I was worried. That’s a lie. I don’t think I’ve ever been more worried about showing something I’ve made before, in my entire life.
I’d shown the 80% cut to a few people – and obviously the Made With production team have been all over it. But would they really tell me if it wasn’t very good? Could they? So fo me, this would be it’s first real test.
The family were my major worry. They didn’t ask for this film to be made. They didn’t know what they were letting themselves in for. They couldn’t, I didn’t know how it would grow and grow to what it is now, so how could they.
The hope for the film is that it could be something that could help us all repair the hole left in our lives with the loss of Steve, but I knew it would open a can of worms when we started this – and it would make things worse before they could get better. But had I miss judged it?
So I wanted them to see this film before the 200 people in the room. I wanted them to know what was coming. To be prepared. As best they could be.
So I sent a link on the Thursday and hoped they would gather the energy to watch it before the screening on Saturday night.
Although the film carries Steve’s name, only the first 15 minutes are about him, what happened – and the carnage that was left behind.
This film is about Everyman, because Steve was the everyman.
And this film is about making people realise that depression and anxiety is everywhere. That people you know, love and respect might be suffering as well.
And we need to remove the stigma about trying to look after your mental health – and take it more seriously. Don’t just take good mental health for granted.
As I drove from Bristol on the Friday night, I thought about what they might think. I hadn’t heard from them – I’d got a text from Lee who said h’es seen the first half hour and “thought it was really powerful” – so I slept in my Holiday Inn box – a happy man.
I woke up, checked my phone and I still hadn’t heard from Les and Lol. Maybe they hadn’t seen it. Or they had but didn’t know how to they hated it.
Breakfast of a champion.
I thought about this as I drove to the station to pick up Producer Neil. After a laugh at his new retro look.
We talked about it as we drove. Neil put a lot of my worries at ease, but he still didn’t know what they might think. Then when we pulled up at the ground and we saw Lol.
I put my window down and she came straight over. “It’s fabulous Ben. It really is” …… “we watched it last night… and it’s going to change lives” – I just felt like a weight had been lifter off my shoulders. Today was going to be a good day.
You know what happened in the match – that was in the previous post. But is was a good day. My team won, I got my goal. We won the shield and everyone had a good time.
As I walked back into the club house, I suddenly thought how pissed off Steve would have been for losing. He hated losing. We always played on the same side – unless it involved United. I then saw this shirt, hanging up. It was one of his favourites. I loved and hated it. It’s the strip Lee Sharpe wore when Arsenal got slapped 6-2. Lee Sharpe was one of Steve’s favourite players. It made me smile.
I wasn’t the only one smiling.
A year a go when I filmed Les and Lol, I’ll be honest didn’t know if they would ever smile again – Then as I look at them catching up with people and laughing and I think, if we achieve nothing more, seeing them trying to move on was worth it.
Lol with Felicity and Diane. (Flis’s mum).Les having a rare laugh (because in the film he talks about losing his sense of humour)And Claire laughing with some mates.But they weren’t the only ones. I was humbled by the support of my mates new and old. People travelling to Margate from Bristol, (Blue and Tom) Brighton (Ollie) and London Scott and Steve. Love you Wal.
Old old mates, Andy, Rob and Dan who all went to School with Steve and I.Old mates meet new mates.Wiz coming from Hertford.The boys from London.Luv ya Producer Neil.
So then we go on to the screening. I couldn’t really take a photo to do the crowd justice. We sold around 200 tickets. So it was a great test.
For 90 minutes you could hear a pin drop. Which was amazing,
After there was as great clap. And lots of people congratulating me. Which made me feel weird. Because I’d never expected comments like that. People liked the positivity and the fact that we looked at solutions. In fact one bloke came up to me and gave me a big hug and said :Thank you. He told me he’d been suffering for a bit but didn’t know how to say it. And talk to his wife about it. As the film finished he told her how he’s been feeling and is now going to get help. So now we have had 24 men that just by the process of making this, knowing it exists, they are going to get help.
So even with an unfinished film it’s already doing it’s job. So thank you all for your support and positivity.
A few people since have sent mew little videos of their feelings after the screening. You can see them on our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stevedocumentary/