A New Take On Classic Movies

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Filmumentaries Interview

A couple of years ago I was interviewed by documentarian Donna Davies for a her forthcoming film, Fanarchy, about how film fans were taking control of the movies they love.  Donna and her cameraman travelled from Canada to my house to conduct it. Although it didn’t make the final cut, Donna has kindly allowed me to post it here on my site. So here you go.

Here’s the trailer for Donna’s film. –

Do or do not. There is no try.

16/02/2016 by filmumentaries | 0 comments

Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds

During the production of my Jabba documentary short, Slimy Piece of Worm Ridden Filth, I was put in contact with Toby Philpott’s colleague and Jabba’s right hand man. Literally, his right hand man, puppeteer Dave Barclay. Dave helped us, along with Toby (Jabba’s left arm), Mike Edmonds (tail) and John Coppinger (animatronic engineer) to reconstruct just how it was inside that filthy Hutt. And of course it couldn’t have been done without the amazing work of Eletrographica aka Pete Starling, who rendered all that information into a multilayered illustration (below).

Pete's Jabba

Inside Jabba

Dave was so impressed with the Jabba doco that he asked if I would consider doing one on Yoda. Dave aged just 19 in 1979 was involved in building and puppeteering Yoda for The Empire Strikes Back.  After a few email exchanges, Dave kindly found time between his work on The Muppet Show for an interview.

I’d gone from using only archive interviews in my full length Filmumentaries, to doing some of my own audio interviews with cast and crew, to doing longer interviews with one member of the crew for individual short docos. This time I wanted to push things on. I wanted to shoot the interview in an interesting setting. And thanks to my talented and kind colleagues in the TV industry, that’s what we managed to do.

Dave kindly offered the use of a property in London. Another friend offered his West End flat. But I was interviewing a Yoda puppeteer, I wanted something relevant to the subject matter. Not just a pretty backdrop. Though I was immensely grateful to their kind offers. So I spent a while wondering where we could shoot. Did I know anyone that had a Yoda replica? A Yoda toy collection even?  Was there a movie museum nearby with some Star Wars items? Then it dawned on me. Madame Tussauds London had an ongoing exhibition of Star Wars characters. Maybe I could somehow convince them to allow us to shoot there. Unlikely, but worth a try.  A quick search for their press office contact details and within a day or two they had agreed just that! I must thank Nicole Fenner and Madame Tussauds for their kind hospitality and enthusiam.

So my colleagues and I met Dave outside Madam Tussauds on a cold and wintery January afternoon. A short wait and we were in. And there he was, the little green fellow. Kermit. No wait, Yoda.

My cameraman buddy set up his Sony FS7 and Canon 6D. I sorted out the mic’s for Dave and myself (thank you eBay for a couple of bargains and to my Patreon supporters who helped me pay for them) and my pal Tony set up the lights that I’d been kindly loaned by my main employer. It’ all about connections people.

Dave and I chatted about his puppeteering parents, his beginnings in the film industry, his experiences on set with Yoda and Mark Hamill. His lead puppeteering of Jabba in ROTJ and his career beyond Star Wars. Dave has been involved in so many seminal films. Films that were not only entertaining to us as kids (and still are as adults) but films that lead the way in his industry.

Next week I’ll be releasing “Dave Barclay. Do or do not. There is no try”. I hope you enjoy it.

Meeting The Maker

07/09/2015 by filmumentaries | 2 Comments

I work in television, mostly on the coverage of Formula One Grand Prix.  Occasionally I get to say “hi” to a celebrity, but in Silverstone this year I was fortunate enough to have a short exchange with one of my heroes, George Lucas. I told him what an inspiration he’d been to me. I genuinely wouldn’t be doing what I do unless I’d seen Star Wars a kid. I also told him that I’d made some films about movies myself. I didn’t go into any more detail for fear of sounding like an over excited fan (despite my cool exterior). “Oh that’s great” he said, and wished me a good race day.

Then yesterday, one of my friends in the F1 circus said he had given George one of my business cards at Monza. Yes, George is a regular visitor to F1 events.

My friends report of the encounter – “I know people probably do this all the time, but there’s this guy Jamie and he’s hugely talented and has done some amazing docs on the Original Trilogy and he’d be so honoured if you’d just check out his stuff. Here’s is his card”. Imagine what he’d have said if I paid him!  “Ok cool, thanks so much” replied George.

So Mr. Lucas, if you haven’t lost that business card and you’ve found your way to my site. Please check out the Full Videos section and take a look at what I’ve produced. Then if you have time, please pass this on to JJ, Kathleen and your old friend Steven. Thanks.


Me and the maker.

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Blast it Biggs! Where are you?

