Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Wild Things - A Documentary Film

Almost a year ago to the day, I took part in a pitching competition at the Sheffield documentary festival.  In front of an audience of 200 documentary enthusiasts, I was quizzed by a panel of commissioning editors and film-makers.  After my CV had been publicly analysed, I had to pitch an idea for a film, supported by a 3 minute "taster-tape".

Although I didn't win the competition, the taster-tape was a big hit with the audience.  I'd done enough to be noticed by one of Channel 4's commissioning editors, and within a couple of months of the competition, I began work on a half-hour documentary for "First Cut" - a strand for new directors.

The film I made was about a group of children whose parents gave them all a new surname, "Wild".  The name was a challenge to the patriarchal tradition of passing on the father's surname.  Many of these idealistic parents lived communally, and the Wild idea spread from London to Leeds, Sheffield and Hebden Bridge.  No one is quite sure how many "Wilds" there are; my research shows that there are at least 40.  The Wilds are all grown up now, and have started to spread their wings.

The documentary was broadcast on Channel 4 in July 2009.  It got a huge amount of attention in the press, I will post some of the reviews on this blog later.

"Wild Things" is still available to watch online via Channel 4's website.  I have been reading a lot recently about the power of social media, and how it can be used as an alternative to traditional media outlets.  I am particularly interested in the possibility of getting feedback from viewers.  To get feedback from a programme that has been shown on television, I turn to the press reviews.  But with more and more voices being heard online, I hope to hear from people who have watched the film...


  1. Watched it from start to finish learnt something new

  2. Would you link to a documentary blog about our film SHELTER? It's at http://sheltermovie.wordpress.com.

    Thanks! Lee Schneider

  3. i wish it had been longer! was pleasantly surprised to find that a friend of a friend featured in it.

  4. Hello Adam,

    I missed what looks like a fascinating doco and your link cannot be accessed by Australians. Are you able to upload to Youtube or provide another link?

  5. Hi Darcy. I'm afraid the link only works in the UK at the moment, and Channel 4 have the rights to the film, so I can't put it on youtube etc. Sorry about that - thanks for getting in touch though

  6. I loved this documentary so much. I actually ended up basing the screenplay for my Masters degree on the Wilds!

  7. Watched it in 2010 Boxing day in Australia, fine documentary!