Over the past few months I have been thinking long and hard about my FMP idea and about what sort of media related journey I wanted to undergo. During the summer a few friends and I from my production company (O.N.W) shot a short in East London which had strong ties to West Ham football club.
Frankly Billy is based on love and hardship where it’s story lies in the heart of East London. The story revolves around two best friends Daniel and Billy ,Billy the main character is the youngest of pair he is dominating, naughty, and mischievous whereas Daniel is the complete opposite. After a long day in the park Billy schemes a way to get Daniel to steal from the local shop, which he does successfully and the boys narrowly escape the grasp of the angry shopkeeper. Fast-forward a decade to present day – Daniel has just returned back from university for the summer holidays whereas Billy has been stuck doing dodgy jobs with no hope of leaving the area; he has recently found out that his dad is ill and will pass away if he doesn’t receive a new kidney. Billy’s knows he’s played an integral part in the cause of his dads stress and illness so he decides to take matters into his own hands and steps up to do the transplant on the black market, as he is the only family his Dad has. Although because Billy has his own heart complications the NHS did not approve of his application in fear he would die of a heart attack. Unfortunately on that same day of Daniel’s arrival Billy passes away as the procedure takes a turn for the worse. Frank Billy’s father was completely unaware Billy knew he had an illness, and has now lost the last thing he had left. Denise Billy’s X girlfriend is also left the distraught as she feels partly responsible for her friends death as she got Billy is contact with the private doctor. This is an epic tale of best friends who got torn apart by society, love, and decisions. The story harbours some deep underlying thoughts and enigmas like class, and society.
Whilst living, eating, and breathing West Ham for months in preparation for my role as Director I stumbled across a West Ham fan in a local pub seconds away from the Boelyn Ground. He was very inquisitive and he asked the crew and I about what we were filming, and he was also intrigued about the relation the film had to his beloved West Ham and how the club was going to be portrayed. We spoke in depth about the club, the supporters, and the infamous move that the club is making across East London during this forthcoming summer. I could feel the passion and anger in his voice which threw me off because I wasn’t aware that so many fans are and were against the move. He pointed me in the direction of like minded fans, and encouraged to join and campaign against the move. This sparked an idea in my head to make a documentary around the clubs controversial move and the effect it would on fans and the general support of the club. The fellow I was talking to was in his 50’s and he had been supporting the Hammers since he was knee high and he swore ‘never to step foot into that new stadium’. The key questions for me is what is it that sparks this much anger and rage amongst certain fans? How will this move negatively affect the fans? And do fans have much of a say in the running of their beloved clubs nowadays?. The love I have for football also drew me closer to this issue the idea of being a fanatic and belonging to some sort of cult or even religion. Along side the fact that I was born minutes away from West Ham football club and played for their U16’s youth team for a spell.
My following thoughts turned to how I would shoot this documentary, the pacing, the content, the marketing etc. Since there are already many social media outlets who are against I would use this established outlets to my advantage and get them on board. I will give the voiceless a voice to express their opinions and aim to broadcast it social media and also on channels like BBC3. I would attempt to get interviews from established football figures, or well known fans so that their opinions hold weight. I would attempt to infiltrate Gentlemen’s clubs, Pubs, Cafe’s around the stadium to capture the life and opinions of an average West Ham. I was thinking to follow a well respected West Ham fan to see what they do on a match day for example. The pace would vary but I would try to emulate the high intensity of the English game through the shots and sound. These are just some of my ideas.