It began with a chair…

Well, that’s a bit of a lie, even if it is a great line. It began with a bed, in which I lay for a week, stricken with a particularly gross strain of tonsillitus. It began with a radio broadcast by a presenter I used to have some respect for. It began with a hundred photographs of drunken revellers – shoes off, asses out, puking in the streets.

It began with a lot of things. So here’s some background. I’ve lived in Cardiff for ten years now, pretty much. It’s a wonderful city with a great cultural scene, particularly for music, with a great community of bands, artists, DJs, promoters, producers, and general party heads that make it what it is. Cardiff has received a lot of flack over the past couple of years – become emblematic for booze Britain, and frankly, I’m sick of people wailing on my home city.

So what can you do. You can write strongly worded letters to Radio Four or leave comments under every story that appears on a newspaper website. Or you can do something that shows people that it’s not all like that here.

Yes, the main drag of town is fairly Armageddon-esque on the weekends, but show me a city or town in the UK that’s not like that. I wouldn’t visit the chain bar drag in Nottingham or Birmingham or Southampton or Sheffield city centres on a weekend. That’s not to do down those cities – each has a great underground music and entertainment scene, just like Cardiff has. It’s just that – for some reason – Cardiff seems to get all the negative press, and very little positive.

So, how am I going to show people the positive?

I’m going to make a film.

It’s got no title as yet – I’m hoping inspiration will strike during some of the many interviews I’m planning over the next couple of months. It’s going to be a documentary film. That’s all I know at the moment.

Being from a journalistic background, I have no experience in film beyond what I learned at university and the little filming I do at work. This project can go one of two ways – I can do it all renegade style, with nothing more than some friends and a Flip video camera – or I can go all out, look for some funding, and do a bang up job.

Luckily, Cardiff is small enough that I have friends who can help and advise me. And that’s the next stage.

I’ll be using this blog to chart the progress of the film as it takes shape: the decisions that are made, the help I receive, how the interviews and filming is going. I’ll also be using it as a scrapbook, showcasing some of the stuff that’s inspired me to make it- and inspiring me to shoot it as I go on.

First stop – chat to a man about a dog. My friend Greg Mothersdale does a lot of film related stuff. I’ve arranged to meet him at the Pen and Wig for a chat. More soon.


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