I wish I had a short answer when I am asked why I wanted to make a film about ‘waste’, some snappy sound bite to sum it all up but I don’t …you see it’s complicated and cumulative just like waste.
I suppose I’d subconsciously been thinking about ‘waste’ for years, driving past a huge landfill on the way to London, seeing pictures of animals killed by rubbish but mostly it was hearing stories from people in Bradford and Beijing, Iceland and Mexico whose lives were all being profoundly affected by waste. But it wasn’t until I began lifting up the world’s wasteful skirt and looking underneath in earnest that it became an all-consuming passion. For wherever I looked, Mount Everest (where volunteers regularly remove tonnes of rubbish) to the heartbreak of the albatrosses on the Midway Islands, so hauntingly documented by Chris Jordan, to space, the photograph (albeit a mock up – is on our Facebook page) of how much space junk they now estimate is orbiting our planet – I was left in no doubt that man has made a big mess of terra firma.
As I continued my research I was also struck by the fact that not that many people really knew the true extent of the problem. I’m not talking about ordinary people like me and you but scientists, politicians and decision makers who had no idea of the true effect waste is having on us all. But at the end of my research there was one thing I did know and that was we all needed to see the big picture.
The making of ‘Trashed’ will have to be the subject of a whole other blog or nine, it has been that full of highs and lows but it owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to all its friends and advocates and two in particular. Firstly, Jeremy Irons whose commitment and passion has been unending. We did hard core travelling and working with a tiny crew in difficult circumstances. No assistants here. The other is Vangelis, who after seeing the rushes of the film put all other projects on hold so he could devote every waking hour to scoring and performing the extraordinary soundtrack for ‘Trashed’ in time for it’s debut at the Cannes Film Festival. Something I could never have dreamt of happening ever and for which we are all forever grateful.
Since Cannes, Trashed has been to twelve more film festivals and has its American premiere on December 14th in New York and Los Angeles. It will also have a theatrical release in South America and the U.K. in the Spring. Check Facebook and all the usual suspects for upcoming details for releases and other bits of news.
Lastly I’d like to thank you for all your support, to the amazing people all over the world who have helped me throughout this project but more importantly to all of you who are out there at the coal face, fighting every day on the side of right and justice for the sake of your communities and the future of the planet.