Just when you think you have seen it all from George Galloway MP, the political heavyweight returns to surprise you with yet another high profile political project. Mr Galloway is due to launch a Kickstarter campaign very soon, where he will ask people around the world to help him make his first documentary film. The film details the triple killings done by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Galloway argues that Blair Killed the Labour Party, Killed hundreds of thousands of People in Iraq and that he made ‘a killing’ out of doing both.
We had the opportunity to talk to the film’s co-director Greg Ward, a documentary filmmaker who is no stranger to controversy. In 2012 Ward spent 7 months filming the leader of the English Defence League for his first major documentary- ‘Far Right, Far Wrong’. We were lucky enough to have a moment with Ward to hear more about his latest collaboration with George Galloway. Here is what he had to say.
CB – Tell us a little about how you and George Galloway started this collaboration?
GW – I first met George Galloway in 2012 whilst making a documentary about the Leader of the English defence League. George and I met to discuss some of the issues raised by the film and to discuss the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in the west. Several months later George and I met to discuss the possibility of working together on a new film from concept to completion.
CB – How did you decide this was the right project, a documentary about Tony Blair?
GW - George Galloway and I discussed various ideas but it was George who came up with idea of making a film about Tony Blair. A documentary about the former PM seemed to me to be the most fitting idea for George to peruse and this film in many ways will bring together many the things George has been fighting for during his long political career. The film details how Blair Killed the Labour Party, killed hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and how he made ‘a killing’ out of doing both. George Galloway will present new and damaging information about Tony Blair and he hopes this film will kickstart the process of sending Blair to the International Criminal Court at the Hague.
CB – Your Kickstarter Campaign will be running in a couple of days. What’s the aim of this campaign, what are you trying to achieve?
GW – The main aim of the Kickstarter campaign is to raise the necessary funds to help get ‘The Killing of Tony Blair – The Movie’ made. We have set the funding target to £50K, but that is a much lower amount than we actually need. Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform so we have set the bar lower so that we have a greater chance of reaching or surpassing our goal. Our campaign also enables supporters to be part of the production process. Everyone who makes a pledge to fund ‘The Killing of Tony Blair – The Movie’ will receive a reward. The more people are able to pledge, the greater the reward will be and we have some great rewards available.
CB – A lot of work and research goes into a KickStarter Campaign. Any useful tips from your experience collaborating with George, how to plan a Kickstarter campaign?
GW – Well our campaign is yet to begin, but I would say, take it seriously, plan every detail, be realistic and only ask for what you need. In order to truly create a powerful and successful campaign I think it helps enormously to collaborate with other people who have skills specialisms that will help make your campaign stronger.
CB – What’s the plan for this film once you eventually raise the money?
GW – We plan to make a feature length documentary film which will be viewable in cinemas across the world. George Galloway is an internationally known political figure and I am confident many people will be very interested to see what information George presents on screen.
CB – Okay let us talk a little about the process. What cameras are you planning to shoot the film with and why? How do you like to work when making your documentaries, what gear do you prefer to take with you?
GW – Ah this is a tough one because there are a huge variety of camera’s out there. We are aiming to make a feature Length Documentary, so the camera needs to be good enough to be projected onto a cinema screen. We shot the Kickstarter video on a Sony F5 with Nikon prime lenses and that camera has the ability to shoot up to 2K raw. I liked the camera very much but we will look at a variety of options before purchasing anything for this documentary. We will be shooting the film with two high resolution cameras, so we will most likely have two cameras of the same brand and model so the picture quality is consistent throughout.
I like working independently, but at the same time I enjoy working with a team behind me. For me one of the most important things to get right when making a documentary is the sound recording. I usually record sound with two microphones so if anything goes wrong with the primary microphone, I still have the second option available. I usually use a combination of a boom microphone and lapel radio microphones.
CB – What important skills should you have in today’s industry? – In order to stay ahead of the game.
GW – Today’s industry is very tough so you have to be resourceful and accept that you may not get paid for every job at the beginning. Many filmmakers tend to be multi skilled and it is not unusual for them to film, edit, produce and direct their own work.
CB – Lastly, what advice would you give to struggling documentary film makers out there?
GW – The best advice I can give to someone that struggling is to remain positive and to try every option you have available. Do not be afraid to contact celebrities and other people in the public eye to help draw attention to your project. Consider launching a crowd funding campaign if you think your project has the ability raise money in this way.
We would also like to thank Louis Leeson for providing us with his fantastic pictures! This is a project that is showing much promise, so keep an eye out for ‘The Killing of Tony Blair’ on KickStarter!
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