A local film maker has just released his latest project celebrating the people of Manchester.
Director Charlie Watts, from Stockport, has titled his film “People”.
It is a series of short audio and video clips of Manchester residents and workers voicing off on personal and societal problems.
Charlie, 26, said that this project stems back from his first project, a visual depiction of the Northern Quarter, and this film is a natural progression from there.
He said: “I thought three years on it would be nice to do something similar, but actually hear people’s stories with some substance.”
Charlie and his cameraman Matt Jones began filming the people of Manchester without a particular plan in mind for how the film might turn out.
The two were surprised by how receptive those they stopped were to sharing their stories.
The answers they received were varied, and only a snapshot of the variety is represented in the film.
The project is one of passion for Charlie, who has an interest in strangers as a subject.
He said: “You look at someone and you make an assumption about them – everyone does. To actually stop and speak to these people was probably the most enjoyable part of making the film.
“It was like a gamble. Every time you approached someone you never knew whether they were going to be happy or aggressive. They might have been very apprehensive.
“Every conversation was like a roulette.”
Charlie also spoke to the warmth and openness of the Mancunians.
He said: “For example, there was a group of lads around Rusholme that we shot on the second night of filming, and there were ten of them stood outside of a corner shop with their hoods up. I was a bit wary of approaching them but they ended up being some of the best people we spoke to. Really nice lads.”
Overall, they estimate that they stopped and spoke to around 50 people, many of whom did not make it into the finished short film.
Released just last week, the film has already amassed thousands of views and praise from the Manchester International Festival and I Love MCR.
Charlie grew up around Stockport and has since lived in the city centre, before moving back to Marple.
He has loose plans on making some narrative shorts and documentaries in the future.