Having established contact with hospice staff and hospice users in October, we ran the first workshops in the day hospice at John Taylor in November. These initial sessions were primarily about introducing participants to the goals and aims of the project, and to discuss any goals and aims on the part of the participants.
We showed short films made by professional film-makers (see our learning resources page) around themes of death and dying in order to give a sense of what is possible. At the same time we struggled to find films that were not geared towards leaving a legacy for family members. We felt this might be important to show, so as not to limit the role film might play for the participants.
This feeling was also borne out of participants’ wide range of reasons for wanting to make a film. Some participants stated their desire for their film to be a form of outreach about what it is like to live with a life-limiting condition or illness. Other participants are interested in their film exploring philosophical questions about the nature of life and death.
One of the big challenges for us going forward is accommodating these varied aims and goals. In some cases it may be difficult to balance the ambitions of the participants (the film-makers) against the practical constraints of life-limiting conditions, the wishes of family members/carers, and the Life: Moving project itself. These are questions and issues which are sure to develop more in time as participants begin now to produce and edit their own footage.