Thursday, 15 November 2007

Chris, the Big Issue seller

This is a one minute film I made with a Hannah, fellow student on my course. We wanted to make a film on a day in the life of a homeless person and were it had to be a minute and use only natural sound.

I learnt a lot in short space of time when we started researching the film. It turned out we were unable to film a homeless person so approached the Big Issue and Chris was happy to be filmed.

I was impressed with the set up and business-like nature of the Big Issue where registered sellers buy the magazines for 75p and sell them on for £1.50. It seems to work well and the Big Issue staff have an arms length relationship with the sellers are regularly coming back and forth to the office to buy more magazines catch up with the staff and other sellers.

Without wanting to come accross as patronising, I got on well with Chris and the other sellers as well as the other homeless people I met.

Darren, a homeless man I met on a homeless night support buds told me he was a heroine addict and was on the waiting list to receive methadone treatment. I learnt about his sleeping habits - he finds the warmest place possible (often a multi-storey car park) and goes to sleep as early as possible in the evening so that he can get up before he is moved on by the police or security about 6am.

I realised we did have something in common. His life was completely different to mine apart from the fact that he, like I, listen to Five Live on a pocket radio to keep up to date with all the sports news and follow the Premiership football. And yet he was painfully thin and his eyes were tired and lifeless. They're real people with real lives and interesting stories just like you or I. Hopefully it's an area I'll return to later in my journalistic career.

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