BY CALUM FRASER
Tristan Anderson spent the last four years documenting the life of three Michael Jackson impersonators.
The Charlton born lad, a Bafta award winning filmmaker, was gripped when he saw footage of three boys from disadvantaged backgrounds trying to make it big impersonating the moonwalking superstar.
Mr Anderson, 40, said: “Quirky, interesting and amazing things happen when there are three Michael Jacksons, all from different eras, walking down the street with you.
“There is an instant warmth and reaction, 99% of the time positive.
“Sometimes we would be sitting down and having a break and I would have to pinch myself to the reality that we’re in a pasta shop with three MJ’s having a chat about what is on the TV. It’s odd, but always very interesting.”
Mr Anderson’s documentary, Moonwalkers, follows Quintin, Malachi and Chavail as they go on a road trip across the US in search of their big break.
He said: “Ultimately with documentary filmmaking you have two stories. You have the bigger story about these guys being street performers, then you have the personal story about them making connections, trying to find happiness and the extremes they go to break out of poverty.
“It’s tricky being a documentary filmmaker because you can see where somebody is heading before they can, so you want to give them advice and the whole point of you being there is to passively document.
“I feel very protective of one of the guys in the film because he is quite lost, he has had a troubled background and he’s obsessed with having money. I understand why, he’s never had money. But I’m not sure it’s a path that is going to fulfill him.”
Mr Anderson was born and brought up in Charlton, schooled at Thomas Tallis and went to Greenwich University. He then worked in Lewisham College as a lecturer and at company called Greenwich Film when they ran the Greenwich Film Festival. He won his Bafta directing a documentary for the BBC about alcoholism called Just a Few Drinks. He looks to tell stories about forgotten people in society and unlikely heroes.
His skill and passion for film was fostered in Greenwich.
He said: “I always sort of stayed SE London. I love the diversity of the Greenwich borough landscape.
“I grew up on Kinveachy Gardens near Charlton Park, Maryon and Wilson Park. I think the South East is really untapped. People don’t realise you got the river, the barrier, the low roads, you got middle class houses you got estates, parks. It’s a real blend visually.
“I want to make a bigger film one day on Greenwich.”
Mr Anderson and cinematographer Tom Gaudsmit have been self funding Moonwalkers so far,
He said: “On a big film there’s normally anything from 50 to 5000 people and we’ve just had the two of us.
“With this film we are taking on 10 to 20 roles each. It’s punk film making in a way.”
But the duo are now reaching out to the public to raise the final £28,000 to get the film over the line as their finances have run dry.
Patrons have a chance of getting their hands on an array of prizes.
To find out more go to: www.moonwalkers-film.com.