In 2018, a knife crime epidemic swept through the heart of London, with many young lives getting caught up in the indiscriminate, and often deadly violence. The number of people killed in London hit a 10-year with more than a fifth of victims being children and teenagers. The fact is, government, police and communities are struggling to stem the bloodshed.
Feeling disillusioned with the lack of support young people are offered, we set about putting the wheels in motion to create a film that would have a positive influence on the young lives caught up in this tragic cycle.
Teaming up with the extremely talented, 17 year old slam poet, Maya Sourie, we worked together to create a powerful piece of poetry that would provoke debate and discussion among young people by challenging the preconception of what it means to carry a knife.
Shot on 16mm film by the talented cinematographer Joel Honeywell, we wanted the cinematography to be simple, personal and honest allowing the visuals to do much of the talking. Nothing too tricksy or complicated which could potentially dilute the message. At the same time, we wanted the film to be highly tuned with every visual being selected for a reason. We wanted to explore the subject in a way that it hasn’t been approached before. Our visuals were to feel like living portraits - each telling it’s own story. Whether a moment focusing on an intimate performance, an art directed installation or simply capturing a ripped and ruptured plastic bag caught in a tree, desperately trying to break free. All too often, films that appeal to our youth are dumbed down and lazy - resorting to gritty, urban visuals riddled with hoodie wearing, knife brandishing or weed smoking youths. We wanted this to be different.
Casting was really important. We wanted to use real people who could identify with the subject to engender heartfelt and honest performances. We enlisted the help of casting director, Tytiah Blake, who specialises is in street casting. She helped us pull together a cast who have all been affected by knife crime, with some losing friends or family members.
This film is being released in partnership with Lives Not Knives, a London based youth charity working with young people affected by knife crime. We hope that by sharing this film we can enable young, disadvantaged lives to reach their full potential.
Directors - Will & Carly @willandcarly
Words - Maya Sourie @mayatheghost
Producer - Chiara Musoni @chiarachiaraemme
Cinematography - Joel Honeywell@joelhoneywell
Editor - Ellie McNaughton @mcnorton @workeditorial
Colourist - Kai Van Beers @kaivanbeers @1920.vfx
Post Producer – David Keegan @1920.vfx
Post Producer – Aimee Kingsnorth @amiekingsnorth @1920.vfx
VFX Supervisor – Chrys Aldred @gingerchimp1886 @1920.vfx
Casting Director - Tytiah Blake@tytiah
Art Department - Afra Zamara & Ella Kirkby @afrazamara @ellamkirby
Sound Design - Adam Smyth @alittlesmyth @stringandtins
Sound Producer – Kotryna Nasutavičiūtė -@mynameiskotryna @stringandtins
Composer - Joe Worters @paperhouse109 @blindpigtv
Composer Producer – Belinda Grew
Sound Recordist - Nick Olorenshaw @nickolorenshaw
Runner - Jessica Cottam @jess.azzura