June 19 2013 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Newham film director Richard John Taylor tackled the thorny issue of rape in a documentary, has returned to the subject with his latest film, Acceptance.
The movie stars long time friend and east London actor Billy Murray, a regular and familiar face on the ITV drama The Bill. It also stars Leslie Grantham who was one of the original cast members of the BBC soap EastEnders.
Richard, 27, who lives in Western Gateway, Royal Docks in Custom House, said: “My previous film, Fifteen was a work of pure fantasy compared to this - incest, gangsters, snuff films, twists and turns at every corner - with Acceptance I wanted to do something just as dramatic and shocking but shocking because it was real.
“The attack at the beginning of Acceptance is based on real events that happened to a friend and I - only unlike the film, our attack occurred in leafy suburbia, not gritty east London. I was walking with a female friend in Surrey when we were attacked by a gang, three boys and a girl, all in there teens - they raped my friend and then attempted to murder me. I was kicked and beaten in the head for over ten minutes, I eventually passed out - it was only the police and paramedics turning up that stopped them.
“There’s a lovely caption at the beginning of the film that says ‘Inspired by true events’ - I love the audience being left to wander which parts were and which weren’t, but the sad reality of it is that it’s all based on true events that have happened to either me or people I know in some way. Not necessarily some of the events but as a film, it’s very dialogue heavy and there’s a lot of my own emotions behind the writing.
“The rape documentary I did, I Want Too Talk About It was obviously made with a view of raising awareness, however, having something so blunt is obviously going to attract a limited audience.
“A lot of people say to me you must stop doing such miserable films about such things and I say why? It’s a real issue, it’s something that I have to live with the repercussions of every day and night, even years on. Anything I can do to help highlight the problem, I will. Life, and rape aren’t films that you can just switch off when you don’t want to watch any more. People need to wise up to that. One in four women has been raped or is a victim of attempted rape - there’s a lot of people suffering each day because of this cancer...”
Asked why he filmed so much of the film in Newham, Richard said: “Because Newham has everything you need for a film, from a gritty council estate (we filmed in Britannia Village) to stunning penthouses (my own!), woodland, flyovers, it has everything. I own a lot of property in the area so we always have that available, I have a lot of friends who own some stunning restaurants and bars so we are always invited back to film there, so why go further afield when we have everything on our door step. The locals get looked after but also, the way in which I shoot and our timescales, filming locally always helps on a tight schedule - for both Fifteen and Acceptance we restricted our filming to one square mile of Newham and Tower Hamlets - except for our little beano to Bodrum in Turkey for Acceptance.
“Acceptance is a drama essentially about a man and his relationship with his daughter. Eric (Billy M) has been on the run for 30 years, accused of a murder he didn’t commit. When he hears his estranged daughter has been raped and the police aren’t pulling their socks up, he’s forced to come back to England and try and fix things, whilst all the time being on the run.
Billy was the only choice, having been my best friend for 10 years now. I owe him a lot, he’s taught me a lot and is like a dad to me. His body of work speaks for itself and he’s a proper gentleman. On set he’s incredibly professional as well as very funny and very charming .Women want to be with him and men want to be him.”