A visit to a unique shop in Shoreditch, London offering artists’ books and serving as a center for individual and institutional collectors, artists, publishers, and the curious. In this short film, we meet Chiara Ambrosio, an artist working at the shop; Tanya Peixoto, the founder; and Natalie D’Arbeloff, a book artist exhibiting her work.
When I first visited bookartbookshop, I was drawn viscerally by the tactility of the books. I returned the following year to spend a couple of days trying to capture the magic of the shop with audio and moving images. The raw footage was set aside for several years as I completed editing my feature-length documentary. Then magically, Christina Carroll, a former student, was looking for a video editing project, and thanks to her, the film was completed. Alice Apley, who introduced me to bookartbookshop in the first place, made the end titles. While the camera can never capture the tactility of the books, it can help us reflect on what the digitization of culture and the pandemic have taken away from us. Special thanks to Chiara Ambrosio, who I met on my first visit to bookartbookshop and helped make possible the filming over half-day visits to the shop, and I am grateful to Tanya Peixoto and Natalie D’Arbeloff for their generosity and willingness to be part of this project.
2021, 10 min. 17 sec., color, stereo. Featuring Chiara Ambrosio, Tanya Peixoto, and Natalie D’Arbeloff. Camerawork and direction by David Tamés, edited by Christina Carroll, music by Tom Phillips and Tom Martin, end credits by Alice Apley.
bookartbookshop premiered at the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival on September 19, 2021, as part of The Art of Community Short Film Block, available online through September 26, 2021, with a Filmmaker Q&A.
For more information on the film, or to book a screening, contact me.
The film was shot with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 and a variety of lenses including the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 zoom and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens (adapted to the GH4 with a Metabones Speed Booster Ultra 0.71x Adapter). The sound was recorded with a Tascam DR-40 digital recorder using either a Tram TR-50 lavalier or an Audio Technica BP4029 MS stereo short shotgun (read more about this microphone here). Editing and sound mix were performed using Adobe Premiere Pro and color grading was performed using DaVinci Resolve. This was my first time working in Resolve and I love how elegant and responsive the user interface is. The biggest challenge I faced shooting this project was dealing with the mixed color temperature of the warm interior lighting and the daylight streaming in through the windows. I often adjusted the white balance to split the difference and fine-tuned it during the grading process, allowing for the color differences to remain, as they are very much part of the experience of being in the shop.