Who are we?
We are Charlie & Dawn Trevor from Equus Leather, an award-winning, small family business making luxury leather goods by hand in England using traditional tools and techniques, including hand stitching every stitch of every product we make.
We started Equus Leather ten years ago during the peak of the recession of 2008 with a credit card, creative vision and determination. Lots of hard work, late nights and early mornings have meant that we now have a thriving business using and preserving traditional craft skills that would otherwise be lost. We aim to make the finest belts, watch straps, wallets, accessories and canine products available anywhere in the world, and our commitment to quality is the principle reason we now have customers in more than 70 countries to date
What are we planning to make?
A key part of our mission has been to use, preserve and keep relevant the heritage craft skills we love and rely on in the workshop. Our series of five workshop films (published on our YouTube channel) has been a central part of this undertaking, showing the beauty of the processes (and products) and the skills of the craftspeople making the products, and that the traditional methods are still viable in this day and age. We've had significant success with these films in the past, "Making the Lloyd Coat Wallet" has had nearly 4,250,000 views and 14,000,000 watched minutes to date.
We want to create a sixth film, longer (between 10-15 minutes) with a wider scope and even higher production values than anything we've done before. The film will show the making of a wood framed Attaché case, a product we have developed specifically for this film, and one that has taken the last nine months to plan and design. A key part of this project is that we also wanted to give people the ability to be part of our project, to be able to join in and participate as it progresses, as well as own some part of it for themselves in a way we have never done before, a hugely exciting part of the project for us.
The biggest physical change we're making with this film is that we are going analogue. We have used 35mm still film extensively, but previously we've shot our films digitally but we wanted to give this film the look and feel that can only be achieved with film. Specifically, we're shooting entirely on 16mm Vision3 250D with Zeiss lenses.
The complexity of the product we're showing being made is much greater than previous films, and spans several craft disciplines. We're going beyond our own leatherwork and leaving our own workshops to show the skills of the cabinet makers and metalworkers that allow us to create the beautiful finished product and whose skills are just as valuable as our own.
Throughout our ten years the one question we have constantly been asked is whether we make bags and cases. The short answer has always been no. We have an incredibly slow product development life cycle - we only release a new product when we're happy that it can be of a standard that fits in with our aim to produce the best leathergoods in the world. The Attaché Case is something that Charlie, as a collector of vintage luggage, has always wanted to create, so we've spent the best part of 9 months working on the design, and after a lot of work we feel we've created a finished product we can be proud of, and one that fits in to our ethos of making the finest products available anywhere.
The inner wooden frame is made from Cedar and the leather we have chosen to use for the film is our wonderful Cuir de Russie - famous for its original use for travel goods. The wonderful character of this leather creates a case with personality, the rich brown and subtle reds suit the traditional nature of the case perfectly. The Cuir de Russie is grained and finished with birch oil, just like the original, and shares the same character, scent and ability to resist time, weather and wear. Charlie has Attachés belonging to his Grandfather that inspired this project that he hopes to pass on to his son Bertie in time, and we hope our work will have the same multi generational longevity.
What Rewards Are We Offering?
We hopefully have a huge range of rewards for all budgets and fans.For leather fans we have key fobs and wallets made from the same Cuir de Russie leather we are using in the film. For our film fans we have USB sticks with the edited film on it (with the odd out take no doubt!) as well as photo books, signed prints and every one of our backers gets a credit on film.
Who are the film making team?
We first met Tobias Blickle and Mirko Laflamme 3 years ago when we made them a camera strap that featured in their first short film "Eden'. We loved their work and thought it would be fun to shoot a bit of what happens in our workshop. Both originally based in Switzerland, they have been coming to England to shoot our series of workshop films and are now firmly part of Team Equus. Our most successful film to date has been "The Making of the Lloyd Coat Wallet", which (as below) has over 4 million views on our YouTube channel.
Where did this project idea come from?
This project is a the the result of the film making and workshop teams desire to push their creative boundaries and is a natural step from the films we've already made. The increase in complexity and scope makes it our largest and most difficult film shoot to date, just like the Attache, but we are determined to use all our experience to date to exceed the high production value we've already become known for.
What's the plan? The time scale?
Shooting is booked for 7th - 21st September 2018
January - July 2018
This was the planning, design and development stage. We put a shooting schedule in place, leather, fittings and fixings specified, ordered and tested and the product designs have been drawn, techniques tested and developed and various prototypes have been assembled. Film stock is booked, hired kit is booked and budget for the shoot is finalised. Flights for film makers and accommodation has been booked and paid for
The precise workflow of the workshop processes will be mapped, shot lists will be created and a story board created. Final planning details to be confirmed. Kickstarter initiated! @EquusAttache instagram account starts to illustrate the work we've done so far
Sept 2018 - Shooting (The Equus Workshop, the carpenter and the foundry). Our @EquusAttache instagram followers will be able to follow along with the process as it happens.
October 2018 - Editing and sound overlay to be completed. Film stills from the shoot to be collated and selected for our print and postcard rewards. Rewards being made in the Equus workshops start to be made
November 2018 - Release of film.
Rewards - see individual rewards for date of receipt.
Why do we care?
We love what we do and we love our craft. For it to survive it must be understood and appreciated by the wider world and the skills involved shared.. Just like our products, our film making is an extension of how we see what we do. Precise, exact, stunningly visual, creatively interesting and peacefully delightful to watch.
We look forward to you joining us!
Risks and challenges
This is our sixth workshop film, so we are well versed in the things that can and do go wrong. Here's what we've thought of.
1. Limited time
In our previous shoots, we've learnt not to try to fit too much into too small a timescale. For this film we have built in contingency time into our shoot schedule - approx double the required time.
2. Sound - This isnt a risk per se, rather a challenge. For a visually creative team sound is difficult - you cant look at it through a camera, light it nicely and make it pretty. This is an area we actively work to improve each shoot. We've improved the sound equipment and added a sound engineer to the crew for this shoot. Based on feedback from our YouTube subscribers, we will only be using workshop sounds in the film, no music, just like our last film.
3. Sticking to timescales - we have a detailed plan for scheduling the making and posting of all rewards. Many of the rewards use the same materials as used for the shoot so there are limited sourcing issues possible.
4. Creating an amazing film and equally great rewards. There's always risk in any creative endeavour. However we have an experienced, world class team of creatives and craftspeople behind the project, with clear, well defined goals who have worked together before over a number of years. Our ability to deliver is well documented
5. Funding. This is the largest and most costly film project we've undertaken to date. The reason for this Kickstarter project is in part to help fund the film. Equus is able to meet the project costs from its own resources in any event so there is no funding risk that may impact the project at any stage.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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