A BA Adventure Filmmaking student from The University of Wales Trinity Saint David has recently showcased his work at Dinefwr Park’s new Green Hub space in Llandeilo.
Josh Knight had the opportunity to show his work in Dinefwr after producing a film as part of his university coursework for the ‘Changemakers’ module. Within the project, students had to identify a person, group, or organisation that they believed were making a positive change for the better.
As Josh started the preparation work for his film, he immediately thought of Dinefwr Park as a location as it’s home to some of the most beautiful scenery and buildings in Carmarthenshire. He chose to collaborate with the team at Dinefwr to discuss how they are using the iconic trees and nature within their grounds to raise awareness and stop the increase of climate change.
After visiting Dinefwr, Josh was instantly inspired to capture the amazing wildlife and nature within the grounds. He said:
“The subject I chose to focus on, was the famous Castle Oak tree, located just at the bottom of the hill leading up to the castle. This tree holds significant importance to the grounds of Dinefwr, it hosts a variety of plants and foliage as well as being a hotspot to find a range of wildlife. The tree is over eight hundred years old, which in itself is a fantastic story to tell.”
Josh began his filmmaking process by watching previous nature documentaries on similar subjects for inspiration. His main influence came from the BBC television series ‘The Green Planet’. He loved how the series captured the audience’s attention in the most inspirational of ways by looking at plants that people walk past every day.
After Josh knew how to approach his project, it was a fairly straightforward process.
“I went about creating a variety of Pre-production work including, AV scripts, recce reports, risk assessments and mood boards, to make sure this film was created efficiently and professionally.”
Despite the positive start to this project, he still faced many challenges along the way. The main hurdle being the weather.
“I only had a certain number of days in which I could film at the location, and unfortunately, on most of these days, it decided to pour it down with rain. This led to the risk of my equipment becoming damaged, the wildlife in the area hiding away and the shots looking overall, well, miserable. But rather than complaining for too long, I decided to use this to my advantage.
“I used the stormy weather to create a sense of atmosphere within my film and use it to point out how the change in climate can affect the wildlife in the area, but also the positive the rain brings to the surrounding environment as a whole. The rain ended up becoming a large part of my film, showing that the hurdles we may face as filmmaking may actually end up working in our favour.”
Creating this film has developed Josh’s skills in many ways as he’s learned how to work alongside high-end clients, handle deadlines and utilise his filmmaking skills in a new and unique outdoor environment.
This opportunity for Josh to display his work at Dinefwr has been invaluable. He adds:
“Having my work shown in the new Green Hub space located at the grounds of Dinefwr is a huge honour, it was an absolute pleasure working with the team here and producing this film for them.
“It’s a brilliant and humbling feeling knowing that members of the public are viewing my work and admiring the time and effort put into a project, especially one like this that is so important to both myself and the local community.”
Kathryn Campbell, National Trust Programming & Partnerships Officer, Carmarthenshire & Ceredigion said:
“We are delighted to be able to showcase Josh’s film in our newly refurbished ‘You Are Here / Rydych Chi Yma’ visitor building in the grounds of Dinefwr Estate. We worked with a cohort of BA Adventure Filmmaking students in 2022 on a project to highlight the importance of the trees of Dinefwr, some of which are designated as veteran and ancient, to the ecosystem of this important National Nature Reserve.
“Josh’s film was particularly appropriate, and we’re delighted to be able to include it as part of our visitor’s introduction and orientation of the Dinefwr estate. We really enjoyed working with the students and being able to offer an opportunity for them to work on a ‘live’ project that will hopefully provide experience to help them to navigate client relationships in their future working lives.”
Dr Brett Aggersberg, UWTSD’s Film and Digital Media Senior Lecturer said:
”Josh’s project is an example of how our courses provide real world experience and boost a student’s CV and portfolio before graduating. This project was an opportunity for students to consider themselves as Changemakers, specifically in working with an environmental cause. The project involved scientific research and interviews with experts, before turning the concept into a film that the National Trust could use in their new Green Hub space at Dinefwr Park in Llandeilo.”
Josh’s film can be seen here