For me, films are new, but in a sense inevitable. I’ve always take photographs, beginning with a Voigtländer given to me as a Christmas present; that was followed by a trustworthy Pentax ME which I still have, a Fujifilm digital, and more recently a Canon 5D Mk II. The photo here is the earliest surviving one, taken when I was about thirteen with the Voigtländer under the old bridge at Huntingdon Station looking north, of a LNER Class A4, No. 60017, with the name ‘Silver Fox’, pulling ‘The Elizabethan’, a non-stop express from Edinburgh to London, on the long straight south from Peterborough. Journeys to France, Italy and later Persia and the Middle East were all photographed, and although many of the older ones have disappeared there are several thousand 35mm slides and negatives stored in a cupboard. Most are of buildings and paintings, which are again a sign of the visual culture of photographs, and some were used in my early books.
Many years ago, I wanted to make videos but the equipment which would have satisfied me was beyond my reach. In the last few years, as everybody knows, digital technology for cameras together with inexpensive but sophisticated software has made filming more affordable. In an online world where images are vital, the original idea was to make short trailers for my books; but in the last few years, the films took over. The first three longer films, one of 60’ and two of 30’, are described here and will soon be available to view at least partially. Others are now in the pipeline, including two which should be completed in 2016. Since I happen to live in China now, that country and its culture obviously dominate this new enthusiasm, but at least they deal with relatively unknown aspects. I would also like to complete some unresolved ideas for stories in Italy, in particular about the city and surrounding area of L'Aquila before and after the 2009 earthquake.
I hope they will be enjoyed.