Ben Wigley on the Peter Symes Workshop

Benjamin Wigley is an independent filmmaker based in Nottingham. He works primarily in the public sector producing content for organisations such as Save the Children, Oxfam, Wateraid, The Arts Council and the National Trust. Ben’s first production was a film charting his journey to Siberia to visit a religious community of 5,000 people for a celebration of  their leader, a man they believe to be the second coming, called ‘In Search of the Vissarion’. Creatively, Ben tries to produce work that is both visually and intellectually stimulating, dealing with themes such as hope, obsession and fate.

The first BTG workshop led by Peter Symes was very insightful, the projects this year are of a very high standard, and you can be certain it will be tough to get selected for the final 7. The projects range from Arizonian old people living under constant threat of a biohazard attack, to a blind photographer.

I'm sure all the members of the workshop will be entrenched with the dreaded question.... " but what is the film?".... Which is thoroughly engrained into my psyche, and is my new boomerang question when developing a pitch.


I had huge input from all filmmakers and workshop leaders on my project, my one line & my title and I really feel like I've made progress. Although, I've a lot of research.... and I've got a particularly tricky puzzle to workout.

My project is about Paul Smith's 'Stamped Objects' and their mystery sender. Paul has been receiving random and bizarre objects in the post, each unwrapped with the postage stamped directly on the objects themselves, for over 15 years.

I managed to film at Paul Smith's London offices, and interview the man himself. As you might imagine, he was very comfortable on camera and I was able to shoot around 30 mins of interview with him talking about the 'Stamped Objects' and their story. I also interviewed the receptionist and shot the objects that were there.

Now I need to go through the footage and do some research considering the ideas and concepts that the workshop has helped me to develop.

The group itself is extremely supportive, everyone wants to offer suggestions and thoughts that might improve each project, which Peter even said, "is rare and something to cherish". So I'm very much looking forward to the next workshop weekend in February.  Check out my site to see regular updates, my first trailer and images of the project in progress: