Sequence and Publishing.
Alt–Generations Name Interviews.
These are kind of self-explanatory and are seen as a key pull or ‘sizzle’ for the site. The name interviews to choose from are:
- Kim Shuck – Poet Laureate, San Francisco, talks about what it’s like to become the Poet Laureate of such a major creative city; her hippie upbringing; the creative process and her Native American roots.
- Joanna Harcourt-Smith – writer and podcaster. Author of a book on her life and experiences, Tripping the Bardo with Timothy Leary, talks about what for her the 60s was all about, as well as the time we spent on the road together in the early 70s, when we met Timothy Leary.
- Zoë Readhead – Summerhill principal and daughter of Ena and A.S. Neill, talks about the battle between Ofsted and the School and surviving as an unusual educational establishment.
- Gerard Mosiniak, international chef and also the cook at Nellcôte, where the Stones recorded Exile on Main Street.
- Jon East – Film and TV Director. The Last Kingdom. The producer of Summerhill, the dramatised TV series. Jon talks about the creative process.
E-Book and Biography. This seems to be the deeper subject area and heart of the project, around which everything else revolves. It definitely needs a clear structure, some of which I’ve outlined below.
- Gaucín, Southern Spain, 2006. While interviewing an old friend of the family about our mother, the question of my own paternity comes to light. By chance, it turns out that the man we – meaning Tommy and I – suspect may be my biological father owns much of the land in the valley the little restaurant we are sitting at overlooks. A sweeping vista.
- London. My own family life and the birth of my son in London during the eighties. The reprieve of finding love after a difficult period. We establish the characters, Beau’s mother, Susi and his sister Lucy, lovely people. We all work together from an office I rented in Nomis, a music facility on West London, making music videos. Susi and Lucy are much loved by crew, as they do the catering.
- Flashback 60s. My own birth and childhood into the middle of counterculture explosion in London. Artist friends and meeting people like Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and Steve Winwood at the Traffic house in Bucks.
- Midlands, 2006. The funeral service after the death of our father. Three different brothers are introduced. Myself, the narrator, mostly a film editor and musician/composer; my older brother, the actor Jake Weber; our younger half-brother, Buddy Wheatley, a professional, high achieving soldier. A wild character, an adventurer who has at different times been a racing-driver, a music film producer and a smuggler. The father, Tommy Weber, was an extremely attractive, warm and generous but often difficult guy to grow up with – due to his chemical addictions, possibly a difficult family psychology and late diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
- Exile on Main Street – Page boys to Mick and Bianca Jagger, but also child drug mules.
- The flight to India to meet mum. Delhi, my impressions – the taxis. Getting my tackle caught in a zipper at the Delhi Grand Hotel. Bus ride up to meet mum who suffers breakdown, seemingly to do with already fragile psychological and emotional state.
- London 80s, my own family, Susi, Beau and Lucy. Out of school and drifting, I meet and fall in love with Beau’s mother, an ex of a friend of my father’s. I stay over one night and there is some attraction. We get together but she insists I have to work if we are to be together. There follow a series of odd jobs. After a year or two I start making music videos for Nomis, a famous studio in West London.
- New York, end of the 80s/beginning of the 90s. Working as a freelance editor in NY for CBS Media relations and A&E. Mr. Kim, my roommate lawyer from South Korea. A trip across country with Beau and Mr. Kim.
- Turkey, end of the 90s and into the new millenium. The Techno Festival. I’m mostly editing commercials for foreign directors hired by the agencies, but also am director at a live music club for a season, where great fun, chaos and romantic complications ensue.
- Los Angeles, 2004 – Editing feature films, Swing, the movie – the production company also funds the record of my CD ‘ Road to Reach You’, TV and colourising reality tv series for NBC.
- Return to Europe and Turkey – My second marriage, to Daisy, Kurdish. An attractive, but tempestuous affair and marriage takes shape, although it was supposed to be only a formality or visa marriage. For political reasons, though we are arguing and we suffer the loss of an abortion – which I didn’t want – she is in trouble with the civil police, the political police, I take her to the UK.
- The 2000s. The global financial collapse. Entering University as a mature student. The Arab Spring, the UK student protests and Gezi.
- Now separated from my Kurdish wife, and having attended journalism school, I undertake a trip to Turkey to get reports on Gezi, which is exploding – and my first wife, Ella, is also in the thick of it – but first to East Anatolia to research book about fathers. By chance my second Turkish wife is a Kurd and apart from a fascinating life, our fathers are similar archetypes, both gamblers and smugglers. The grandfather and I end up spending time together, tending his garden.
Generations Character Interviews
They – or we – will also get life and character portraits, but more inside the Biographical sections of Generations, less ‘front page’ website articles on Alt-Lives. These are mostly personal and for life chapters, although the material could be used for both Alt-Generations podcasts and articles. I imagine articles on Adventures on The Hippy Trail in Turkey, Afghanistan and India; Generational Coming of Age Stories; DNA and ancestry, family trees and searches; questions of paternity and the search for biological fathers – in the case of Paul-François and me; smugglers stories as well as chemical addictions and cures – conventional vs shamanic and alternative practices.
- Petra Schmidt – A traveller, hippy and Summerhill mother. Experience on the hippy trail, coming of age in the 60s, as well as island living and Balearic alt-life culture; an unusual childhood in NYC as the daughter of one of the writers of the Declaration of the UN charter of Human Rights.
- Charley Weber – Interviewed by Joanna Harcourt-Smith. My experiences, both good and bad. The psychology between father and sons. Film examples in this genre. The good and the bad side of growing up in Alt-Culture. When things go wrong: teenage years, drug busts and the collapse and dissolution of a home and father.
- Paul-François – The rejection of and then search and embracing of his unexpected South American biological father and new family. Coming of age travel stories. Summerhill reflections with Charley – good, but also the naughty anecdotes. Life experience, undertaking a shamanic cure for pot addiction.
Generations Promo – An Introduction Video
A priority seems to be making a short promo piece to pitch Alt-Generations podcasts or the whole site to possible partners. Which would be a video navigating the various pages and components of the site, the interviews, the biographical E-Book episodes and a travel article. This would be driven by a voiceover, have music and also stills which might illustrate content or episode material.
What we are aiming for is an overview of the podcasts and a clear arc for the biographical episodes of Alt-Generations – which is more about fathers and sons, emanating from the centre of counterculture and my own childhood. These are interspersed with the interviews with friends and also some of the authors, educators, writers, chefs, actors and film makers who I knew from childhood, or have relevant passages to key episodes.
Alternative Travel Writing. These include travel and work advice to key creative cities, as well as cultural and historical context to alternative destinations, with particular interest in Island and alternative living.
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Germany’s Black Forest
- Devon/Cornwall, the Pirate culture and history
- The Princess Islands, off the coast of Istanbul
- Catalina, off the coast of Southern California
- The Balearic Islands: Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca.
- Bali, Indonesia
- Mainland Cambodia
- Bulgaria, Plovdiv and the wine growing regions and escapes