Mobile media project exploring rural places & identities through the eyes of young people & their wider communities.
Context: rural Devon before web 2.0, tape based video shoots, DIY mayhem, fairs, fetes and country shows.
We started out in 2004 without wifi, mobile phone technology or social media. We explored village hangouts, boundaries and hidden dens – mapping our ideas on big pieces of newsprint in village halls and youth centres. The young people led on the creative content, filming and editing the work with help from us and team of associate film makers. We made PAL videos on mini dv tapes with garage band soundtracks. We edited slowly on an i-book G4 with a projector. Each film too around 4-6 days to complete from meeting the young people to delivering the DVD.
These are crazy visions of rural life dreamed up together from the young people’s experiences, frustrations and love of their home places. They roped in any adult willing to help them achieve the finished short. Each village project had it’s own distinct feel, from the grannies illegally trading Cheese in Dunsford, to the search for The Perfect Hole in Moretonhampstead, The Mystery of the Moor Mower in Widecombe, to the dystopian world of Milk Boy in Chudleigh. DIY props and a passion for the absurd made these worlds come alive in ways that we never anticipated.
To share this work with the wider community we transformed a 1980’s touring caravan into a mobile cinema space. For three short years between 2004-06 the VANLAND caravan became an iconic visitor to the fields and parks of South Devon throughout the summer season. We bumped and scraped round country lanes and into fields that no tourist would dare to attempt – often helped by a man with a tractor.
In 2005 we were approached by Teignbridge Rural Regeneration Partnership to run an exchange project with a young people’s media organisation in County Kildare, Eire. The success of Visionswitch earned us a European Observatory Best Practice Award. After the initial funding ended in 2006 VANLAND continued to work with a range of communities and organizations across Devon and Cornwall on projects exploring art film, documentary & video consultancy, issue based fiction and animation.
Watch a 20 minute documentary through the link to the right which captures our early VANLAND experience, and the views of the many people who contributed to its success.
Visit our VANLAND vimeo collection to view all the films made by the project.
Take a trip to Organic Arts at West Town Farm, Ide to see the van in its new life as a workspace for Woofers.
Photography Blind Ditch, Tim Dollimore & Rae Hoole
- Awards and nominations include:2012 The Woodland – shortlisted for a First Light award for Best Drama with a screening at Leicester Square, Odeon.
2008 Crossed Lines – wins Audience Award for Best Young Person’s Film at Two Short Nights Film Festival.
2007 Visionswitch – wins Brussels Observatory Best Practice project as partners on the transnational exchange.
2007 The Perfect Hole – wins Best Young Person’s Film from Appledore Visual Arts Festival.
2007 VANLAND project – shortlisted for the Devon and Cornwall Media Innovation Awards.
- 2004-06 VANLAND workshops held in: Buckfastleigh, Newton Abbot, Moretonhampstead, Christow, Chudleigh, Dawlish, Dunsford, Exminster, Kingsteignton, Chudleigh Knighton.
- 2004-06 VANLAND caravan screening tour visited: TR2 Community Arts Conference in Plymouth, Lamb Pie Day in Buckfastleigh, Litfest Port Eliot, Moretonhampstead Carnival, Rixey Park Tractor and Machinery Country Fair, Hennock Country Fair, Bovey Tracey Carnival, Party in the Park in Chudleigh, Kingsteignton Youth Club, CCANW in Haldon Forest, Chudleigh Knighton Summer Fayre, Exminster School Fete, Airfusion Newton Abbott, Maker Festival Plymouth, Manaton Show & Fair, Big Picnic in Haldon Forest, Dawlish Carnival, Christow Show, Lustleigh Show, 9 Days of Art at Organic Arts in Ide, Anti-static Festival – Taunton, Motion Plymouth Festival.
- 2005-06 VISIONSWITCH events: Ballitore 24th – 31st July 2005 Blind Ditch VANLAND workshops with young people in Ballitore, County Kildare, Eire to make Thin Air. Oct 27th 2005 Time Trip, Christow Village Hall, Dartmoor. County Kildare Caravan Screening Tour
8th-10th February half term exchange trip – Young people from Teignbridge visit Ballitore in County Kildare for film making workshops and general fun. 8-11 Feb 2006 Old Town Hall car park, Newbridge, Clane, Athy Dominican Hall, Outside the library, Ballitore. 17 Feb 2006 7pm Visionswitch Red Carpet Screening at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Dawlish.
- 2006 Framing the Forest: Film making workshops and events with women, older people and young people at the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, Haldon Forest Park
- 2007 Village Screen events: March-October film devising, production and editing workshops in rural Teignbridge. Mon Nov 26. Village Screen 1. with the support of Bovey Youth Action Café. 7pm Methodist Church Hall, Fore Street.Tues Nov 27 Village Screen 2: Presented in collaboration with WASProject The Lawn Bandstand 7pm start.Tues Nov 27 Village Screen 3: Presented with the support of Devon Youth Service. Kingsteignton Youth Centre. 6.30pm-8.30pm starting every 20 minutes. Weds Nov 28 Village Screen 4: presented by WASProject. 7pm start. Hensford Farm nr Dawlish. Sat Dec 1 Village Screen 5:An afternoon gig and film screening with live local bands. Presented with the support of Devon Youth Service. 1-4pm Chudleigh Youth Millenium Centre.
- 2008 Me, Myself and I : A Young People’s Guide to the Care System – DVD commission with looked after young people.
- April 2009 Relay! a music film collaboration with Plymouth Music Zone.
- October 2009 Dream It Large! A commission about teenage pregnancy from The House in St Austell.
- 2010 I Live Here Too! animation workshops for young people in Dawlish.
- 2012 The Woodland: film making workshops at Broadhempston Community Woodland.
- Cinema and event screenings of VANLAND films: 5 Sept. 2005 Teignmouth Film and Cine Club, 19 Sept. 2006 Manhatton Short Film Festival,
Exeter Phoenix, 19 Nov 2006 Vanland Wrap Party, Shaftesbury Theatre, Dawlish, 21 Nov 2006 Framing the Forest screening CCANW Haldon Forest Park, 6 Dec 2006 Two Short Nights, Exeter Crossed Lines, Funkenstein, The Bridesmaid and more showing at the Young Film-makers Screening, 15 Dec. 2006 Bovey Tracey The Potter’s Key and the Heritage Pottery Project Documentary showing as part of an evening exhibition hosted by Bovey Youth Action at 7pm, Bovey Tracey Town Hall, Bovey Tracey. 1 Dec. 2008 My House showing as part of View From Here young people’s screening. 7pm, Carlton Theatre, Teignmouth. 29-31 May. 2008 screening of Funkenstein, Appledore Visual Art’s Festival, North Devon.
- Presentations and sharings: 13 Oct 2004 All Aboard, Community Council of Devon, Social Inclusion Conference, Okehampton. 25 October 2004 Quality of Life conference, Leader+ Observatory Contact Point, Brussels. 9 Feb 2005 Getting into Film and TV symposium, Exeter Phoenix Media Centre. 21 April 2005 Presentation at the Viewing in Alternative Spaces Panel, Interfaces Between Theory and Practice Film Symposium organised by the University of Exeter. 22 September 2005 NALGAO Arts Workers Conference, The Quay, Exeter. 17 Feb 2006 Devon Arts Forum, Dartington College of Arts, Totnes.
WHAT WAS SAID
“It was the best media thing I’ve done in ages!”