Monday, 8 October 2012

Barnet - The Billion Pound Gamble - update

Many people have been asking us how the production of Barnet - The Billion Pound Gamble has been going. Do you want the honest answer? It is a nightmare. We interviewed the Friern Library Campaign about the closure and then the Library was occupied and re-opened. A whole new story appeared. We interviewed Helen Michael about her parking campaign, then Brian Coleman was arrested in connection with an alleged assault. We interviewed many people about the CEO, Mr Nick Walkley and last Thursday he announced he was resigning. How can you make a film on a shoestring, when the story keeps changing?

The answer is "with passion and commitment". As well as having to film a whole new set of interviews, we have to rewrite the storyboard and recut the rough edit. On top of that, we have to change our press releases (I'd written a set of four, three weeks ago). Charles Honderick is tearing his hair out. He has been receiving all manner of offers of work since A Tale of Two Barnets was released and yet has committed 100% to make the new film. It has cost him a small fortune in lost opportunities. We are lucky that he feels a debt of gratitude to those who have helped make his name in Barnet. As soon as this project is completed, I believe he has two new ones lined up (that hopefully will actually pay him a living wage).

We have started putting clips together for trailers. the first of these features Ken Loach speaking about outsourcing and One Barnet. It is featured in the sidebar of this blog and is sound common sense. I sincerely hope that our councillors listen to his wise words.

We hope to have the full trailer completed next week. Charles joked to me that the way things are going, One Barnet will have been abandoned by the 22nd when we show the film, so we won't actually have a story to tell.

He has spent the weekend editing footage and compressing the 22 hours of film down to about an hour and a half. Being from Florida and not familar with local council politics, he said "you gotta see some of the town hall insanity and the parade and Theresa (Mrs Angry) and John and Susan Sullivan. I do believe there is a great film lurking in there".

By the time you see it on 22nd, I'll have probably watched the edits as we refine them at least 20 times and Charles about 100 times. For ATOTB, I've seen the film at over 20 screenings, in Barnet, The Houses of Parliament, The Phoenix, Edinburgh Festival, in Bournmouth at the Unison Conference and in Great Russell St at the TUC conference.

I think that it is a good film which stands up. We intend to make a better one.