The Highest Tea Plantation in India

I wasn’t in last week. I was instead running Easter animation workshops for young people in Southgate. We had less young people than expected and so I did my own short animation.

When Jimmy came in today he showed me what he had competed last week. He had worked on the interior of a building at the tea plantation. The building included machinery for processing the tea.

Jimmy brought in a photo that Homeless International sent him of his India trip. It showed all the walkers outside the tea plantation.

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I started building a small scale model of the tea plantation. I created tea growing areas in the foreground. Behind them I placed tea processing buildings on a small hill.

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Jimmy started building a model of the house that they had stayed in one night. Whilst he was in India it was monsoon season. That year it hwas late. By the time they arrived the monsoons  should have finished.

One night they needed somewhere to shelter from the rain. They found a building where they could light fires and dry off their boots and sleep in the dry.

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We got to film the different scenes we made today. When we filmed the interior of the plantation building Jimmy remembered more of what it had been like. He remembered a sifting floor above the ground level. So he mocked this up and we filmed it. This shot is quite abstract. It breaks with the more straightforward documentary style what we have be using so far.

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I would like to recreate the classic PG Tips image of a woman picking tea. Jimmy said that is how the tea was being picked. PG Tips don’t use this image anymore. Nobody wants to see images of people from developing countries toiling on our behalf. Can you imagine  iPhone packaging, showing a Foxcon employee working in a factory.

Jimmy wasn’t his usual self when he came in today. After he’d  settled he told me that he had been coughing a lot lately.  When he’d gone to the doctor they had sent him for an X-ray and there was a shadow on one of his lungs.

It could just be an infection so he has antibiotics to take and then go back for another X-ray.

“I only started smoking to take the taste of the glue away…”

Making mountains

Today we moved on to visualising Jimmy reaching the top of a mountain and looking out at a magnificent view.

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As we worked out the mountain scene we realised that we could use two scales for this scene. For Jimmy reaching the top of the mountain we can film the scene backlit. So jimmy is in silhouette as he reaches the top.  For this we can use a small model  of a mountain vista.

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Then we can switch to jimmy’s POV (point of view).  Or an over the shoulder shot of the larger scale puppet. As Jimmy takes in the view – including clouds below and a rainbow.

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Filming in this way should cut down the amount of large mountain we have to build. We may be able to get away with just creating a layered cyclorama.

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Towards the end of today we moved on to looking at a scene set in a tea plantation which we will continue with next time.