About this project
To mark the poignant anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War this year, WAG Screen is making a film about a war memorial. We selected the memorial at random as we didn't want to choose the men whose story we would tell. We uncovered the story of one man in particular, Robert Crowder, whose family had held his memory dear and had a kept a remarkable unpublished archive of documents and photographs. The film, Tell Them of Us, will be based on his story and will be told from the home front and from the perspective of those left behind.
WAG Screen is a community group made up of professionals and volunteers who come together every few years to tell a story they feel strongly about. We all put much of our time in free, but filmmaking is still a costly business.
This campaign is on behalf of the costume department, who decided that it would be important to include some hand-knitted garments in the film's wardrobe. The costumier speculatively tweeted for volunteer knitters, not expecting any response, but was inundated with offers from some of the most brilliant and generous knitters one could hope to find. We now have an amazing and supportive community of over 250 volunteers spread from Orkney to Omaha! Work has begun (see below), but we need to buy more yarn and to cover the cost of postage. The more we raise the more we can do.
Risks and challenges
The film is cast, scheduled and mostly funded to a low budget level. The crew are all professionals and very experienced; for most of them this is at least the twelfth short film we have made together so we have plenty of experience of the pitfalls involved. We have also discovered from painful experience that the solution to whatever has just gone wrong generally proves to be better than the original plan! All of our cast are professional actors too. Within this framework we give opportunity, training and work experience for volunteers. We hope that everyone gets as much out as they put in.
Our costume department is run by a very accomplished period costumier who has thirty years experience in making period costume for film and museum use. She has been preparing for this film's demands for almost two years already.
Knitters, we have discovered, are naturally organised people and from within our knitting community a management structure has quickly evolved. We also attracted the attention of knitting companies and wool has been donated from Rowan Wool, Texere, Jamiesons of Shetland, Frangipani and Blacker. However we still need more yarn and the postage costs of getting the wool sent out and the garments back will be quite a bill. An extraordinary opportunity has opened up here - with over 250 people researching, knitting and advising, the attention to detail and historic accuracy that can be achieved over a relatively short space of time is remarkable. We don't think this has ever been done before, probably because the true cost of this would be immense, but results will be visually stunning and the process incredibly special.
This is a very personal project for so many. As one of our knitting army has said: 'We will remember them by the work of our hands'.
Thank you for your support.
We are telling the story from the home front and it is based closely on family records and recollections. We are being as faithful to the past as we can. The story will contain sadness, but will end on a positive note. We will not include any battle scenes. So yes, we hope it will be a good teaching tool.
We have an exhibition scheduled for three weeks in November this year at The Collection, Lincoln. We also hope to create a smaller travelling exhibition. Funding is being sought for these from the HLF.
The clothing will all be stored carefully so that it will be available for films and events over the four and a half years that mark the duration of the First World War centenary.
Support this project
- (30 days)