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Pip

A film by Phoebe Nightingale and William Webb.

A pregnant woman reminisces on her childhood and wonders how she will bring up her own children without her late mother's guidance. Pip explores the space between motherhood and motherlessness, through the analogy of an orange tree.


The Story Behind the Film

I wrote Pip in Seville. I was obsessed with oranges, their sweet perfume permeating my hands, until a story flowed out of them, fully formed. It is a raw, fundamental story of loss.

It began as a writing prompt, given to me by writing tutor Jane Hankin as part of my Illustration degree at Kingston School of Art. She asked me to write about the inside of an orange. For weeks, this story bubbled away in my brain, slowly, and I let it develop.

At first, I only had one phrase; "We laid mama to rest under the orange tree." It was a play on words, swapping marmalade for mama laid, and it hinted at motherhood, death, and a family tree in a literal and metaphorical sense.

I read Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. I ate my way through clementines, Nardicots, Valencias. I made monoprints using orange peel. I wrote, redrafted, wrote, drew, printed, bound. I desperately tried to breathe life into this little story, this quiet moment in which a daughter buries her mother under an orange tree.

As much as I tried to make it work, to bind this story into a book so it could be unpeeled and savoured by the reader, it simply didn't work.

In a slump, I went back to Jane, and showed her the draft. It was messy, stained with coffee, orange juice, and probably my own tears by that point.

She took one look at it and asked, "Why are you trying to make it into a book? It doesn't fit. It's a film."

Of course it was a film. Of course it was.

Pip doesn't fit neatly into four corners, it doesn't sit snugly on a page. It is too raw, the pain too fundamental, the words too sensual, too overflowing with colour.

It deserved to live, to be felt, heard, seen. Not merely experienced in 2D, then closed and put back on the shelf. This story breathes.

I went to Seville on a uni trip, and finally felt the story come alive. I ate sweet oranges, watched them ripen in a hazy market square, heard the whisper of waxen leaves, rich and dark green. Phrases and descriptions littered my sketchbooks, thumbnail sketches of fruits, skies, colours. My skin became sunkissed, smattered with freckles, each one a record of time spent researching, recording, drawing, living.

When I got home, I wrote Pip as a screenplay in an hour.

I planned and storyboarded the film extensively. Every frame was considered, coloured, blocked, until I knew the film inside out.

I worked together with filmmaker Will Webb to realise the film in the final stages. We work instinctively, pulling the story together, understanding each other's vision wordlessly.

The wonderful actors, Teri and Isabella, are mother and daughter in real life. Their natural bond comes across beautifully on screen. Despite Teri being cold, tired and 3 months pregnant whilst filming, she brings such emotion and intensity to the film.

The setting was the most difficult part. It was filmed in one drizzly, cold, April afternoon in my back garden in Cookham. After extensive colour grading, lighting, and literally spending an hour tying oranges to a pear tree, several people have asked when I went to Italy to film. And that is the biggest compliment in the world!


2017

  • Kingston School of Art - Illustration Animation Film Festival

  • Barbican Centre - Young Visual Arts Group Exhibition

  • Shooting People Film of the Month - Second Place

  • Norden Farm Centre for the Arts - Installation

2018

  • London Short Film Festival - Official Selection

other events you may be interested in

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Wintertide

As the days grow short and the evenings long, dark are the days of Wintertide.

The Gallery is transformed with work by local children from our art competition.

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The Carnival of the Animals - Lantern Making Workshop

Get ready to join the parade!

Weave and decorate willow to create lanterns inspired by the animal world. Lanterns created at these family workshops will be illuminated at Norden Farm’s annual Lantern Parade on Saturday 8 December.

Workshops take place throughout November and December:

Norden Farm
Sun 18 and 25 Nov, Sun 2 Dec
10.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Maidenhead Town Centre
Sat 17 and 24 Nov, Sat 1 Dec
10am – 4pm (drop in)

Last chance workshop (drop in)
Maidenhead Town Centre
Sat 8 Dec
10.30am – 2pm


Suitable for all ages and all the family.

£4 per person. (Please note a space must be booked for every person attending the workshop – including supervising adults)


Lantern Parade

Sat 8 Dec | Outside Maidenhead Town Hall | Free event!

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Splat! Messy Play

Led by Clare Lynskey.

Giving children the opportunity to learn and explore through exciting and fun art activities – and we do all the clearing up!

Autumn
Mondays (from 24 Sept exc 8 Oct, 22 Oct, 3 Dec)
11.30am – 12.15pm
£6 | £4.50 siblings | £20 for block booking of 4 sessions

Suitable for ages 6+ months.


If you would like to book the offer price for 4 sessions, please enter a ticket for each date you would like to attend into your basket and the offer will apply automatically

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Artisan Fair

The 18th century Long Barn provides the perfect backdrop to pick up a unique Christmas gift.

Browse stalls from local sellers showcasing handmade wares. This year's stalls include jewellery, ceramics, glassware, decorations, candles, textile gifts and more!

WHY? The Café Bar is open all day, and will be serving mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas flavoured coffee

Long barn and Nordens 10am - 3pm Free entry

We are now fully booked for stalls at this season's Artisan Fair. If you are interested in having a stall at our Spring event please get in touch with charlie.dixon@nordenfarm.org

  •  17 Nov FREE
SOLD OUT
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Life Drawing

Led by Harriet Brittaine.

Explore the complexities of the human form by working from a professional life model. With a variety of short and long poses. Learn both traditional charcoal drawing methods and new experimental techniques.

Summer
Sat 19 May, 23 Jun and 25 Aug
2pm – 5pm
£25 per session

Autumn
Sat 3 and 24 Nov
2pm – 5pm
£25 per session

Suitable for 18+ years

  •  24 Nov SOLD OUT

have your say

about 4 hours ago Catch @kenchengcomedy's Christmas short for @DaveTVChannel tonight at 9pm - then catch him in our Studio on Thur 7… https://t.co/IgrGcr6Pfm

1 day ago Some beautiful lanterns shining tonight #lanternparade #nordenfarm #shinebright #maidenhead

1 day ago What an amazing turnout! A massive thank you to everyone who made tonight so special! Our 10th anniversary parade lit up the town! #maidenhead #nordenfarm #lanternparade

1 day ago What an amazing turnout! A massive thank you to everyone who made tonight so special! Our 10th anniversary parade… https://t.co/zrVma5AZ8i

1 day ago Maidenhead you turned out in force and made a ribbon of light #nordenfarm #maidenhead #lanterparade #lantern #beautiful #samesky #rbwm

1 day ago Lighting up the town! #maidenhead #nordenfarm #nordenfarmlanternparade @ Maidenhead — in Maidenhead, United King… https://t.co/jDVVevgCXx

1 day ago Lighting up the town! #maidenhead #nordenfarm #nordenfarmlanternparade @ Maidenhead

1 day ago Fancy a drive? #maidenhead #nordenfarm #lanternparade

1 day ago After the parade why not head over to the French coffee van for some delicious crepes #nordenfarm #maidenhead #crepes #foodiefan

1 day ago This little piggie cried wee wee wee all the way to @nordernfarm #nordenfarm #maidenhead #rbwm #lanternparade… https://t.co/4W8DxBpftd

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