Pip Piper is an indie filmmaker, CEO of The Producers Forum and a part time lecturer at Birmingham City University. He’s the co-founder of BFilm Micro and founding director of OSBD media charity. He’s been married to his wife Debbie for 26 years with 3 grown up sons and is part of Oasis Church Birmingham. Pip recently made the worlds first ever film about the history of UK mountain biking, (and it’s pretty amazing), so we thought we would find out how he ended up making films.

“There can be no doubt that making films is a mix of joy and pain, but it can be incredibly rewarding. I have been making films for over 20 years now, from short issue based films through to feature length ones that in one case took me 10 years to make! It has taken me all over the world from: shanty towns in Peru, a high security prison in Ukraine, a homeless shelter in New Zealand (where I made “The insatiable moon” feature film with the producer of the Lord of the Rings) to high up in the French Alps where I made our first award winning documentary “Andy Parkin: a life in adaptation.”

It all started when I was the full time youth worker at a Birmingham based Church, and one of the young people wanted to make films and they needed support. It was that journey in 1996 that helped found ‘One Small Barking Dog (OSBD)’ media charity that over 10 years made many short issues based films, documentaries and the acclaimed images for worship series. OSBD led onto the formation of Blue Hippo Media, a film company set up by myself and Rob Taylor to make bigger and more ambitious films. In the past 6 years we have raised the finances for, and made 5 feature length films, getting them out to the wider world often in cinemas and beyond.

Our latest endeavour has been making the first film ever made about the history of UK mountain biking. “Mountain Biking: the untold British story” is a 70 minute film filled as always with passion and emotion, told through different eyes to help bring to life the overall story. It is getting great reviews!

So, Why do I do it? Well I just love bringing stories to life and communicating with people across the world and this is a way I can do that. The films often do not have direct Christian messages BUT they do often weave together deeper spiritual truths into the narratives that wider audiences can relate too. I am not a Christian filmmaker but I am a Christian who wants to excel in what I do and make an impact on my world. Filmmaking is no longer the preserve of the few but through new technologies and internet based distribution has become very accessible. Maybe you could become a filmmaker too?!

By Rosanna Heasman

Rosanna Heasman

Rosanna manages Catalyst’s communications and works part time in Bedford. She is married to Tom Heasman and works as an events manager alongside her role.