The ULO team have produced a training video for people who fancy setting up their own – prizes for the best guess –
a) Cream cake farm
b) Answer to “Britain’s (Not) Got Talent”
c) User-led organisation
d) Circus school
e) Allotment growing peculiar shaped vegetables
No prizes for choosing “c”, by the way, which, incidentally, is the correct answer, which may be a “trifle” disappointing if you were hoping for “a” – get it? We chose a friendly and experienced film maker, Flexible Films, aka Sybil and Russ, who drew the short straw to work with us and chloroformed carefully recruited some of the members from the Hampshire User Led Organisation Network Group (HULON) to star in our very own blockbuster, sharing their experiences of how their own groups got started and even being “shot” in action at one of our HULON meetings.
The three chosen were Rich le Peuple, from Greenbuttercup, Rachel Harrison from Disabled People’s Voice Hampshire and last, but definitely not least, Lise Marron, from Capable Creatures. The film was to be part of a training package comprising the video on how to set up your own user-led organisation and a written resource on obtaining funding.
What I did not expect, however, was to be roped into the filming process myself, and it was with considerable surprise (and dismay!) that I found my mouth opening and the word “Yes” coming out when asked if I would be happy to be a presenter for the film. Horrible visions of me doing a Morecambe and Wise down the SPECTRUM corridors while being pursued by a massive yelling, camera-wielding pack of paparazzi flitted hideously across my mind, but there is no forcing the genie back into the bottle once it’s out, so there it was – no going back.
Gerry Zarb, our Business Development and Policy Manager and Berni Vincent from SPECTRUM’s Independent Living Team featured in the film as advisors, with Tony Brown from ADRC “upstairs” also sneaking in on the action. Both myself and Ian Loynes, the CEO of SPECTRUM were being filmed on the same day, so I had someone to suffer act alongside on the big day. Russ from Flexible Films has developed an autocue with a camera so cunningly concealed in it, we were convinced it was one of Baldrick’s “cunning plans”, the idea being that when we read from the autocue, we were looking into the camera. I think Baldrick should be worried about losing his “most cunning plan” award turnip, dear readers, but if you don’t tell him, we will also promise to keep quiet…..
We also discovered that there was a fine balance involved in running the speed of the autocue to match our different speaking speeds as my first attempt sounded like Minnie Mouse on helium and my second like Marvin, from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. However, this small issue among others was soon ironed out by Sybil and Russ and we found the whole thing was a very interesting experience, with the film-makers making the whole process as stress free as possible for us and we even ended up enjoying ourselves. No paparazzi, no stress and we are all definitely available should Hollywood come calling….*
To see us – and our fellow actors – in action both “in production”** and in the finished film, please click here
And let us know what you thought of our film!
* Fat hope – Editor
** Oooh, get you with the film lingo – Editor