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ITV 4 Made in Britain Series


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I’ve just had a very interesting phone-call with someone ITV4. They are interested in filming concertina making for the ‘Made in Britain’ series, and talked to Steve and Mary as well. I’m not sure why Steve and Mary were unable to help them but they very kindly recommended us. We thought about it for a long time, and found it a massively hard decision to make. On the one hand, it would be good to have a record of our making, but at the same time, especially in the time of Covid, it seems like an unnecessary risk to have 4 people visiting and being in close proximity for several days.

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I  have  had  the  TV  crews  at  my  house on  several  occasions  over the years  .  John,  I  don't  think  the  Dippers  or  the  Dickinsons  need  any  promotion  on TV,  though   it  would  perhaps  be  nice  to  give  the  Concertina   some  exposure  to  the 21st  century  public.

 

I met  a man  in a car park in Potiers  last  week, he was selling a  concertina,  as I  picked up the instrument  a passing  Frenchman  said  "   Wow, a  Concertina, I've not seen one of those for  years"... that  he  recognized  the instrument  instantly  surprised me... I  bet  that would not  have  happend  in  Lewisham!  ( note,  the  concertina is  a very  rare beast  in France, even in Trad music  circles).

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Given the rate of vaccine rollout, and the fairly slow pace of TV projects, I'd have thought there was a fair chance of at least your parents getting immunised before the film crew arrived. Did they say when they wanted to record?

 

I agree that it would be great to get the Dipper concertina fabrication techniques recorded.

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Many thanks for very kind words. One of the reasons I didn't think it would work is they were after a roughly 11 minute segment, which means we'd spend days trying to work out what would be interesting and televisual, all to be crammed in between one commercial break.

 

Also, if I'm honest, my experience of journalists is that they very quickly decide on a story (fairy tale) that they then skew everything towards and tell their own tale, despite the facts and more interesting (true) stories that you give them being better and real. I know that is their job to make things accessible, but, its so sad to watch programmes about (other) things I know about being misrepresented and the real story being missed, due to their ignorance and often totally misguided romantic clichéd sense of what 'folk' or whatever the subject is. Alarmingly, these programmes are then used as reference material, and you're thinking to yourself - how is it that this is allowed to happen!? I'll stop before I get fully into rant mode.

 

I guess I should doing some sort of The Office type filming, laying bare all the times we cast staplers/jigs in jelly etc. In all seriousness, if I had the time, I'd like to do some 4K filming and put it on Vimeo - but thats a fair way down the to do list - I have a few concertinas to make first...

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John I completely understand you view of journalists, I've had similar experience.  Your family business could easily fill a 12 week 45 minute per episode series, but sadly it's unlikely to happen.

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That would be great - maybe we could rival the Cardashians 🤣 Oh no, wait, we actually do something useful!

 

I can see a bigBrother format working - with your accent Theo - you could do the voice over!

 

"John has been wandering around the workshop for twenty minutes now, wondering where the woggle punch is."

 

"Rosalie has finished a set of bellows and is now in the diary room..."

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I think you'd be surprised how well a long-format in-depth video essay on the construction of a concertina would be received.

 

The shift in media over the last number of years has allowed for more niche topics, and they tend to be popular. Check out Primitive Technology on Youtube as an example. There is something meditative about watching a skilled craftsman work, without the need for any dialogue or interpretation.

 

An example similar to what I'm picturing, by Cormac Begley (with a Dipper cameo): 

 

 

I can say personally that any conversation I've had with your family has been informative and fascinating. The detail and care that goes into one of your concertinas would come through visual media extremely well, I think. 

 

Now get off the web and back to punching reed frames, slacker!

Edited by Pgidley
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If John Holman is still around; you should get him to come to your workshop and make a proper in depth archive video for prosperity; while all four of you are still working together.

(For those more recent to the Concertina World: John Holman was an extremely good concertina bellows maker, who worked at the Dipper workshop in the early days. He left to become a Wedding Video maker; which regretfully he found more profitable than bellows making. He was a great loss to the concertina making world.)

I am willing to stick my neck out and say I would be very happy to be part of a "Crowd Fund" to finance such a project.

I am not saying don't go ahead with the ITV4 project, but I do think that this is time to have a proper film made by the person who really knows the insides and outsides of concertinas.

 

Inventor.

 

 

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My son told me some time ago that John was no longer with us.

He also did tuning work - at the time the 'workshop' (together with Sue) was their kitchen table.

I'm sure John would also want to be remembered for his music- making and his work archiving early film in the SW thro' Trilith.

eg (2) Working the Woods - YouTube

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I am so sorry to hear that news of John Holman; he would have been the perfect person to have made the film.

Perhaps - John Dipper, you might consider filming the archive of the Dipper Workshops ? You will never come to the end of the list of concertinas on your order book. However consider this: If you were offered a concertina or fiddle teaching  weekend (or a week at Sidmouth say) would you take it?  (There probably won't be any of those this year!) I think you probably would, even if it lost you quite a number of concertina making workshop hours.

 

My offer of being part of a "crowd fund" to finance the film still stands.

 

Inventor. 

 

   

 

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On 1/19/2021 at 3:07 PM, Pgidley said:

 

As a possible newbie to concertina, I found this video very interesting, especially how it all goes together, which is something I had been wondering about, & see it's not so frightening to work on if necessary.

 

(I do my own reed gapping on chromatic harmonicas, & can see quite a bit of similarities.)

 

 

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