Experiencing Interruptions?


A short documentary shot at Lamplighter's Marsh, a ribbon of riverside land near Bristol.
A slow-cinema style lets audiences experience the many sides and corners of this unique, nature-rich post-industrial environment, and encounter people for who it really matters.

  • Andy Thatcher
    Walks of Life (2018), Abridged (2019).
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Slow cinema, environmental
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 16, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    200 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Andy Thatcher

Andy lives in Exeter with his wife and daughter and forever itches to be out exploring. He is finally doing what he meant to do after school, and is completing a Film and TV Masters at Bristol University and preparing for a PhD under the supervision of visionary director Gideon Koppel. His first film, Walks of Life, was commissioned by Exeter Phoenix and premiered at Two Short Nights in November 2018. His second, Abridged, premiered beneath a Medieval bridge at Kaleider's inaugural Mikrofest, 2019. Alongside other works inspired by Lamplighter's Marsh, Strands will be featured at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment 2019 conference. His photography has appeared in The Guardian. He contributes to Biophilic TV, pioneering immersive technology which relieves stress and pain in hospital settings. He has weaknesses for disaster movies and Eccles cakes.

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Director Statement

I was invited to photograph a nature walk at Lamplighter's Marsh in November 2018, a part of the nationwide Being Human Festival. The terrible drizzle dampened no-one's enthusiasm, I saw my first ever weasel, and I straight away decided to make a film to follow on from Abridged, my then-in-production semi-autobiographical film about Exeter's M5 bridge.
Lamplighter's Marsh includes a Local Nature Reserve, a boat yard, J.P. Crane Hire, Portway Park & Ride, Avonmouth Sea Cadets, the River Avon's tidal strand, and scrub land. It includes a gas warning siren, the second-highest tidal reach in the world, and the remains of railway sidings where Fyfes bananas were once unloaded, now the sole UK home of a rare moss.
Shot during April 2019, Strands draws together these diverse places and the people who use them, including Friends of Lamplighter's Marsh, the boat yard caretaker, Nomads walking group, a local artist and a dog-walking academic.
I decided to use an experimental approach to communicate the area's idiosyncratic character, foregoing interviews and dialogue and introducing colour 'tiles', each echoing the preceding sequence - yellow for the gorse, red for the level crossing signage, and so on.
I want the audience of Strands to develop their own connection to Lamplighter's Marsh. I want to them know what it's like to be out in sun, wind and rain, watching curlews and changing tides, eight lanes of traffic and a police helicopter overhead. I hope they'll come to love the place as I have.