Yvette in Wandsworth is 61-70 and is a producer-director.
Yvette Vanson is an award-winning documentary producer-director. She tells her journey into the business to girls and women on a Chocolate Films filmmaking workshop in Wandsworth, South London. Over 5 days, the 12 girls and women aged 12 to 50 developed documentary filmmaking skills and made their very own short film.
Film Maker: Blue Stockings workshop participants
Questions & Answers
- What's your first memory of London? I was about 11 and was with my parents on a CND march against nuclear weapons, proudly sporting a bowler hat with the CND logo on the front! A man rushed up to me, took it off my head and stamped on it, shouting “this is not a joke!” Shocked, I carried on protesting...squashed hat in hand... Vividly etched on my memory is when my Mother (who was in the WRAF in WWII, driving and maintaining lorries, and the Colonel – not in a lorry but a swish car!) taught me to drive and at 17 made me drive up the A3 to London to practice! Daunting - but I have driven round London for 50 years since, never afraid of the busy traffic, ever grateful.
- What do you miss when you're away from London? The diversity, the rush and intensity; along with the calm oasis of our lovely open spaces.
- What's your favourite neighbourhood? Putney, vibrant (and sadly polluted) and Wandsworth Park – it’s glorious in all seasons - full of life, activity. Thousands of daffs in the Spring and always those avenues of magnificent heroic old trees.
- What's your ideal day out in London? Taking the river boat from Wandsworth Pier to Embankment, a walk up to Trafalgar Square, an exhibition in the National Gallery, lunch in the NPG restaurant overlooking London, a stroll round the square listening to the buskers, tea in the Crypt in St Martin’s in the Field, and return by boat, watching London pass by as the sun sets. Perfect!
- What's your ideal night out in London? A jazz night at the 606 in Chelsea with Antonio Forcione playing sublime guitar. Magic!
- What's your most hated building? Sorry, Hayward Gallery – I like what you display but hate the concrete!
- What's the best view in London? The view from my third floor flat overlooking Wandsworth Park – and the Thames. It’s glorious in all seasons. Skies at sunset are dark and brooding or hot and shimmering.
- What's your favourite open space? Wandsworth Park! The kids on the playground, the crazy golfers, the wannabe Murray’s on the tennis court, the Sunday footballers – including my son! The rowers on the Thames...what more...
- What's your favourite bar, pub or restaurant? Pub – The Cat’s Back; restaurant - Marco Polo – both in Wandsworth Riverside Quarter.
- What's the most interesting shop? Hardly ever shop these days. I enjoy Museum and Gallery shops they are eclectic at least.
- What's been your most memorable night out in London? Too many to relate – but a great play at the National, or musical in Soho...followed by dinner and wine...or dancing on the Roof Garden in Kensington with the flamingos!
- How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? See Q 5.
- Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? See Q 5!
- What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? Probably driving from South to North – through awful fumes and traffic...missing a play.
- What's your personal London landmark? Somerset House – it’s classical and stately but step through the archway and the huge courtyard reveals people skating or kids running through the fountains. There’s a great gallery and restaurant too...open to all.
- Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Oh go on then, The Artful Dodger!
- What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? Film - The Murder of Stephen Lawrence – I was Executive Producer, director was Paul Greengrass - we won a BAFTA; book - Fixing Shadows by Susan Barrett – the feminist Dickens!
- If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? I am a person who lives in the present – life has taught me that much – so right here and now please...enjoying each day as it comes.
- For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? The unknown, unrecognised and under rewarded – the cleaner and carer; waitress and nurse; artist and actor; women and men of all ages and nationalities who give us comfort, relieve our pain and nurture our souls...they are the ultimate Londoners. Thank you.