THE HOUSE CLEARER Update (by Paul Redman)

Last week I walked to see Peter, our main character, on two separate occasions and with every step my heart sank deeper. I arrived at his shop on Tuesday to remind him of the conversation we had about our short documentary. I was full of smiles but I could tell in his demeanor that he had other things on his mind. I handed him my only printed copy of the proposal and his response was to shake his head and say, ‘no, I’m sorry but I can’t be involved’. After getting over my initial shock I sat down to talk to him and tried to persuade him of the importance of this film. Rather than rush him with an immediate and definite answer I pressed the precious printed proposal in his hands and said I would be back on Thursday to get his final answer.

After two sleepless nights I took a slow and considered walk to his shop. My head swirled with methods of persuasion, panic and resigned re-planning. ‘I am going to disappoint you’, were his first words and the narrative did not improve after that. Suffice to say I spent the next three hours listening to his fascinating stories from his well-lived life with growing gloom. We would never be able to put this on film. I understand his reasons and I respect them. Then reality dawned, what next?

After spending a blistering, heat becalmed, weekend in London searching for an alternative we settled on a great, British house-clearer called George from Leyton. He is an ex-butcher who, after a quadruple heart bypass, wanted a quieter life and now works with his grandchildren in the house clearing business.  I had a long conversation with him on Monday and he is a very proud and dignified man that I think would enable us to tell our story of re-using old materials and relishing all things of age. I think George would offer a fantastic, although different, take on the work of a house clearer.  From his clean shoes, to his butchers’ apron and his well turned-out tie, I think we found our man. A good traditional Londoner who looks you in the eye with a firm handshake and a gaze that says, I have known life and all its troubles.


About projectgreen2011

NOMAD Films is an independent film label working to further expose low-budget, innovative film and video projects to the masses. Via The NOMAD Project screenings and related events, partnerships with like-minded organizations and individuals, and The NOMAD Archive – the label’s library of films – NOMAD Films promotes a range of content while at the same time working to create additional opportunities for film and video project development and production. The mission of NOMAD Films is to increase overall exposure of and create production and distribution opportunities for underground and/or low-budget film and video projects.

One comment

  1. George sounds wonderful! Our best to Peter – hope to hear his story one day as well!

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