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In this podcast, Tom and his son Frankie discuss how their experience of making short films together supported their relationship as a father and son. Tom talks about the films ‘Bokx’, ‘Beyond’, and ‘Aston Gorilla’, and reflects on how watching the films after many years can say a lot about his two boys, George and Frankie; how different they have become and yet how similar they have remained! ‘Aston Gorilla’ was a direct response to a phase in George’s life when he was suffering from nightmares and Tom’s insecurity about his role as a father. ‘Bokx’ and ‘Beyond’ were responses to Frankie’s world of imagination; at times he seemed to completely disappear into his fantasies, perhaps as a reaction to the fact that he was born blind with glaucoma. Whilst his sight was restored, he was not able to participate in the world as other children do. These films were a way of trying to feel what life was like within Frankie’s imagination, and the cruelty of having vivid fantasy replaced with mundane normality. Frankie participated in making the films when he was ‘seven’, and was oblivious to their sub-plot, darker themes. Tom talks about his fascination by the way in which films can create a community of collaboration and an intensity of endeavour. He wanted his sons to share his fascination, to witness the hard work undertaken by a film team and to gain different invigorating perspectives. Frankie now makes short films independently whilst George runs a film club at school. Tom believes that they both look back at the experience with pride and pleasure.

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