Making Tough Decisions In A Virtual World – Interview with filmmaker Paul Irwin

Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 11.26.41 PMPaul Irwin and his small team of filmmakers empower South London’s youth with an interactive web series exposing audiences to the consequences of tough life decisions in the safety of a virtual environment.

Glass of wine in hand, Paul sits down to chat with me from his living room. He tells me he’s having a BBQ with friends and family to take of advantage of the unusually warm London spring weather. When we first spoke a year ago, TryLife had just launched its first episode and was seeking future funding. Now, after a successful online release and interest from the U.K. government, TryLife has been greenlit to begin production on the second episode.

Paul brings me up-to-date on the progress of TryLife by first outlining the need for digital educational programs in U.K. He explains that a growing population of disenfranchised youth in London’s Lewsiham district and its surrounding areas have become a major concern to local authorities. Known as the most dangerous town in the U.K., Lewisham’s gang activity has risen dramatically over the past year due to high-unemployment and low-graduation rates. Instances of forced prostitution are also on the rise, with increasing drug-related arrests and deaths. Additionally STD and unwanted pregnancy rates are skyrocketing, causing panic for the government who is now seeking out alternative ways to educate the hardcore, tech-savvy youth that are unreachable through traditional means of advertising. Read more…

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