eXXpedition Crew Profile: Q&A with Eleanor Church
eXXpedition crew member Eleanor Church from England has documented our journey onboard Sea Dragon for the past 3 weeks.
She is a passionate filmmaker with a big heart who wants to change the world for the better.
Q. What do you do and why?
A. I am a documentary filmmaker and photographer, and I specialize in films around environment and people. I do it because I love finding new ways of telling stories to interest people in things I think are important.
Q. How did you come to be a filmmaker?
A. I always loved watching films with my dad when I was little, and I studied graphic design with specialization in video and photography in my third year. Then I got a placement at Magnum photos for 6 months in Paris, which was a dream come true to be surrounded by people who captured critical moments in time from around the world. After that I worked for number of NGOs whilst doing a part time masters in documentary film making. Upon completing that degree, I landed my dream job at the Environmental Justice Foundation, and I filmed in 23 countries around the world, never ceasing to be amazed by how incredible people can be.
Q. What is it about your work you like best?
A. I would say there are two things: I love having opportunity to meet people and talk to them about their lives. And I also love the chance to be creative in how I portray and share their stories. I really enjoy telling stories that get people interested in and motivated by things that they might not have been otherwise.
Q. What was your motivation for joining eXXpedition?
A. I’ve been interested in issue of plastics and pollutants in our water systems for a very long time. So this is a topic that I wanted to understand better. I thought it was a really interesting opportunity to find way of exploring issues around these two things and telling a story in a less obvious way through a group of really impressive women doing a really impressive thing. I am also absolutely sure that womens voices need to be heard in the science, design, solutions and education when it comes to talking an issue as huge as this.
Q. What has been the most challenging and rewarding thing about this voyage for you?
A. Physically the most challenging thing has been standing up straight with a camera, keeping it still enough to shoot. Emotionally it has been leaving my small children behind at home. It has also been quite tiring to make sure I have the right bits to put story together. I would say the most rewarding thing has been the achievement of working together to do this, but the biggest achievement will be when I have edited together a good film.
Q. Now that the journey is almost over, what are you taking away from it?
A. I will be taking away from it is that we have a huge issue with plastic. There is this realization that it is even greater and more complicated than I imagined, and that we need to take action now. We need much more research on the topic to fully understand it – and solutions need an approach from policy, business, communities and individual action. But it is an exciting time for science, design, innovation and rethinking the way we live.