Q&A with director Alan Knight


24 April 2017

Based on the popular book by GA Ponsonby, London Calling is Alan Knight's thought-provoking documentary that looks at the role the BBC played in the outcome of the Scottish Referendum in 2014, which screens Mon 1 May at 18:00. Alan will be attending the screening and welcoming questions from the audience after the film.

We asked Alan to tell us more about London Calling and he was happy to oblige, so have a read of his often forthright views (which are his own and not those of DCA) and then book your tickets to join the debate. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I'm originally from Glasgow, presently based in Edinburgh. I'm a documentary filmmaker, with a background in writing and film editing (drama, features etc) when working in the mainstream in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Some of my documentary work is available on Vimeo. I'm also a photographer, with a book published by Stenlake Publishing, titled Glasgow at the Crossroads

We're looking forward to seeing London Calling - can you tell us a bit about the film?

" expose of the various methods of bias used by the BBC during Scotland's recent referendum..."

London Calling was inspired by a book of the same name by GA Ponsonby. It is an expose of the various methods of bias used by the BBC during Scotland's recent referendum, designed to undermine the Scottish Independence movement. Contrary to what many have been conditioned to think, the BBC is not a Public Service Broadcaster, but a lying, deceitful propaganda vehicle for the corrupt British State. The film chronicles but a few examples of the extent to which the BBC sank into the abyss of media deception, while masquerading as a fair and balanced news channel.

What were some of the challenges you faced getting London Calling made?

"We decided to have a crowd funding campaign..."

Financial! Obviously this doc wasn't going to be supported by the BBC, or even STV(!), so we decided to have a crowd funding campaign and managed to raise around £18,000, which was actually pretty decent, but it's around 20% of a mainstream budget for a documentary of this length (70mins). The minimal resources forced me into carrying out multiple tasks on the production, which extended the post production period. I only had enough in the budget to pay for Cartoonist, Motion Graphics, Music, Research and a small film crew, so it was quite a task but worth it I think.

Do you have any advice for budding filmmakers looking to make their first documentary?

"...the more you get involved in the practical process of filmmaking the more you learn."

Avoid film schools. Get yourself a digital camera and decent sound equipment, develop an interesting idea that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg, and shoot the material you require. If it doesn't work out during the editing post production then don't be overly concerned, the more you get involved in the practical process of filmmaking the more you learn.

What's next for you after London Calling?

"I'm looking to develop a kind of animated documentary/drama..."

Well, that depends on finances as always! I'm looking to develop a kind of animated documentary/drama, about the true story of the famous American icon, Buffalo Bill, who visited Scotland with his Wild West show over 100 years ago. This is a big budget project which requires a lot of development. I also want to make a very low budget film about Northern Cyprus, which may or may not happen, but I also intend to create more material connected to Scottish independence before the next referendum comes around. We live in unprecedented times, and we're all being subjected to manipulation and lies like never before by this destructive UK Government. We need to strongly oppose their treacherous ways.

London Calling is screening as part of Scottish Encounters, the strand in our programme that gives Dundee audiences the opportunity to see new work from emerging Scottish screen talent, from shorts to features and from documentary to fiction. Each screening will also offer the chance to meet the people behind the work.

London Calling screens Mon 1 May at 18:00, with director Alan Knight welcoming questions from the audience afterwards. The film is sure to spark some debate, so make sure to fill out a #helloDCA card and let us know what you think.

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