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 - September Blog Entry

Occupy Democracy


It never rains it pours.

Where to begin. Well lets start with my film- making. These last two months I have been quite busy and I managed to earn a few crumbs too!
Did you hear about Occupy Democracy? It was an action that had been planned for many months, to conduct a time-limited occupation of Parliament Square to challenge the democracy of the UK. The UK public did not vote for the privatisition of the NHS or fracking in particular and the government is trundelling along with both destructive programs anyway. OD believes that something is amiss in our democracy if such grave matters with such horrendous consequences can go unhindered.

The Occupy Democracy Working Group had some cash to spend on videos to advertise the event and they chose me to spend it on. I think my heart may have shrivelled up and died had they chosen someone else considering all the videos I have made for them/us gratis. For £300 I made these 4 videos including expenses. I say all this not to advertise that I am as cheap as chips but to say that in activism a different set of rules applies. Seeing as none of my fellow activist got paid for their work I chose to honour this cash and make sure I spend it on equipment as that is what marks my contribution to activism as different to that of most others. Mine is expensive and does set me back financially. The items I desperately need are a tripod head and another hard drive and that somewhat swallowed the £300 in one and a half gulps. I know which head I want : Manfrotto MVH502AH Pro Video Head and after some thought I have chosen to go for the HGST 4TB Touro Desk DX3 USB 3.0 Hard Disk Drive (Black). Its a hitachi hard drive voted the best by Backblaze. It the same brand as is used in the three times as expensive G-raid. It is unclear to me whether it is actually the same hard drive inside the Graid 4TB box. if anyone can verify that it would make me feel like a scored big time. Feel free to contact me!


















I placed them on the Occupy London TV channel and as usual I do not get anymore than 4000 views. Anyone out there know how I can increase the spread of my videos I sure would love to know. The infomation on these videos is very important in my opinion and really should be public knowledge.

Occupy Democracy must have scared the powers that be because they fenced off the entire square the full 10 day occupation and today (31st October), 5 days after we left it is still fenced off. The public may think it is our fault but it isn't. IMO it shows the tremendous fear they have of protest, such fear is only fuelled when the parties are guilty. Guilty of the blatant disregard for the suffering from fuel poverty and the general need for services.



European Wide Day of Action Against TTIP


While I was making these video I was also involved in the meetings to organize the 11th October European Day of Action against TTIP.  I was in the London group and it was kinda hard to get it off the ground but in the end we managed. "We" were supposed to be coalition of NGOs but really "we" were Occupy Londoners and World Development movement people and a few concerned individuals. We ended up with the biggest banner ever made and for some reason I fell in love with it. I told my cameras that it was possible to love more than one inanimate object at a time and they gave me the silent treatement in response.

What is TTIP? Well TTIP Is the biggest pain in my arse I have ever had and I cannot wait to get rid of the obligaition I feel to do what I can to tell the public about it. Unfortunately its quite a big job. The mainstream media seem uninterested. It is hard for them to cover given their addiction to the 'hook' of the story. The hook cannot be big enough to catch a whale but has to be big enough to be interesting. TTIP is a gam of whales. It stands for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It is a free trade agreement being negotiated between the US Department of Trade and the European Commission. The concerns of NGOs and campaigners alike is that the hamonization of regulations will lower European Union standards. We are also scared that privatisation will scavange any remnants of public services and that ISDS will render national governments impotent to pass laws that may protect the envoronment and its citizenrty from the vulturous appetite of the capitalistic market.

For more info visit this page I made for the OL site.

So what can I do??.. Make a banner of course.

Making sure it hung properly off the Westminster Bridge I was reminded of my relative fearlessness of heights when the ledge is sizable


Loving the breeze!



Pretty impressive huh!

For those interested? The lettes are 1.4m high, the material was 2 meters wide in 10 metre strips. We stencilled the letters before painting it on with non glossy paint. x x Cost all up £130.

One full week after that Occupy democracy actually started..... Videos and Info

Till we meet again.. oh ... i joined the National Union of Journalists!

August 2014 Blog

Reclaim The Power Protest Camp in Blackpool



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.


NoTTIP Campaign Continues

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:

/  *press release

The Democracy Action Working Group are planning to Occupy Parliament Square and I have been asked to help with some videos.

Where were the 99% : A film about Occupy London.

Transcription is completed; Website page has been put together.

Still in formulation mode.






June-July 2014 Blog





My favorite holdiay shot, from Marfa in Malta.








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....


March Blog

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.


January 2014



2013 has walked defiantly out door and I have to admit that it has been one of the most adventurous years of my life thanks to all the people who have helped and loved me. Read more...

Blog November 2013 - Occupy and US/EU Free Trade Agreement

occupy logo 2



In September - October I  involved myself with Occupy again. I was bored and it was time for some straight forward no BS activism. Film making can be a bit too solo a mission for me.





toe in water

First I tested the water and found the temperature to be lovely and then I high dived headfirst deep! The water was not as deep as I had hoped. The thud on my head was significant. More on that later.



September 2013

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! Read more...

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.

At the moment Polly Tikkle Productions is still producing a short video promo for Polly Higgins' Wish 20 campaign.

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.


January 2013

At the moment Polly Tikkle Productions is producing a short video promo for Polly Higgins' Wish 20 campaign.

Last month I completed a 10 minute piece on the Bank Of England's proposed reforms.

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

drones palestine gaza

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.



Occupy London November 2011


Occupy London Stock Exchange will be my new home indefinitely starting November 10th. Till then I can enjoy hot showers.


Funding Applications - The Hopelessness of Hope - October 2011

inka stafrace film funding malta arts fund


I decided to put aside my shame that I have still not made it back to the Holy Land in 4.5 months and write some more.