Being Frank…. The Frank Sidebottom documentary to receive its World Premiere at prestigious American film festival in March.
Professor Christopher Morris, director of the School of Film & Television at Falmouth has been working for the last five years with filmmaker Steve Sullivan on Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story which explores the extraordinary secret life of artist Chris Sievey, best known as his alter ego Frank Sidebottom, the maverick British comedian in a fake head.
“When Chris died of cancer in 2010, his belongings, his entire archive and even his heads were rescued from a skip,’ explains Professor Morris, ‘this is Steve’s first feature documentary so he came to me for advice and I was (willingly) sucked into the wonderful, creative madness that followed. Thousands of hours of VHS and Super8 footage was found, countless images, handwritten books, drawings, clothes and heads were painstakingly reassembled, catalogued and viewed”.
Frank Sidebottom, remembered fondly as the man with the papier-mâché head, was the court jester of the Manchester music and comedy scene for over 25 years, but only a privileged few knew the man inside. Being Frank tells a twisted tale of split personalities - a suburban superhero with a fanatical desire to preserve the myth he created, and eventually having to battle against being consumed by his alter ego.
Funding for the film came from 3,000 Frank fans pledging thousands online through crowd funding and the production got underway.
Morris recalls that, ‘there was so much extraordinary material the first full-length cut of the film was over 17 hours long! I worked closely with Steve as the story consultant, wrestling this film to the ground. It has been one of the great privileges of my career and I’m so proud of the final film Steve has produced. The film is still unfinished and is coming to Falmouth in February so our skilled Senior Technicians can give the film a full picture grade in our world-class facility.”
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story includes extensive archive from Chris’s personal collection of hundreds of boxes of notebooks, home movies, art and music. Insights from Chris’s family, friends, and colleagues, including Jonny Vegas, Jon Ronson, John Cooper Clarke, Ross Noble and Mark Radcliffe, finally reveal the hidden story of Chris Sievey - a musician, songwriter, artist, comedian, filmmaker, performance artist and wayward genius.
Further production finance came from Film Cymru Wales with further support from 104 Films and Fat Controller Management Ltd.
Updates on the film, including news on screenings, via the film’s social media:
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story has been selected for SXSW and will receive its World Premiere 12-14th March. World Premiere screening information will be available via the SXSW website: www.sxsw.com.