Blog : Shimnix Productions

My Big Bulgarian Adventure

My Big Bulgarian Adventure

Last December I was asked by Emma from  to join an exciting team of  artists, film makers and photographers for a collaborative, creative trip to Bulgaria.  Ever since I have been hugely inspired and this blog is sharing some of the amazing journey’s we went on, the people we met and what we got up to.

We started our journey in Sofia, Bulgaria’s Capital City. Here we met Davios, an amazing street juggler. When filming Davios I knew that I was capturing a very special moment. His charismatic charm, vulnerability to perform in the freezing cold weather and generosity of spirit was truly magical to witness. I knew I wanted to feature him in my ‘Snomads Experience’ film which I produced for the sustainable chalet company .

 

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Sofia had the hustle and bustle of city life whilst also having a rugged charm. We visited an amazing ‘art hostel’, where Mel, Matt and Daryl fromworked for hours to create beautiful wall art.

Whilst the 7th Pencil team were hard at work, Jody, Emma and I traveled to join them at the ‘art hostel’  via a tram – but were escorted off the tram for accidentally failing to buy a ticket! After paying a fine – 20 Lev each – we stood awkwardly with the ticket inspectors until the next tram came along and we could carry on with our journey.

After a few days in Sofia; painting, filming, and photographing, Emma drove us two and a half hours to Bansko, where we stayed in the Old Town.

Arriving in the evening, we went straight out on a hunt for a Bulgarian feast. We were not disappointed when our neighbouring restaurant welcomed us in. After lots of hearty food, I stepped out into the cold night to the sound of drumming drifting to my ears and leading to an authentic little pub.

Three men were serenading around an empty table, so I shouted to the others to follow me. We spent the evening enjoying energetic Balkan music whilst drinking wine. There was soon lots of dancing, chatting, singing and laughing.

 

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In the days to follow we drove a little further out of Bansko to Snomads’ amazing Chalet. We visited the local market so that Maks and Ewen from Snomads could buy produce to cook on the open fire for our dinner. Whilst at the market I found myself shadowsocks in the middle of six big Bulgarian men. As they shouted across me, I stood still wondering if I should make a swift escape. Just before I decided to walk away, one of the men turned to me and asked in a deep, powerful Bulgarian voice”Are you from the Daily Express?!” I laughed and, shaking my head, said, “No!” They decided that I was harmless and proceeded to take me around the market and introduced me to many market sellers. I ended up with a bag of clementines, a pear and many faces peering into my camera lens.

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We visited Bezbog via a ski lift up into the beautiful mountains. I had never been on a ski lift, so was a tad scared! On the way down I was accompanied by Stefan, one of the Ski lift operators. He proceeded to tell me how much he loves his job!

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Bezbog, which is the name of a hotel at the top of ski lift, has a lake and walk further up into the mountains, when we got to the top we were greeted with stunning views.

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We set out to drive the four hours to a Buzludzha Communist headquarters on our last day. I shared the journey with Emma, Jody, Martin and , little did we know that the experience would be quite so dramatic. Those four hours turned into eight when we drove in the wrong direction for two, our car got a puncture and then we broke down. It was bad luck, but we landed on our feet since we had broken down right outside a mechanic’s workshop!  Whilst there, we hung out with 14 cats and a dog called Jack.

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We finally drove up Mount Buzludzha to the headquarters as night drew in and the temperature plummeted. The mist was thick as we walked up to the ominous structure.

We climbed into the building with the help from two Danish lads and stood in the darkness, exploring via flash light. All we could make out were beautiful crumbling mosaic walls, tarnished marble floors and the odd mark of a graffiti artist. The building was eerie and otherworldly.

With help from Jody – of   – we managed to get some amazing photos inside this historic building.

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Bulgaria was truly an amazing place, and the people I travelled with definitely enhanced my experience. Working alongside artists, film makers and photographers was really inspiring and throughly refreshing.

Authentic is the word that I would use to describe the Bulgarian people I met. They smiled, were welcoming with a warm heart, and acted out of generosity and kindness.

I returned home with my mind full of inspiration, my heart full of warmth and Bulgarian spirit, my bag full of locally produced honey and a hard drive full of colourful memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I dream of the time I will visit again.

