How to grow a film
by Lara Hewitt
Throughout my childhood there were gleaming, cream coloured empty sacks of compost in the garage. No soil had ever sullied the thick, waxy lips of these sacks. My father had started a few businesses in his late twenties: selling compost made from the cast-off husks of earthworms was just one of them.
I paid my father's business ventures little heed; they were part of the world, much like the rabbit in its hutch and the milk in its bottles. My Dad always had a project on the go, there was always something he had to be doing, that was just the way things were. I might have been aware that not all dads were like my dad. My friend's dad worked at a pie factory and at weekends he would drive her and sometimes me to Blackpool for fish and chips. At weekends my dad took me to the moors of northern England, where we would build miniature dams to divert streams, because that needed doing. I never doubted that there was much in the world that needed doing.
Unbeknownst to me, my father's business started to grow. Like tubers left in the shed over winter, suddenly one day it was there. I hated the business. he business to me was the smell of the left-over dregs of Nescafe instant coffee in cheap mugs, left in an office sink. It was the hum of a Xerox machine, gazing out of rain-stained northern England windows, where I would wait after school until I could go home. It was grown ups who passed by you and said a few words on their way to something else. It was the silence of other people's intentions, a vortex that could suck in even an unsuspecting child.
Work with us
We have a portfolio of projects for development in 2017 and beyond and are keen to meet new collaborators and business partners. Parkwood has experience of working with a wide client and customer base: as one of the UK's leading leisure companies it currently employs over 5,000 people.
Artistic Director: Lara Hewitt
Before writing her first feature film, Lara had written plays, choreographed dances and made music for 5 year olds, 85 year olds, the deaf, the differently-abled or just the willing in various settings around and with different communities around the world. Lara is a linguist and teacher as well as an artist, but first and foremost a communicator. Since 2012 she has been based in Berlin.
But I sat in my father's office and read. We were a strange family and consequently I was a lonely child, so I read and read. I told myself stories because I had no one to play with. When I got home my mother would sing and my brother play guitar and the stories I imagined seemed to have possibility and life. The world of industry paled in the glow of the fire, and only the life of the spirit seemed real.
Many years on, the company my father grew, Parkwood, supported me in making one story real. I hope that more stories and more films will follow, because stories, I do believe, have spirits of their own, but sometimes it takes not just the dreamers and the poets, but also the men and women of industry, the people who are passionate about getting things done, to give these spirits form and introduce them to the world.
Executive Producer: Tony Doherty
Tony joined Parkwood Leisure in September 2014. His operational experience in theatres and concert halls spans over 25 years and he has managed, commercial, independent and subsidised venues across England.
Tony is recognised in the industry for both his experience in start up ventures, and for a reputation in transforming the performance fortunes of current venues. In recent years he has been instrumental in opening two new multi million pound concert halls in the South East Of England, and he was also responsible for rescuing the flagging Manchester Millennium project Urbis and overseeing an increase of visitor numbers from 50,000 to over 300,000. Tony is an active member of UK Theatre and British Association of Concert Halls (BACH).
Tony had started his career intending to be on the stage, performing in rock bands, but very soon was made to realise that his talents were better suited off stage, and since that point he has dedicated his efforts in providing audiences with great art and entertainment with only a hint of jealousy aimed at the performers.