We were lucky enough to catch up with Eddie Webber recently in between his busy schedule, writing and creating and acting, cooking and directing for a new-ish project that may or may not have passed under or though your radar already. Anyhow he was a great sport and all round Gent and agreed to answer a few questions for Eyeplug.net.
01. Just to get things rolling, let’s do some quick introductions?
My name is Eddie Webber creator and writer, chief cook and bottle washer of the new internet comedy series Power to the People – I was born and bred in Bermondsey, South East london I trained at Morely College and the London Bubble Theatre.
02. Tell us about how you got started in the Acting Profession?
That’s a really long story. I started at the London Bubble in Elephant Lane – I walked into the space one night and spoke to a man called Adrian Jackson, told him I wanted to be an actor and bosh! – here I am. There is a much longer version but I feel it would take up the whole page!
03. You have managed to stay very busy and build a nice Career?
God knows how – I guess that I’ve been very lucky getting involved in it when I did. Twenty years ago there wasn’t all this reality TV stuff going on so real entertainment was being made and there was always a little Cockney fella turning up in all of them – the hardest thing those days was getting an ‘equity card’ as one could not work without it.
04. What have been the highs and lows of your Acting roles?
There have never been any lows with regards to acting in projects – the only lows I can think of is when I’m not working, that’s a real low.
05. Who do you really admire from your profession?
I admire anyone that brings their projects over the finish line – so many people talk about what they are going to do but if words were calories we’d all be very fat. At the moment there is a Producer friend of mine called Jonathan Sothcott, he is really the only one I know making sellable films and employing and giving a platform to new young working class actors and bringing his films over the finish line – so he’s someone that has my respect. I also admire my friend Danny Dyer, every time he gets knocked down he gets back up again, that’s a rare quality. Sothcott is a name to watch out for in the independent British Film Industry.
06. You have also developed as a dedicated writer too?
I have always loved to write. I used to write the songs for a band that I was in as a teenager, but I am quite dyslexic, well either that or very lazy! I suppose, coming from the 1970s Comprehensive System, I’ll never know but I feel strongly drawn towards developing my writing in the future. I have three great feature movies all ready to go and I hope to get them made when the Industry gains a bit more trust in me as a Writer.
07. Tell us about the Power to the People project – aka P.A.P?
Power to the People is a fresh approach to political satire from a working class perspective. It is about a group of local lads who are fed up with the way local politics are handled and they decide to do something about it. The series follows their struggles and capers as they strive to set up a serious local political party – The People’s Advocate Party is born. It consists of six mini episodes. Episodes 1 to 6 are viewable here.
08. So you wrote preformed and produced and gave birth to the concept?
Phew, if I thought about that question before we started I think I would have talked myself out of it. I was so lucky to have the support of great actors and crew. The crew was made up of second and third year film students from Ravensbourne University who, we hope, gained valuable experience for their future by working alongside professional actors. It is the ethos of this project to encourage and support new actors, writers and film-makers as well as also sending out a calling card for our future potential projects and building our film company which is called agoodeyedeer.
09. How easy was it to work with the Internet in mind as a platform?
I think the levels of social networking are phenomenal – I love the fact that you can share with people about what your pet eats – I also love that people can find lost friends and family but mostly I love that you can share your business ideas and like minded people synchronize . Our motto in Power to the People is ‘the universe is with us’. I think it helped to have been involved with some great movies like ‘The Business’, ‘The Firm’ and ‘Big Fat Gypsy Gangster’ which all have a big fan base so my name, Geoff Bell, Danny Dyer, Ricky Grover and Laila Morse are familiar to a lot of people also Darren Russell who is our stills photographer has been an amazing help. That has definitely been an advantage when using social networking to publicise the ‘Power to the People’ series. The internet and the universe are both linked in the ether anyway, I reckon!!!
10. You managed to include some great actors and talent into P.A.P?
I was so lucky with the cast and crew, Geoff Bell (Terry), Danny Dyer (Cannon), Roland Manookian (Arthur) all worked with me on Nick Love’s ‘The Business’, Andy Linden, Ricky Grover and Laila Morse on ‘Big fat Gypsy Gangster and Johnny Palmerio (Benny the Shirt) on Ken Loach’s ‘It’s a Free World’. They all gave their valuable time for free and all they also believed in the project, I was so blessed in that respect.
11. You managed to capture a subtle and everyday feel with much warmth and humour?
My intention was to write something from a working class perspective that was real for the people that have to deal and live with some of the inexplicable decisions that Local Councils make. The humour comes naturally from where I grew up, it’s all about sub text, if that makes sense! The difficulty was to try and keep an arc to the story in 6 minute episodes. There’s so much more to delve into if we get it commissioned to TV. I personally think that there are too many writers these days employed to write in idioms that they don’t really know about i.e Eastenders etc. I mean how can someone from a comfortable middle class background write really well for characters that come from working class areas like Bermondsey, South East London and visa versa.
12. How did you fund the project and how will it grow in the future?
The first two episodes were self-funded then we had a bit of luck by meeting John Devlin who owns the Cross Keys pub in Endle St, Covent Garden who funded the rest.
13. What can people do to help support you and the P.A.P thing?
We have a merchandise website designed by a young genius called Gary O’ Neall If people could find it in their hearts to buy a T-shirt that would help greatly to fund future Power to the People episodes. We are hoping to shoot a Christmas Special in December if we can get the funding. It would also be a great help if people could like our Facebook page here and follow us on twitter @agoodeyedeer.
14. Do you think the Media is a little nervous that they cannot control every facet of modern technology?
I personally don’t think the media really give a monkeys about anything. They are a total law unto themselves, protected by corrupt business men and Politicians from posh schools.
15. What other projects have you got planned for the future?
Aside from the Power to the People Christmas Special, we are pitching the series to TV Channels and will be looking to move forward with two of my feature film scripts called GONE HOPPING and TOUGH TRACKS.
16. What about Local Politics? Most people are switched off these days?
I think that most people are sick to death of hearing empty words from Politicians and have become complacent and don’t expect any kind of people Democracy, for example, the last two prime ministers were not elected by the people – where is the democracy in that?
17. Can you tell us a joke?
Tarzan walks into the local job centre, walks up to the desk and says to the lady sitting there, ‘I need some money’. The woman looks at him, puzzled and says, ‘but you’re Tarzan, why would you need money?’ Tarzan says, ‘Look I am so skint, I had to eat Cheeta last week. On the Monday I ate Cheeta’s arm, on the Tuesday I ate his other arm, on the Wednesday I ate his leg, on the Thursday I ate his other leg, on the Friday I ate his torso – how the f**k can anyone live on a monkey a week in this country’. Ha Ha!
Power To The people – The PAP Merchandise website
Power To The people/PAP Facebook