It was fairly obvious to me from the script and from the content of Rowena's paintings what exactly colourkeeper was about . We grew up on a council estate in the Midlands of England, as I remember it wasn't a terrible place , lots of honest working class people trying to get by in the face of Thatchers onslaught against ordinary people. Our dad was a builder , an alcoholic, terrifying when drunk and absent when not, we existed within an emotional climate familiar to all children of alcoholics , it swung between fear and trepidation , to outright terror and sometimes guilt . In our own ways our work came to deal with that. Working on colourkeeper brought a lot of that to the surface for me and became reflected in what went into the film and made me face a few demons that had resurfaced in my own relationships with other people and my partner of the time ( my digital and painting work afterwards went on to deal with that more explicitly) .
So the version that was shown at Birr theatre and gallery became the priority to finish , I think it was shown around june 2007 , was a bit of a rush job, as I was still faced with a computer which was having a nervous breakdown every half hour or so , I later realized it was the program I was using to edit the film with , I had tried to get hold of a copy of Sony vegas ( used in later versions and work) but had to settle for a cheap consumer grade editing suite which just couldn't cope with what I wanted to do. I was also still holding down a full time job , cycling seven miles into Tullamore and back down dodgy and dark country roads and trying to keep a relationship going with my girlfriend of the time who lived a 40 minute bus drive away , oh yes and looking after my daughter at weekends and during the week after school, and also photographing the new work Rowena was making for her exhibition 'Pandora went shopping' so I think to get anything finished at all was a minor miracle. But I got the second version together and it was shown at film shots short festival and it looked like this.
Looking back through my files I think this is the original version but converted for upload to Myspace ( remember Myspace!) , the quality isn't great but I don't want to dig out all of the original DVDs as they are stored in the loft!) .
After seeing this projected on the big screen at Birr theater I realized I had to work a lot harder at both the length of the film , (it was meant to be half an hour long! ) and the quality , this occupied me on and off until 2009 , but my relationship with my sister had broken down irretrievably by that point as she became uncomfortable with the work I was producing on my own behalf , dealing as it did with issues that working on the film had reopened for me , and also what she saw as me plagiarizing her work, knowing her working methods I found that quite ironic, if not hypocritical ( I'd placed a cut out of one of her characters I'd made out of cardboard and repainted to place within a stage set for the film within one of my digital pieces , but I'll deal with that in another post) . Moral of the story ? Be careful when working with family on art projects as it can lead to great hardship and heartbreak .
What I consider to be the ultimate version of this piece as originally conceived is reproduced below , I made this between 2009 and 2011 with better technology and programs and a greater understanding of what I was doing I also had to create a new soundtrack for it as I'd received a take down notice from Myspace due to using music by groups I thought fitted with the theme , even though I considered it to be under fair usage terms as it wasn't for commercial gain or profit .Hilariously after having gone to the trouble of making my own music to go with the video ( I have all the original files etc to prove its my own composition and music) once uploaded to youtube I started to get hassled by one of the content bots which claimed the composition was in fact by someone else , damn trigger happy algorithims )
( to place this on blogger I had to reduce the quality somewhat but Ive uploaded a higher quality version to youtube so if you follow this link https://youtu.be/OuS7UjyvrKU you can watch it there).