looking forward to this promo. Its great to be involved in such a project. Tapeley Sessions are organised by local etoro music enthusiasts that want to link North Devon to other locations within the UK though the love of music. If you are in the local area (Instow, North Devon) on the last Wednesday of the month then Tapeley Sessions are well worth checking out!

Watch this space for fire dancers and vibrant music.10668800_1559505677603195_480068657916734553_o

Gypfunk Live at Tapeley

Gypfunk Live at Tapeley

 

 

 

This was such a fun gig to film and was awesome to collaborate with Quercus Studios, who did an awesome job on the sound. I also want to say thanks to Alan Vanstone who helped me on capturing the gig. who Hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Shimnix Productions Promotional

Shimnix Productions Promotional

Wend Baker and I took a day to film this quirky promotional. We were accompanied by my dog lily who especially liked running around in the woods, whilst me and Wend got on with the filming. I had brought 100 sparklers and I think we got through half. We had sunshine, wind, hale, rain and the temperature was quite cold, so we did well to keep on schedule throughout the day. The hardest moment was when we were huddled, trying to light a sparkler on Instow Beach,  whilst we had 30mph winds relentlessly pounding us. It was a successful day and the sunshine did shine enough to get some good shots.

I hope you enjoy this little film, please do share

 

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Like a Kid in a Toyshop

Like a Kid in a Toyshop

When I am asked to produce something that I have never done before it is like being a kid with a new toy.

The toy is the idea. When you have the toy in front of you have a vehicle for play. Then come the Instructions, usually followed with leaving them in the box whilst you try to work it out yourself. This being usually longer but you have no concept of doing it any other way.

Until you sit down, scratch your head and look at the instructions. Then you think you know exactly how to assemble the toy.

When you go to play with the toy it does not always work, but this is great, the learning, playing, solving bit.

Every time you play with the toy you encounter different ways to play with it, until you realise that your imagination is actually the only limitation.

This is one of the things I love about filming, I get to play everyday.

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