During my visit to the BFI with Toby Philpott (see below) I was also lucky enough to speak with Garrick Hagon about his role as Biggs Darklighter in Star Wars (1977). Garrick kindly agreed to an interview a few weeks later. This is the result!

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Slimy Piece of Worm-Ridden Filth – Life Inside Jabba the Hutt

Back in December 2014 I was planning to purchase tickets to attend a British Film Institute screening of the Original Star Wars Trilogy in London. Unfortunately I missed the release date and the event was also instantly sold out! I made a brief reference to this on Facebook and Toby Philpott, who I’ve know for some years now, kindly offered me his “plus one”. With this came access to the green room, where on the day I also managed to have conversations with Anthony Forrest, Garrick Hagon and Paul Blake. Sandtrooper, Biggs and Greedo to you and I.

During the fun proceedings and screenings I suggested to Toby that we do a short interview about his experiences on Return of the Jedi as one of Jabba the Hutt’s puppeteers. He kindly agreed.  So a couple of weeks later in mid January 2015 we spoke a length over Skype. It was soon apparent that this interview would be better suited to a longer, but still mini, documentary.

My friend Pete Starling who made those amazing posters for Raiding the Lost Ark and Inside Jaws agreed to work on a more accurate illustration of how Jabba was worked by the puppeteers. We were soon all in a Facebook chat group along with Animatronic Engineer John Coppinger and Toby’s fellow puppeteers Dave Barclay (right arm and lipsync and Mike Edmonds (tail).  Thanks to fantastic input from all, we were able to piece together just how Jabba worked and finally debunk the lazy drawing that was shown in The Making of a Saga, Lucasfilm’s official doco from back in the day. I hope you agree, Pete did an amazing job!

Pete's Jabba

Scott Burrows kindly offered to do a Jabba animation showing an over enthusiastic Toby-operated tongue licking Carrie Fisher. His pitch of a funny Terry Gilliam style animation turned out better than I could have imagined.

So with all the pieces put together, including a last minute stop motion animation effort also by Pete Starling, I was able to make Slimy Piece of Worm Ridden Filth – Life Inside Jabba the Hutt. Pete’s young son even managed to make an appearance on the closing credits, albeit in disguise! A really funny way to finish things off.

Click here to check it out. I hope you enjoy it.

Return of the Jedi Location Special Effects with Kevin Pike

08/01/2015 by filmumentaries | 2 Comments

Kevin Pike worked not only on Back to the Future, but also on Return of the Jedi. We spoke about his work on the Location Special Effects on the 1983 film. Back in 1982 Kevin was in Yuma Arizona for the Sarlaac scene as well as in Crescent City, California for the Endor scenes. This is a short interview about his experiences.  This is the first video produced that was supported by my Patreon account.  If you donate $3 or more then you also get an extended audio version of the interview including the bits where I talk!

Check it out here.

Screenshot 2015-01-08 19.22.09

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Patreon Donations

For some time now, several people have suggested I get my projects crowd funded. But given the nature of my filmumentaries (the unofficial and non copyrighted nature that is) I couldn’t really go down that route.

So the solution was to change the type of projects that I do. Whilst I am continuing to pursue getting my filmumentaries into the sphere of officialdom (I currently have three routes developing, albeit slowly), I thought I would start a Patreon account to get some smaller projects under way.

Much in the same vein as my interview with Kevin Pike, I intend to use the connections I’ve made to release standalone interviews, approximately one per month (no more than that). These interviews will be audio, but augmented in the usual Filmumentaries fashion.

If you would like to support me in this endeavour, please visit my Patreon page. Thank you.

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I need your support!

Whilst I continue to endeavour to make my filmumentary projects in an official capacity, with the studios’ support, I have decided to make some short docos and interviews about and with people in the film industry. You may have already seen my interview with Kevin Pike about his work on Back to the Future. Well now I want to produce some more. To make this all viable, I would really appreciate  your help. Please visit my Patreon page here –

If you’d rather donate a single amount, please use the donate button on the homepage (or just below). To be clear, these donations are to allow me to continue to run this website and produce the short videos and interviews, like the ones I recently did with Kevin Pike.  Thanks so much for your support.

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Kevin Pike Interview Part Two – The DeLorean

For part two of my interview with Special Effects Supervisor Kevin Pike, we spoke about bringing the inanimate car alive. Of course the DeLorean is one of the most fondly remembered characters in Back to the Future but without the likes of Kevin Pike and his team, it just wouldn’t be the same.



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Going Back…

Whilst I wait for my deal with the studio to come off – keep your fingers crossed for me – I’ve decided to start Going Back…to the Future. For now it will take the form of some “painted” interviews with those involved with the film.

First off, I spoke to Special Effects Supervisor Kevin Pike (now the owner of Filmtrix). Here is part one of the interview in which Kevin talks about the opening sequence of Robert Zemeckis 1984 masterpiece.


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