This film is part of the Youth Takeover season, created by students at Uxbridge College.
This film is part of 1000 Londoners, a ten-year digital project which aims to create a digital portrait of a city through 1000 of the people who identify themselves with it. The profile contains a 3 minute film that gives an insight into the life of the Londoner, as well as their personal photos of London and some answers to crucial questions about their views on London life. Over the course of the project we aim to reveal as many facets of the capital as possible, seeing city life from 1000 points of view.
1000 Londoners is produced by South London based film production company and social enterprise, Chocolate Films. The filmmakers from Chocolate Films will be both producing the films and providing opportunities to young people and community groups to make their own short documentaries, which will contribute to the 1000 films. Visit www.chocolatefilms.com
My name's Ben, I am 24 years old, and I work as a freelance writer, director and editor. I grew up in West Drayton, in Hayes, I grew up in and around council houses and estates. I went to high school, I failed my GCSE's, I wanted to be in film, but I really didn't know how, and I couldn't do my A Levels in Media,. So, I ended up doing college courses in Theatre and stuff, and one thing led to another, and I fell into doing a film course at Uxbridge College. And then from there I just found work, really. I didn't have any other plans. Like, I always knew I wanted to do film. I wish I could do other things, because film is really difficult, and it's really competitive, and I would like to have done an easier type of work. But none of it really makes me happy, so I have to kind of go for it, and I love it, even though it can get really stressful, or the hours can be really long, I love every second of it, and I wouldn't change it. But no, I couldn't say that I want to do anything else with my life. So, when you're a kid, you have those really big dreams, and mine was being a director. And I went into film thinking yeah that's what I want to do, and then I got into it and I realised how much work it is. But the passion never really died for me. I realised very quickly that to be a good director, you need to have good knowledge of all the different aspects of filmmaking, not just what's going on in front of the camera, but what's going on behind it as well. So I experimented with everything. And some things I was better at than others, and it just so happened that the things that I was good at was writing. I really enjoy creative writing. When I first started editing in my first year, I hated it, I was awful at it, and my teacher, she would constantly tell me that "just don't give up, keep trying." And I was like "no, seriously I will never get it", and I used to just have arguments with her all the time, and it got to the end of the unit and she was like "you did really well, you've done a really good job" and I was like, no way, that's really weird. I think living in London definitely impacted my career choices, 100%. Because I live so close to so many amazing film studios, I have West London Film Studios, which is my closest one, and the place where I work. The film industry, especially around my area, is really big, and it's a coincidence, because obviously, I am passionate about film, but I'm so glad, and I feel really grateful, that I am, because I'd hopefully like to be doing international adverts as well. I have already started doing stuff for European companies. I've done a few stuff for a couple companies in the US, but I'd like to start branching out and making that more of my every day. Because then, if that happens then I can literally get work from anywhere in the world, and I can just do it at home. Wake up on my sofa, that's just winning at life, right?