Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Frankie Lewis


Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.

5 Questions with Frankie Lewis

TGG: Could you please introduce yourself and your work?

FL: I’m Frankie, I’m a Pisces first, a Filmmaker second and Teacher first, and I like New Earth ideas and Inner Unity and the Divine Feminine and Ray Bradbury and Virginia Woolf and I want to live on a mountain by the ocean with lots of other women and enbies and children and the men can be there too as long as they know how to make soup and bread and we all agree to not do any more war whatever the cost. This is a joke, I love the Divine Masc, I am the Divine Masc, we’re pre-postfeminist, it’s all good.

Behind the Roads is my first feature, it’s all developed and ready to go and I’m learning about raising finance. The main thing I’m learning is it’s okay to “ask for money” for projects, and it must and should be done. 

TGG: Can you tell me about your latest book?

FL: Absolutely, I can! It’s a workbook called ‘I Can Write! Your very own 6-week confidence plan.’ It walks the participant through a series of increasingly difficult challenges that show them step-by-step how to form ideas into written paragraphs. I’ve been wanting to do something similar since I started private tutoring a decade ago, and I was shocked at the pared-down simplicity this popped out with. Like a little baby. “I didn’t know I was pregnant!” 

It was made for a specific 8-year-old, after I had a chat with her mum about where she was at and what she needed. It makes me think of Charles Dickens’ book that he wrote for his children. He didn’t publish it widely until after his death; it was just for his children. I imagine there’ll be many incarnations of it as my teaching practice expands, and I say when people buy it, I tell them, “with this purchase, you get a new copy of this workbook every time Frankie makes a big change to it.”

It’s very pink and covered in cartoons but (and) it’s appropriate for all ages. 

TGG: I hear you have made a short film. Can you tell me about it?

FL: Sure thing! It’s a proof-of-concept trailer for Behind the Roads, which is a Queer, Magical Realist Coming-of-Age Drama set against the wild landscapes of the Cornish Riviera. It’s about a young writer who thinks she’s going mad because she’s fallen in love with an imaginary friend she’s made up to keep her company on her long country walks, and there’s a weird scary giant puppet man walking around and her biological father has shown up out of nowhere and he’s gay and nobody’s admitting that he’s her father but it’s really obvious that he is. 

It’s Cornish- I’m super excited about the growth of the Film Industry in Cornwall and I want to inject as much into it as I humanly can in my lifetime. When I was growing up there, in St. Ives, the only industries were Tourism and Art and Fudge and the Art was honestly not super accessible for local artists. There weren’t many exciting job prospects for young people who wanted to stay in the area; and now there are way more tangible prospects for working in film and staying in the Westcountry. One of the things I most care about in this arena is ensuring that the voices of filmmakers in Cornwall are Proper Cornish and unique and glorious. I don’t want to see a lot of films come out of the area that are so influenced by up-country. I want to see unique Cornish voices making profitable films with a true (varied and textured) cultural identity. So I’m setting an example with ‘Behind the Roads’. 

TGG: What’s next for you?

FL: Rrrrrrrrrrrrrich! Just kidding (well, not really). I’m going to Spain to live with Diane Bell and Chris Byrne and whoever else wants to come, (I’m pretty sure that’s the plan), Behind the Roads is getting made in its own sweet divine timing (we’re manifesting September) and I guess I’m a children’s tutor now! I have been for years, but it’s becoming a lot more deliberate and official. 

I’m also putting my Baby Producer skills to good use with a range of other secret projects, and I’m always open to helping out on… anything! If I can! Hit me up. 

TGG: How can we best support you (where can we follow you on social media and buy your books/films)?

FL: Thanks yeah, please do!

Here is my LinkTree- https://linktr.ee/frankielewis

The biggest thing going on at the moment is our trailer premiere. We’re holding a VIP networking party at midnight UK on the 21st April and tickets are available here: https://book.stripe.com/9AQeV045t09HdMY5km.

The book is available here: https://buy.stripe.com/14kcMS8lJ5u19wIfZ1. A proper ad with previews of the inside pages will be available shortly @writing.for.fluency on Instagram, or in the Facebook group: Writing Activities for Parents of Cool Kids (https://www.facebook.com/groups/tinker.n.play/).

Otherwise- follow us @behindtheroadsmovie on Instagram!

Oh, I do also blog at www.frankielewis.co.uk, it’s mostly joyful nonsense.

Thanks for having me!

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