The journey for “Raw: The Global Fight to Save Real Cheese” begins in earnest this week.
After several months of ideation, research, concept development, sizzle reel creation (big thank you to DOP Richard Kickbush, Editor Damien Corboy, Sound Designer Tristan Meredith and Production Manager Megan Nass) plus script writing and creation of a glossy 15-page deck, I am ready to invite investment in this project.
I have been funded in developing this project by the inimitable Will Studd. Will is a household name in the cheese world. A self-described ‘cheese activist’, Will has made a lot of his own lifestyle TV over the years. ‘Cheese Slices’ produced an impressive eight series over more than a decade. These programs are an engaging mix of food and adventure, but Will has grown deeply concerned about the state of play in the cheese world and decided he needed to raise awareness about the crisis unfolding under our noses. So, I am fortunate that he approached me to research and develop the concept. I didn’t know much about raw milk and raw milk cheese a few months ago, but I’ve been on a tasty learning curve. Tasty, but also disturbing. I’ve learned that real cheese, raw milk farmstead artisan cheese, that is, is under threat from changing government regulation in the ‘New World’ and Europe. It’s a complicated global story which I’m still wrestling with – I’ll share more detail in forthcoming blogs – but suffice to say there are two interwoven narratives that are the basis of this series (and possibly feature documentary): The ‘Old World’ is losing some of their great cheeses, and jeopardising a way of life that has existed for centuries, resulting in the potential loss of some of the world’s most loved and admired cheeses. At the same time New World cheese makers are ‘reinventing the wheel’ as cheese experts Bronwen and Francis Pervical have elegantly put it in their recent book (published by Bloomsbury). I encourage everyone who is interested in this subject to read it, (Bronwen will be a subject in this forthcoming series, by the way).