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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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The Why, The How, The What

The Why, The How, The What

I recently watched a great ted talk from Simon Sinek, “How great leaders inspire action.”

He states that when engaging people, it is so much more important that we look and discuss the Why, then the How and lastly the What.

Why we do what we do, How we do it and then lastly What we do.

I am interested in how this relates to film and how I am developing my films to explore my own way of engaging with audience’s.

I strive to make films of people who have passion. This is simply because passionate people engage me. The spark in their eye, their love for life and drive to work hard at what they cherish, is captivating.

Passion is an authentic ‘Why’.

My favourite films to watch, and films that are generally really well received, including promotional films, are creating or portraying this authentic Why.

“Find Your Love” promotional film, doesn’t even seem like a promotional film. It is way more than just promoting a yoga retreat; it promotes a passion for life, a way of life and also talks about not regretting life.

Films are using this passion to invite people to be inspired by the notion of a more fulfilling life. This becomes way more than just a promotional for a yoga retreat, it is a mantra!

Life has become pretty disconnected and these films are tapping into this lack of connection to engage.

I recently saw a viral promotional film for an up market spa.  It featured elderly ladies talking to camera about what they would have done differently in their lives.  This included emotive things such as, worrying less, kissing for longer, staying up later with a loved one and eventually led to the fact they wished they should have relaxed more. The promotion ends with the solution, The Spa.

Why- To help people relax and enjoy their lives. To not regret their lives.

How – By giving them a place to relax.

What – An upmarket spa.

The emotion and the message is relatable to a wide range of women and men watching the film. It is inspiring whilst also offering up a life lesson. People feel engaged when they can relate.

I think people who really love what they do in life, often emphasise the Why within conversation.   The Why is the most important part for them, the How and the What could be manifested in a 100 different ways, but the Why foundation stays the same.

We have all been asked in a social situation, “so what do you do?”. This question conditions us to answer with What we do. This so easily stops the conversation, what if we answered with Why?

So try this out in your next conversation and see how you feel about it and what comes from it.

Also check out the Ted talk and see what you think.

Feature Photo Credit: Ruth Farrar from Shextreme https://www.shextreme.tv

Jess Pearson, Shimnix Films and Jody Hartley, Jody Hartley Photography, Bulgaria December 2015

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What makes Shimnix Sessions Special?

What makes Shimnix Sessions Special?

Time line – Every Shimnix Session has time, care and energy put into producing them.

Creator – Sessions are important to me because I get to film people who are as hungry for their passion as I am about mine. This for me is where the essence of each Session comes from. These films are a life force for me, to make a living from filming stuff that inspires me. I hope my passion and thirst for knowledge is evident in the process and creation of these little one off unique films.

Journey – From the first contact to the end film product, me and my team go on a journey with the artist/s, learning, listening and exploring.

Crafted – Each film is bespokely made for the individual; atmosphere, location and inspiration all come into the mix.

Roar – If you have a talent to share then you need to shout it out in the hubbub of the worlds ever changing market/system. Film is a great voice that people listen too.

Play- Sessions are fun and laughter is often a big part of making a session.

Network- Becoming a part of something bigger. Every Session becomes a part of a hub that constantly is growing and evolving.

North Devon has something to say so listen up folks.

For Shimnix Sessions visit – www.shimnixproductions.co.uk/sessions

If you would like a Session made please do get in contact via shimnixproductions@gmail.com

Not a musician but love to make, create or tell stories and want a film to show off your work, talent, skill?

Hold on…

Shimnix are hard at work on a new project being launched very soon that will be just up your street.

download film The Lego Batman Movie 2017

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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Organic Mural Time Lapse

Organic Mural Time Lapse

Collaboration with Mel Saggs 7th Pencil (artist) and Luke Brown (musician).
It was wonderful to see the mural grow. I always feel privileged when someone asks me to capture their work, their passion. The music that accompanies the time lapse adds a beautiful atmosphere and is perfect to set the scene as the light fades during an actual storm outside. This is the first time lapse I have ever created, I learnt a lot from the 8ish hours of capturing this progression of work. I really hope it is just the beginning of working along side these two very talented creators.

 

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