Film-makers want to put hours of Sir Ian McKellen interview footage online with help of the public

McKellen: Playing The Part
McKellen: Playing The Part

Film-makers are seeking public funding to put the words of wisdom of one of Wigan’s best-known cultural exports online.

The team behind documentary McKellen: Playing The Part, which was released last year, wants to create a free educational website for students and fans of acting legend Sir Ian McKellen.

The film-makers interviewed Sir Ian, who spent his earliest years in Wigan and has staged a number of high-profile homecoming events in the town in recent years, for several days and

have amassed an incredible treasure trove of hours of unused conversations and footage.

They now want to put this online for anyone who wants to find out more about the star of stage and screen’s life and career.

And to do this they have turned to the public in the shape of a campaign on funding website Indiegogo which hopes to bring in £25,000 by later this month.

Thousands of pounds have already been raised but the team will need to bring in the entire amount it is seeking or it will receive nothing.

The hours of recorded footage covers a huge range of subjects, from first discovering the magic of the stage in Wigan to roles such as his appearance in blockbuster fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings.

A spokesperson for B Good Picture Company, which made the documentary, said: “We have a treasure trove of conversations unused and unseen from the interviews, across subjects

from his first theatre trip, to how he almost didn’t play Gandalf, from a close shave with Bowie to experiences touring the United Kingdom straight out of university.

“To top it off we also had access to private photo albums and archive, not all of which were used in the film.

“To get this amazing interview out of the archive and to the public, we came up with the idea of making a website that will enable everyone to hear these stories.”

The movie company hopes the website will work as an interactive timeline of Sir Ian’s life, with every play and film he has been part of available to click on. This will then bring up relevant interview footage together with other archive material which is available.

To reach the £25,000 goal the team has come up with a number of support packages Sir Ian’s fans can opt for.

These range from putting in £5 through to packages for £100 and £200, with one superfan even able to secure tickets to see Sir Ian on stage in London and enjoy a backstage champagne reception with him afterwards if they are willing to pay £1,500 towards the website.

The 50 people who chip in £200 will also receive signed limited-edition copies of the documentary.

To find out more about the crowdfunding or donate visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ian-mckellen-playing-the-part-web-project#/