We shared Stevens video, of the Liverpool’s Overhead Railway (1893 – 1956) recreating its glorious heyday (using CGI) via our FB Page and the response was amazing. Its obvious to see it holds a place in the hearts of Liverpudlians far and wide, for a variety of reasons.
We caught up with Steven & fired a few questions his way….
TLE: What led to you making the video?………
SW: I’ve been working with CGI for a number of years now. I’ve always wanted to be a film maker and learning how to use CGI as a tool is a more economical way to do this. I remember seeing the amount of detail James Cameron put into making Titanic (right down to the cutlery) and I always though it would be good to do something along the same lines with the Overhead Railway. I’d heard about it as a child but I’d not seen images of it till I discovered it on the internet.
I took the idea further after attending a lecture at FACT a few years ago. What I saw was a lecturer who was born after the structure had been demolished. The audience consisted of older members of the public who rode on the railway.
These people where disagreeing with some of the points being raised, and the lecture almost turned into a debate. I decided then and there that these peoples memories were more important than anything this researcher had done, and that I would put together a documentary film based on peoples real memories and their personal experiences with the Overhead Railway.
We got some great stories and anecdotes from members of the public that you won’t find anywhere in any of the history books or previous documentaries. For example, nowhere to my knowledge has it been recorded that the Overhead Railway had it’s very own football team. These and many more facts emerged through the interviews that cannot be found anywhere else.
TLE: Is this something that you do professionally?
SW: I’ve been working as a 3D artist and director on and off for a number of years now, which is what pulled me away from the project back when I was unemployed.
TLE: Are you working on anything at the moment?
SW: I’m currently working on another project now which also incorporates the Overhead Railway. The project is a feature film about the urban myth known as Spring Heeled Jack. He was a demonic apparition that originated in London during the victorian era.
He would terrorise women at night with his appearance. It was said that he had red eyes (like balls of fire), that he spat blue flames and that he could jump extraordinary heights. The story begins in London but the journey takes us to Liverpool, where Spring Heeled Jack was sighted in 1904 on top of St Francis Xaviers Church in Everton.
I shot a promotional piece whilst living in London which is currently being re-worked now. If I can raise the funds to shoot this film independently I would love to shoot it here in Liverpool. There is a trailer on the site which gives a very brief glimpse of the Overhead Railway.
A website for this work can be found here: Spring Heeled Jack Home Page