The “Hullywood” Project: An exclusive interview with photographer Quentin Budworth


14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyForeword by Adam Brannon. My hometown of Hull was announced as UK City of Culture for 2017. Those of you unfamiliar with the city won’t know its transformation over the last decade.

After being bombed terribly in World War II, Hull suffered a period of serious decline from which it has only just started to recover, and it still to this day remains the butt of many jokes to the dismay of residents and fans. It’s going to take many years for Hull to be recognised as one of the UK’s greatest destinations, but with the help of artists like Quentin Budworth, the news will travel fast.

To celebrate this incredible waterfront city, photographer Quentin decided to put together two of his passions; film and Kingston Upon Hull. Utilising the unique geography and landmarks of the area, he has recreated iconic films in the locality. From Star Wars to Castaway, it’s all here.

In this exclusive interview for Movie Metropolis, he discusses his reasons for embarking on The Hullywood Project, and how you can get involved in its future.

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(C) Rich Duffy-Howard

1. What made you decide to embark on the ‘Hullywood’ project?

I wanted to create a project and body of work that involved the people of Hull as participants and collaborators in a playful way whilst allowing me to create photographs that people would enjoy looking at and engage with.

2. Did you have any inspiration for the idea? If so, what was it? 

I was thinking about using Hull as a movie set and playground for creative work both as a creative space and as an exhibiting space I was kicking around a lot of ideas for City of Culture in Hull and the Hullywood idea of Hull people recreating movie moments in Hull was the one that seemed to be the strongest and which resonated with people who I discussed it with.

In the last year or two I’d done a lot of more serious socially engaged art work in Hull  using portrait photography https://thechangingface.org to show cultural change in Hull and digital compositing for portraits https://thestrangerstale.com to convey  the complex narratives and personal histories of the Refugees and asylum seekers in Hull. 

So something lighter thematically and more playful really appealed. I studied film for part of my degree, masters and have made award winning films for the UK Film Council so in a way it was a bit like coming home. City of Culture is a year long celebration of Hull – so it made sense to show Hull people playing in their home environment.

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Copyright: Quentin Budworth.

3. Which set of photographs did you enjoy shooting the most, and why?

Crikey there’s a question – well I like doing all the photographs as it allows me to meet people in a creative playful context in which I can create art. The shoot that really amused me was Tricia Boulon as Wonder Woman at Hull Fair – the reactions of the traders was fantastic and lovely.

4. Is there a particular film you would’ve liked to have shot in Hull? If so, what is it? 

Hmm that’s a great question Snatch would have been a good one …

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Copyright: Quentin Budworth.

5. Why do you think Hull is becoming so popular for film and TV features?

Hull is a great place to work creatively, people are open to new experiences, there are some truly amazing locations and hidden gems in the city which are ideally suited for filming. The incredible work that Screen Yorkshire does to promote Hull and Yorkshire locations needs a mention too.

6. Do you have any plans to expand your project further? 

Yes projections are happening in Hull in early January 2017 as part of the opening event Made in Hull and also in East Yorkshire. I would like to shoot some more icons – if you are reading this and you are interested email me at quentinbudworth@yahoo.com.

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Copyright: Quentin Budworth.

7. In typical Movie Metropolis fashion, what is your favourite film, and why? 

There are soooo many films that I love but my all time favourite is ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ it’s just awesome I’ve loved it since I was a kid for it’s audacity and technical daring  read about it here https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/nov/04/war-love-and-wierdness-a-matter-of-life-and-death-70-years-on I’m also a big fan of Cinema Paradiso …..but that’s another story and don’t ask me about my guilty pleasure Jason Statham….

8. Another one we ask everyone, what snacks do you enjoy taking in the cinema, and why? 

Haribo’s and Maynards Wine Gums for their fruity loveliness….

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Copyright: Quentin Budworth.

9. Finally, do you think Hull’s growing film industry will benefit from the upcoming City of Culture celebrations next year?

Surely everyone in Hull will benefit from being part of and experiencing City of Culture – The increased profile that City of Culture status brings to Hull will result in more films and media production happening in the city – let’s hope that the film community in Hull will seize the moment to make the most of what will be an amazing year. I want to encourage people to just get out there and be creative just do it! The way I see it is the eyes of the world are on Hull let’s put on a great show.

A word from Adam: many thanks to Quentin for taking time out of his busy schedule to take part in this interview. Hull is set to have an incredible year in 2017, being at the very front of the world stage for the first time; let’s hope each event is as exciting as The Hullywood Project.

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