It’s been sometime since I have written about my Stella and Tiny project.
Since coming back from Scotland on my initial research trip it had taken a back seat as I internalised all of the options available with the project. It then slipped into the background of my thoughts as newer and more urgent projects came through. Recently I have felt Stella and Tiny pushing their way back to the front of my thoughts and this morning at around 4:30 I found myself wide awake thinking about the projects direction. By 5:30 I was writing notes and going through images I have collected, By 7am I was ready for a sleep.
I now have a solid working Hypothesis, up until now there was always the voice asking “Do you really have a film here?” I have more than just a film, I have a visual and historical group of travel films and one film which is a semi anthropological record of Scottish town through an entire year. I also have the story of the authors of these films, A couple who traveled the world in the 50’s/60’s and 70’s and who created some beautiful super 8 films to show their friends back home. From meeting the people of Muirhead and Birkhill I understand that Stella and Tiny didn’t create these travel documents to Lord it over their less fortunate neighbors; It was in fact a suggestion by Stellas friend Margaret Swannie to take their cameras on holiday with them and the whole village could experience their travels. I like to think that they were engaging in Kino-pravda, “Film Truth” cinema of real life captured by the camera.
I will leave you with a cutting from Stella’s scrap book. The paper is the ‘Courier and Advertiser’ dated January 16th 1970, the story is a nice little insight to their world. For me the significant information is towards the end of the piece, where it states that “The Youngs, enthusiastic photographers, have made 10 films now, and they are becoming well known for them. Each film has a sound track”. 10 films and the paper is dated january 1970, I wonder how many I am missing?