War & Peace

Dominic de Vere was  commissioned by Dover Arts Development (DAD) to make a project film for their War & Peace programme. Over the 18 months of the programme, Dominic followed the different strands of the project, which he has woven into a new piece of work on the theme of War & Peace.

“This film was made across a variety of media (Super 8, 16mm, HDV, Stills and Google Maps) and using a digital editing system enabled me to bring all these formats together into (hopefully) a cohesive whole. When we see the dusty flicker of a film frame or the crystal clarity of a digital image, we’re immediately aware of a sense of time and place, that the development of the multitude of imaging technologies shapes a large part of our collective connection to the past. I was interested in having various media formats sitting alongside to suggest certain ideas about notions of War and Peace. In the film’s opening sequence, we fly over the sea and into Dover through a highly stylised animation, a voice reads a text from the 1800’s about a journey through Kent on horseback. Somehow the two elements come together and suggest something else altogether, a digital poetry where the past, present and future simultaneously sit together.

For the most part, ever changing practical issues defined much of the creative process. When ‘documenting’ the various aspects of the project, the particularities of each strand came to define an approach to both capture and editing. When events and activities were time pressured, with little or no chance for repeat performances (eg. War & Peace concert finale), I tended to using digital technology. With events where there was both time and repetition (filming photographer Matthias Koch), I tended to sketch first with digital before moving over to 16mm or 8mm film, with sound recorded separately subsequent to the events. With the programme unfolding over 18 months, I used the time in between the main periods of filming to record various scenes in and around Dover (eg. time-lapse of Dover Port), with the intention that this footage might bridge the gap between the core components of War & Peace, and bring a rhythmic quality to the work through the edit.” (Dominic de Vere)