With little prior knowledge about Bristol’s former print industry, I was unsure of what to expect from the interview portion of this project. Having previously filmed interviews focusing predominantly on contemporary Bristol artists, I’ve come to have certain expectations of what would generally be discussed. Setting the Type is an exciting opportunity for me to venture out from this comfort zone and find out more about something that is a rich and fascinating part of Bristol’s heritage.
Coming from this uninformed perspective, it was interesting to learn about the history of the trade directly from the people that had first-hand experience of what it was really like. The highs and the lows of their daily lives offered a well-rounded understanding of something that I, like many in my generation, often take for granted.
Contextualisation aside though, we were particularly eager to emphasise the personal significance the print industry held for those who were part of it. It was clear that many who had worked in it felt as though they were part of a real community. Coupled with the industry’s eventual demise, this presented us with some compelling discussions about the wider implications of computerisation.
We were able to get about an hour with each interviewee, allowing us to gain a deeper insight into the journey each of them had been on through the course of their lives. This is always really nice when editing, as it gives you a lot of flexibility when forming the narrative arc. We’ve put together a short tease that gives you an idea of what we’ve covered and who we’re talking to:
One of the most interesting things that has come up during this whole process has been the parallels that we can draw between the strife of the traditional printer and the discord surrounding opportunity, employment and workers’ rights that we face today. Of all that I have learnt so far, this theme has resonated with me the most.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!