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Paul Smith: PS Your Mystery Sender — Benjamin Wigley, 2011

This film gives us an inside look at the amazing ‘fashion factory’ of Paul Smith.

Paul Smith is world renowned for his fashion - but where does he get his endless inspiration? Well, for years, he has been receiving odd and quirky unwrapped gifts through the post from a mystery sender. These unusual items have had an incredible impact on his life and his designs – and yet we are no closer to solving the baffling mystery of who is responsible for sending them.

Classroom Activities

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Critical

  • Watch up until 00:25 seconds. Why do you think it was shot using the camera in this way?
  • Watch up until 00:30 seconds. What do you think this film is about? Why?
  • The film uses a mix of real-life film and animation. What impact does this have on the overall film? What impression does it give?
  • Watch from 03:31 – 03:57 and 05:43 – 06:25. Discuss how these clips make you feel. Does it fit with the rest of the film? Why do you think this was included?
  • Watch again from 03:53 – 04:10. What effect does the blurring of the shot give as Paul Smith is talking about his memories?
  • Many of the camera shots are distorted or at an unusual angle or height. How does this camera work enhance what you are watching?
  • Look at the colours used in the film. What do you notice? What information does this give us?
  • Listen to the soundtrack for the film. Why do you think this is used and what effect does it give?

Cultural

  • Research who Paul Smith is and create a fact file.
  • What information is left out of the documentary about Paul Smith? What else might fans want to know?
  • Investigate what the strangest thing was to ever be posted.
  • Paul Smith is from Nottingham. Are there any other famous people from Nottingham?
  • How many other British fashion designers can you name? Research famous British designers.
  • Listen from 07:24 – 07:45. Listening to it as a piece of poetry, what does it mean?

Creative

WRITE

  • Imagine you are writing a testimonial for being an employee of Paul Smith. What would you say?
  • Pick one of the strange objects you see in the documentary and create a story around why this item was sent to Paul Smith. You could take a screen shot of the item and brainstorm around it.
  • Write a diary entry, imagining you are Paul and you just received another strange item. How would he feel? What does he think?

FILMMAKING

  • Make your own documentary about your hobby/job. Think about the style of documentary you want to make.

DRAW

  • Design your own stamp commemorating something that is important to you.
  • Create a poster advertising Paul Smith’s next fashion show.

HFT

  • Design a piece of clothing to go down the runway. You can design it on paper, taking notes on fabric and influence - and you could even have a go at making it!

Clip Details

Year of Production 2011
Genre Documentary
Curriculum Areas Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education, Technologies, `
Director Benjamin Wigley
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content Live Action, Non-Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Relationships, Identity / Self, Communication, Creative Expression
Clip Length 09:15
Clip Length 09:15
Age Group S1-S3, S4-S6