Fred is our resident film-maker. Alice is his daughter. Fred travels around the world making films for Oxfam. Alice asks lots of questions. Fred’s travelling to Lebanon at the moment. And Alice is watching the videos her dad makes for her while he’s away. Here, Fred tells us why he decided to make these films for Alice, and why it’s a new way of seeing the world for him, too.
“Why are clouds so fluffy?” is the kind of question my daughter Alice asks regularly. Apparently, it’s just a phase (she’ll be 5 in October) and it will pass. It’s a shame, I like her random questions and I enjoy even more googling an answer for those… and that somehow leads us to Andy’s Wild Adventures. It’s David Attenborough for kids, on the BBC. I told her that we should do our own version of Andy’s Wild Adventures a few weeks ago and she got really enthusiastic about that. When the weather became good enough, we decided to have a go. On the way to the location she fell asleep in the car and as I was filming her asleep (so I could show her the power of her snoring), I thought I should film more with her or for her.
Sending her slices of films from my trips is a way to satisfy her curiosity and basically stay in touch. I know that she finds them funny, she says ‘Hi’ back and is sometimes puzzled. Making those films is also a formidable excuse to talk to random people wherever I am. As a matter of fact, one of the guys I filmed has just sent me an e-mail ‘Hey, it’s nice that you’re making vids from Beirut for your daughter, here’s my number, get in touch if you need anything.”
I’ve also noticed that it makes me much more aware of my surroundings as I’m looking for something that may be of interest to her. Walking to or from the office, to or from the local shops, with a finger on the ‘record’ button is certainly a very enjoyable experience.
As my trip progresses, I’ll be meeting Syrian refugees. I don’t know yet how and if I’m going to tell her about that. I still don’t know why clouds are so fluffy either.