Originally training as a graphic designer, Wayne Campbell started a career working for Just Seventeen magazine. He eventually turned his hand to film and the British film director set up the production company Wacfoo in 2005. His latest project One Minute in May is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the journey taken by Tracey Cumberbatch, mother of murdered teenage Kiyan Prince.
Tracey has began a campaign which aims to get all the Premier League football and Championship clubs to hold a minute’s silence, applause, balloon release or whatever they feel appropriate, to honour all the young victims of violent crime before the final matches on the 3rd and 24th of May 2009. As well as this, she plans to get 80,000 school pupils throughout the country to pledge never to carry a weapon. Wayne sat down with Flavour Magazine to tell us how it’s all going.
There have been a number of young people killed in the last few years, what was it about Kiyan Prince’s death that caused you contact his mother?
I made a short film called It Could Be which was roughly around the time that Kiyan died. I was trying to see if, as a director, I could reach kids with the only way I knew how which was through film – I couldn’t quite go onto the streets and accost a 15 year old and say ‘put the knife down!’…So I made this film and a friend of mine knew of the Prince family and I asked if they could get me a meeting with Kiyan’s mum so I could meet her and express my concerns…I went and meet with her and showed her the film and from then we kept in touch and I expressed I would love to make a documentary about her journey.
So had the One Minute in May campaign been established before you met with Tracey?
When I first met her I said I would like to make a documentary about knife and gun crime and would she be interested in helping and she said yes. Initially it was going to be a documentary about what’s happening on the streets; talking to kids and professionals and organisations who are trying to deal with the problem. But then what happened was there were a number of TV shows that came out dealing with knife and gun crime in that way and so I wanted to do something different because I think a lot of people are getting bored of seeing the same old stories. So I spoke with Tracey and said, look I’ve got this idea about trying to use football as that was one of Kiyan’s passions; she liked the idea and that’s how it was born.
How has the campaign been going so far?
So far we’ve got QPR Football Club on board who have agreed to help in any way they can and they will be holding the minute event. Charlton Athletic has agreed to do the same. We’ve got BBC 1 Extra as a media partner and are currently in talks with Barnardos. We’ve been speaking with Portsmouth, Leeds and Arsenal. We’ve got Brian Robson and Les Ferdinand as patrons of the charity and we’ve been making contact with a whole host of other agencies…its growing everyday; speaking to new people and getting them on board…What I didn’t want was for this to been seen as a black problem so were opening that whole debate up and your gonna see that knife and gun crime effects people from all walks of life and all colours and parts of the country.
So will the documentary be realised after the campaign has taken place?
Yes it will.
And what kind of distribution will it be receiving?
One of the things that I have a bit of a bug-bear about is whenever there are things on the TV which deal with knife and gun crime and are directed at kids, they come on too late…so we want the documentary to been shown in schools. We’re in talks with a production company as we can’t ignore that terrestrial TV gives us a huge audience but equally we want the documentary to be shown in schools…we’re also developing lesson plans so teachers can have debates with the kids as to what the documentary throws up.
So ideally, you’d like to affect the curriculum?
Ideally, yeah. But affecting the curriculum has, historically, been one of the hardest things to do…One of the others things we’re keen to promote is in schools these days you have all these initiatives like ‘Walk to School Week’ or ‘Healthy Eating Thursday’…but there is nothing like ‘Knife and Gun Crime awareness Monday’….We want one week a term perhaps, when local authorities get in a load of practitioners to talk to the kids surrounding the dangers of knife and gun crime; education as far as we are concerned, is key.
Finally, how can people support the campaign?
We are in the process of getting a website done and we also have a Facebook presence. We are trying to get hold of as many people who have suffered as a result of knife and gun crime…we are just basically trying to get as many people and organisations as possible to spread the word.
To see a selection of Wayne Campbell’s film search Wacfoo or You Tube.
Words by Karla Williams