Frame by frame
As you’d expect, there are definite upsides to working with an old friend. “We have a shorthand, we don’t have to waste loads of time explaining to each other what we want and where we’re coming from. It speeds things up massively,” explains Andrew Smith. The 33-year-old is a videographer and one half of We Are Landlore. “We describe ourselves as visual storytellers,” says Sarah Woodier, his business partner, who is producer and director. “Our point of difference is that we love anyone who is trying to sustain and nurture the land rather than damage it, and we help these kind of people and clients tell their stories.”
Sarah, 30, did her master’s degree in Landscape, Literature and Environment and says they came up with the idea for their business as a result of her end-of-year project. “I decided to support my written dissertation with two films. So we interviewed a couple of the guys from Bristol’s Good Chemistry Brewing, and also a chef and a florist in Bath about their love of their allotments. Afterwards we decided that we’d really enjoyed the experience and wanted to make more films like that. We came up with a name one night in the pub, set up a website and a week later someone approached us with our first job.”
They’ve only been in business for just over a year, but We Are Landlore have worked with some fantastic, like-minded clients. “We work with an app called Pixie a lot,” Sarah says. “They’re based in Bath and we kind of found each other through the thread of our beliefs that little things matter on a big scale. They’re all about keeping money looping through your local community and supporting independent businesses. We made their community videos for Bath, Frome and also Brixton. We also work with lots of local artists, which is lovely.”
But it’s the project they’re working on now that is their biggest, and Sarah and Andrew believe, their most exciting. “It’s called Bristol Cloth and it’s a film about a group of people who want to bring the textiles industry back to the city and are making a cloth as part of this. The wool is from a farm in Bristol, it’s dyed organically in the heart of the Textile Quarter and then it’s weaved two minutes down the road. Textiles is one of the biggest polluting industries in the world but the Bristol Cloth is all made within a 50-mile proximity. It’s just a brilliant story and it’s to go towards a crowdfunder so they can make 200 metres of this special cloth,” enthuses Sarah. “Video is a great format for telling stories like this,” explains Andrew. “If you can actually see something happen it’s far more immediate. You can put an image in people’s minds, which is pretty powerful.”
Although the pair have a shared passion for the environment, they definitely have different skills and habits, which Sarah says makes for the perfect working relationship. “I’m a real early bird,” she says. “I wake up at about 5am and I love getting stuff done before everyone else has started work. I tend to crash around 7pm and that’s when Andy comes alive, so he can pick up what I’ve been working on all day. We’re almost like a 24-hour business, which is handy!”
Living and working at home in Bath, Sarah says one of the downsides to the job is that business and pleasure become very intertwined. “I find taking a night off is quite hard,” she admits. “I read a lot, so in my flat I have a dedicated reading chair and when I sit there that’s not the place to do work. I try and compartmentalise or it all becomes one thing and you can’t exist like that.” And when it comes to switching off, Sarah’s tactic is to watch something mind-numbing. “I loved Love Island,” she laughs. “Often when I’m watching a film or TV show I’ll get distracted by an editing technique or style and start emailing Andrew about work. That’s why I like Love Island, because it’s not going to particularly inspire my work!” And does her partner share her TV guilty pleasure? “Andrew’s got ridiculously good taste, he’s just way too cool and was watching Oscar=winning films from the age of about 12!” says Sarah. “Well, actually,” Andrew admits, “I have seen a few episodes of the Kardashians. The cinematography is beautiful.” The pair explode into laughter and admit this is the best thing about working together. “We’re just constantly laughing really,” says Sarah. Which is surely exactly what friends are for.
Our favourite Bath locations
It’s the simple things – a drink, some music, and The Pizza Bike at The Bell is amazing.
We do lots of our pre-production and brainstorming outside, and Bath is the perfect city for that.
It’s full of independent businesses, it’s where we tend to hang out.
The Holburne Museum
It’s just beautiful – we walk and talk along the canal and end up here.