February 26, 2012
I’ve made a new film. It’s about model engineering.
It happened thus.
On a bus driving past Alexandra Palace in late January I was pretty struck by the sight of women, men and children of all ages, shapes and sizes streaming up the hill. Confused as to the event that would unite such a diverse mix of people, a quick web search identified the London Model Engineering Exhibition. And so it was that we ended up there the next day, camera in hand, to explore.
It was, as Matt wrote, exactly the kind of show you’re picturing in your head. A hall filled with people showing off their finely tuned wares with an immense amount of (extremely modest) pride. From replica thames barges complete with embroidered sails and handmade winches, to submarines with automatic depth controls capable of firing missiles I was pretty gobsmacked by the level of passion and commitment in the room.
But it wasn’t just blind dedication. The event showed me how model engineering is a true community. A collection of people genuinely supporting each other to make and create. As one of the guys we interviewed said, “it really restores my faith in humanity.” That was wonderful.
And so, this film is a little insight into some of the people we met and the models they’ve made.
[It’s not a “proper” documentary, I hasten to add. It being a bustling public show there was a lot of variables we couldn’t have any influence over – such as the chap selling power tools! Also, just the one 16 GB memory card put paid to most of the other shots I wanted to capture of the event so the b-roll is a little limited.]