Over the past 18 months, I've had a creative itch to produce a documentary and a few weeks ago in a film studio in Salford, I took my first step in achieving that goal.
The itch that I'd been feeling was becoming a reality because I finally had my subject, a 21-year-old lad from Birmingham called, Ibraheem (Ibz).
Ibz's story isn't an unfamiliar one, however, his reaction to his circumstances is unique beyond his years. I met Ibz last year and listened intently to his story many times. He shared how he had begun to lose his eyesight in his early teens having been diagnosed with Keratoconus and Retinal Dystrophy. Throughout his teens, Ibz battled with his ever-changing world and relentless knock-backs. His experiences aren't a sob story or an opportunity for pity because it's far more than that. When Ibz shares his experience it's clear to see an honest example of fierce determination from a young man refusing to lie down and actually reclaiming the light back into his life. It's an inspiration to young people of the strength that lies within them.
I've played with the idea in my head but could never decide on the subject. I started trying to work out why I watched documentaries, part of me thinks it's because of my Dad. He would sit in front of the History channel for hours with the volume maxed out while watching WW2 documentaries. It sounded like D-Day in the lounge and I half expected to walk in the room and find him watching the TV from behind sandbags. Recently after months of watching documentaries, I worked out the reason I enjoy them isn't because you can learn something from them but actually because they hold up a mirror to human experiences. They don't hold back on the truth and the story of a documentary doesn't come pre-written and packaged like a TV drama. It comes through a person sharing their experience to the camera without a filter, which in today's world isn't very common. That's what makes them so powerful because they leave an impact on the audience that is authentic.
Now that I knew what I specifically liked about documentaries, I set out the plan to produce my own. Fast forward to February 2020 and the project is well underway and due to be released in June. As a comedian on stage, I'm a storyteller but taking on this goal has already taught me another side of storytelling and how to handle someones else's story. I am confident that with the support of my production team we can produce a documentary that serves Ibz's story in the same respect as I regard it.
I'm excited to see what the process has to offer. If you're interested in hearing more about this project and would like to follow its updates please sign up to my mailing list on my website HERE. More pictures from the shoot can be found below along with full crew information.
Lastly, I'd like to thank Futureworks for all there support and allowing us to use there studio and equipment.
Until next time, take it easy,
Director - Rico Bam - Follow him on instagram
Producer - Harry Stachini
Camera Operator - Oliver Bates - Brick Oven Media
Sound Engineer - Wesley Roskell - Brick Oven Media
Photography - Oliver Bates
Studio - Futureworks Studios