Synopsis by Mark Deming
Noted conceptual artist Gillian Wearing makes her debut as a film director with this unique fusion of documentary, drama and psychology. Wearing posted ads in newspapers and at employment centers reading "If you were to play a part in a film, would you be yourself or a fictional character?" and interviewed the many people who responded to the query. Wearing narrowed down the hundreds of people who responded to seven people, and then paired them with Sam Rumbelow, an experienced acting coach. With the help of Waering, Rumbelow and author Leo Butler, the new thespians created five scenes inspired in some way by their own lives, with another adapted in part from Shakespeare's King Lear. As the volunteers learn the finer points of method acting, they use the techniques of the craft to explore their own lives as they deal with emotional damage of the past that has informed their present. Self Made was an official selection at the 2010 BFI London Film Festival.