Birds Eye View 2: March 2003
First stop: Curzon Soho March 7th and March 8th – International Women’s Day. No one seemed to know that International Women’s Day existed (I think I’d picked it up in South Africa where it’s quite a bit political deal), so that was a hook to chat about as we spread the word. We were beginning to get our heads around how the press worked, and had the first of many volunteer assistants – Claudia Harkavy, helping us out.
Despite the fact that only ONE journalist (bless you, Nick Bradshaw) turned up to our press launch (we had goodie bags and everything!), we were beginning to get coverage – Guardian Guide, Time Out etc. And y’know, this was in the days *before the amazing Future Shorts took the world by storm – touring short film programmes was still quite a novel undertaking, way back then ;-).
We knew celeb spokespeople would be vital for profile-raising, so we wrote to a few of our favourite famous gals and I was blown away when Sally Phillips (Smack the Pony) called me up, all interested and chatty. She came to present on Friday evening in a stunning red dress & shoes.
On the Saturday, we partnered with Women in Film and Television and the Directors Guild of Great Britain for an extremely heated panel discussion. (There was shouting. I was quite shocked!) On Sunday we went to the Watershed in Bristol where Naomie Harris (then recent star of 28 Days Later, now Pirates of the Caribbean) opened with an incredibly lovely and encouraging speech.
Finally, a couple of weeks later, we were at the Duke of York’s, Brighton, with Greta Scacchi introducing. Oh, and there was Babycham. Lots and lots of Babycham, which added a certain saccharine to Brighton parties for the rest of the year 🙂
By this time I was fully pepped up with all this star-affirmation, publicity and audience appreciation, and was on a determined mission to take Birds Eye View to the nation. It’s at this point when pure obsession is required to make that thing fly. I worked long hours from a desk in the living room of a shared Brighton flat, thought about pretty much nothing else but BEV, and I LOVED it.
Meanwhile Pinny was feeling the need to stay loyal to her first professional love – filmmaking, and so we went our separate ways: Pin kept Invisible Films which she still runs to this day, and I took Birds Eye View as a separate not-for-profit company. Not an easy thing for either of us to do – coming out of any intense working partnership is tricky stuff – but we both realised our differences and the need for each of us to plough on with our now different dreams. (Cue a little violin music for the sad end of a happy partnership… sigh…).
Now flying solo – I found new ways to take BEV higher. Find out more, in the next installment…