Well, I am a filmmaker who has just had one of the longest periods of gestation for a film! After a nine year period filming and editing Bananaz, a documentary about the internal world of the band Gorillaz, the creation of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, my life needed a change from the years of filming in darkened studios, on the road and nightly activities. Now I have found myself walking into a completely different place to inhabit with my camera, a land of brightness, colour and nature, in fact a suitably appropriate place for the next phase of my life. So what am I doing in this forgotten land of sunlight? I am endeavouring to make a documentary film entitled The Bird Effect.
The Bird Effect is, in its simplest definition, a study of how birds inform and affect people. The film talks to, looks at and works with a variety of people across the spectrum of life covering the arts to science. From birders, twitchers, scientists and conservationists to artists, writers and musicians.
What influence are birds upon us? Why does an artist or musician feel inspired to pick up the brush or write a song? Why does a conservationist try to protect these creatures from dying out? How does the critically endangered list of 192 species and their potential extinction mean danger for mankind itself? Are birds actually an indicator of the world’s problems or should we not worry about the fate of birds? Extinction happens, so shouldn’t we just accept it? Since 1600 approximately 100 species of birds have become extinct, but over a third of these have occurred within the last 100 years. An acceleration which could easily be construed as being due to man’s interference upon the planet. The one thing we can say is that without birds the skies would be emptier.
Why do we find pleasure in standing and watching a bird appear and disappear from view? What makes a man stand up for these creatures and defy hunters in Africa to be shot and left for dead to resume his conservation from the lifetime confines of a wheelchair? But the birds were saved… What makes these animals affect so many people on this planet? And why do we, and why should we care?
I hope to address these types of questions through my filmic odyssey of meeting people and discovering their stories. I am eager to concentrate on the people who devote so much time to birds because through them and their work, obsession and devotion a story will unfurl that champions these animals and nature itself…To understand and to show the audience the passions that birds can ignite…
To keep up to date with the filming of the bird effect you can read my diary here http://www.thebirdeffect.com/category/diary