The Decade that Danced | What It Means To Me

Jan 28, 2017     Em Chapman   0 Comment     News

It was the film that defined a generation, my generation. As T2 Trainspotting hits the big screen this month the stars have been on the usual PR stint that surrounds such a huge film and as I listened to Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner and Danny Boyle share their experiences and memories of the first film on Chris Evans BBCR2 Breakfast show this week, I got the same incredible feeling that you could feel, even through the radio waves, that they had as they recalled 1995, the year they filmed the original Trainspotting film. The film was released on 23rd February 1996 by which point I’d already been dancing and partying for 6 incredible years – I started young 😉

As a teen of the 90’s, this was the decade that defined me and I thank my lucky stars every day it was the one I got to grow up in for so many reasons. The music, the parties (so many parties), the people and everything else that represented 90’s youth culture – but above all that, the fact that we could ‘do it’ in the privacy of the dance floor, the fields, our bedrooms and anywhere else we wanted to.

Our ‘make up bag’ consisted of Vaseline and Vicks and we dressed for comfort, above and beyond anything else, so we could make it through the hours of dancing and partying, not giving a second thought to what we looked like. We were there to feel good, not look good. So, in the last decade of the 20th century, before the dawn of social media, how did being able to ‘do it’ privately, shape the lives of generation 90’s?

The Decade that Danced is a celebration of the last true ‘private’ generation and the wonderful, hedonistic, party-loving, free-spirited era of the early 90’s. Pre-Production is well under way and over the course of the next few months we’ve got some crackin’ interviews lined up with DJ’s, promoters and musicians, stars of the big and small screen as well as the ‘ordinary’ people that danced and smiled their way through it.

This project comes from the heart. I took four weeks out of life to go to film school last year to learn the skills I needed to make this happen. I was the oldest on the course, by far, yet it was both ironic and hugely fulfilling that the other students on my course were intrigued to know about my plans for the documentary and more so, what it was like to grow up in the 90’s – we shared many conversations and they’re as keen to see it, as I am to make it. A whole new generation wanting to know what it was like to grow up in a world without Facebook.

Following the sad death of Leonard Cohen at the end of 2016, Tony Parsons wrote a brilliant article; ‘Hedonism of old schools stars is dead – todays kids are mad on moderation’ and whilst I agree with most of what Tony says, unlike him, I do look back on those days with huge nostalgia. Not just because of the wild parties themselves (incredible as they were) but because we could have those wild parties in private – ‘private’ might have meant a warehouse full of 3,000 free-spirited, hedonistic, intoxicated party-goers but it was still private by todays Big Brother, selfie crazy generation.

The day job means I’m lucky enough to have access to an amazing crew, all of which have embraced this journey with me, some to re-live it in their own right or, for the younger ones, to get some sort of sense of what it was all about it. After months of hard work, more meetings than I’ve ever had in my life and lots of begging for (it wasn’t that hard – generation 90’s couldn’t wait to reminisce), I’m honoured and ecstatic to bring you my first documentary – The Decade that Danced.

We’ve got a big task ahead but we promise to do it justice and the whole crew are embracing it with our hands in the air. I’m not just lucky I grew up in the 90’s, I’m privileged. Do I want to relive it? No! Am I grateful I lived through it the first time round? Every single day of my life.

Em – 91 Productions

The Decade that Danced is currently in production with release expected end of 2017. We’re currently seeking video footage, amateur or professional, from the dance scene of the early 90’s. If you have access to footage of this kind or would simply like to be part of this documentary, please get in touch!

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