It never rains…

This year has been quite busy for me and The Freewheelers, and me outside the Freewheelers!

In July I directed for a day on Extra Time, a football time-travelling film that I’m making with my friend Mark Lever. I also met Rikki Beadle Blair, and spoke to him about playwriting. I’m now writing my first full length play, based on an idea we talked about.

In August I filmed Sectioned, my new film. This work was funded by an Arts Council England grant which I was lucky enough to get this year, and is my first adaptation based on my friend, John O’ Donoghue’s, book about him being sectioned in the 1970s and 1980s. John visited The Freewheelers last year and took part in our Heritage Lottery Funded Project to talk about the old ‘asylums’.

In September I started with a mentoring script editor, so I’ve had to deliver new writing (at least two drafts of a TV treatment) within tight deadlines since then.

I also saw an opportunity to apply for 10 weeks of mentoring as part of The London Screenwriters Festival. I wasn’t going to apply, because I’d already signed up with a mentor – but then I did, and I was successful. So I’ve been working on a new draft of my feature script, for which I’ve had to hand in various work since October. This culminated in a final two days in London at Ealing Studios, and I had a meeting with TV production company, Tiger Aspect, which was all very exciting!

In October The Freewheelers had our very successful Film & Music Night, which for the first time incorporated the new singing group in our film screenings. This worked pretty well, and included Uplifted Live!, as well as films including Peter Messer’s Independence, and our new puppet film – which got loads of laughs.

Oh, yeah, and I finished writing my autobiography.

Throughout all this I’ve been working regularly with The Freewheelers Media Group every Tuesday. We’ve recorded a new radio play, and are developing some new work for the summer show 2016. We’re developing a number of films of different genres, including drama, World War One and poetry.

I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Rachel Gadsden on Amandla!, and have been filming her painting in various ways. I met Rachel a while back, and am now happy to say that she’s The Freewheelers’ new patron.

I made the film of Amandla! which was screened behind the live action on stage, on December 3rd at The Leatherhead Theatre. It also included some of Rachel Mold’s drawings.  It was a great experience to be involved in, but the first time we saw it altogether was with the audience in the actual performance!

But things like this also happen to Beyonce too. The first time she did this performance live on US telly was the first time anyone saw the whole thing, too.

Happy holidays to all! 😀