INTERVIEW: A year in the life of Liverpool with Shut Out The Light’s Liverpool Story

How could you document a year in the life of Liverpool?

Well, Christie Allanson and Daniel Draper from Shut Out The Light are doing just that.

The pair had previously worked for a film company but had wanted to take ownership of what they were working on and make projects that really mattered to them.

Their first feature documentary was filmed nine years ago, and Liverpool Story will be the pair’s fifth.

Speaking to the Liverpool Film Office, Dan said: “During lockdown, we created a film about life in the Toxteth community today called Almost Liverpool 8 and the idea for Liverpool Story just came to us following that project. It felt like our duty to tell this story.

“We live in the city and are always so conscious about how it is portrayed so we thought it was probably time to make a film solely about Liverpool in a different and nuanced way. This city is much deeper and a lot richer than the images people always see.”
Christie and Dan have covered a range of topics, events, and people from across the city for this project.

“The stuff we’re discovering, a lot we didn’t even know existed, from the oldest sketching club in England to the Merseyside Society for Deaf People bingo afternoon. We have learnt a lot about the city from this project – seeing and exploring parts that we haven’t seen before and discovering all kinds of interesting clubs and places we had no idea about,” said Christie.

Dan added: “I think what has worked quite well is that we’re walking the city and getting public transport which has helped in learning more and speaking to people in the street who then inform our film and it’s been a really nice way to develop the story from grassroots level.

“Exploring it with new eyes and walking down every street has also helped and once you have a camera, everyone is asking what you are doing. Everyone who we have come across is really friendly and open. They start to inform the project in many ways we couldn’t imagine.”

Christie and Dan explained how they are also wanting to show the city from different perspectives, “We look at the city from a human visual level but we’re trying to explore other elements, different angles from the depths of the city, underneath, overhead, from dogs to seagulls – even the Mersey.

“We went out on a boat on the docks and put our camera in the River Mersey to see what’s down there. We were not in control of what we were filming and it was just the camera and water mixing together. They are probably some of the purest images we have captured for the film.”

Shut Out The Light are looking for more projects, groups, events and people to cover as part of their year-long quest to document life in Liverpool. If you would like to get in touch with them, please email