Because of my work as a font designer I often come into contact with interesting projects and artists who are working in various media. With fonts needed for movie titles, book covers, and play programs among other uses, designers come to me for fonts; as a result, I get to find out about the projects they are working on. Because a lot of the fonts I design are historical or fantasy themed, I'm particularly tied into the fairy-fan subculture, and that's where I discovered Chagford Filmmaking Group.
Chagford is a specialized little film company which has been making short films based on classic British fairy tales since 2004. The group is the brainchild of Elizabeth-Jane Baldry and is financed primarily with grant money and through the efforts of volunteers. Their short films use relatively unknown actors, a lot of kids and some of the most beautiful parts of the British countryside to create evocative and faithful adaptations of familiar and unfamiliar folk and fairy stories.
Chagford is a non-profit organization located in the lovely medieval town of Chagford in Devon on the edge of Dartmoor. They use mostly local talent and community resources, though they are getting more ambitious and their latest film had auditions in London and grant money from the European Programme of Cross Border Cooperation, which is making it possible to film part of the film in Brittany. The villages and countryside of Devon and Cornwall provides ready-made fairytale settings and the look of their films is rich and beautiful as a result.
So far they have done six films with a seventh in production. Each successive film has been more ambitious than the last, with more special effects and improvements in production quality. They've also gotten somewhat longer, though they have yet to undertake anything feature-length. Elizabeth-Jane Baldry is the primary director and composer for the films. In fact, the whole project got its start in her kitchen, with the group having then planned their first few films there.