A fire by a river is all you need. You have warmth, light, as much food as you can gather and a place by the highway where people will gather to make connections, share stories and ideas.
I set up Fire By The River to build multimedia content and products in partnership with other companies. Our stock-in-trade are stories and the connections they make (with due tribute to Russell Hoban and Riddley Walker). All the work is underpinned by the principal that an economy which allows no space for children is the epitome of un-sustainability.
Fire By The River Press
Fire by the River Press is currently developing 2 enhanced eBook apps:-
- One to help busy parents who hate to miss bedtime but sometimes can’t help it.
- And one for commuters – for those few minutes between trains or busses when you’ve had enough of the news and celebrities and there’s not enough time to pick up where you left off in that good book.
Short Form Films
- 9th October 2012: Fire by the River won a contract to make a series of films to reintroduce the human being into a site where the bleakness of the statistics can be overwhelming. This was for Glasgow Centre for Population Health.
- In February 2013 I made a film about what it’s like to look after kids with autism as they go through puberty. This one was for a closed conference and I can’t put it online because the material is too personal and it would compromise the kids privacy.
Work on TV
I am also currently developing or consulting on a number of TV series. Some of these are confidential but two I can mention at the moment are:-
- A preschool live action series with Plum Films called Teacup Travels. This is a partnership between me and the guys at Plum and a fabulous creative called Tony Bibby. The project is now at that critical survive or fall stage. More soon…
- A preschool animation series with Hungry Boy Productions in association with Red Kite called Bradley and Bee.
Work on TV and Online
It is hard to pick from such a wide ranging career:-
As head of BBC Children’s in Scotland I was responsible for a department full of exceptional people who produced a rich breadth of content. This showreel was produced in my last year at the BBC. It’s a quick spin through one year’s worth of output.
A landmark “online” triumph at the BBC was a collaboration with LazyTown Enterprises to make “Ziggy’s LazyTown Challenge“, a web based game companion to their internationally successful tv series. It was one of the first cross media projects we made as a truly multi-platform business.
The one I am most proud of is the Amnesty International award winning film “The Glasgow Girls”. The award means much because Amnesty International stand outside the usual media circus. More importantly, the film shone a light on a group of extraordinary girls and their campaign for just treatment of asylum seekers. The government’s policy of dawn raids on law abiding families ceased shortly afterwards.
If you believe corporate short form films on the web are inevitably dull and devoid of human spirit, take a look at “Canadian Moms in London” It’s a film I made for Proctor and Gamble during the London Olympics for the P&G Canadian website which regularly attracts nearly 100,000 visitors.
Fiction and Non-fiction
Remember the Kindness of Strangers is a journey of discovery to find out why, more than 30 years after we discovered children were being abused, and murdered at a rate we’d never imagined have, we been unable to make any impact on the numbers. It is written by amnesty international award winning film maker Simon Parsons, a former head of BBC Children’s production who played a key role in establishing a child protection policy in the BBC. The book charts the revolution that brought childhood in from the great outdoors, seemingly without making it any safer and asks the unasked questions. Why did we do it? What did we tell ourselves? What of the generations whose road to adulthood has been paved with our good intentions?
Also in the pipeline are an anthology of short stories and a thriller set in the roiling days of the early 20th century and a children’s adventure story. Visit the “Books” section of the website for more information.