ELL speaks to the director of documentary ‘Project Wild Thing’, David Bond, about his film, children and the great outdoors.
Child molesters hiding in the woods and crazed rabid canines are just a few of the barriers stopping today’s children venturing out into the great outdoors, according to the documentary ‘Project Wild Thing’.
“So I thought I’ll be the marketing director of nature and I’ll sell the benefits of the outdoors,” says award-winning director of the film and father from New Cross Gate, David Bond.
Now showing in more than 70 cinemas across London, Project Wild Thing has taken London by storm.
“We didn’t expect it, we thought for it to be shown in 20 cinemas would have been amazing. I mean just getting a film into the cinema is amazing,” he says.
Shot in a ‘fly on the wall’ style, Bond goes to many lengths to pull children’s eyes away from the TV screen and sell the benefits of being outdoors
Stopping a generation of child obesity, depression and behavioural problems is one of the many things Bond’s seeks to do with Project Wild Thing.
He first came up with the idea for selling the benefits of nature through the film, when he came down one morning to find his two young children, Alby, 3 and Ivy, 5, “completely glued to the plasma screen” in a “zombie-ish state.”
“I needed to persuade them of the joys of other stuff,” he says.
Bond recalls talking to his mother of eighty about the days when children were a far cry from comatose couch potatoes.
Today the average amount of time 8-12 year olds spends in front of a screen, whether computer or TV, is 4 and a half hours per day.
“It’s so easy to switch a bit of screen time for a bit of wild time.”
And, according to Bond, there are a lot of places in South East London where a bit of “wild time” can be had.
“Nunhead Cemetery, because it’s just so wild and brilliant, bits of it are quite manicured and then you go off the path and you’re in some kind of gothic horror movie. Next Greenwich Park, Blackheath Common, Hilly Fields and finally the Green Chains walk, which joins up loads of green areas in South East London. That’s really cool because you don’t usually imagine that you could do long walks in London in loads of green space, but actually the Green Chains Walk does do that.”
Since the documentary was first proposed, two and a half years ago, Bond has embarked on an incredible journey taking in many weird and wonderful experiences including, “begging and borrowing billboards, making radio jingles, doing viral TV stuff and a guerilla style campaign,” which involved “dressing up as a squirrel, going to speakers corner and giving speeches.”
It is activities like this that have helped Bond to achieve his aim of bringing the fun back into the outdoors. “After all” he says “it does need to be entertaining and fun, the kind of films I make have to be funny, because if they get too heavy then they’re pretty depressing in a way,”.
Are we destined for a generation of couch potato’s to sweep the nation? Not if David Bond has anything to do with it.
To purchase the DVD or watch Project Wild Thing online just visit projectwildthing.com.