I have had a rather rocky affair with Film over the years, leading to, or at least occuring at the same time as a series of difficult times in my personal development. With the seed of an idea whilst in my second year studying Philosophy at Cambridge University, I began devouring 'Empire' and 'Sight and Sound' magazines. Three or four films a week at the amazing Cambridge Arts Cinema was not uncommon, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. These were mostly foreign, usually European films, and a far cry from the largely American movies on general release, although I went to see as many of those as I could as well. The idea of becoming a Director grew quickly, afterall what kind of job does a Philosophy degree lead to?
I bought a second hand Super 8 camera at a fair. The results of carrying this around with me wherever I went in the world are included here. It's the most portable of cinematic devices and is a genuine film format.
Upon leaving University I worked briefly for an ex-BBC Producer who was shooting a 16mm short. Then I managed to get a job as a Runner at Tiger Aspect TV in London. This was a horrible job, walking the streets all day, delivering all manner of things to all kinds of places. I got to know the West End, and Soho in particular, very well indeed.
It was clear, with only a few contacts in the business, I needed to go to film school. After visiting The Tisch School of The Arts at NYU and The Vancouver Film School at the end of a year of travelling I chose VFS because it promised to be the best prospect of becoming a Writer and Director which was where my ambitions lay. Nine months there was a blast and a full immersion into a very practical course taught by experienced professionals. It was more of a trade school and I put my all into it. But there was a very dark and negative side to my experience there too and I came home a nervous wreck.
Having concentrated on writing both novels and screenplays, somehow I carried my interests through thick and thin. Some twenty years later having always had one eye on filmmaking, I enrolled on the one year, Master of Arts Filmaking course at The University for the Creative Arts in my hometown. In spite of doing some good writing, going back to short scripts, I was not happy there, being a non-conformist in what seemed to be a surprisingly uncreative, non-communicative environment, and being disheartened with the incompatibility of selfish egos in what is primarily a collaborative artform. I extracated myself from this situation on the morning of the first day of shooting of my student film.
Since then I have completed many writing projects and started, and now completed, this Website. I believe I have done what I set out to achieve with it by bringing all my work together in one place for others to enjoy and for me to meditate upon. And these films are perhaps seen as archives of periods of intensive active which, unlike my writing will evolve and develop no further.