‘John & George’ dir. Will Robson-Scott
John and his dog George are a fixture on Shoreditch High Street year round. His drawings of the east London landmarks and portraits of George provide John with an escape from his demons. His past is tainted with living rough and addiction. George is Johns closest companion, he and drawing are Johns one constant in life
Director: Will Robson-Scott
Editor: Luca Campanale
Key Cast: John and George
C8: How did you come across John and George? What made you want to showcase their story?
WRS: John had an upcoming art show and Griff who was curating it contacted me about the possibility of doing a short on John. John is a very interesting character full of contradictions, but I think most people are. John’s story has lots of tangents but the thing that interests me is he’s a dying breed of real Londoners who exist in their native areas that have changed so much through gentrification.
C8: Several of the people you have looked at have history of crime. Would you say you are drawn to these characters?
WRS: Their history informs the story and makes them the characters they are. Them doing crime isn’t a key factor. All the stories I try have a touch of positivity and their crime is usually part of there negative past.
C8: Do you map out with the subject what you will record prior to filming or is it simply point-and-shoot?
WRS: It’s a bit of both, but with the nature of the subjects its more just let the camera roll. I try and figure out scenarios, locations and questions to start some sort of dialog.
C8: What did you shoot on and what was the reasoning behind this choice?
WRS: I shoot on a 5D. I’m from a photographic background and it was natural progression, also because the media is very easy to pick up. It’s a very versatile camera and is easy to use.
C8: How did you approach John about filming him for a documentary short?
WRS: John wanted to tell his story and also push the art he’s doing now so he was very open to the film, there are certain aspects of his life that he didn’t want to overly publicise, but I did hint about. I completely respect this, as I want him to be happy with the film as well.
C8: Did you show John the final film? What was his reaction?
WRS: John liked the film, he was especially happy with the response it got.
C8: What challenges were you presented during the shoot and how did you overcome them?
WRS: John has some other priorities in life, they were something I had to take into account, like everyone he as ups and downs, but we got on and there were no real issues.
C8: Your documentary shorts look at interesting and unique characters. How do you find each person?
WRS: Each person comes from varied places, usually a random meet or introduction.
C8: What has been your greatest achievement in filmmaking thus far?
WRS: My favourite film I’ve made is ‘CHIRAQ’, it’s a piece on the inhabitants of the South and West. These neighbourhoods have been engulfed in a wave of violence. It received good attention, but more importantly it was socially important and I got a lot of emails from people in Chicago who appreciated the piece.
C8: What is next for Will Robson-Scott? Do you have any interesting projects lined up in the future?
WRS: I’m in NYC chasing the American dream but still slurping a lot of tea.