Revisiting the Princess

After a good long while of not really thinking about the Princess and the Hawaiian project, I was contacted by a woman called Marion Bance who is writing an article about Ka’iulani for a local magazine, which will be published in the Autumn. This prompted me to have a another look at the film and do a review.

I spent an enjoyable weekend tweaking the edit and doing a little chopping and reordering. I have created a shorter version – its simpler and a little sweeter I think.

I hope you like it.

Brighton festival is drawing to a close, I don’t feel I’ve really made the most of it this year. I did see a great show about Ivor Cutler at the Theatre Royal as well as the Sagas of Noggin the Nog. I did some “pirate” dancing” in the street with my son and I’ve been to some open houses. There has been lots I would have liked to go to but I’ve been busy this month and to be honest, quite skint.

Anyway, my little films will be at Hove museum til the end of the month.
Downstairs they showing some of Rowland Emmet’s crazy machines. He did some of the contraptions for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

And there is a nice tea shop there too…a fine day out.

Website and mini expo and workshop!

Well, I’ve finally finished (well, very nearly) the website.

The films are installed at Hove museum and on Saturday we have the final hula workshop. The idea is that we will be dancing on the lawn but the wind is howling round the house at the moment and its more like November than May.

It will be good to have a conclusion to the project. I think maybe I have done Hawai’i now… The question is, what next?

Hula workshop

May the 9th we will be doing a hula workshop at Hove museum from 2 til 4pm. Jennifer will teach part of a hula in honour of Princess Ka’iulani and we hope to do some lei making. Weather permitting we will be dancing the lawn. You can book at the museum on 01273 290200. Suitable for ages 8 and up. It’s free and should be fun. Hope to see you there.

Screen shot 2015-04-22 at 17.18.55

This is an image of Jennifer dancing on the bandstand at Hove museum, this time last year. Pic by Matt Stephens.This has the right dates on it, the 7th to the 31st of May. Not from the 6th as I put on the postcards, doh!

I forgot the museum isn’t open on Wednesdays…..

Screening on Latest TV

Ooph. Finally made it to the Easter holiday after a very busy term teaching
on the Creative Media Production course at City College.

Last week I was interviewed about the project by Jessica Kellgren-Hayes
at Latest TV and they will be showing the interview 
as well as the two short films on the Filmfest show on Sunday 5th April at 9pm. 

Apparently you can watch Latest TV on Freeview and BT channel 8 or Virgin 159 
in the Brighton area (including Hove and Worthing).
The channel can also be livestreamed via their website
There is a Facebook page:

Twitter hashtag is #FilmFestOnTV (In case you do that sort of thing!)


Screen shot 2014-11-01 at 08.41.15

Our main film will be screened at the Dukes at Komedia on the 7th December at 12.30. I hope to see friends of the project there.

It will be good, if rather scary, to see it on a big screen.

We are still planning on having the mini exhibition at Hove museum. I think that will now be in May and we hope to screen the main film and also the supporting mini documentary then.


Pausing in interesting places.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. It has been a busy summer and now we are into a busy new term. We went to Yorkshire again in August, 2 years since we were last there when I wrote about the project just getting going. Now we are really nearly finished. I keep saying that and shifting the deadline and even the ever patient Jim Lee has had enough of it now.

It has been good to take a break over the last few weeks. As Zadie Smith says, once you have done a piece of work you need to “— put it in a drawer. For as long as you can manage. A year or more is ideal — but even three months will do. So, reviewing recently with slightly fresher eyes I feel there are some really great bits about the project and some bits I will probably never be happy with. The film will leave some unanswered questions and that may be a good thing. I think the next task is to get the website up and running, and try and answer some of those questions there.

I went to a very inspiring event recently called Reframed at Lighthouse in Brighton – filmmakers were talking about ideas that expand from your film and different ways to reach you audience. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard talked about their recent “biopic” of Nick Cave. (Another Hove resident, rather a different character to our princess). Drama and reality combine in the film and create something that tells us a lot about Mr Cave. I loved the film and loved their unconventional approach.

They also talked about a project that they are evolving in tandem with the film – an online “Museum of Important Shit”. This idea came from a quote Nick Cave makes in the film about seemingly mundane objects that take on a significance and remind us of transformative moments that make us who we are. Screen shot 2014-10-12 at 09.52.10

So, really, nearly there with the film, but time to think about the next phase….

Cuts cuts cuts


Well both films are done. The short dance film is about 3 minutes and with the help of my friend Magali Charrier looks quite good.

The main film is a weighty 20 mins which we feel is too long. It looks good I think, and Jim Lee has done some lovely music. However, I think there are too many words. (Sorry Mark!)

We don’t want it to be dull and so we now have the tricky task of cutting back.

There are lots of bits of visual research that I would like to include but its not going to be possible.

We did a sequence of images of Phebe giving the print “The Soul’s Awakening” to the princess but I’m not sure we will be able to squeeze it into the final film.


We also did some portraits of all the cast and crew as Victorians for the credits but I’m worried that that will make the film even longer. Maybe they could go on the website when we eventually get that finished.

Andy rather suits his role. I’m not sure why I’m grinning like a fool. Not very Victorian.

Jane Couldrey Jim Lee Andrew Hoggarth

Changes afoot

Well, the plan has always been to have the films exhibited at Hove museum in August. however due to restrictions in the space I have been feeling that this isn’t really going to work for the moment.

So, changes are afoot. I hope we will still be able to show the films in Hove but in won’t be in August. August was never ideal in fact as a lot of people are away, but this is a shame in some ways, particularly as Jennifer was due to come and do workshops.

I’m sorry about this but I hope to bring it all together in the autumn.

I’ll keep you updated!




Slowly but surely.

Well, we are kind of getting there. Jim has nearly finished the edit and I’m making some slow progress with the animation.

Here’s a picture of Elika our actress, combined with the princess’ face. It really freaked Elika out when I showed it to her. I think she felt she had had her body stolen. I’m not quite sure how it fits in the film really, but I’m keen to use it as I like it.

However, just because I like a bit of research it doesn’t mean it should end up in the final film. I had originally said the main film should be about 13 minutes and I think we will end up with more than that if we are not careful. I have also added a bit at the beginning where Robert Louis Stevenson (who knew the princess in Hawai’i) talks about her.

And I wanted the dance film to be about 3 mins; I reckon it will be at least 6. So, at some point soon we will have to sit down and be brutal with the cutting room scissors.

I’m probably spending too much time staring at the computer screen and so in the frustratingly long periods while my poor laptop struggles to render video files I am also getting some digging done in the garden.