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The Golden Lines

A documentary about: addiction, art and success.

The Golden Lines, a documentary about: addiction, art and success.

We wanted to produce a documentary in 2021 with the goal of ‘Changing the view’ on a taboo subject. A mutual friend of John Charles’ put us in touch, we pitched the idea, concept and timeframe to John and his wife Jen, who accepted the proposal and the project began...

Check out John Charles on Instagram!

Planning the documentary.

The start of a good project comes from planning and research. We quickly took to YouTube and instagram to find out more about John. This in turn meant we could structure how we wanted the documentary to start, what happens in the middle and the end. After finding various podcasts of John talking about his troubled past, we knew what things were important to his story and key for us to include. Stephen started writing down questions from the back of this research ready for when we interviewed John on the filming days.

Lights, camera… action!

Now for the fun part. We started filming for the documentary back in July. We wanted a wide range of shots in our library to choose from in the edit so we followed John around capturing his day to day life. This included filming his art techniques, picking up art supplies, his open exhibition at the St Helens world of glass. We even filmed parts of his day which weren’t related to his art such as getting his haircut or getting his nails painted. We knew if we had a wide selection of shots, we could be really picky within the edit, meaning the quality of the Documentary would be great throughout. In-between filming the cutaways we interviewed John with two cameras to help keep the viewer engaged.

It’s all in the edit.

After 6 months of filming John, we ended up with a whopping 3.4 terabytes of footage. We found the best approach when you have lots of footage is to organise it into sections and then cut down all the best parts within these sections. This left us with a library of usable footage we could easily access once editing. Another technique we found useful was breaking the documentary down into parts, such as the title sequence, the start, middle, end and finally the credits. This meant we could focus on each section and get it perfect without overwhelming ourselves. To try do this in one chunk would of been stressful! After perfecting each section we stitched them all together leaving us with a feature length documentary with a grand total of 78 minutes of running time.

Timeline on Finalcutpro

The Golden Lines premiere!

To finish off a great project, we decided to have two premiere’s at a local cinema called ‘FACT Liverpool’. We had an open bar and a banner we created with the NPK Media logo, The Golden Lines logo and John Charle’s logo. People could get their picture taken in front of the banner with our in house photographer Michael. Both of the events went really well and we had some great feedback from the people who attended. It truly was a two nights to remember! We have now released the documentary on our YouTube channel which you can find below. We are also entering it into various film festivals this year, so keep an eye out!
Thank you to Fact Cinema for hosting the Premiere.

Watch John Charles' powerful story of addiction, art, and redemption in this thought-provoking documentary.

Click here to watch the full documentry.

#TheGoldenLines #JohnCharles #ChangingTheView #Documentary

Written by Luke Sparrowhawk, Head of Videography.