“In ‘The Call’ , director and writer David Cooper has created a short film that not only engages and informs but captures the pain, emotion and struggles of those who suffer with dementia. It was a pleasure to be involved with such a worthwhile project and I encourage everyone to give it the support it deserves.”
Sir Patrick Stewart
My interest in Alzheimer’s disease stems from the fact that my grandmother, to whom I was very close, died of the condition when I was 18. Watching her illness progress gave me first-hand experience of the impact that this illness can have, both on the affected person, and on us as a family as we cared for her in her later years. I vividly remember the helplessness that I felt as I watched her dementia insidiously progress. Being a practical person, I desperately wished that there was something I could do to help.
My fundraising for Alzheimer’s charities began when I was still at school. To date, I have raised over £5,000 by putting on musical shows at university, and playing the piano outside supermarkets for extreme lengths of time, sometimes lasting up to twelve hours.
When I left university, I set up iCandy Productions, a company making corporate and promotional videos. Making films has always been a passion of mine. Therefore, the short film “The Call” stems from my love of film-making and my longstanding dedication to helping people affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It was a great opportunity to do what I love in aid of a worthy cause.
It was essential to me that the film rang true. As part of my preparation in making “The Call”, I arranged with a local charity to interview a number of people living with dementia and their partners, carers and loved ones. It is their actual words that I have used when writing the script.
In total “The Call” took a year and a half to reach completion. I achieved this with the help of some volunteers, namely, my cameraman James and producer Sian, amongst many others, who kindly donated their time to assist me in putting the film together. All of the locations and props that you see in the film were donated with the generosity of various organisations. This includes Free Radio, who allowed me to use their premises to carry out some of the filming, and their presenter Andy Goulding who plays the radio presenter (which is, of course, his real-life job!). I was overwhelmed by how much people were willing to donate to the cause. One person to whom I am particularly grateful is renowned actor Sir Patrick Stewart, who was generous enough to spend an afternoon recording the appeal that features at the end of the film.
After over a year of preparation, the film is finally ready to be released. I can only hope that the time, effort and dedication that myself and others have put into this project will be reflected in the film’s success.
You can learn more about the film at http://www.thecallshortfilm.com. I hope that you enjoy it and I speak on behalf of myself and anyone who has ever been affected by Alzheimer’s, when I ask you to donate generously.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada hopes that you will share this film with your friends and family to raise awareness about the disease. Any funds raised in Canada will support the work of Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Filmmaker, “The Call”