Studio: Pasticherie - for the John Hansard Gallery & the University of Southampton.
Director: Elroy Simmons
In August 2007, whilst working on the “Rotary International” job for SHERBET Productions, I was contacted by Ronda Gowland from the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton. I'd worked for Ronda and the Gallery once before – hosting a One-Day-Drawing Workshop for kids as part of Black History Month in 2005. She asked if I'd be interested in making a film that would document the experiences of teenage and elderly residents of a Housing Estate in Bassett/Swaythling, Southampton. I was considered a potential choice of film-maker because I was raised on the same estate – indeed, my mother still lives there.
I instantly said “Yes” and between October and December of 2007, alternate Mondays were spent interviewing willing venerable ladies from the Swaythling Community Centre Over 50s Club one week, and holding Drawing Workshops at Swaythling Youth Centre with pupils from Cantell Secondary School (my old school) the other. Some of the pupils worked well enough to receive an “ArtsAward” for their efforts.
The film's production marked a clear learning curve for me. Certainly, it easily put the amount of favours I'd asked of a lot of people whilst making the Striplight 'in the shade'. In terms of the day-to-day production of the film, I'll always be indebted to Trevor Moore – who edited the ample hours of recorded material, Jonathon Klahr – who composited virtually all of the Animation and graphics that feature in the film, and Simon Woodford – an old friend who took hundreds of superb photographs of Southampton which feature heavily in the film. Just after completing all but one of the interviews for the film - in mid-December, I broke my right-leg on my way to a 'mince pie-a-thon” in 'London's West End'. The efforts of these three gentleman in the light of my injury can't actually be oversold or underestimated. Though it must be said (maybe excepting the University of Southampton Finance Departmement – only joking), before and after the break EVERYBODY involved in every stage, stepped up admirably. I'm so grateful to have been asked.