This is the first (December 16) news update about my planned documentary about Quakers in Britain.
The idea crystalized on the day of Trump’s election. I thought: there isn't much I can do to oppose the darkness that he represents except to make a film celebrating the light – people who are attempting to do positive things for others and the planet. I don’t want A Quaker Perspective to be sectarian, but I feel that Friends' unique record of peace-making makes them ideal standard-bearers against the kind of divisiveness and spite that Trump stirred up in his campaign. Moreover there is a sufficient diversity of viewpoints within Quakers to cover the gamut of constructive opinions for people wishing to express both spiritual and non-theist motivation/s.
The project has arisen in part from the film I made with Shaftesbury Young Friends during this summer featuring members of Shaftesbury Meeting. Despite being principally a musician, I have always enjoyed film-making and always wanted to make a documentary but had never previously found a suitable subject that within my scope to complete on my own.
Last week I took a meeting with three senior office-holders at Friends House, who were incredibly helpful in making me aware of all sorts of factors and people able to can give the project form. I am presently commissioning a logo for the film, and have bought a second hi-spec Canon video camera to go with my other and the lighting and sound equipment I have built up over the years for music recording.
I shall be launching a crowd-funding site in Jan/Feb to assist with the costs of the enterprise. But already I am making filming plans.
Next week I shall kick off with Harvey Gillman, who was a particularly imaginative and effective Outreach Secretary for the Society whom I knew 20 years ago. Then over the new year I intend to film three Friends in the north. One has recently been an intern in with an English MEP, one is the Head of Ackworth (Quaker) Junior School, and the third is a campaigner for disabled people. Of those who have already responded to my research these guys struck me as having more than one qualification for inclusion. If possible, I hope to film Quaker Homeless Action over Christmas. Of course, all this has to be fitted in around my other commitments.