To understand this project and why I think this film idea will be a success you will first have to understand David Sanni the director and the screen writer.
I was born and raised in East London. Canning town to be exact in a smal l flat with my mother,father and my two older siblings Francis and Rachael . At this particular time things were tough and we didn’t have much in the way of valuables but what we did have was love and strife.
Things took a turn for the better when my father acquired his own garage where he performed his repairs and the buying and selling of vehicles. My mother took a major leap forward in the way of careers as she went from working in Gregg’s to becoming an accountant. At a young age we then moved to a 3 bedroom semi-detached house in canning town a stone throw away from our first place in Plaistow. It was a big step up and a happier period of time for us in our lives as the increase in space enabled us to invite more family round, which made it a more sociable move.
Enough though I lived in the east end I did not opt to support West Ham football club, instead I decided to follow my fathers team Arsenal. At the age tender of 12 I played for the under 16 youth academy team outlet for west ham. My fondest moment whilst with West ham was during one of the half time shows at the Boelyn Ground. I remember being brought out unto the field to hold up posters about racism in football after our parade the fans clapped us off. This is moment when I first learnt to love the club, they are a proper institution with real core fans. At 18 I worked for the club in a slightly different capacity in the kitchen as a KP whilst in college. These experiences have aided me in building a loving and true relationship with the club and it also goes someway in explaining why I made a film which is so heavily involved with West Ham football club.
The poem that inspired this narrative is one which I wrote a couple years ago called ‘A bit about Frank’ who is a completely fictional character although he can be compared to many. The poem is very deep and harbours thoughts of death, poverty, and regret. I want the audiences to say ‘Wow I can’t believe this actually happened’, or ‘I can relate to Frank, I’ve been through similar issues’ These are the two sorts of responses and feelings I ideally want to evoke from my audience. I am a very dramatic person, and my acting background has helped me to visualise how I want my actors to bring out the intense emotions in every letter of the script. Many people have been brought to tears after reading this poem, and this was one of the factors which spurred me to convert this text into a film. In aim is to transfer this feeling and emotion into film, shots, location and actions. Frank the character is a novel in it’s self. He ventures through such a range of emotions which come through in his monologue. This is this is not the first I have attempted an adaptation from poetry into film. I have done it a film called ‘Questions of a man 2’.
I read in a book that ‘to enter a story you must give up being one self for a while’ (Cooper, 2005). Whilst bringing this poem to life I tried to embody this theory by becoming Frank. I closed my eyes and tried to picture his life, his world and this helped me put him together and map his journey. Although doing this was not particularly difficult as I can relate to him in may ways. The development of Frank will be an integral factor to the success or failure of this film, as his monologue epitomises the entire narrative.
Below is the original poem entitled ‘A bit about Frank’ which was written over 3 years ago by David Sanni.
‘Life hasn’t always been great In fact all I see are rainy days, My mum passed away, and my dad soon followed, My wife left too, guessing for a younger model, She just epitomized what life was like for me inside, Behind bars, before my 21st, Emotions on the wall See I don’t know what’s worse being in jail, or seeing my mum in a hearse.
I guess were all cursed, See I never wanted to be famous or rich, I just wanted to be content with my life by the time I was 46, 54 now, And I ‘am officially divorced now, See I don’t cry no more because that just makes things worse, plus I’ve got to put Billy first, He’s clocked on, And I don’t want him to think he’s old mans weak, So I just plough on, Yeah and growing up in east London wasn’t easy, Watching the hammers on the weekend was the only time I got to feel free, In and out of allies, and fucking this girl sally
Ehh I never said I was an angel, Just born in new ham general, See I was a problem child from early, But nothing was early about my delivery, Popped out late, my parents couldn’t wait to get rid of me, See I’ve seen the London fields turn from a bright luscious green, to a grey withering mess. Let’s firstly address the dis proportioned reality of life, Joy round here is short lived, the greys are over powering.
Basically son I’m not saying nothing good happen round here, I’d be lying, I understand my son was a blessing But then a about thousand bad things occur, See we get a sip of joy, but gallons of pain And I swear I can’t take any more shots to my brain, Anger is still pumping through my veins, I can’t visualise a brighter place, I’m stuck in middle of all these greys.
See I’ve become something I never thought I would be, I lost my soul in the winds, And now I can’t find it in the street, I’ve lost me and I feel like I’m slipping away..(Sighs)
Even these upstanding tower flats we call home can’t keep me on my feet, The thought makes me weak, My peaks are too low for me to be ever be content within the average week.
You look frightened son I’m just painting you a picture of my reality, Stuck in this God forsaken estate where all hell breaks loose, Less options now so in terms of predicaments we don’t even get to choose, Trying to make Billy my priority.
I want the best for you little rascals believe me Make it big… I don’t know be a lawyer or do something on TV Be men, get married, have kids and leave the city, Realize your dreams be free Just don’t erm err Just don’t end up like me.
Pat Cooper, Ken Dancyger (2005). Writing the short film. 3rd ed. USA: Focal Press.pg 10.