Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a street paper seller looks like? A new film featuring Big Issue North seller Lee Stephan Devaney aims to show just that.
Made by Salford University graduates Daniel Reiss and Gavin Stewart, ‘A day in the life of a vendor’ features a time lapse of Lee’s day’s work, as well as an interview with the vendor.
“The film is excellent,” said Lee. “Gavin and Dan were really patient and spent a lot of time filming me to show a vendor’s typical day. I think they’ve done a brilliant job.”
Daniel was the producer and composer of the video. He explained why he wanted to make the film: “We wanted to understand Lee’s perspective. You see Big Issue vendors all the time but you don’t really know much about them and how they view the world.”
Daniel said that Lee’s attitude was surprisingly upbeat. “Lee was always optimistic, throughout the whole interview, even when he was talking about things that most people would think were horrendous to have to go through. His perspective of his life and the world wasn’t as downtrodden as some people might expect.
“He saw his life as normal and functional. He talks about having a phone, visiting his kids, how he likes his coffee in the morning. He didn’t have financial resources, but inOn the s his life, he wasn’t just scraping by.”
It’s a hopeful mood that Daniel tried to capture in the soundtrack. “I tried to make the music cover the range of emotion in the interview – it’s not just a sad story.”
Using time lapse, the video shows how the street changes around Lee as he works away selling his papers.
In order to set up the camera, Daniel and Gavin set out at 4.45am and were there until 6pm at night.
Nicole Cunliffe, communications officer for Big Issue North, said it was a very cold morning when the filmmakers set up.
“They filmed Lee’s pitch for over 12 hours,” she added. “The result is an amazing glimpse into the life of one vendor on one day in the centre of Manchester. We are really grateful for Dan and Gav’s work and are really proud to be showing it off on social media and our website.”
“Homeless people and Big Issue vendors have a huge presence, but they don’t have a voice,” added Daniel. “I was hoping to do something to redress that.”