Thursday, 11. December 2008 - 2:02 pm
Commissioned alongside several other shorts from across the globe in an ongoing project to accompany each track on Dido’s new album – films from Bangkok and Nazare have been posted up on Promo this week, and all the films made so far are on the special Safe Trip Home website – the film tackles the meaning of home via an insightful view of various British teenagers’ bedrooms.
Ben explains how he managed the difficult task of actually getting inside these hallowed spaces below… And apart from anything else, in its quiet way his film helps to redress the balance with a media that delights in demonising teenagers.
As Ben shows, they can be quite sweet really. Apparently.
Don’t Believe In Love (Sony BMG)
Film Title: Teenage Bedrooms
Prod co: Draw Pictures
Director: Ben Unwin
Producer: Matt Cummins
Editor: Ben Unwin
Online: Olly at Dirty
Grade: Tom at Prime Focus
Commissioners: Laura Lewis, Semera Khan
“What me? Ben Unwin? In a Teenagers Bedroom! What Were They Thinking?” – Ben Unwin on making his film for Dido’s Safe Trip Home film project
“Several years ago I completed a full-length documentary Well Done Now Sod Off about the anarchist band Chumbawamba which (although an exhausting experience) won several awards and gave me the taste for making documentaries whenever possible.
“Through fatherhood I have watched the way that my daughter has customised her bedroom to reflect her personality and this seemed like an interesting starting point with which to jump into the teenage world.
When the Dido project came up it seemed an ideal time to take this idea and experiment with putting it to music.
“I had noticed that it had seemed to become the norm for television to describe all teenagers with the same broad brushstrokes and I felt that teenagers were being pigeonholed together in a way that you would never consider sensible with adults. My intention was to give the viewer a glimpse of a private world that is not only truthful but also I hope optimistic.
“I asked producer Matt Cummings to set up a series of interviews with a broad cross-section of teenagers ranging from thirteen to nineteen. The only rule was that I know nothing about them until we arrived, and had no idea if their bedroom was mansion or a mouse hole. All the teenagers were asked the same twenty questions ranging from ‘What scares you?’ to ‘What music do you like?’, and with a crew of three (including Matt and D.P. Eduardo Trowse) I was able to obtain a relaxed atmosphere.
“Despite assurances from one parent that I should ‘bring a bio-hazard suit’ I feel privileged to have been allowed into this world and I am continuing to conduct interviews so as to develop the project into a full one hour version.”