Last Sunday I did a shoot for Clapham Film Unit. I have worked on several of their documentaries now, shooting production stills which are used both as publicity shots and as a record of the work done. (This is essential for projects such as this which are partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.) Its interesting work, though great care has to be taken to keep a very safe distance from the sound-man's microphone while they're actually recording. If I need to be close in then often the shots are grabbed just before the director Charlotte Bill says, 'Action!' (yes, they do really do that) or just after she says, '... and cut!'
This project is called These Dangerous Women, which is how Winston Churchill referred to them. It is about the efforts of a group of women peace activists to attend an international congress in The Hague in April 1915. Their aim was to bring World War I to an end. These pioneering women, who didn't yet have the vote, travelled to Tilbury docks in Essex, where they had been promised a boat to Holland. Despite having permits to travel they were thwarted by the closure of the shipping lanes and an 8-day wait at the docks ended in disappointment.
The documentary will be finished to coincide with an exhibition opening in Edinburgh next March to mark the centenary the events of April 1915.
Part of the process of making the documentary has been to get contemporary women to research the fascinating lives of those pioneering peace activists. In Edwardian costume these volunteers travelled from around the country to London, then on to Tilbury, and you can see my photos of the days events here.
Anna Watson: photographer, parent, juggler