Association with Alex Usborne at Picture Palace North and 104 Films. 1989 – present
Alex Usborne is a Sheffield based TV and film producer who runs two companies Picture Palace North and 104 Films Ltd. My association with Alex started in 1989, researching and exploring Sheffield’s nightlife, boxing clubs and social housing estates, photographing authentic, documentary film locations, personalities and characters who have a story to tell. Only the two of us were usually present at a given location with no film crew present, this enabled a sense of actuality and reality to be achieved.
Photographs from these locations were used to create scenarios that could be used to outline and construct these documentary films, pitch for funding and later be used to promote the finished film.
As these early documentaries progressed into higher budget feature films, I worked as the unit stills photographer.
Films for Picture Palace North and 104 films include: Brendan’s Boys (1990), A Band Called Treacle (1995), Tales from a Hard City (1995), The Acid House (1998), Large (2001), Fucking Sheffield (2006), Special People (2007), Smoking with the Hawk (2008), N.F.A. (No Fixed Abode) (2012), We Are The Freaks (2012), The Marker (2016).
All images are Strictly Copyright © 2017 Bill Stephenson All Rights Reserved
[PP 001] Ali Hamed and ‘old timer’ at St Thomas’ Boys and Girls Club, Wincobank, Sheffield. 1989. The club is the location for Brendan Ingle’s boxing gym. Ali Hamed is the younger brother of former professional boxing champion “Prince” Naseem Hamed and is now himself a professional boxing coach.
[PP 002] Ali Hamed and Johnny Nelson at St Thomas’ Boys and Girls Club, 1990. Johnny was known as “The Entertainer” and became the longest reigning cruiserweight world champion, retiring in 2006.
[PP 003] Naseem Hamed age 16 at St Thomas’ Boys and Girls Club. Known as ‘Prince’ Naseem or Naz, he was later to hold multiple world titles at featherweight. He retired in 2002 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015.
[PP 004] Boxing club members take a break from training, St Thomas’ Boys and Girls Club. 1989.
[PP 005] Brendan Ingle is one of the most successful boxing trainers in the sport having trained four World Champions, 6 European, 15 British and six Commonwealth Champions. Here, he is training ‘young hopefuls’ at St Thomas’ Boys and Girls Club. 1989.
[PP 006] Revellers at Josephine’s Nightclub, Barkers Pool, Sheffield. 1992. The drink of the day was ‘Pils and Black’, (larger and blackcurrant).
[PP 007] Girl with a condom on her nose, Josephine’s Nightclub, 1992.
[PP 008] Male stripper at Josephine’s Nightclub. 1992.
[PP 009] Hen Night bride to be and sister, Josephine’s Nightclub. 1992
[PP 010] ‘Mini Meals’ waitress. Josephine’s Nightclub. 1992.
[PP 011] Bar staff outside Josephine’s Nightclub. 1992.
[PP 012] ‘Miss Josephine 1993’ contestants.
[PP 013] ‘Miss Josephine 1993’ contestants.
[PP 014] ‘Miss Josephine 1993’ contestant.
[PP 015] Kissing couple. Rock night, Rebels Nightclub, Dixon Lane, Sheffield. 1993.
[PP 016] Air Guitar contest winner, Rock night, Rebels Nightclub, Sheffield. 1993.
[PP 017] Door men, Millionaires Bar, Calver Street, Sheffield. 1994.
[PP 018] Men jeering a pub stripper, The Fountain Bar, Sheffield. 1994.
[PP 019] ‘Duckers and Divers’, petty thieves at Park Hill, Sheffield. 1994.
[PP 020] Glen Brodie. Glen lived on the Wybourn Estate Sheffield and is a character from the documentary film ‘Tales from a Hard City’. He is a car thief who attempts to break free from his life on the estate and alcoholism through Karaoke singing. Sadly Glen died from an alcohol related illness in 2014. 1994.
[PP 021] Sarah Smith and Wayne Chadwick are characters from ‘Tales from a Hard City’. Sarah had been recently been arrested for ‘dirty dancing’ in Greece, Wayne is a bar owner and ‘media mogul’ who wants to make Sarah a ‘celebrity’. 1994.
[PP 022] Stevlor is a Sheffield based photographer and character from the documentary film ‘Fucking Sheffield’. He uses his high rise flat near London Road as a photographic studio. 2006.
[PP 023] Stevlor and glamour model Laura. He uses the flats lift as a location for photography. 2006
[PP 024] Stevlor and Laura recreate the iconic poster image from the 1966 film ‘Blow-Up’. 2006.
[PP 025] Cassie and the girls at the Blue Minx Pole and Lap Dancing Club, Rotherham. Cassie is the ‘top girl’ at the club and one of the characters from the film ‘Fucking Sheffield’. 2006.
[PP 026] Cassie and Natasha wait for lap dancing customers to arrive. 2006.
[PP 027] Cassie and ‘Chardonnay’ attract passing customers to the club. 2006
[PP 028] Mick is from the Wybourn Estate and a character from the film ‘Fucking Sheffield’. He is a crack addict trying to rid his addiction so he can repair his scooter and ride to a mod rally in Scarborough. 2006.
[PP 029] Sasha Hardway is an actor and model starring in ‘Special People’. A film about a failed filmmaker who teaches a group of wheelchair users how to make films. 2007.
[PP 030] David Proud at the barré in ‘Special People’. He is an actor, presenter, producer and was the first disabled actor to appear in EastEnders. 2007.
[PP 031] Cylde Broughton is a character from ‘Smoking with the Hawk’ documentary film. Clyde is a pool hall hustler, power lifter and jailbird from Sheffield’s Wybourn estate, who gains ‘karma’ from his hawks. 2008.
[PP 032] Actor Parick Baladi starring in ‘N. F. A. (No Fixed Abode)’. The story of a man who wakes up to find he has lost everything. 2012.
[PP 033] Screen grabs from Irvine Welsh’s ‘The Acid House’. 1998. Featuring Ewen Bremner, Michelle Gomez, Arlene Cockburn and Gary McCormack.
[PP 034] DVD wrappers from ‘Tales from a Hard City’ (1996), ‘N.F.A.(No Fixed Abode)’ (2012) and ‘We Are The Freaks’ (2013).