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"Story of QPR" film - press launch @ LR / Westfield premiere

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  • "Story of QPR" film - press launch @ LR / Westfield premiere

    Attended the event this evening. Firstly, it was a shame Joey wasn't there. That aside, though, was pretty enjoyable. The film itself was very very good, a lot better than I actually expected to be honest!

    A little bit of background on the making of this 60 minute film; the film was produced by the Octavia Foundation in partnership with the QPR in the Community Trust and involved the help of 35 young (mainly unemployed) young people from the West London area (I think facto may have been one of the cameramen actually)?!

    If I remember what they said correctly, the initial funding came from the Hoops Fund which began with the buckets outside the stadium situation we found ourselves in some 10 years or so back. That, topped up (and I imagine vastly exceeded in terms of monetary value!) with grants from both the Professional Footballers Association & the Heritage Lottery fund, enabled the Octavia Foundation to create the production.

    The film started out introducing QPR as a club and explaining a bit about our history which, I personally, actually found quite educating (for example I didn't realise we have had more home grounds than any other club in the football league) and also explained how we were formed, before going onto talk about how we are, traditionally, a "family club". They spoke with the Gallen family (including Kevin & Steve), Les Ferdinand, Rodney Marsh, Mark Lazarus & Joey Barton about the club & its' traditions and their experiences playing for the Rs. I am far from his biggest fan but I have to admit Joey spoke very and explained how we admittedly had very limited knowledge of our club & what we were about before he joined but has learnt a lot about our history & local roots etc.

    They show some great old clips (plenty of Rodney & Stan which I quite enjoyed as I've not seen much of their footage before) including some footage from the 67 League Cup final.

    There is also input from a few Rs fans, such as Robert Elms, Garfield Hackett (not the cat) & Ariel Friedlander. Robert Elms, in particular, spoke very well & explained how the local area is still very much a multi-cultural & working class place, one of the few remaining areas of London that hasn't been "gentrified", as, say, Notting Hill, has.

    There was a bit of a strange digress onto talking about the Hillsborough disaster (loosely linked by referring to a match at home to West Ham when we had a plastic pitch and 2,000 fake tickets were printed causing over crowding in the lower school end I believe). Found that bit a tad out of context I must say.

    There is some discussion on the influx of Sky money and how, for all its' benefits, it has seemingly distanced the players from the fans, with the relationship / bond between the 2 being far more distant than it ever used to be.

    My personal favourite part of the film focuses on "that day" at Wembley last year which I must admit made my hairs stand on end watching again! Also gave me an almost overwhelming urge to break out into a chorus of "ooo Bobby Zamora"

    One of the final scenes they manage to sneak in a bit of pro-Old Oak Common stuff, stating how we need to move away from Loftus Road to move progress & not fall behind other clubs in terms of progressing as a club, and stating that we are lucky to have found a bit of land to enable us to do so still within the Hammersmith & Fulham borough.

    All in all I think it's a very good watch. Well worth a watch when it comes out (it is being screened in a couple of small West London cinemas in the next couple of weeks I believe) for all ages as it is insightful to our history for the younger fans, and also the older fans will be able to relate to the content relating to how the game has changed over the years in terms of the fans / player relationships & how that seems to be getting ever more distant as more money creeps into the game. I'm sure the reminiscing that comes with the old clips will be enjoyable too!

    After the screening the Director of the project said a few words & let us ask the young local lads that helped produce the show a few questions. Nobody had too much to ask really, namely a few regards who they found most interesting to speak to / interview etc (a couple said Lazarus, one Barton & one Harry).

    From a social point of view, it was great to hear from these lads how much they had learnt from the experience, with one of them even gaining employment with a nationwide media outlet off the back of the project. The work was all voluntary but they have all learnt a huge amount about the media & film industry which they all seem over the moon with.

    All in all seemed a very worthwhile cause & I recommend a viewing of The QPR Story if / when you can!

    Preview for the film is on the official, link below:

    You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.