The City Speaks

This was an innovative and collaborative project developed by Film London Artists' Moving Image Network and BBC Radio Drama. Artist filmmakers and writers collaborated to produce two 45-minute audiovisual artworks as a centrepiece of the BBC Radio 4 season in July 2007. The project constructed a cross-platform drama experience for radio, cinema, digital television and online presentation.

Working with Rosie Pedlow, composer David Pickvance and writer Mike Walker, Joe King made one of six films based on an original short story by Peter Ackroyd. The films also form the basis for two radio plays, and can be watched by the radio listener, who accesses them while listening to the radio broadcast. The creative challenge was for filmmakers to collaborate with drama writers in making new work for radio that evokes the visual sense and the milieu of cinema, as a 'sound film for radio'. It also utilises the IMAX cinema's outstanding audio capabilities for an immersive audience experience.

As a research project, each stage was developed in ways that achieved for the participants a greater understanding of collaborative processes in media arts. The film was completed in September 2006, had its first screening at Film London in October 2008 and was broadcast in January 2008. A 90-minute audiovisual version of the project was presented at the BFI IMAX, London. A looped interactive TV audiovisual programme (Radio 4 via Freeview/Cable/ Satellite) can be accessed, along with an online audiovisual programme via the Radio 4 website. The work has also had public presentations on BBC Big Screens (Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Hull, Rotherham, Bradford and Leeds).