Creating Hackney as Home

Creating Hackney as Home:
Five reflections on a London borough


Matthew's photos

Today Matthew and Denise worked on the rough cut editing for Dalston Changes. Matthew reviewed the footage he'd recorded and chose the sections that he most wanted in the film. Denise then helped him to put these sections in the right order using the editing software. Matthew took a copy of this rough cut and used it to help write his voice-over sections, by responding to the material he had captured.

This was Matthew's last day of filming. We went back to the curve garden to record an interview with Corey Defoe, the Dalston Town Centre Manager. Corey was an important person to talk to because he works for Hackney Council but he also grew up in the area, so could see things from both persepctives. As matthew explained: “I think it went quite well. I tried to be quite open with what I was saying in terms of the types of questions I’m asking, not to be too biased but at the same time not to be too personal as well … his answers are basically the catalyst of my documentary, because he is directly with the Council and they are obviously the ones who are behind all the changes”

Today Matthew recorded his first intterview for his film 'Dalston Changes'. He talked to Brian Cumming, the managaer of the Dalston Curve Garden, about the changes he has witnessed in the area. He also explained how important it was that the curve garden provided much needed green, public space for all local people to enjoy. There is not much of this around in the Dalston area! After recording the interview we went to film some more location panorama shots in the area immediately around Dalston Junction. We went to Matthew's old school and got some footge of the contrasts between the existing housing, which was a bit run down, and the fancy new housing that had big metal gates and security cameras on.

We started the day by trying to find people to say one word that describes Hackney... on camera. Matthew explaied that "I found it quite hard... a lot of people were quite resilient to saying the one word, and some of them wanted to say it but they didn’t want to say it on camera." Another challenge was "trying to find the right mix of people… Hackney’s always been quite diverse and multicultural, but at the beginning it did seem like I was just getting a lot of white people, and it didn’t seem like I had enough different ethnic groups".

After this we tried filming some location shots around Queensbridge Road in Haggerston, and made our way through the neighbourhood south of Dalston where Matthew had grown up. Matthew picked the locations based on his childhood experiences, as he explained in his photo study of his neighbourhood [hyperlink]. At each location Matthew recorded a piece to camera, explaining his memories and some of the changes he had noticed there. We also recorded a panorama at each one so that we could really capture the atmosphere of these locations.

When we got to Dalston Juncton we recorded the hustle and bustle at the crossroads using the tripod. Matthew had a chance encounter with a woman who eneded up featuring in the film, as he recalled: "I asked her for one word, she gave me one life story! ... I think it was amazing luck to get her on video today because she is somebody who just like hits everything that I really wanted in this video because she is somebody who lived here, she’s somebody who has moved out, she’s somebody who’s come back and seen it for the first time in quite a long time but she still remembers what she can and she has an opinion that’s quite close to mine". At the end of the day we drove along some of the main streets in Dalston, filming from the car so we could record some of the shop fronts.

As part of my research about changes in Hackney I took a series of photos with my Flipcam in the area where I live. This is my neighbourhood...

The Open University Economic and Social Research Council