For my Coventry People assignment, I was asked to find a person who was born, lives or works within Coventry and document a particular part of their life, whether it be an issue regarding problems they have been through, or places they have been, experiences they have had, or ideas/thoughts they have to express. With this in mind I originally thought that this was going to be a difficult task, as I am new to Coventry and am not really familiar with anyone here, not knowing where the hell to start…
However, looking back at the additional work I did before the Christmas holidays; filming a short documentary for the Innovative Climate Change Conference at the Transport Museum made me think of people that I could possibly use to interview for the module.
While we were there we interviewed many different people, including some of the speakers at the conference but also some other interesting people who were exhibiting their work in the main room. The two individuals that stood out most were Graham Greene and Mark Wood. Graham is an extremely passionate man who believes the world is becoming too reliant on fuel-based transport and has therefore pushed his ideas of electronic bikes to a higher level of technology. He hopes that by presenting his ideas to the rest of the world that he may be able to make a positive impact on peoples’ opinions and influence the way we consume fuel.
Mark Wood is an explorer, who was exhibiting his progressive polar and mountaineering work at the museum at the time we were filming. He is an extremely determined man, having trekked the length of the North and South Poles, as well as climbing Everest. More of his work can be found on his website, www.snowballexpeditions.com. He has also guided Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond for the Top Gear episode “Race To the Poles”, which aired on BBC1 on 25th July 2007. He has worked with schools and universities before in order to spread his message of the issues of global warming. He started off in the military and then moved into the rescue services, and from there he got into Polar exploration and travel.
He spoke of how starting in November 2011 he will be attempting a world record attempt of a solo, unsupported trek from the Western Coast of Antarctica to the Geographic South Pole. After this he will be then be flown to the other side of the world to walk a further 700 miles to the Geographic North Pole, again solo and unassisted. It has been called the “toughest journey in the world”. As soon as I heard this I knew he was the person I would like to document; clearly having an outstanding story to tell. He mentioned how the training to do such expeditions can take months and even years to prepare for.
I couldn’t contact Graham Greene directly but Mark Wood has agreed to take part in the documentary, focusing primarily on his world record attempt.
The following video is an extract taken from Mark Wood’s speech at the Climate Change Conference which was filmed in December: