Tony continues to research and innovate. He is currently developing an interactive digital archive project, Video Nation, expanding the web broadcasting platform, Solent TV, and writing and studying. Supporting his activities as a film maker and academic, these research activities are reinterpreting his body of work and exploring new forms of storytelling and broadcasting.
Made as part of the video installation with Steve Hawley at Solent Showcase, this five minute drone shot reveals the city of Southampton as a place at the very edge of England. Unusually, this drone was launched at sea, enabling the control boat to follow for two miles as it recorded its images along Weston shore to towards the city skyline. The images will form the basis for a new piece of work about the future of the city.
The Video Nation Archive project draws from the vast video collection charting the 1990’s now held at Southampton Solent.
The material represents a "YouTube before there was YouTube” (Bill Thompson, Archive Development, BBC).
Incredibly, the rushes for Video Nation were about to be destroyed as the BBC vacated Television Centre in 2012 but were rescued by Tony with the help of a pantechnicon. Now, the content is being catalogued and will provide a catalyst for research, education, new media content and help create an understanding of the present through examining the past.
On the project, Tony is collaborating with Dr Alex Reynolds, the BBC, University of West of England, the University of Sussex and the Mass Observation to create a fully accessible and interactive platform for this cultural history of the 1990’s.
Following the presentation of the opening paper at the Rethinking Disability on Screen conference at the University of York in March 2015, Tony Steyger has been commissioned to write a book chapter entitled Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom: The Early Years of Disability Programming on Channel 4. Dr Jamie Clarke is co-writer on the project with a publication date of early 2017.
The video here is a collection of extracts from early documentaries made for Channel 4 and directed by Tony Steyger. The themes are all related to disability, including No Faith in Us, which features a young researcher, Jonathan Ross, quizzing children about God and 'cripples'.
This is a highly personal film, with a developing narrative, and has been several years in the making. Intended as an autobiography with a slant on family life living with "differently abled" brothers, the project has refocused with the death of Tony's mother in 2013. The filming is largely complete but material is still being gathered alongside post-production, underscoring the universal themes of loss and identity.