Mark Coreth – Wildlife Sculpture Workshop

A Multicamera Video Shoot for The Arts Society Nadder Valley

Nadder Valley Arts Society is a not for profit membership society that shares their curiosity for the arts and artistic heritage with the people in their local area. These arts include fine and decorative art, film, photography, sculpture and many more mediums.

As well as monthly lectures by experts, the Arts Society Nadder Valley has a Young Arts committee who develop links with and opportunities for young people in the community, including local schools. When the opportunity to work with internationally renowned artist and wildlife sculptor Mark Coreth arose, they began looking for a video company to help document the project.

Nadder Valley had been extremely fortunate to bring Mark onboard, the sculptor responsible for the Ice Bear sculpture seen around the world, as the brief was to capture the footage of an inspirational workshop that would inspire not only young minds from Wardour School, but other Schools in the local area and possibly further afield.

The Result

After contacting local video suppliers, Nadder Valley Arts Society enlisted Blue Frontier to film the sculpture-based workshop.

Blue Frontier created an engaging and instructional three part programme which exceeded our client’s expectations. Breaking the lecture into three parts also allowed for viewers to dip in and out of the programme according to their schedule. Shooting with 4k cameras and wireless lapel mics allowed us to take a step back while still capturing the essence of Mark's teachings.

Mark posing with one of his sculptures
Mark and the team laughing on production set

The opportunity to work with Mark Coreth on the creation of a film for primary schools was very exciting and ambitious; working with Blue Frontier enabled us to achieve our ambition. Leading the project for Young Arts @ The Arts Society Nadder Valley I knew what I wanted to create but did not have the knowledge of how. This is where working with Nick was really great, he listened to what we wanted to achieve and then, using his knowledge and skills, captured the images and commentary needed. As we worked through the project, Nick patiently amended footage and added in details to ensure that the final film not only met our expectations but exceeded them.

The Arts Society Nadder Valley - Deborah Cockrean

Action

The plan was to capture a day’s workshop on video, play a live feed to a class at Wardour School and have three lucky pupils experience Mark’s artistic approach first-hand. The first part of the workshop would teach Mark’s approach to the subject matter, part two would then show how Mark creates his own sculptures, and part three would show three pupils taking their first steps into sculpture themselves.

All three filmed lessons would stand up as a thorough theoretical and practical demonstration of how to sculpt, with the idea that anyone having watched would at least have an idea of how to attempt a sculpture and be inspired to give it a try themselves.

Challenges

With COVID-19 as a backdrop, Nadder Valley and Blue Frontier discussed the practical aspects of where and when to hold the recording, with safety and space being a primary concern.

Filming outside was impractical due to audio shortcomings and a hall was rejected as the space was too large. However, Mark's home studio was finally decided upon to minimise contact and ensure everyone could remain safe. The space was ventilated and added an informal touch, with the bonus of Mark still having an audience.

Once a production schedule and shot list was drawn up, the filming started. A fixed camera would cover Mark in wide shots and an operated second camera would follow him. A third camera would be utilised for both pupil interaction and close ups of sculptures. This plan was ambitious and challenging, since all cameras would need to be calibrated and colour matched in the editing process.

The three cameras and a separate audio feed would also need to be synced and the mountain of data labelled clearly. The recordings were well controlled and resulted in only minor disruptions to the workshop.

In postproduction, edits were passed over to Nadder Valley and adjusted until the client was happy that we had distilled the essential aspects of Mark’s teaching.

The main challenge came down to Mark’s enthusiasm for the subject and collecting so much material. After shooting the education, we filmed two additional pieces: an interview with Mark Coreth and an introduction to position the whole Programme. This helped us punctuate the learning so that we were able to change perspective for the edit.

This was an extremely exciting project to work on not only from a technical POV, but principally, here was a chance for us to highlight the beauty and splendor of Mark’s work. How many times in your life do you get to - not only see - but film a master at work? I went to Art College and never learned to sculpt! But having spent 4 hours with Mark I felt sufficiently equipped to at least try. My other passion in life is sustainability, and some of Mark’s messages, his life ethos and ideas made the project a joy to shoot. The possibilities for workshops such as this which deliver meaningful, thought-out and demonstrable, expert content are easily within our technical and artistic remit. Personally, I was proud to shoot and edit this.

Nicholas Layton, Video & Photography Specialist

  • Z-Cam E2 F6
  • Nikon z6
  • 4K Panasonic GX80
  • Sigma Glass
  • Adobe Premiere

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