My understanding of what was to happen on Monday, Oct 10, was that we would have a free morning to visit the ceder forests and a fabled lake about 20 miles away. A last minute thought took us by the coop and the women were gathered to do the filming early in the day and were wondering why we had not come on Sunday, though no one had called to say they were available. Oh well out comes the camera and tripod and some outside establishing shots. No one really wants to take direction, my AD keeps walking into the shot, a recently acquired baby on her hip the presidents daughter of 3 months, and lighting is problematic, The sun cooperates and gives me enough light and the women mill around in some logicall order to give a sense of just looking at the various goods that they have for sale. The colors are great and the women begin to feel comfortable with the camera rolling,
after an hour or so we have enough footage to tell the retail side of the story along wit an interview in three languages that should establish the history of the coop. Its time to move to the workshop area and see what is possible in the low light basement.
The work area is crowed with a dozen or so large looms and a half dozen women at work. One of whom is in complete jalaba and does not want her picture taken but wants to be part of the event;-c OK splain that one to me Lucy. The looms are almost 8 feet wide and nearly as tall and there is only a few feet between them but with a little creative camera positioning, a few lights; florescent practicles for you film guys; and a little sun light to add some color things seem to look pretty good. Digital video works pretty well in low light conditions and we;ll fix it in post as they say.
At the last moment the president decided that she should show us how a loom is loaded to begin the long process of weaving a rug. Two iron stakes were driven into holes in the marble floor about 10 feet apart and a tedious process of winding the raw thread around each post begins, one woman at each end and they tie a knot each time the thread passes the stake. These threads are the backbone of the carpet and the number created depends on the width of the carpet but about ten per inch of width is best I could count. This backbone is then stretched between the upper and lower rollers to allow for the knot tying for each not in the carpet. The mechanical part is interesting but it is the concentration on the faces of the weavers, the dexterity of their hand movements and the chatter among the women that is interesting to me. A couple more hours of shooting and it was time for the women to head home for lunch and my AD and I decided to head up into the forest to see the lake and have a little picnic.
When we returned we thought we would get a few pick up shots only to discover a whole new level of activity. Two gentlemen from a coop in Fez had come to teach some new skills. This of course explains why the change in schedule. from afternoon to morning. a fact that no one ever explained or commented on. En Shaw la, God works in mysterious ways I guess. At any rate we were able to work around the trainers and get the shots we needed. After I had put the camera away we were invited to join everyone for tea, a ceremony of sorts and too bad the camera was away as it would have made a fitting close of the day. Sweet tea and a local delicacy, Ill get the name, and lots of chatter and comments about the coop made for a good close of the day.
Back to recharging batteries, a review of my shot list and a little dinner and the day was complete. Its late October, the days are getting short and the nights are quite cool. We took a few minutes to hike up to the old French fort, watch the sun set and a full moon come up and account for a good two days of shooting. I realize I need a better establishing shot at the Artizana center in Azarue and it seems we have enough material to make our 3 to 5 minute film. It is in 1080 P and can be converted for a lower resolution for the web site. The next phase of the Morocco adventure is to explore with the remaining days.
Directing is not something I have set out to do, although I take a lot of pictures and try to organize them in slide shows, but this was an interesting experiment. It will be interesting to see if I can find an editor to piece this together to tell my little story for my PCV lost in the hills of Morocco. More latter, El Vagabondo