documentary

 

Three clips from the Border TV (ITV) halloween documentary - Eric Wallace's Ghost Stories - featuring the late, great, one and only Eric Wallace. Eric travels across Lake Windermere by rowing boat to Sawrey and explores the abandoned open air swimming pool at Grange Over Sands. Broadcast in October 1989.


Written by Eric Wallace & Michael Cumming.

Produced & Directed by Michael Cumming.

Secret Lives - Toys For Boys

Secret Lives - Painting The Town

A portrait of obsessive Meccano collector Ed Downing. Shown as part of the Secret Lives documentary series for Border/ITV in 1991.


Produced & Directed by Michael Cumming.

Secret Lives - One Good Turn

A portrait of West Cumbrian magician Maurice Thompson aka El Marvo. Shown as part of the Secret Lives documentary series for Border/ITV in 1991.


Produced & Directed by Michael Cumming.

Secret Lives - Don’t Give Up The Day Job


Eric Wallace (1938 -2004) was a broadcaster, movie enthusiast and independent film director who presented Border Televisions 'Lookaround' and other shows on the ITV station for over 30 years.

16mm. Colour. 1986.


Produced & Directed by Michael Cumming.

Eric Wallace’s Ghost Stories

Blackpool’s Comedy Carpet

Since 2009 Michael has been working with eminent documentary producer Claire Lewis (7 Up, The End Of The Line) on a film doccumenting the making of Blackpool’s Comedy Carpet & the history of comedy in Blackpool. Staring Ken Dodd, Frank Carson, Cannon & Ball & Rik Mayall. View the Blackpool Rock Trailer or watch Taster Clip 1 & Taster Clip 2. We’re still looking for a backer to finish the project but you can visit the finished Carpet now in Blackpool. Right underneath the tower, about the size of a football pitch, hundreds of people laughing. You can’t miss it.



Previously

Whilst doing his M.A in film at the RCA in 1986, Michael made a documentary about the secret life of Eric Wallace - an ebullient TV presenter and film director who worked for Border Television in Cumbria. The film was made with Graham Pettit - who went on to be the lighting cameraman behind animated movies like The Corpse Bride & Fantastic Mr Fox. Entitled ‘The One & Only’, it featured Eric in the Border TV news studios reading a script about himself from autocue. The script had been written by Michael, based on tape recorded conversations they had and, like the rest of the film, it was an attempt to place Eric in the world of the movies he loved. Michael had met Eric two years earlier when, as part of the band The True Believers, he had gone on to the Border news show ‘Lookaround’ to promote their single, Spiderman.  The One & Only was shown at BAFTA in 2006 and Eric took a standing ovation.


To thank Eric for taking part, Michael took over the post production of his ‘unfinished masterpiece’ Stimmung - starring Melvin Bragg. Michael commissioned the music and graphics that saw the project completed in 1987.


Music career well and truly on hold, Michael was teamed up with Wallace again in 1989 when they co-wrote a documentary for halloween together that Eric presented and Michael directed.


In 1993 Michael produced & directed a series for Border TV, based along similar lines to his RCA film about Eric. Secret Lives showcased interesting and unusual Cumbrian artists, musicians, writers & performers who still held down a day job.


The film about Eric, a clip from the halloween film and several of the Secret Lives films are featured here. We hope to have the whole series up soon. Also featured here - a documentary short from 2006, about the making of the Paul Whitehouse Radio 4 series - Down The Line. Michael was given exclusive access to the studio to rig cameras and self-shoot with a small digital camera whilst the cast improvised and recorded the show.

National treasures and local heroes

Secret Lives - Worlds Apart

A portrait of Cumbrian songwriter and musician Doug Cumming. Shown as part of the Secret Lives documentary series for Border TV/ITV in 1991.


Produced & Directed by Michael Cumming.

Secret Lives - Vim & Vitriol

A portrait of Cumbrian songwriter and musician Michael Willoughby. Shown as part of the Secret Lives documentary series for Border TV/ITV in 1991.


Produced & Directed by Michael Cumming.

A portrait of Gordan Buchan - psychic investigator. Shown as part of the Secret Lives documentary series for Border/ITV in 1991.


Produced & Directed by Michael Cumming.

The One & Only

A Profile of West Cumbrian artist Kevin Carr. Shown as part of the Border/ITV series Secret Lives in in 1991.


Produced & Directed by Michael Cumming.

Down The Line - Behind The Microphone

Excerpt from a documentary about the making of the award winning BBC Radio 4 comedy staring Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson & Simon Day from the Fast Show along with Lucy Montgomery, Rhys Thomas, Amelia Bullmore and Felix Dexter. B&W/Colour 2006.


Produced & Directed by Michael Cumming.

Lonely Planet - Brazil

Originally broadcast in the UK on Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel these travel films have since been re branded Globe Trekker. They continue to be sold around the world. This film documented the first of many adventures from Ian Wright. 1994.


Director/Super 8 Camera - Michael Cumming