I joined the very ad hoc Lesbian and Gay Youth Video Project in 1982 and we (about 25 young lesbians and gays) made this video about ourselves, our friends and some strangers(!). We were challenging the ways that conventional documentary makers were showing lesbians and gay men on television documentaries and so wanted to include ourselves as makers and as subjects, not in any way trying to be balanced. We found ways to film each other that helped us feel comfortable and we did loads of experiments using the new VHS and Betamax cameras. When the editing came to be done the new technology of the freeze frame helped disguise some dodgily shot interviews but also had the great effect of helping the viewer to concentrate on what was being said. So what with adding in clips of tv and films as comment and videoing what we shot in the street on a monitor (to highlight the outside ‘straight’ world) we were throwing away all the conventions in the book, not to mention chopping up what we said underneath all the freeze frames to make it sound better – we ended up getting an award for Best Documentary from the BFI in 1983 and being shown on Channel 4 (at midnight in a youth slot) in 1986.
“Made by, for and about young gay people, with rising stars of the time Jimi Somerville and Isaac Julien among a host of others, Framed Youth won the John Grierson Award for documentary. Television hadn’t seen such real lesbians and gay men talking honestly about their lives. Offering instant 80s nostalgia for an alternative club scene and a pop video informed exuberance.” 17th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
“Cheeky British lesbian and gay teenagers hit London’s streets with video cameras and microphones to confront normals’ views on homosexuality. The results are both humorous and revealing. Produced by the teenagers themselves, Framed Youth features a segment by Bronski Beat’s Jimi Somerville.” PlanetOut PopcornQ Movies