Turner prize winning British artist completes principal photography on debut feature Self Made

Gillian Wearing’s debut feature, Self Made, has just wrapped principal photography in Newcastle.

The film, an exploration of the blurring between reality and fiction, is being backed by the UK Film Council (UKFC) and Northern Film & Media. Wearing also wrote the script for the project along with Leo Butler. 

Lisa Marie Russo is producing for Fly Film Production, together with Samm Haillay and Duane Hopkins of Newcastle based Third Films. Kate Ogborn and Marc Munden are executive producing.

Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation, the Arts Council of England and Abandon Normal Devices are also supporting the project, which came about after Wearing placed an advert in UK newspapers asking “If you were to play a part in a film, would you be yourself or a fictional character?”

The seven people selected to appear in the film then attended a method acting workshop to explore their fantasy selves, with the participants being encouraged to use real life experiences to bring their characters to life.

Russo said: “Gillian’s transition from artist to film director is informed by her personal approach to the work. She breaks with traditional methods of storytelling and offers an intriguing, insightful exploration of identity, fame, reality and fiction.”

Lenny Crooks, head of the UKFC’s New Cinema Fund, which supported the project, added: It’s really exciting to see Gillian, one of our country’s foremost contemporary artists, making her first foray to filmmaking with such a unique project.”