This exciting new film project is called ‘ Finding Blake ‘ because we want to re-imagine William Blake for the 21st century, and show how relevant he and his impassioned spiritual visions are for all of humanity right now. We’re planning a 3 part film that will blend documentary realism, recreations of Blake’s imagery, and a series of interviews with contemporary scholars and creatives from all walks of life who can situate Blake here and now in modern day reality.
We’ll be filming a new grave being carved for Blake, to replace the existing one in Bunhill Fields in London.This is being created in Cambridge by master letter carver and stone mason Lida Kindersley MBE, and it’s really exciting to be working closely with her, seeing the new monument emerge from Portland stone.
At the same time, we have a highly skilled designer on board to re-create some of Blake’s well-known images, in the flesh, masterminded by an actor as Blake, putting people into the recreations within Blake’s studio!
Also, we’re lining up interviews with fascinating folk who regard Blake as a key inspiration in their lives, and who use that in their own unique brand of creativity and cultural provocation.
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dog starv’d at his Master’s Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear.
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spider’s enmity
from “Auguries of Innocence”
Why now, why are we bringing Blake to the screen now?
We believe this current age of global ecological catastrophe, political austerity and cultural stagnation is exactly when Blake’s vision of a golden age, a humanist, spiritual utopia beyond the Industrial age is needed, as we edge into a time of digitalisation and artificial intelligence - this is precisely the time that William Blake’s prophecies and single-minded spiritual vision need to continue and ripen into fruition. This is an age, 190 years after his death, when we need the visions and words of this visionary prophet even more - as the UK prepares to leave Europe and become a tiny Island State again, shrinking into itself, the US has the worst uncaring president in its history, and the human world is edging toward conflict again and the planet seems to be shaking off the human stain through climate change at an alarming pace!
This is why we need vision and connection to our highest spiritual nature - and Blake was a master articulator of this, connecting humanity to the divine through word and heavenly image.
To bring this project to a screen near you, we need at least 3000 pounds to get underway. We are exploring several ways to secure funding, and starting with a direct appeal to you, our friends and family, film fans and Blake enthusiasts, and those who agree with these creative principles.
This money is for the fees to pay all of us, who are media professionals, balancing lives, families, mortgages, a fair rate; to pay for travel, and hiring equipment that we haven’t already got, and to pay for all the production costs that a project of this scale entails. We’re working closely here in London, in Cambridge where most of us are based, and with the Blake Society, and a range of scholars worldwide, to ensure we present William Blake the man and his enduring legacy accurately and with all the grace and beauty that the world needs now.
“Eternity is in love with the productions of time”
WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED
cameraperson costs - producer fee - actor fee - music composition - licenses: images/music - editor fee - travel & miscellaneous
“All deities reside in the human breast”
The 3000 UK sterling is approximately half the total cost of what we imagine this year-long project will cost. We are talking with film funders, businesses, museums and private funders, but it eases the way forward to raise some of the money for film upfront, which will then attract match funding.
The choosing of the stone and the process to get it ready will start in December 2017, with a trip to the Portland Quarry in Dorset, and will be worked on over the next few months, according to the workshop schedule, hence we’re launching this campaign now to start raising funds and awareness of this film project. While that’s underway, we’ll start the other elements, and reach out to potential interviewees across the UK. There are some potential other exciting strands to weave in, which we’ll reveal later. We’ll also be planning further a distribution strategy to get the film out once completed, towards the end of 2018.
James Murray-White is an award-winning multi-media creative, who has made films on poet John Clare, the Bedouin of the Negev Desert, a play about artist Eric Gill, worked with artist Richard Long, and been filmmaker in residence within the Cambridge University/NHS dementia research Network. A recent trilogy of poem-films produced with poet George Szirtes has been selected for the Venice Bienniale in 2019.He led a team that successfully crowd-funded the Pivotal Festival of Change in Cambridge in 2016:
https://vimeo.com/200725266 Film by Fiacre Muller : https://www.spotlightstorytelling.com
Jonnie Howard runs a Cambridge-based film company, making eclectic multi-genres short films, and has a broad experience delivering quality media to a range of high-profile clients: http://jhfilm.co.uk
Matt Ray Brown is a highly experienced, versatile stage and screen Cambridge-based actor:
https://www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/1259-0167-4932 & www.imdb.com/name/nm2184066/