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Editing begins for ‘Six Inches of Soil’ film which highlights role of regenerative farming





‘It’s a wrap’: filming for the eagerly awaited Six Inches of Soil documentary film has now concluded, and now the editing process is under way at Dragonlight Films’ studio at Signet Court off Swann Road.

Colin Ramsay, the film’s writer and director – and Dragonlight’s guiding light – is hard at work with Daria Hupov, the film editor for the film when I drop by for coffee. Each has two screens in front of them and there’s 120 hours of film to be edited down to 90 minutes in the next few weeks – quite the challenge.

Six Inches of Soil being filmed, with Colin Ramsay, producer and director, at work on set
Six Inches of Soil being filmed, with Colin Ramsay, producer and director, at work on set

Daria is a film and TV production graduate of ARU’s Faculty of Cambridge School of Art. This is her first post-graduation role, and the first major milestone is the rough cut of the film due to be ready next month, which will include editing in music and (possibly) adding a narrator. So how’s she coping with the deadline-driven stage of this epic journey, which had its genesis way back in 2021?

“Deadlines?” Daria replies unfazed. “If I were to look at the big picture it might be a bit overwhelming, so I take each character separately, and look at them individually, then put them together after.”

“There’s three main characters in the film,” Colin adds. “Adi is a market gardener in Caxton, Ben is a livestock farmer in Cornwall, and Anna works on a farm with her father Andrew near Scunthorpe.”

Colin Ramsay and Daria Hupov editing 'Six Inches of Soil'. Picture: Keith Heppell
Colin Ramsay and Daria Hupov editing 'Six Inches of Soil'. Picture: Keith Heppell

Colin adds: “The first stage is the production of a film trailer, which is part of the promotion for the film.

“We’ll have a rough cut of the whole film ready in July, with some private screenings in October, then I’d enter it for film festivals. I’d hope to release it on a streaming platform. The ultimate hope would be for Netflix, or Sky, to pick it up.

“It’s quite an undertaking but I really like this process, as an editor it’s a privilege to see these interviews and edit it into a complete overall film.”

Daria notes: “We’re constantly asking ‘what does the film need, what is the best approach?’ We want it to have as much impact as possible. The rough cut will include interviews, sound effects with the sound mixed…”

Is there a narrator?

“We’re not sure it’s needed at the moment,” Daria says.

“It’s an editorial choice,” adds Colin. “We’ll decide if it’s needed. We already have a lot of voices in the film.”

And the music?

“It’s by Peter Michaels,” replies Colin. “He’s an individual composer, we’re sending him some cuts to work with this week so he can decide if it’s going to involve an orchestra, or guitar…. There’s three characters in the film and each will have a different score, so it’s a rich soundscape.”

“We also filmed some experts,” adds Daria, “who we might use during the film to deliver some facts about nature and farming, maybe grazing too.”

Underpinning the technical approach is the motivation for the film: to give farmers a voice, and not just any farmers, but farmers who use organic and regenerative methods, who want to give the depleted soil the ability to deliver nutritional food without the additives and chemicals that blight mainstream food processes.

Six Inches of Soil being filmed, with Colin Ramsay, producer and director, at work on set
Six Inches of Soil being filmed, with Colin Ramsay, producer and director, at work on set

“Farmers are marginalised in our society, they don’t have a voice in the same way as teachers or doctors,” remarks Colin. “But if you look at France, the farmers there, and the farming community, are incredibly vocal. We need some of that here.”

But there’s reasons for the French kicking off about farmers: they love their food. In the UK, we love our processed food, and that’s a problem, says Colin.

“Around 60 per cent of food people eat in this country is ultra-processed food, and that leads to a health and obesity crisis, so we need to counter that with education, with developing cooking skills... No one is joining the dots.”

The launch later in the year will include screenings with Q&A sessions and workshops.

There is a preview which was made for the successful crowdfunder appeal earlier this year, and there’s a whole community behind Six Inches of Soil and that’s only going to expand when the film’s trailer drops. Or should that be lands?



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