North Médoc videos - a selection


The success of a video doesn’t only depend on technical details such as perspective, camera position or even the framing. Above all the video must show, for example, the artistic performance of a group of singers or the impact of an event. Nevertheless, the films we have produced over a period of more than 10 years, in terms of documentaries, have been very dependent upon the setting and the possible shooting angles available to us as amateur film makers, and upon the goodwill of the organisers and actors being filmed.

During this time more than 60 films have been produced, and we have selected several which we hold dear to our hearts. This selection has been quite difficult because we really liked all our other videos too. The criteria for our choice have been the special nature of the event, the artistic quality of what is shown and the importance that we attach to the documentary nature of our films.

A description of each of these videos follows which explains briefly the circumstances surrounding the position of the cameras and tripods. We would like to thank all those who allowed us to film their events, the associations, artists and actors on site.

Ardhal – Polyphonie of Béarn, Gascogne and Occitanie/15’53”/2015

The Ardhal choir concert in the Spring of 2015, in the church at Vendays, was the second we filmed at the request of the President of the association “Los Tradinaires”. So we were, to a large extent, aware of what to expect, and we were very interested in the new programme. We installed one camera on the pulpit and the second was hand-held.
Church and organ at St Estèphe/17 ‘23”/2014

The church in St Estèphe is a baroque jewel with excellent acoustics and a Wenner organ which unfortunately wasn’t particularly well tuned when we first expressed our interest. The (blind) organist had already given us a detailed demonstration and, a year later, we asked for permission to film when he was playing again.
Tango Fuego at the Grave lighthouse/14’15”/2012

The Association for the Preservation of Cordouan lighthouse organised one of its summer festivals with the BilBobaSSo ensemble – a dance and fire art company. As we love the tango and had been involved with the Association for many years we also grabbed the opportunity to film this spectacle. Elke filmed the whole sequence with a hand-held camera, which is a performance in itself.
Mediaeval Festival at Lesparre/7’21”/2014

The Mediaeval Festival had already taken place in Lesparre in previous years and this was several years later. The Association of the Friends of the Tower of Lesparre look after a museum with mediaeval exhibitions in the tower; members of the Association, and also many other Lesparrians, love to dress up in costume. Thus the festival, together with its parade, market, demonstrations of mediaeval crafts, and singing shows, has become a well-established event.
Mime with Jean-Bernard Laclotte/12’55”/2011

We became acquainted with the mime artist Jean-Bernard Laclotte because he was a friend of Sylvie who lives in an old sheepfold in Benon, near Saint-Laurent. Being very fond of mime and theatre she has endeavoured to create something like a cultural centre with a sort of setting in the forest. Jean-Bernard was featured in her programme and then he asked us to film one of his shows at the Onyx Theatre in Bordeaux.
Ecological roundabout on the marketplace in Saint-Vivien/0’28”/2019

A lucky encounter on the marketplace in Saint-Vivien for which I had to quickly find a camera. Sometimes, as amateurs, we are not prepared for spontaneous shots.
German Day at Lesparre/12’32”/2019

Together with the town of Lesparre we organised the German Day which took place within the context of opening up the town to European culture. This proved to be a particularly interesting experience for us, the more so because the Consul General of Bordeaux came to give the welcome speech. In addition to many attractions (including culinary ones) our small choir “La Gagliarda” participated with a German song from the Mediaeval period.
Jazz-Festival at Lesparre / 17‘ 40‘‘ / 2014

The annual jazz festival has always demanded an enormous amount of work to set up. Many volunteers spend days providing tents, tables, chairs, restaurants and drink outlets, all ensuring the smooth operation of the festival. Takings were needed to pay for the musicians. It was this that gave rise to the idea of not just compiling scenes from the festival, but also focussing on the work of the “volunteers”.
8th European Picnic at Vertheuil/14’54”/2019

This was the last occasion that the European Picnic was organised by Médoc actif in collaboration with numerous associations in the park at Vertheuil Abbey. It was a particularly momentous year because, as well as the magnificent weather and the music of Gib and Mathilde, we were honoured with the presence of European students from the Maison de l’Europe in Bordeaux.
My village in the 19th century/15’24”/2009

The Association Connaissance du Médoc and the Ecomusée de Vertheuil collaborated in the creation of the project “My Village”. The pupils who took part came from a school in Gaillan. Elke and I were members of the Association and had also just discovered the local museum. We offered to add a filmed document to the project.

2021 Elke Schwichtenberg/Christian Büttner (Saint-Vivien-de-Médoc), traslation: Margaret and Dick Beasley