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Paul’s Blog

Welcome to Paul’s Blog. Paul Alexander is the writer and director of our films and his blog gives an insight into the ups and downs of creating our first film Finding Saint Francis.

Paul Alexander (right) with Peter Stickney who plays the young Francis in Finding St Francis

Upminster 2012.

Just over two years ago, Saturday the 27th October 2012, I was taking a Quiet Day in Upminster. Amongst the people who came was John Fox, not the founder of the Quakers, that was George Fox, this was John Fox the founder of Market Place Franciscans. He had come with... read more

Smouldering in secret.

Our attempts to present our script to people who could fund our film never took off. It was a combination of being wildly over ambitious and naive. The film was going to cost around ten million dollars to produce and we had no track record. I took a back seat because... read more

Hollywood Houston here we come.

It all sounds rather grand as though we were going to launch a dramatic rocket from Houston that would circle the globe and land safely and intact in the centre of Hollywood. It wasn’t grand by those standards but it was fun and our dreams ran high. Basically four of... read more

What could be difficult?

The initial idea of shooting a film on the life of Francis was to go to Italy with a cameraman, a sound recordist, a director and an actor. What could be easier? We had the solo show, which had never been written down because it had grown organically as a piece of... read more

The seed of an idea.

After Mark’s Gospel John’s Gospel is the next shortest of the four gospels. This extraordinary book had long intrigued me. It was on one level an amazing story and it hinted at hidden depths that needed to be explored as a deep sea diver would a coral reef with,... read more

The link is made.

The link with the Franciscans had been made and this time didn’t fade with time. Many links were forged with the friary and Franciscans but that is another story. The purpose of this blog is to trace the emerging idea of making a film about Francis. So we leap... read more

Spring board into a hectic world.

It was dark, in the valley below a bell was ringing, a slow measured ring, unhurried, calm, clear. The Friary was silent, no activity, no people, quiet everywhere. A light in the dark came from the courtyard, drawing attention like a magnet. Behind the door into the... read more

Choppy waters.

It was a short weekend. We arrived Saturday lunchtime and left on the Sunday afternoon. The lingering effect of the place was soon submerged in the daily routine of school. But memory can resurface like a life saver thrown into choppy waters. The years passed through... read more

A room full of smoke.

My second memory was of entering an elongated room full of smoke. It was a barn but it no longer had straw on the floor and steaming cows chewing the cud. It was clean and tidy, airy and light except for swirls of incense eddying round like an early morning mist... read more

Sleeping in a barn.

We had a very enterprising chaplain at our school who liked, probably loved, to cycle. This was in the days before it was mandatory to wear cycle helmets and Lycra hadn’t been heard of. An invitation had been issued by the Franciscan brothers to visit them at... read more

The Friars with the whiskey bottle.

It all started around 55 years ago, over half a century. Two friars visited our school for a week. Our school was a stuffy, unpleasant institution that was a mirror image of ‘Tom Brown’s School days’ and inspired revolutionary ideas in the minds of... read more

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