Why a film about Coleridge?
I've always been fascinated by him, partly because I grew up where he wrote his poetry, but more importantly when I read Coleridge he suddenly seemed more human compared to all those other monumental poetic figures from the past. There was a vulnerability about him.
Your spin on the biographical facts creates a highly emotive film. Was that deliberate?
I didn't want facts. I wanted an emotional response as much as possible and an intellectual response. Not to the biographical details as such, but to the idea that you could take something away from a story about the past and that is useful to the present. I do feel very strongly that the past is essential for taking on the future and wanted the film to convey that feeling.
You describe Coleridge and Wordsworth as the popstars of their day. Any resemblances to the bands you've worked with?
I think it's a universal idea that where collaboration makes a huge creative breakthrough, in whatever form, there is always human fallout that's interesting. That there is always a love-hate chemistry that has to drive that creativity. If it's a bland, loving, working relationship, it doesn't catch fire. These guys were very much jumping out of their time and that collaboration has been relived in a lot of different ways, not just in music. They've inspired many things, including the idea that if you want to climb a mountain, it's better to do it with someone else.
Find out more at BBC Films.
"Pandaemonium" is released in UK cinemas on 14th September 2001.