At Clockwise we love to partner with other production companies that share our passion for telling stories. Long time friends and allies Mother Goose came to us last year with a particularly exciting project, Don’t Shoot The Messenger.

Husband and wife team Polly and Robin had shot each stage of an incredible story that centred around the building of a huge piece of public art in Plymouth called Bianca. It was our job to bring the edit together, and show that there’s more to the story than just the erection of a piece of public art. 

In fact the story was as much a portrait of Plymouth, a tool for debate about public spending, and the representation of women in a public space, as much as it was about the process of Joseph Hillier creating the largest cast bronze statue in the UK.

“For Mother Goose to let us loose on the edit was a pleasure, giving us great trust and freedom to tell the story which was so close to their hearts.”

Sim Higgingson, Senior Creative @ Clockwise Film

The main challenge was to make the film feel as balanced as possible, representing the mixed views and controversy surrounding the art. The other challenge was to strike a balance between telling the story of the logistical challenges, but also weaving in the bigger topics that the narrative touches on.

The film was premiered on Sky Arts in August 2021. We look forward to working under the wing of Mother Goose on many projects to come.  


How long from start to finish did this project take?

The film project took around 3 years from start to finish, the sculpture project was substantially longer. We obviously went in blind with no real idea of how the sculpture would pan out and at that point how it would ever make its way into the city and be erected, and it wasn’t originally being directed for TV it was more for a personal archive for the Theatre, but as the sculpture and its story grew stronger and more controversial, so did the documentary. 

We knew we wanted to make this strong, the sculpture already had a huge back story to it before we ever became involved as it sparked huge controversy in and around Plymouth with many locals saying they didn’t want it, there had been a lot of media hype …. but when people actually realised what they were getting, public perception soon began to change. This documentary became a lot more than just the UK’s largest bronze sculpture of a female dancer, it became more about the people of Plymouth and the idea of change in a city that is more known for its military and historical past. 

What was the main challenge of making this film?

The main challenges were needing to drop everything and run with a camera for an event of the build, constant last-minute trips to mid-Wales and we also had a newborn baby 2 days before the first shoot day haha. Ultimately it was piecing together 3 years worth of footage into a coherent film that truly told its story from all angles and opinions, I hope that was achieved. 
Having Dawn French narrate the film really was the icing on the cake for us too, as a local inhabitant and Plymothian female, she was the perfect voice for the story. 

by Robin Kother, MotherGoose Films