“”The fighting Valleys” explores the story of Kerry Hope European Middleweight Boxer, born and bred in Merthyr Tydfil a town with a rich boxing history this project communicates the story of the town and its boxing inhabitants through still and moving image.
Unlike previous projects with my final piece I would intertwine three mediums audio, moving image and stills. Firstly when using audio my plan was to interview as many people as possible, when working on projects in the past I had previously only interviewed one subject in this case I decided that to cover the story of Merthyr’s boxing history in a wider context I would interview as many people as possible leaving me with a large source of audio material to use when coming to the editing process. When planning my project I knew that I would limit the amount of stills I would create the reason being that I wanted to create a small number of editorial portraits showing Kerry as strong and powerful figure. By choosing to limit the amount of stills I would in turn cover the documenting of Kerry through moving image and archive footage providing the narrative through a short film, which would allow me to cover the depth I feel I missed in previous projects.
Having already worked with Ironman Athlete Craig Twigg I knew that I could create a body of work similar to it. Although feeling confident in my experience from past work I decided that with as it was my final piece I would approach in a slightly different way. After my last project I realised soon after that I was not happy with the end product and I felt that with my next piece I would address the fact that I wanted to work with moving image. I wanted to test myself placing myself in a new situation; by using moving image I would be exposing myself to a new medium, new software and a new final outcome whilst in turn widening my knowledge base.
When approaching presenting my work I planned to display my short film on a mac screen with two headphones which would make the viewer interact with the piece encouraging them to actively choose to watch the video, alongside the video will be a life size print this to me was crucial for making an impact on the viewer allowing them the closest possible way of experiencing coming face to face with my subject. Aside from presenting in a gallery space it was crucial to present online, by placing my video online via Vimeo it would allow me to widen my audience and increase interest in the project.
Considering the outcome of my final piece the evolution is clear in the key themes, from a piece that would focus on a town the project has evolved into a piece focused on two key characters embed in Merthyr’s boxing community. By focusing on two characters the piece covers the boxing history of the town through two men at opposite ends of life encompassing. Through present day films and archive footage I was able to build a link between the stories of the characters and the viewer. Overall the project has changed in its outcome but the theme of documenting boxing in Merthyr has remained.