This blog covers the trials and tribulations of Polly Tikkle Productions: independent film making in general. Some assorted opinion pieces are thrown in for good measure!.
Independent Filmmaking Blog
October - November Blog Entry
Occupy Democracy (OD) was a direct action planned by the Democracy Action Working Group of Occupy London. The time-limited occupation of Parliament Square, London, to challenge deep seated flaws in the UK democracy was many months in the making. The UK public did not vote for the privatisation of the NHS or fracking and yet the government is trundling along with both destructive programs anyway. Increasingly the circumstantial evidence mounts that the sole motivation of our politicians to make these choices is for the financial kick backs they are receiving. This evidence is clearly stipulated in what Tina Louse a fracktavist from Blackpool says in a video I made for OD (below) and in this excerpt of a Putney Debate that I am currently in the process of videoing for Occupy London TV.
Many more Occupy Democracy Videos can be found on the Occupy London TV You Tube Channel in two sections on the front page. I put together a few of them but not all. Below are the ones I made before the action began. We had a few celebs turn up. Russel Brand, Vivienne Westwood, Ken Loach, numerous authors and academics and a few MPs, one of which got arrested for standing with us; Baroness Jenny Jones of the House of Lords Green Party MP.
What The Fracking Frack Is Wrong With Our Fracking Government?
The Reclaim The Power time limited occupation of a field in Blackpool where an earthquake took place in 2010 due to fracking, was too good an opportunity for some activism to miss. Poisoning of our aquafiers is worth a 4 our trip I thought. With a borrrowed tent and totally unsuitable boots I crammed myself in a car with 3 other adult and a baby and 8 hours later we pooped ourselves out the metal box on wheels.
Reclaim The Power organized 13 direct actions targeting energy giants and weak politicians in camp.
RTP was a clear illustration of co operation amongst activists. Just when I was prepared to believe that large scale activism could never work because (via the consensus model) there will always be some tool blocking bright ideas along come Reclaim the Power. For me this camp was about reclaiming the faith, that activism can be civil, progressive, productive and that it can mobilise a greater population to co-operate with it.
The consensus model of Reclaim the Power was tiered and this is what made it work. By the time the larger population of the camp knew what was going in terms of details of the direct actions proposed, we were alreadly split into groups. This was very clever. I also believe that it is more likely to have developed into this genius model rather than having been wilfully designed. Whatever it was, it stopped the ability of the random individuals stopping the will of the vast majority.
About 400 people attended the camp. In 2013, at the now infamous Balcombe Camp, apparently around 2000 participants had attended.
I also put together a few articiles for the Occupy London website about my experience.
The NoTTIP planning meeting on the 2nd August was successful in forming 6 working groups. I joined the Outreach group adn teh co-ordinating group. We have flyered 3 Farmers Markets, Waitrose near Angel and Nottinghill Carnival and made in roads to the British Medical Association and the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces all which still need to be finalized. We also joined 38 Degrees on their National Day of Action and flyered in our separate neighbourhoods.
On the 12th July the NoTTIP movement organized a national day of action.
On the 2nd August the NoTTIP movement organized the first large scale planning meeting.The next planning meeting is on the 6th September as the Friends Of The Earth Offices. Join us.
Occupy London Update
I am still working with Occupy.
In the past few months there have been 2 public assemblies promptly formed by us after the grander Stop The War marches and speeches against Operation Protetctive Edge in Gaza, had concluded.
Both assemblies were successful. It seems quite obvious to us now that we were providing a service for the emotionally charged marchers to voice their opinion. Hearing the daily news of the massacre of the population in Gaza is very hard on many of us.
The action of the London Palestine Action Group who occupied and closed down an arms factory in Staffordshie brought much hope to many of us that if enough members of the public know about the the £7Billion industry of UK arms sales to Israel that it might end. Action such as these help make the public aware!
The following is my work on the OL website in relation to Palestine:
From March to May I was a transcribing machine. Hooked in to two computers (listening and watching in one and transcibing in the other) I deligentily transcribed all my archival footage from the Occupy London protest camp of 2011 and 2012 for the long form film I making about it. Then a miracle occurred. Dragon Naturally Speaking launched Version 4 for Macs for $99 and I bought it (there lies the miracle). It is not without fault but it increased my output by about 300%. I correct it as I go along so I am still totally wired in when transcribing. Sometimes the mistakes are funny....
A few things had to be done this year for Polly Tikkle Productions to stay afloat and in the game.
Upgrading to a Second Hand Apple MacBookPro.
Why this is a good decision?
My 2007 darling finally died. As most things that leave me, it did so with an explosion. No melting away into oblivion. The battery blew up. It was a little poop, but still as far as laptops go I should not dismiss the event as anything but an extraordinary goodbye.
I have been back in London now for nearly one month.
My Sony FS100 took some getting used to and trying to find the controls while tear gas cannisters are flying everywhere was a tad more difficult than it needed to be and the result
I gotta say is a heck of a lot of out of focus, over exposed tears!
With a deep breath in I have to take responsibility for not being able to make up mind what camera to purchase until it was too late to practice, before heading off to the Middle East. Why is it called that? The globe is round right? How on earth (no pun intended) can you have a 'middle' on a spherical surface and then judge what is east of that middle? How about 'Top Left-ish' area? That would make just as much sense!
Latest Blog Entry : February 2013
At a joint Occupy and DPAC meeting I discovered that 10,000 disabled people have died due to either their illness getting significantly worse or suicide and that all the deaths are linked to the 'fitness for work' test . DPAC asked for help from Occupy in a vigil action they have planned for the middle of this year, 2013. In an unofficial Occupy initiative the live streamers and I are going to help film and stream the DPAC meeting of the 9th of February.
Difficulties obtaining much of the footage have occurred. Greenpeace were the most prompt in their help. Resurgence and RSA are also willing to contribute footage as is independent film maker Leon Stuparic. The search for high quality footage of war, indigenous people and ecocide continues.
Finger Pointing to the Earth feature documentary project has found a new found focus as the role of land ownership and its relationship to wars and ecocide is researched. The trailer has been updated accordingly.
In terms of Occupy, a feature documentary is in the development stage.
UN-Palestine is (sort of) Recognized - Nov 30th 2012
I wrote in 2011 that the acknowledgement of the Palestinian state in the upper echelons of the United Nations is so long over due that its like giving mother's milk to a grown man who was an orphan at birth. Something about it is decidedly ill, and to a great degree I still mean it.