Q: Describe some of the challenges faced while making this film/program?
This film was shot in Liverpool in December of 2020. Given limitations due to the pandemic, this meant collaborating with a remote UK-based team who had to work within a narrow window between lockdowns—and to do so as carefully and responsibly as possible. Each scene was evaluated for safety as well as storytelling significance, and involved the planning and input of all concerned. The creative approach to the piece was thus built in stages, with the initial approach determined by Farm Urban and the US team then handed over to the UK production team who then worked with the subject on its realization, only to then pass it off again to a post-production team back in the States. Despite—or perhaps, because—of these many voices, the piece came together as a mutual expression, one enriched by each person that had a (sanitized) hand in its production.
Q: How do you approach storytelling?
Before making this film, the creative team at Wild Elements spoke with the subjects at Farm Urban about what was most important for them about their work. They mentioned specific programs and how they operate, the way they engage the community and the benefits they offer, as one might expect. But most of all, they described a point of view. One that spoke of social and environmental justice, the possibilities of human invention and collaboration, the centrality of caregiving and community. So we put this at the forefront of our efforts, and sought ways to evoke—or even more simply, to recognize—the depth of the team’s commitment to their work and those they work with and for. Any of that that comes through is a direct result of the leadership offered by the Farm Urban team themselves, the connections they forged with the UK production team, and the way that showed itself in the edit room.
Q: What impact do you hope this film/program will have?
We live in a time when we have to rethink the way we do things—both at the margins of our presence on the planet and in the heart of our sprawling cities. By looking at the innovative ways that Farm Urban couples emerging technologies with innovative social outreach and engagement, we hope the film will compel others to think outside the box of how things have been done to wonder about how they might be done instead. It is then ultimately aimed to inspire urban dwellers to see that our connection to nature starts at home—even if that home seems bound by concrete and high rises.