Josh Timmins videoing John McDonald

Swan's Signature

Mon, 25/02/2019 - 10:47

Joshua Timmins is a third year student at the University of Derby who is working on a trilogy of films about Banks Mill resident John McDonald around his art and deafness. 

Butterfly Cry is the first of three films which features John working in his home studio, John comments: “Josh literally just pushed open my front door back in autumn 2016, he didn’t even know I was deaf.  He just said- I’m a first year student, I’ve been watching you paint through the window- can I make a film with you?”  “The film Butterfly Cry was what he produced.  The filming took place after I’d had my cochlear implant operation, but before it had been switched on- so I literally had no hearing at all, and nothing to help with it.

The second film, Swan’s Signature was filmed in John’s studio at Banks Mill and documents the impact of his cochlear implant and when you listen to John and compare him in the two films you can hear the difference in his speech which is truly amazing.

Swan’s Signature has been nominated for a number of awards and will be screened at six national and international film festivals all over the world including Australia, Los Angeles and Nevada.

John comments: “At the Royal Television Society Midland Students Awards Josh’s film is nominated in three categories including Craft Skills Sound, which is lovely as sound is what the story is all about.  I guess the story you don’t see on screen is the friendship that has developed between the two of us.”

“Quite poignant for me is the screening in Manchester in March as Manchester is where my assessment process and implant procedure took place. I’m also joining Josh at Pinewood Studios in early Feb for the Documentary Filmmaker Showcase, which I’m really excited about, as well as being invited to his graduation ceremony too.”

The third film is still in production and is not yet finished, however the first two are available on Josh’s You Tube channel:

Short film Butterfly Cry

Short film Swan's Signature

To find out more about John's work visit his facebook page

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