Elliot Kotek truly is the man behind this little film, while based on Scott McDermott's incredible idea and images, Elliot was the driving force behind the project as in film form, and has remained so for over two years, even when I thought any chance of it getting out there was lost, he was the brave one who said "To hell with the rules - Let's send it."
The idea for the film came after I'd seen Scott's exhibition and it reminded me of an idea for a documentary I once had to only filming hands and tell the story of the persons life while watching the hands - so say - a midwife's hands - "these hands have brought a thousand babies into the world" - that kind of thing. I mentioned this to Elliot and he suggested asking Scott about it, I had grand ideas of getting the stellar cast back together for a live shoot... eh! Yeah right! Elliot suggested just using the photos to create a montage.
If I remember correctly I suggested Elliot writing a piece for it, as he is a poet, and he and a female narrate over the images. So he went off an did that, sent me a beautiful poem with two recordings of himself and Celia Amandaz-Fox and I cut the film together against a stunning track form Dermot O'Mahony, who has scored my last 4 films and is a genius!
Elliot's poem talked about the people on the screen. So my challenge was to connect them to Mandela, to find a through line that would also tell Mandela's own story. I always had the idea of moving the photos around the screen, pulling in and out, cropping them, creating abstract shapes, to give movement. Then I landed on the idea of using titles on the screen, which was graphically interest but allowed me to solve my problem, to find the connection, and so I picked certain words in the poem that also touched on aspects of Mandela's life, hinting at a history before seeing the man.
Image Copyright Scott McDermott © 2012