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UAL Research Online

Gold Super 16mm experimental film

Nash, Polly and Davies, Rachel (2004) Gold Super 16mm experimental film. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Nash, Polly and Davies, Rachel

This experimental film explored the formal procedures and physical demands of training for Olympic standard gymnastics. Focused on two girls in their early teenage years, the location of the film was the Europa Gymnastic Club in Erith.

The research foregrounded a subject participant approach which is a recurring feature in the researcher’s practice-based activities. A methodology was adopted for Gold consisting of organising production and direction so as to allow the interchange of ‘characters’ to shape the tone of the film and aspects of its structure and narrative. Importantly the film avoids casting its subjects as oddities for scrutiny. Instead it was revealed that although potential gymnasts comprise a small and special minority, many of their concerns are everyday experiences. This approach draws from the creation of evolving character dynamics associated with Ken Loach and others.

The dialogue between the club members was not scripted or rehearsed. Parts of the narrative, including the friendly competition but also mutual support, between the two girls was to developed in an unforced manner. The strength of their spirit of endeavour and desire to succeed was part of what the film was aiming to portray but which would have also taken on a different character if it has been too orchestrated. In summary the approach between production and the subject of the film was reflexive.

The budget of £30,000 came from sources including ACE and Calouste/Gulbenkian Foundation. It premiered at the ICA in 2004, was first broadcast on 29th December 2005 as part of Channel 4’s 4Dance programming and screened at over 30 film festivals including the 2004 Chicago International. It was also disseminated at gymnastic events including the Gymnastics World Cup in December 2004.

It was the overall winner of the Bi-annual Grand Prix IMZ International Dance Screen Award, June 2005.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Spectacle Productions
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 1 February 2004
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 23:22
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2014 17:11
Item ID: 1509
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1509

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