Director's Diary

Chavs and Peter Tatchell in London

It wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped in our nation’s capital today. With limited budget from crowdfunding campaigns generating less funds than we needed, we had to try and get so many interviews into one day. Some interviewees have been accommodating in agreeing to be interviewed back up north, while others have not got back to us.

I’ve known Owen Jones through Twitter from before he became a published author, back when we had a few hundred followers each, so I was able to step on the toes of producer Jane Watkinson and coordinate the interview with him directly. However, with the success of his book Chavs, he’s been in high demand ever since, and he seemed to bail on our interview with him in favour of being filmed for Channel 4, which I guess is inevitable if your publishers or agents want you to get you the most exposure possible for your next book, rather than take a chance on a small, independent, guerilla documentary with no commercial ties. He pushed us back bit by bit, and it became unclear where and when we’d actually get the interview done after all.

I’m sure it’s nothing personal from the boyish bane of Fox News; we just got lost in the shuffle and as a result, spent hours hovering around central London for him to give us a “where and when” that never came, no matter how much we chased him up. So we sat around drinking coffees, wishing we’d hadn’t postponed the other interviewees. These things happen.

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Later on though, we got an interview with Peter Tatchell, as planned.

For a life-long activist who’s been assaulted for his human rights campaigning, he was very accommodating, welcoming us into his very humble flat in London, which was full of protest posters and pamphlets. We were definitely able to highlight his broad range of activism beyond his background as a gay rights campaigner, which most of the media seem to pigeonhole him as a lot. As we headed out the door, he was already back on his computer, this time helpfully emailing over to us images we said we needed from his campaigning.

We grabbed some pizza afterwards, before taking the train back up north. We’re hopeful some of the other interviewees will let us film them on their travels north, but some have been reluctant to be shot anywhere outside their London office. For that fat kid from Doncaster, it’s hard to stomach!

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